From my personal use of Final Cut Pro X I’ve felt it was faster and more fluid: that editing had become fun again. I loved Media 100 in my early NLE days. It was fluid and fast but very limited, so when Final Cut Pro 1 was in beta I jumped to it for the power. Fortunately I’m a smart guy and the complexity never really bothered me, but I didn’t feel like Final Cut Pro 1-7 was particularly fluid.
As I’ve travelled and spoken at various groups, person after person has come up to me and say some variation of:
“Final Cut Pro X took me (a longish time) to adapt, but now I’ve got to understand it, I’ve never edited faster”.
The specific words change, but the sentiment does not. And apparently I’m not the only one.I’ve collected snippets that I come across over the last year where people comment on their move to Final Cut Pro X that there has to be something to it. I present them with minimal editorial comment. For these people, Final Cut Pro x is faster.
Emphasis added by me.
Michael Sanders at CreativeCow.net (I did not keep specific URLs for many of these quotes but you should be able to search for them)
I recently did four discussion type programmes on it (multicam discussions and a few PSC inserts) and the producer and director were over the moon at the speed and flexibility. However more interestingly Craig Seeman over at the BBC is cutting lots of The Culture Show on it and the producer is again very impressed at the speed they can work at. He details is exploits a lot on Creative Cow.
I turned to the director and said, ‘why do YOU think we have achieved so much in such a short time?’ He said, ‘I think its because its so visual, you really fell like you are in it’.
And that’s what I have been experiencing since we started the trial in X. Its unlike any other NLE, the way it affects you tonally and visually. I will post my workflow later today, but just briefly, I’ve been using projects in the same way as I use sequences in FCP7 and the instant visual reference to material that you have already worked on, ie cut down is brilliant.
Jeremy Garchow (at CreativeCow.net if I recall correctly)
FCPX is incredibly fast at organizing huge swaths of data, extremely easily. You can save those sorts for later, or not. I can’t tell you how much faster it is, I have never timed it, but from experience, it is simply faster.
Steve Connor on Dec 19, 2011 at 5:04:05 am
FCPX is certainly faster, I can say this because I’ve been using it more or less every day for the last few months, I used FCP for years so I am qualified to make the comparison.
I feel FCPX really works best when you take the time to go through the event browser and keyword your clips. This made editing so much easier. You would be looking for a “cu” “low” “fast” “city” “turn” and there is was. I just don’t feel I would have been able to find those moments so quickly in any other software.
Kerry I’m doing some similar stuff (monthly not weekly) and honestly think I’m cutting them faster in X that I did in 7. In fact the client commented the other day we were editing faster which is a bad thing as they might start paying me less.
After which, Oliver Peters asked Michael Sanders why he thought he was working faster in FCP X than in the earlier version. Michael replied:
Oliver. In all honesty I am cutting faster but It’s down to a combination of things:
1) My new non rentina MBP is stupidly fast (top of the range with SSD)
2) FCP X works very well on this machine.
3) The key to FCP X is renaming media (and doing batch renaming is very quick) and smart collections – master that and it finding material becomes very fast. Reject is also great as you never see a clip again.
4) Actually editing is very fast. J and L cuts are quick, multi-cam is a smooth and having the append clip is great. Once you get the idea of story lines it makes real sense.
5) With the tools available for colour correction and audio tweaking, I find I’m doing more in less time.
6) Even with my esoteric workflows, getting material in and out is super fast – but that could be 1 & 2.
Oliver Peters continued his skepticism. (I have a lot of respect for Oliver even when we don’t always agree.)
While I believe some people are faster on X, I take all of these claims with a HUGE grain of salt, based on my own experiences. Especially when you consider total ingest-to-deliver times. It can be a fun editing experience or extreme exercise in frustration, just depending on your workflow, style and expectations.
Howard SIlver “Silver, Howard”
It is fast and –I don’t know if anyone else feels this way but –after 2 decades of editing the same way on the same drab interface, it feels fresh and the new workflow and interface stimulates the creative side. There are free plug-ins for almost everything, low cost ones for everything else. If you need to use Color or STP, there’s Xto7.
I know that *I’m* a lot faster with X, due to its far superior organizational and metadata tools for starters. And on the pilot I recently edited next to a (very experienced) gentleman on a Symphony, we both had to transcode the 20hrs. of footage we were using first (me Proxy, him AMA), and I was literally nearly *three days* faster than him since I got started immediately on ingest and transcoded in the background while he had to sit there staring at a render bar for those three consecutive days. I’d say the larger the project the bigger the speed gap gets, too. No question about it IMO. So… no salt here.
Later changes and corrections on longer timelines were also *far* less problematic in X than they were on the Symphony. His biggest reoccurring problem: sync, sync and sync.
