…aaaand let the rumor mills begin.

The Twittersphere and the CreativeCow-asphere are all abuzz and agog today with rumors of tomorrow’s impending FCP X-dot-who-knows release. Over the past few weeks, I’ve remained somewhat detached from all of this.

My feelings on the next release are that it’s best to temper my own expectations. Maybe there will be one or two major features. Maybe one of those will actually work on the day of launch. And maybe there will be a bunch of bug fixes. And maybe, just maybe, those bug fixes won’t need to be corrected next month.

It’s ALL hearsay and conjecture by anyone making comments about this stuff on the Internet. Just sit back, try to relax, and enjoy the show. Countdown to 10/22/13 begins… now.

And now we wait…

I hate waiting. Admittedly, in many instances, I’m the one telling someone else to wait (to render, to upload, to let me find that shot). Because of my own impatience, I work my tail off to provide results faster than others. It’s not always humanly possible and it’s a very high bar to set, but I strive for it. And I usually come through.

So when I am in a position of waiting on others for things I really want, I get very fidgety (to put it mildly). In this case, I am waiting on three things, all Apple-related.

First item of business is my new iMac. I sold the old one in order to upgrade. I did this almost immediately within the launch of the new iMacs. I upgraded to it because of the 4GB graphics card. I ordered it eight business days ago. It still hasn’t shipped. There’s no way it’ll get to me by the latest expected date of Wednesday unless it overnights tomorrow. Here’s hopin’.

Screen shot 2013-10-07 at 3.45.22 PM

I feel a little silly to have made the upgrade now that the benchmarks came out and they are not as exciting as I had expected. The good news is my upgrade cost was only a few hundred dollars and the resale value will be higher than my last one if I had waited another year.

This leads me to the second item of business: the new Mac Pro. I am desperately awaiting its release into the wild. I have very high hopes for this beast. I hope it’s going to energize a lot of people to start up projects which will have a trickle-down effect to me. As has happened in the past, my hope is that a new Mac Pro on the market equals new work for me.

The final item of business is FCP X. I have no idea when it’s coming out. I have no idea what the new features will be. And I am dying to know. I’ve maxed out what I can do with FCP 10.0.x. Here’s hoping the next version is as great as the hype out there. I truly hope it is because… (please return to the first line of this post).

DV Expo 2013: axle

Last night at the LACPUG meeting, I had the opportunity to meet Sam Bogoch, CEO of axle. His company creates media management software. It seems that axle is positioned for a wide variety of users, from independent post houses all the way up to non-profits and corporations.

Sam invited me out to DV Expo to demo the web-based software panel for me and it looks very cool. I could see myself using this with some of the news producers I work with. Instead of having them load the clips at home for logging and review. I could host the files on my end and they could stream the clips with timecode on their end. That would allow me to maintain control of the filenames, log notes, keywords, etc…

One interesting note is that the video content does not need to reside in a specific place on your hard drive. It can be anywhere – perhaps even in the FCP Event folder. Here’s an interview with Sam discussing axle’s software.


The tide’s a-changin’.

FCPX-iconI had a great time demoing FCP X for Moviola the other day. If you weren’t able to catch my editing/performance-art mashup ;), you can now purchase or rent it on their site, here.

So as not to ignore the title of this post, I’d like to take a second to reflect on the changing tide in sentiment toward FCP X. When asked by Michael Horton what I thought about FCP X since it’s inception, I had to be honest. When it came out, it was not very good. Let’s face it, the launch was a complete debacle.

But around 10.0.6, things started to get… better. The software became stable. New Macs were out to support it. More and more footage started coming in to my shop that FCP X fully supported (mainly any DSLR or file-based camera). It could support raw files INSIDE the NLE. And on, and on, and on.

But for me, the culmination came today, where I can officially say that my sentiment sides with FCPX over other NLEs. Reason for this? Quite simple. I can make a better product quicker and with less issues with FCP X than I can with other NLEs.

I’ll give two examples from today’s edit session:

1. I needed to remove some particularly bad 60Hz hum from 2 hrs of footage. FCP X fixed it in one click. I was even able to do a decent amount of noise removal. When I brought the same audio into Audition CC and also Premiere CC, the hum removal filter actually made the hum sound worse. What was worse than that, no matter how much I tweaked the settings, I couldn’t get rid of the hum. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to remove hum with those apps, but you can’t beat one click. And I’m not a sound editor – so I prefer to not spend any time fussing with sound if I don’t have to.

2. I needed to make a DVD for a client today. Yes, DVDs are still requested. They are not obsolete (yet!). I can still make a DVD with FCP X. No, it’s not a fully customizable authored DVD like I could make with DVD Studio Pro or Encore. But, it got the job done. And guess what? I made the DVD with a couple clicks. And the quality of the video looked great. And all my chapter markers moved over.

What I’m now seeing – which is something I hadn’t seen earlier in FCP X’s life – are the nuances. I’m seeing how agile it is and how it can make a typically complicated edit session much simpler. Premiere, for all it’s FCP 7 love (which I completely endorse!), is still mired in lack of vision and software code that goes back to the dark ages of NLEs (the late 90s and 2000s).

Ok, it’s never all fancy pants and daffodils with me. Yeah, there’s tons of stuff I really want Apple to fix in FCP X. Adding back clip-based timecode burn-in would be at the top of my list! Amongst about 500 other things.

I’m happy to now say that I’m ready to let the mishigas from 2011 go. FCP X, you’ve got my vote.

FCPX for Broadcast News article now live on the Creative COW!

Over the past two years, I spent hundreds of hours intensely studying FCPX to see if I could use it to edit broadcast news stories that I had cut for years in FCP legacy. In recent months, I was finally able to put finger to keyboard and write a bit of a tutorial/manifesto/documentation about my experiences and techniques.

I hope you enjoy this article as much as I did writing it.


Michael Garber has spent hundreds of hours learning the ins and outs of editing broadcast news features with Final Cut Pro X. He describes a workflow that takes advantage of the best that FCPX’s new approaches have to offer, while being honest about its limitations. Every editor already working with FCPX, or still just considering it, will benefit from Michael’s experience.
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