The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Jul/11

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When Logic doesn’t help

I was have a beer last night with my friend Joe B – @zbutcher on Twitter, follow him and check out his Final Cut Pro X curation site linking to all the stories he can find – and naturally the conversation covered the current Final Cut Pro X release and the consequent debate. In my mind, a good discussion is one I come away from with enlightened or changed thinking. And this was a good conversation.

A number of times Joe pointed out just how logical I was. He’s right, I’m extremely logical. I’d probably go as far as to say that I eschew emotional responses.

But Joe pointed out that, for many people, the response to Final Cut Pro X is emotional. Like a jilted lover who still doesn’t understand why Apple broke up with them. And truth be told, I do find it hard to empathize with that. I try and recognize it but apparently at times I come across as a little “tone deaf” to the emotion side of the discussion.

For that I apologize. It’s not intentional.

Mostly the focus on logic serves me well. It’s what allowed me to be “scary accurate” in my writings about Final Cut Pro X (or what became FCP X) over the last 17-18 months. It’s how I “do my thing”. In that area being highly logical serves me well.

And serves you well, as a reader, because you get that insight months before those who don’t read this blog. That side of it is good.

The other side is that I may not always respond to the emotional component with the understanding of the real pain people are going through. I understand it from an intellectual perspective, but I don’t feel it, and it’s likely that’s just who I am.

It’s a yin and yang thing – they go together and I’ll keep focusing on the logical, finding clues and data points to bring you the latest developments in the companies and technologies we care about, as we march to the future.

Speaking of logic, the the one thing that took me completely by surprise was the withdrawal from sale of Final Cut Pro 7. It causes real pain to current customers wanting additional seats, and I don’t see how it benefits Apple. It’s just not logical.

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10 comments

  • Ben King · July 1, 2011 at 1:46 pm

    Well my dear Philip,

    Don’t worry too much – I think we can all safely say that there has been more than enough overly emotional (and often unfounded) responses to the break-up, that its nice to see a positive (and anally logical) take on things.

    Some responses have been so OTT that they missed all the good that will come of the change. Seriously, when they get full Quality Broadcast monitoring I’ll be using FCPX!

    Having said that even I have had a good rant here or there; mostly about poor implementation of features rather than the loss of pointless legacy file-formats – you know who I’m talking about! YES you decrepit EDL aaaaand you Old Age OMF!

    Anyway that was a rather long-winded and “round-about-the-houses” way of saying that there is no need to apologise for who you are mate. We all love what you do and the way you do it.

    • Fran Belda · July 7, 2011 at 12:08 pm

      Every single one of the people that say that the reaction is unfounded, that EDL and OMF are pointless are prosumers that don’t work on broadcast TV or film.

      They sound like they make corporate videos or weddings so they don’t miss the tools that Apple took away. Hey that’s great, I can be a prosumer chef, have a healthy catering business and make a nice living out of it. I may never need the fancy aerosolizer tools that high end restaurants need to make their living BUT high end restaurants, chefs, apprentice chefs need those tools.

      I repeat not everyone, not all business just professional restauranters.

      I’d bet that lots of people that bought Final Cut Pro 7 have never used Multicam, XML, or OMF. But I also assure you that ALL people that work in broadcast and film use it every day.

      • Admin comment by Philip · July 7, 2011 at 12:12 pm

        Final Cut Pro X is NOT for prosumers, whatever they are. Check this out. http://www.philiphodgetts.com/2011/07/who-are-apples-final-cut-pro-x-customers/

        Apple chose to focus Final Cut Pro X away from the limited market of broadcast TV and film professionals. In fact no NLE developer relies on that market to survive, as I outline in the article above. Not Avid where NLE software makes up 13% of their net sales (servers for the broadcast market and TV plant technology), and not Adobe (Flash, large scale document management is where they make their money).

  • Andy · July 2, 2011 at 5:13 am

    “Speaking of logic, the the one thing that took me completely by surprise was the withdrawal from sale of Final Cut Pro 7. It causes real pain to current customers wanting additional seats, and I don’t see how it benefits Apple. It’s just not logical.”

    Then we must invent a logic to suit the purpose … so here’s one I just made up for you.

    If we were to speculate that Apple have indeed made a conscious business decision to try to grow and dominate the middle and lower end of the NLE market, knowingly and willingly ceding the broadcast and higher end or the business to other vendors … well then by withdrawing FCS we can assume that Apple are indeed intentionally forcing those higher end businesses (that have depended on the niche features of their now EOL’d suite of apps) to immediately take stock, sooner rather than later, and refocus their investments according to their needs. Being cruel to be kind they are. That’s Apple … our mates.

    There, now I get to ditch my planned FCS suites in favour of a Media Composer solution and still feel good about it having to do so ;-)

  • Patrick Inhofer · July 2, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Philip,

    The reason you didn’t see FCS getting pulled off the market? It was an emotional decision by Apple. I suspect the pain of needing to support FCS through a major OS update interrupted their logic synapses. They just want it to go away. Yesterday.

    • Craig Seeman · July 2, 2011 at 11:19 am

      I think Patrick is correct in that pulling it relates to support but I don’t think the reason was emotional.

      Somewhere in Apple’s cost benefit analysis they wanted to get out of support for legacy FCS as quickly as possible.
      http://www.apple.com/support/products/enterprise/video.html
      Maybe it also had to deal with their business relationship with VARs

      I haven’t been able to figure out the business why’s and wherefores but I don’t think this was done without serious forethought.

      Could it be they want to reallocate resources? Could there have been backend contracts that Apple wants to terminate as quickly as possible. Maybe there are other reason we simply can’t know because the information isn’t public. I don’t think a company like Apple acts with emotion alone even though individuals within Apple, including Jobs, can.

      • Admin comment by Philip · July 2, 2011 at 11:28 am

        While I don’t understand pulling FCS 3 and FCSvr from the market so abruptly, like Craig I don’t have the inside information; the focus groups, and the deep research of how people were using FCP 7. Without that, my opinion is really based on nothing but my circle of contacts without hard objective data. Who knows.

      • Chris Wilby · July 4, 2011 at 12:04 am

        They see the future as FCPX; what else do you expect them to do? Wet-nurse everybody indefinitely?

        I do think pulling FCS3 was a little premature though.

  • Snow · July 4, 2011 at 12:27 am

    Agreed. Progress can be painful sometimes.
    That does not mean Apple should make their loyal or new pro customers suffer.

    Apple, the move to FCPX makes sense but, will take time.
    Return FCS3 to the shelves for six months, just because your customers really, really need it. Make them happy and positive. Marketing does not matter as much.
    Sound logical to me.

  • AndrewK · July 6, 2011 at 12:58 am

    I think too many people are seemingly turning what Apple did into a false dichotomy. Adobe and Avid are both examples of NLE makers that have progressed and adapted to new workflows over the past few years w/o throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

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