The main reason that I have seen why people are slower with X is that they simply never took the time to actually *learn* and understand it first. I’ve seen several seasoned editors try it, not get it, or try to use it as if it were the NLE they’ve been using until now and then chuck it because “I’ve been editing for 20 years, so I damn well know what I’m doing. If it doesn’t work the way I want it or I can’t figure it out, then it clearly sucks”.
I don’t personally know of anyone who has been using X for any extended period of time that doesn’t feel they’re noticeably faster, though there are sure to be some (but I take THEM with a huge grain of salt, since they more often than not turn out to be one of the editors described above). And mind you, that’s *especially* in the context of ingest-to-deliver. Taking every time-relevant aspect into account: ingest to editing *and* output, because that’s exactly where X shines for me. Thoughout the *entire* process, not just editing. Since, like I said, I already had a near three day head-start before even a single edit was made, in one of many examples.
On the plus side I find that the actual act of editing, at least for me, feels much faster. I still hit a few roadblocks where I need to stop and think things through, but once I figure out the FCPX way of doing it it’s that much faster the next time. Again you need to think like FCPX does, trying to make it work the way you think it should is an experiment in frustration.
Yes @AdobePremiere is amazing, but X is just too fluid and fast for me to ignore. The absence of track patching alone helps creative flow immensely.
Olivier Galliano who was assistant editor on the low budget French TV series ‘Lazy Company.’ When we say assistant, that was for the seven post produced on FCP7, Olivier took on the job of main editor for the remaining three which were cut on FCPX. Full story at FCP.co
So the “experiment” were a huge success, it was a really a great experience. It was so fun and efficient that each time I have to go back to FCP7, it is very painful. Now I’m trying to convert all my fellow colleague editors to FCPX. I’m also looking forward to updating my organizing & cutting methods in FCPX for the next season of the series. I hope to use FCPX on more this time, maybe for finishing too.
Frank Jonen @frankjonen on Twitter
I’m starting to warm up to FCPX myself. Saved me 2 presentations so far. Very fast app to cut on.
So I had to ask him why? Frank responded:
Presentation at 4:30pm. 10am realized it’d be nice to have footage to show. 10 mins rendered & on iPad at 3:50pm
I didn’t have to wait for the app and I didn’t have to render constantly unlike with OTHER apps.
(Ok, small editorial comment. I’m not convinced FCP X requires less rendering than Vegas, Premiere Pro CC or even Media Composer 6 or 7)
Anyone who’s joined the FCPX bandwagon will tell you one of the main draws is speed (or at least I will). FCPX let’s you do things quicker. But how we interact with the system (and computers in general) has its limitations.
Psssst, Robin! Please don’t tell everyone how strong X is! Next thing you know that broadcast-niche crowd will want to use it…reality tv and the like. Keep it on the low-down that you can be faster and have better tools with X and that some of us feel like we are going back in time and edit slower when we use FCP7, PP or MC! :-)
Seriously, the more I am using X (for non broadcast right now as most facilities are not there yet), the more I really really like it. IF Apple keeps developing it, it will become a killer tool.
Well, part of me selfishly wants to keep this workflow to myself so I can keep my competitive advantage. Part of me wants to keep delivering projects in half the time I used to, but still charging the same rate.
How fast is this workflow? Well, what used to take an assistant and me, working around the clock in shifts during the full shoot and probably an extra week or two using Final Cut 7, can now be done by just one person in FCPX, in less time. On the most recent film I worked on using this workflow, I was able to get an assembly edit of the entire film done within two days of the film wrapping, and I didn’t even have to drive myself crazy doing it. How? Simple: The metadata-based project prep in FCP X and R3D proxy workflow.
Deyson Ortiz on the Facebook Final Cut Pro Users group:
I hated FCPX when it first came out, simply because I had to learn something new and it was a new way of thinking when it came to editing. But once I got over my anger and gave it an honest test I can say it is the BEST version of FCP ever. It is FAST, Smooth and Smart. I can edit in half the time I did before and when clients have changes or revisions I can turn them around easier and quicker than before.
The deeper I dig into Final Cut X, the more impressed I am with its potential time savings. Lots of hidden power in there.
Jared Brandon on Facebook (I Honestly Love Final Cut Pro X from memory)
We edit continuously throughout the day. I started shooting at 7:30am. By 9am I had 2 minutes of draft footage cut and on the timeline. 90% of the edit was done by 4:30pm. For me it’s the magnetic timeline. It takes all the tedious mouse/keyboard strokes out of the editing process. The edit feels like it just falls into place. It only takes 5 mins to export. I play it in Quicktime.
David Cleverly also on Facebook
I love FCPX. Honestly. I can now edit ten times faster than before and charge twice as much because folk think I must be extremely talented because I understand it!! LOL
(More editorializing: Like many I’m skeptical of a 10x speed up in editing. I take it as hyperbole to make the point, rather than literally.)
