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Off the Tracks - A Documentary About How Final Cut Pro X is Disrupting the Post Production Industry

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.

 


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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