FCP as I know it, is officially dead with the release of FCPX and subsequent removal of FCP 7 from the Apple website. (read: no hope of going up to 7 for me).
I’ve been following the total professional market meltdown over this. Some don’t understand what the big deal is. Let me give you the juicy middle of the complicated issue: the deal is, you can’t buy anymore FCP licenses. If you’re a facility that wants to expand, or your a small shop that wants to add another box, too bad. I heard Turner in Atlanta bought up 200 copies of FCP 7 before the release of FCP-X on tuesday. Apple killed Shake a few years ago, the XSan, Final Cut Server (that thing never worked right anyway), and now FCP. FCP-X is not Final Cut Pro, it is iMovie Pro (Pro is such a stretch!). It’s built on the iMovie GUI and works like iMovie.
I work in the Charlotte NC market. Just about everyone in town has moved to FCP. Here’s a list of who I know to be FCP houses:
SPEED Channel, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Inspiration Network, the Halogen Network, and I think NASCAR Media Group (formerly NASCAR Images). If you make your living as an editor, you’ve worked in at least one of these facilities, if not all of them at some point. If you’ve never worked in a facility and you make your living off FCP, then enjoy FCPX and stop reading now. You don’t understand what I’m talking about anyway.
EPSN Regional/ESPN U is still Avid, the banks are still Avid (AFAIK), Duke Energy is still Avid, Raycom is Avid, Media-Comm still has a few.
SPEED has built their entire operation around a tapeless HD FCP workflow. BGEA is heavily invested in FCP (including FC server), INSP is all FCP, Halogen is all FCP. The question is, now what? This is a huge blunder on Apple’s part. Incredibly stupid and very arrogant. Yes, FCP 6-7 still works and will work. BUT IT’S UNSUPPORTED AS OF TUESDAY!!
Apple has turned it back on the professional video world after taking a huge market share away from the powerhouse Avid. Apple didn’t have a better product, they had a cheaper product and that’s why everyone migrated to it, only to be left out in the cold with our pants down and our junk all hanging out.
So, what will happen now. My prediction is those that can’t and/or won’t wait to see if Apple pulls it’s head out of it’s arse will move to Adobe Premiere Pro. Everyone on the list above has the Adobe Suite (most have CS5). So they already have what they need in a supported, better featured program with out additional capital outlay. Plus, the AJA and Blackmagic cards we all have will work with Adobe just fine. What will be interesting is whether or not Avid will decide that we can use AJA and Blackmagic hardware with their software (this has always been Avid’s problem – forcing you to buy their $$$$$$$ hardware).
What will I do? I have my own FCP setup at home and I do paid work from home. I’m on 6.5 because I couldn’t justify the cost of the upgrade to 7 for what it had – nothing I would use. I was waiting for this update to upgrade and now I’m totally disgusted and disappointed. I also have the Adobe CS4 suite, so I also have Premiere Pro (just not CS5). I guess I’ll be learning Premiere Pro until I can justify buying Avid again, but if Avid takes back it’s market share from Final Sissy Pro. I’ll have to learn Premiere Pro so I can be ready to work in other places one day (freelance).
Anyway, below are a few of the blogs and sites I’ve been keeping up with on The Great Apple Debacle: FCPx