The release of Final Cut Pro X has brought to light a certain distinction amongst picture editors.
When Apple removed key features and changed the user interface, they received a wicked backlash. The biggest complaints weren’t with the UI but lack of OMF, XML, and EDL support. Without these it’s impossible to use FCPX in a professional environment such as network television and features films.
Despite this a number of editors I follow jumped into FCPX and praised it. But how are these professional editors using FCPX if it can’t turnover a show?
That’s when I realized my definition of “professional” isn’t the same as everyone else. We can debate this all day and not have a single answer. There probably should be a common understanding of the word “professional” as it relates to post-production but I think there’s another way to tell the difference.
You are your NLE.
The system you use is indicative of who you work for and the types of projects you engage. This is an observation, not a judgment.
Read an issue of POST magazine and it won’t take long to see that Avid Media Composer and Final Cut Pro (version 7) are used to edit network television and studio feature films. There is the occasional mention of Adobe Premiere but nothing else. No Vegas. No Edius. No iMovie. No Final Cut Pro X.
Perhaps those NLEs don’t have the necessary features required by Hollywood’s production workflow. Maybe those packages aren’t popular enough with employers and employees in the Hollywood system.
So, then, we’re back to the adage you are your NLE.
Can you name a studio feature edited with Vegas? When is the last time you heard a corporate training video editor going on about Avid?
Despite the disappointment of Final Cut Pro X to network television and feature editors, we may owe Apple a big thank-you for reminding us there are different industries with different needs.
Knowing your NLE is knowing your market.