The overwhelming view (on Twitter) appears to be FCPX is not a “Pro” level tool, in fact I received this tweet:

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@BeetleCarDriver @fineblendmedia I am a professional editor, and FCPX is not “pro” yet. Sorry.
22/06/2011 01:32

This pretty much sums up the vast majority of the sentiment that was floating around on twitter shortly after the release.  It’s an interesting on points because it’s a comment about FCPX but also a comment about how Pro people see themselves.  The insinuation being that because you can see value in an affordable mass market product that immediately means you’re less Pro.  Frankly, that fucks me off.

A Bit of Background.

Quite a lot of My/our work is non broadcast corporate communication which is never seen by the public at large.  A typical example would be a large shopping chain is keen to communicate with all their staff about a change to their branding and store layout.  We produce those videos that explain to the staff the new direction that the company is going in and why.  Because it is vital that these videos are watched by the staff they are not typically dry and corny corporate videos.  We produce videos that mirror the company’s own external marketing using current broadcast aesthetics to appeal to their staff because it is vitally important that they receive the message.  The mode of receptions can be staff training day presentations, DVDs to take home or web based video hosted on the company intranet.  The point is these presentations have to be as good in production value as external marketing or very close otherwise the presentations reflect poorly on the companies’ brand to their own employees.  The production quality is way above a lot of what constitutes broadcast TV quality.  Our main constraint is of course budgets and with the credit crunch our budgets have been further constrained so we continually look for competitive advantages and offerings.

Our budgets do not come close to approaching typical Broadcast spots but we offer the very best pragmatic and cost effective solutions using tapeless workflow, HD compact video cameras, DSLRs, VFX and 3D animation to punch well above our weight.  In a short while and once FCPX has had a couple of point releases I believe it will be making a huge contribution to our output.  We do not have the need nor budgets for a dedicated grading suite with everything that involves because if you don’t do it properly you’re wasting your time.  I have been a vocal proponent of Apple Color for a long time which has helped us get that Broadcast aesthetic but at a cost of a lot of assing around with the round-tripping, with some media supported and others not, only really a single layer grade-able at a time and no way of seeing the final composite with blending modes live in the colour corrector.  Sorry but our clients want to see these things with titles and graphics all live ready for them to change — as is their right as the people paying for the work.  FCPX answers so many of those needs.  The Color Board at first glance looks primitive but it also does a good job of hiding its power and umpteen layers of colour correction can be applied with vignettes and keys with no apparent slow down.  This is absolutely going to be a game changer for us especially when we have a client with us in the studio who is signing off the work — which enables us to get paid — so the sooner the project is finished the better.

Am I going to rush FCPX right into the frontline straight away?  Of course not.  In the few short hours I’ve used it I’ve noticed several bugs and interface inconsistencies and until they’re worked out FCPX will not be used on client facing work.  Over the coming weeks we’ll continue testing workflows and the moment we are happy we’ll roll out the use of FCPX in a controlled way.  There’s no point showing the client the future of video production only to take longer than the old school way.  But….

Having said that, we are immediately going to make FCPX part of the back room process by using the wonderful media management tools to bring all our previous client files into its database.  This will enable us to quickly access client files should the need arise.  In the past when we’ve had previous requests for a quick montage it has been anything but quick to locate relevant clips taking many times longer than the actual edit.  I’m surprised all the “Pros” that are demanding refunds couldn’t see the worth of a fabulous set of tools for managing a huge media library.  In my view these tools are worth the £180 I paid for the whole of FCPX and are immediately going to impact our bottom line.

How “Pro” do you have to be before it becomes an impediment to spotting the obvious?

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