These have been some interesting days since the release of Final Cut Pro X
One thing that is emerging is the PRO vs. NON PRO debate.
There seem to be three camps.
- I own and operate a facility with multiple edit suites.
- I run a professional shop that "sausage factories" out shows every day.
- I am a professional and I need a tool that fits this facitlity (which is my definition of what a professional is.)
- I don't like too much change, and generally I have a conservative approach, because I am a mission-critical shop that depends on a software tool to be exactly what I need it to be with the functionality I ask for.
For CAMP ONE pros, FCP X is a disappointment because they have bought a lot of software licenses and hardware, and have made and invested a lot of money in "facility based factory" edit enviroments. These people cannot implement FCP TEN because it is not fully functional yet, but deep down they want it to be -- they want it to work like a mature ten year old software (that FCP 7 is) in a day to day enviroment. They see a very tempting feature set in and potential in FCP TEN, but will probably have to wait to install the software.
Ironically, CAMP ONE often talks about FCP's shortcomings and have been the ones saying it had weak points that could only be addressed if the software was completely rewritten!
I will call these people EDITING professionals. This can range from the following group of creatives.
- Freelance editor -- who has to be ready to edit with anything and can't turn town jobs based on software.
- Indy film makers -- Generally a crowd who are willing to risk and embrace (probably too soon) and like to feel like the drivers of technology.
- Filmmakers -- Who wear many hats, including editing.
- Directors, Director DP's -- who are increasingly moving toward editing.
- Wedding/event Professional -- I can say without shame that I did this for two years (while in school) and it was in many ways more demanding than many professional environments. A wedding day carries a high personal expense and is emotionally charged. There is a lot of pressure to capturing and doumenting this day for people. There are excellent business models and it's a lucrative business.
Let's call this "Emerging Professionals". These fall into the following typical categories:
- I am a student.
- I am a photographer staring to shoot video.
- I am a DSLR indy film maker making music videos for free
- I am retired and always loved film
- I've edited some stuff with iMovie or Adobe Premiere, or two VCRs
Most CAMP THREE people have been professionals in other fields or are moving toward a pro or semi pro career which includes editing their own material as a part of the plan.
The CAMP ONE
people represent the least number of people in editing environments and that number is only going to get smaller as the skill set of the "editing professional" will have less and less to do with software tied to facilities and expensive workstations. CAMP TWO
represents the bulk of hardworking pros who use editing software. This group is growing. CAMP THREE
is all the potential new business.
What I am seeing and reading a lot of on the COW is that CAMP ONE
people are upset that they have to learn a new tool, upset that the new tool is not what they
wanted, they are experiencing a feeling of being disappointed and being left behind. but
, some of them at the same time are showing a lot of resentment to other professional groups for using a tool they feel they have ownership of. They feel like they are the only true editing professionals.
There have been viscious attacks on Apple in the past week from this group.
are either in the middle or defending the application and willing to wait a while to see how it evolves.
are looking for an application that works on their Mac and is as easy to use as every other Mac app.
As I was reading forums all week I thought about changing my sig file to:
You are the professional, not the software tool you choose.
But I didn't. I do think there is something to that statement though. We become very identified with the tools we use. A camera is not just a camera, an NLE is not just an NLE.
Here is they way I like to think about it:
- A pro does professional work.
- A pro does professional work, preferably with professional tools.
- A pro does not need professional tools to accomplish the task.
- A pro acts like a pro at all times.
These are the qualities of being a professional.
I've used many NLEs, many cameras, and they are all just tools in the hands of a professional -- which I call myself by these definitions.
We are in for an interesting post production ride. Let's all be pros here at the COW and let's get talking (in a constructive way) about how to use these new professional tools.