R is also for REVISIONS

The dirty little secret about Final Cut Pro X are the revisions. 

I didn't jump on board on FCPX-D-day when many average editors and all the machine operators cried about there precious tools death. I laughed, I blogged and like in any situation I didn't panic. Panic is your enemy, in post especially. I took it easy, tried it and said to myself "wow this is crap". Like Robert Deniro in Wag the Dog said so eliquently, "They just didn't think it through".

I put it on the shelf and prepared for the worst, brushed up on my Avid skills, learned the basics of Premiere and then I picked FCPX up at 10.4. I bought it (just 300$ Canadian) which gave me the incentive to learn it. Then I edited a pro bono job it, so that I didn't have time pressure. Armed with my lynda.com subscription, I powered thorough the new concepts and started wrapping my head around the new way. I discovered that there was some method to the madness and like I had predicted they seemed to be adding the features but only the features that we (old post pros) were yelling about loosing. In retrospect this is a smart way of going about it. It is like purging all your belongings into a box (fcp7) then setting up your house again but only taking out what you really need. I do that with my office and realize that some stuff just stays in a box for months then I know if I really need this anymore. 

FCPX-D-Day

Before I get to its real power... I have to be Honest, they had me at multi cam, I had just finished 2 years of projects that had minimum 2 cameras in fcp6-7. Sidebar to this sidebar, editing multi cam is great feature and make it easier to get through tons of footage with the rise of the GoPro, DSLR and digital workflows the pros outweighs the cons of using it even in FCP 6 & 7. I truly love it and it renders a better product at the end because you get to do more of the creative editing. However, archiving, xmls in general have been a problem in FCP classic. All that is gone in FCPX, in my experience. The multi cam is quick process, it will save you time and it is very reliable especially in FCPX 10.1. Chapeau Apple.

Now, the unfortunate thing about fcpx is that you won't see how awesome it is working with it,   until you get to revision stage of your project (with exception of Multi cam and maybe ingesting footage, fast process). When your knee deep with THAT client. Yeah THAT client, the one that wants to see it before they can decide or the one who always ends the conversation with "this is the last change", you get who I am talking about. Or maybe it's you who just wants to want to restructure a whole timeline in a drastic way, "flip it on its head". Well, revisions, revisions, revisions is we're in my opinion FCPX is absolutely badass. The first time I got a list of edit revisions, I sorta gasped thinking the old way: pause, "okay, this is going to throw this out of wack, then I'll check that to make sure the beats still hit...."  I did 2 moves in FCPX and the bulk of the revisions was done. Whoa. Another 5 mins had passed and I had tweaked it to my hearts content. The similar revision in 7 would have taken double or triple the time, I figure and I have all the keyboard/Timeline  "Ku-Fu" down in FCP 7 (thanks to FCPX Grill for that expressions where do I send the royalties? Great Podcast so you feel less on an FCPX Island). And I consider myself a Power Keyboarder in FCP7, I ripple roll, Shift-Delete and all that good stuff. I have a T-Shirt to prove it. 

 Final Cut Pro 1 Thank You survey T-shirt from Apple

Final Cut Pro 1 Thank You survey T-shirt from Apple

And that is the magic sauce FCPX, all my dialogue sweetening moves quickly, blocks of edits modularly moved preserving all the small things that I did to make the first "final". Unfortunately, if you don't dive in and work your way to the revision stage of a project, you'll never get to know the joy that FCPX can bring you.

There are definitely still lots of features that they can add that could improve it but this is the unsung hero that doesn't get mentioned enough. If you do lots of revisions and you will know by looking at your export files if they have names like " name_final_13.1", you should be on FCPX bandwagon. 

 Final Cut Pro 1 Thank You survey T-shirt from Apple (front Badge)

Final Cut Pro 1 Thank You survey T-shirt from Apple (front Badge)

Finally, I think if your fairly organized or like things organized you'll see another stregth of the initial set up with the keywords and smart collections. I have some bad habits that fcpx has adjusted. I think a lot of the initial frustration for some folks is that if you work sloppy, it doesn't let you get away with it. Things get real messy real fast as projects grows in FCPX. However, when everything is organized, you'll be inviting the revisions. Bring it.