In a somewhat stunning announcement, FCP teacher and trainer Larry Jordan told a group of users at the LA FCP Users group meeting
in April that “Final Cut Pro X 1.0 will not be ready for professional use.” While that statement might be accepted in the context of a completely new application, for the huge installed base of professional users who have invested much time and money to build an FCP based infrastructure, this confirmation won’t come as welcome news.
As many have speculated and as I wrote about last July in my article about the future of FCP: “Is Apple Ceding the High End Video Market?”, it’s becoming more clear the company has made the decision the real market for FCP is not in the pro video and digital film creation space, but rather in the infinitely larger and rapidly growing “social video” market.
At last count 48 hours of video were being uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day and it would take something like several lifetimes to view only a fraction of it. Social video is exploding and we’re only at the very beginning of a new era where everyone will be more comfortable and adept at communicating using video.
So having not gained, (with few exceptions) acceptance in the high-end film and television industry they initially aimed for, Apple will go after everybody else. Sure, they piss off a relatively small (but vocal) group of users who have become dependent on the product, but they capture the attention of an entire new movement.
I feel for those who face difficult decisions in the coming months about whether to continue to run their businesses based on what is essentially an end of life product (FCP 7). But I think Apple’s decision to make video editing and content creation accessible to even more people incredibly business savvy. Will it backfire? Possibly. If FCP X is too complicated for those making a move from iMovie, and eliminates the various features required to accommodate the needs of legacy users, they could have a problem. From what I’ve seen of the product, I think they’ll be OK. Let’s face it, they didn’t get to be one of the largest global corporations by not taking risks. FCP X is a risk, but like all risks, the upside potential can be huge.
Additional good information and resources about this article can be found at:
Update: I’ve received several comments and emails letting me know that Mr. Jordan has since amended his statement on the viability of FCP X for professional use. You can read his entire post about this at his blog. Also, thanks to commenter Andy, for pointing out that these comments were made at a LA FCP User Group meeting back in April, not last night as originally posted.