This mood reel for an upcoming film was originally edited in FCP 7. The director wanted it to be more sexy, spiced up and out there…so I moved it to FCP X and the result is indeed much more sexy and out there than could have been done using 7 in a fraction of the time and effort. X makes editing more creative and fun...best of luck to all who endeavour to open their minds to the world of FCPX.
Craig Slattery, a freelance editor who has become the first person to cut items for the BBC’s Culture Show on FCP X.
“It’s really up to us – the editors,” he says. “There’s really no reason that FCP X won’t do the job now and, once you’ve got your head around it, it’s so much faster than FCP 7. To drive it forward, we really need to be asking our productions if we can use it.”
Nick Watsonwho edited the documentary “The Man Who Shot Beautiful Women” using Final Cut Pro X for the BBC
Would I use it again? Yes, definitely. It’s a very slick editing tool. Who knows whether it will catch on in the professional television sector and at the moment the signs aren’t promising. Disdain, disbelief and contempt are the general responses I’ve received when I mention the X. Have these people used the X? No. I say don’t knock it till you tried it.
I’ve been cutting on FCP X for 2 years now, and I have to say that the ease and intuitiveness of it all are what allowed me to get certain projects with hours of footage done on time. It truly does get you excited about editing again.
Not true for me. I hate fcp7 and I am much faster on FCP X by 50% at least much better to edit on.
I miss DVD Studio Pro, but I don’t think you could pay me to go back to FCP7 full time, as the FCPX workflow is faster by an order of magnitude. X still needs some work, don’t get me wrong, but using 7 is like going back in time .
FCP 7 is great NLE for sure, but I had to use it today after using FCP X for so long now. It took twice as long to do anything. Going back it feels like they made everything overly difficult to do for no good reason. In so many ways FCP X cut out the pointless extra work for navigating the UI and getting to your editing tools/parameters. It is such a large step forward. Without daily user experience and understanding of the software you just can’t appreciate the differences. I’ve also got a lot of experience with Premiere which is very much FCP 8. FCP X has ruined them both for me. Both of them feel like they have bad arthritis compared to FCP X’s Olympic editing speed. It won’t seem that way at first as you learn it, but you’ll get there. Then you’ll go back and understand what we are talking about. If you consider yourself above FCP X because Apple offended you and you won’t ever give 10 a chance then I wish you good luck, you’re going to need it.
Agree 100% Braden Storrsn. I think if most FCP7 editors took the time to give FCPX a full hearted try they will be very impressed. I have been finishing projects in half the time as before with better quality with incredible fluid workflow. It may look simple but there are so many hidden features it is mind boggling.
Interesting. I’ve noticed this little shift since CC was released the other day. I really want to see CC succeed. But, I tried using it yesterday to do some stuff and it failed on every task. FCP X did a better job in every category. I don’t know of another NLE where I could get a solid first cut of a 1hr 45min 4-camera multicam with major audio correction and make a DVD in just under a day. That included capturing all 4 tapes.
Richard Leverton @EditorRich on Twitter
I went to #FCPX – it’s really fast & I love the keywords/favourites for organising. It gets out of the way & lets me edit!
Perry Childs from Pyrmont Productions Editing a real World Audi Job
The speed of organizing the footage in FCPX, and the ease in which you can skim through it all helped me complete the client approval cut in around 6 hours. With minimal revisions requested by the client, the final edit was delivered after a total of around 10 hrs. Far quicker than I could have done in FCP7.
So I switched from FCP7 to FCPX about a year and a half ago in spite of all the negativity, mainly because they just added back the multi-cam feature. And after about a few hours of working with it I realized I really enjoyed working with it. Then I took some tutorials and realized that there were some really great things about it, like the way you can quickly organize footage or the fact that you can start working while your footage is still ingesting.
And then as I got used to working in it I realized not only was I having more fun cutting than I had since I first learned to cut film on a Steenbeck in film school years ago (I loved the Steenbeck) but I was cutting faster than I ever had before. I understand why people were angry/distraught over the launch of FCPX when it first came out but it’s really grown into a great tool in the 9 updates it’s had since it’s launched.
I can’t ever see myself wanting to go back to the old way of doing things in FCP7. I know everyone has their preferred way of working but I can only assume that people who really hate on FCPX at this point just haven’t taken the time to see what it can actually do or learn how it actually works at this point. True trying to make it work like 7 will frustrate you, but if you take the time to see how you should be working with it I think you might come to the same conclusion I did.
And just because FCX is faster, doesn’t mean that it is the right tool. It still cannot do a lot of what I need done. Yeah yeah…wait until the next major version. Whatever. The editing paradigm in employs doesn’t work for me. They broke something that worked.
If they keep pushing for faster, they are going to just keep getting “good enough” or crap. And I am not going there.
Increasingly, Shane’s opinion is becoming the minority opinion.