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Final Cut Express to be killed off or will it become the new star of the show?

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With all the excitement about the new Final Cut Pro, nobody has mentioned the possible fate of its little brother, Final Cut Express. I think there will be two possible outcomes and you just might be surprised at one of them...

The first outcome is the obvious one, do nothing and let it die on the vine. The engineers made Express by taking FCP, removing features, limiting the codecs it worked with and then lowering the price. It was positioned for people who wanted more control than iMovie, but didn't want to stump up the dollars for Final Cut Studio.

The second possibility is a lot more intriguing. At the moment, pushing a timeline or media between the suite of Apple editing applications is difficult. So why doesn't Apple harmonise the way the things work? Have a complete vertical integration of editing apps. This would make sense as then you could choose which app to edit on depending on the size or complexity of your project.

You wouldn't want to edit a feature film with iMovie on your iPhone would you?

Likewise diving into FCP to put a collection of baby videos back to back for Grandma on YouTube seems a bit overkill.

So here is the possible scenario

1) iMovie is a free application on the standard Lion install. 

2) If you want to do more, then Final Cut Express is available as a download from the Mac App store. (maybe from a link within iMovie) It would retail for around $99 ($199 at the moment) This availability and price point would open up a huge market. The boxed version of FCE would no longer be available. FCE would be redesigned and take features from iMovie and FCP.

3) Final Cut Studio would still be a boxed set of applications including FCP. The size of the suite makes downloading impractical at the moment. However, it could be possible to offer a rebate for FCE customers because your Mac would have the knowledge that you purchased FCE. All the people I've known who have bought FCE have gone on to buy Final Cut Studio.

This puts FCE right in the 'middle ground' and for anybody who has studied the old bell curve, that is where the expansion would take place. Final Cut Express could become very popular as its price to performance ratio would be hard to match. Not everybody needs the power of FCP and not everybody can afford it either. 

Then again I could have got it all wrong and FCE's days are numbered. I wonder if Larry Jordan has seen 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. 

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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