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The release of Final Cut Pro X back in July 21st 2011 certainly polarised the post production industry. Now a feature length documentary from Brad Olsen tells the story of how the world's favourite NLE changed overnight and how the industry did or didn't accept the new version. 

I've been looking forward to Brad's trial for a while. Slightly shocked that I'm first up, but I'm glad to be involved with such an exciting project. I'll let Brad take up the story:


Off the Tracks is a documentary about how Final Cut Pro X has been disrupting the professional video industry.

There are a lot of strong feelings about Apple’s pro editor and where you have controversy there's a story to tell. Why did Apple stop making their popular professional video editing software in 2011 in favor of this radically changed application? Who is using Final Cut X today? Can we trust Apple to do the right thing for creative professionals in the future? These are the kinds of questions we're addressing in this project.

This all started a little over a year ago when I met Sam Mestman at the FCP Exchange during NAB 2016. I saw the Final Cut Community in action and thought there was an opportunity there.

I've been following the story of X since it was released and have been frustrated by all the misinformation out there about it. Maybe putting all these smart people doing FCPX presentations into a single documentary could clear the air?

I shared my idea with Sam and after several Skype calls and a great deal of persuasion Sam thought of a great way to get the ball rolling. Nearly everyone I wanted to interview would be at the upcoming FCPX Creative Summit in the fall of 2016 put on by Future Media Concepts. So why not do the interviews there? Sam reached out to all of them and there was a lot of enthusiasm and support for the project right away.

off the tracks 002

Here is a sampling of some of the people I've interviewed for this project: Sam Mestman, Philip Hodgetts, Steve Martin, Mark Spencer, Bill Davis, Peter Wiggins, Chris Fenwick, Richard Taylor, Michael Cioni, Glenn Ficarra, Jan Kovac, Michael Matzdorff, Kevin Bailey, Esther Sokolow, Chuck Braverman, Patrick Southern, Gergana Angelova, Thomas Grove Carter, Ben Brodbeck, Iain Anderson, Braden Storrs, Denver Riddle, Noah Kadner, Alex Gollner, Charlie Austin, Wes Plate, Larry Jordan, and the man himself Randy Ubillos.

off the tracks 001Brad Olsen filming Randy Ubillos, the designer of FCP and FCPX

During NAB last month we did a private screening a 15 minute preview of my documentary at LumaForge's Faster, Together Stage. The room was packed with many important people who were all curious about what this kid from Utah had put together. After the screening the general reaction I felt was that I had exceeded their expectations.

Granted, I assume expectations were low going into it, but it was a rewarding experience either way. Naturally being in a room full of editors meant that I did get a few notes, but everybody was very positive about it and I appreciated all the valuable feedback!

Now we’ve released the first trailer and it has already received over 20,000 views on Facebook within the first 24 hours. That exceeded what I expected about ten times over considering that I didn’t put any money into its promotion. Clearly I’m not the only one passionate about this topic.

This project started out as something I was putting together on my own but I've been overwhelmed by the early support from Sam Mestman with Lumaforge, Philip Hodgetts with Lumberjack Systems, Richard Taylor with Final Cut Pro Radio, and most recently Noah Kadner with FCPWORKS. Thanks to their help, along with several others who are have put in real time and energy, the documentary is coming together quickly now and I expect to make a lot of progress this summer!

We’ve got plenty more coming up so if you’re reading this and want to stay up on the latest developments head on over to offthetracksmovie.com where you can sign up on our mailing list. Stay tuned.