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Why Final Cut Pro X works and an introduction to FCPWORKS by Sam Mestman

fcpxworks mestman

Sam Mestman has no doubt that FCPX works, so confident that he is organising a same named event for the start of his new company in January that's free for all to attend.

Sam wrote the most popular article on FCP.co in 2013 so far. FCPX in Bulgaria, a new kind of professional, has been read by an enormous amount of people around the world. It ruffled some feathers in the industry, but it was an insight into the way film production will happen in the next few years.

Following on from those thoughts, Sam is organising a special FCPX presentation on January the 25th in Los Angeles. He will be launching FCPWORKS, a company dedicated to providing FCPX training, service support and workflow consultation.

He's put together an article that describes the background behind FCPWORKS. 

 

You can't have sound in movies.

You can't have color in movies.

You can't edit a movie with a computer.

Digital can't replace film.

All of these 'facts' were once accepted truths in the business of making movies. They might sound a little ridiculous now in hindsight. Here’s another one you can start laughing about:

Final Cut Pro X can’t be used professionally.

Right now, the post-production world is in a state of massive technological change. Managing massive change is an editor’s business. The ones who can manage massive change best are the ones who typically enjoy the greatest longevity in our industry.

Our industry also went through a huge change in 1989 when computers revolutionized editing from a linear and physical process to a non-linear, digital one. That change itself was significant, but editing software was generally designed to mimic the physical metaphors it replaced — bins, tracks, reels, source/record decks…etc. Improvements were made to the speed and efficiency of the software over time, but the basic functional paradigms remained essentially unchanged for a couple of decades...

...until Final Cut Pro X.

Love it or not, Final Cut Pro X took a different approach to editing. It automates a lot of the organizational work that editors need to do before the edit can actually begin. No more days spent transcoding, syncing, and renaming. It's about being able to sit down and just edit, and being able to spend more time on what goes on the screen, which is the only thing the audience actually cares about.  

The truth is that I can't tell you how many editors I've run into who've made the switch over to Final Cut Pro X and tell me "you know, editing is actually fun again".   And that's without the new Mac Pro.  When you combine that new machine with existing innovations like the Magnetic Timeline, smart collections, advanced uses for metadata, and real time effects without rendering, Final Cut Pro X opens up doors in post production to workflows that simply weren't possible previously .

However, a “last mile” problem still remains.

You see, there's one small issue that we've found when it comes to managing change. It's really hard to feel secure when you're learning something new, and it takes a while to really see the benefits of a new approach.  It's a leap of faith that many people often don't have the luxury of taking in a professional environment.  The fact is that pro editors need proven solutions and established workflows in order to feel comfortable putting their clients in a new software's hands.  Regardless of how cool some new tool is, it's only going to be helpful if you know how to use it.  FCPWORKS wants to be your crash test dummy.  We want to figure out what works and what doesn't so you never need to be in that situation with a client.

At the end of the day, an editing solution is about more than just the software. It’s also the hardware, configuration, training, finishing tools, third party utilities, cameras, networking infrastructure, workflows and everything else that comes with it. It’s how all of these components work together from beginning to end to bring a production from script to finished product. 

Right now, it's extremely hard to find a solutions provider focused exclusively on Final Cut Pro X customers; whether it’s indie, prosumer, high-end, broadcast, or feature film work.

That's why we’re starting FCPWORKS.

We're making integrated pro video solutions by Final Cut Pro X editors for Final Cut Pro X editors. We want it to be a place where Final Cut Pro X editors can get the latest in equipment, workflow recommendations, and first-class support for anything pro video related in the Apple and Final Cut Pro X ecosystem. Basically, we want to create the solutions we would buy if we were our clients and want to provide the level of support we would hope to receive from the vendors we choose to give our hard-earned money to.

Now, that's a lot of talk.  Talk is cheap, and as editors, we believe in showing rather than telling. So, if you want to see a new version of Final Cut Pro X in action running on a new Mac Pro playing back 6K RED Dragon footage on a 4K projector via AJA hardware; cutting an absurd number of streams of multicam 4K footage natively in realtime; moving in and out of DaVinci Resolve seamlessly in a high end Quantum SAN environment (as well as some other things we haven’t released yet)— you'll want to come to the FCPWORKS launch event on Saturday, January 25th at Unici Casa in Los Angeles.

fcpworks event 1

We’ll be offering our presentation 3 times during the day at 11:00 AM,  3:00 PM and at 7:00 PM to accommodate your schedule. For more information and to reserve your free admission ticket, please visit:

http://www.fcpworks.com/special_event/

If you’ve been waiting for something cool to happen in post-production, this is going to be the place to be. Apple will be there.  We hope to see you there as well.

Sam Mestman

 

Sam MestmanSam Mestman has worked for Apple, ESPN, "Glee," and Break.com, to name a few, and is now one of the people behind FCPWorks, a workflow, training, and pro video solutions provider built around FCP X and the Apple Ecosystem.  He's also a regular writer for FCP.co and MovieMaker Magazine, teaches post workflow at RED's REDucation classes, and is the founder and CEO of We Make Movies (www.wemakemovies.org), a film collective in Los Angeles and Toronto which is dedicated to making the movie industry not suck.  If you’ve got any FCP X questions, or need some help putting together a system, drop him an email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 


Written by
Top Blogger Thought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.

 

BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.

FCP.co

Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!

 

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