My first date with Final Cut Pro X

Ever since I heard that Apple was about to release a radically new version of Final Cut, I’ve had it in my head to cut my film Beyond Naked with it. And fate agreed: it was released on the same day that principal photography on my film ended. So today I sat down with FCPX to get acquainted.

The experts say you should take these things slowly. Cutting a feature film on a brand new Apple product is a bit like getting married after a single date. But I’m a confirmed early adopter, an Apple fan, and a bit of a romantic. So I’m going for it. I’ll let you know how it goes.

My first impression was to scratch my head. The interface is different. Really different. I had to spend about three hours with it before the lights began to blink on. But once they did, I can see why the new version is going to be killer. In descending order, here’s what blows me away:

1. Storyline vs. Timeline. The old timeline is history, replaced by a single “storyline” that everything magically drops into and stays connected with. No more keeping track of layers and layers of stuff: it’s all on the same line! Now, to layer something above or below the main clip, you do something called a Connect edit. That joins the clip you’re adding to the storyline. Do a couple of these and you’ll wonder how you ever did it the old way.

2. Audio sync: ahhhh, so easy to connect zoom audio with dslr reference audio for individual clips. And just as easy to drop out the reference and bring up the zoom audio, or to mix them together. But so far I don’t see a way to sync multiple clips at the same time, as you can with pluraleyes.

3. Events and metadata: In the old Final Cut, it was possible to log everything, put in notes about takes, label them, etc. But I never did any of that. Did you? Well, on this new version you will. Some of it’s done automatically for you, like recognizing what type of shot you’ve got, how many people are in it, and more. And tagging is a snap, and it’s so heavily incorporated into the interface that you find yourself wanting to tag everything. You can even tag a section of a clip, which creates something like a subclip.

I’ll have more to report as I get deeper into it. But after the first date, I’m confident this is going to be a love story.

5 thoughts on “My first date with Final Cut Pro X

  1. Daniel Bean

    Wow! That was refreshing to hear someone’s take on FCP X that was good, not bad. I read all the bad and criticizing reviews online and I was getting a little worried. You see, like you, I’m somewhat of a die-hard Apple fanatic. I own Premiere, and I have cut on it, but to me it was a nightmare compared to FCP. So I would have to have to switch after using FCP for all these years. To hear that there is hope for FCP X is good news indeed.

  2. Pingback: To X or not to X? (Final Cut Pro X that is…) « Daniel Bean Films – Blog

  3. Daniel Bean

    Hey Dan, how is life going as one of Apple’s “beta” testers? Is the honeymoon over with FCP X? LOL I’m just messing with you. I actually have no plans of leaving FCP for Premiere or Avid because I’ve always thought those other NLE’s weren’t as well designed and slick as FCP. From what I’ve seen the new FCP looks very slick, it just needs some updates from Apple to bring it up to the level of FCP 7

  4. Pingback: To X or not to X? (Final Cut Pro X that is…) « Daniel Bean Films Blog

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