People often search for the answer to which programs or cameras will be the most beneficial to their career. This mindset often leads to a failure to realize that though certain cameras and materials are great, they are all no more than tools that creative artists can utilize to bring their visions to life. At the 2012 NAB Convention (National Association of Broadcasters), Youtube sensation Freddie Wong was asked by fans which camera would be the best to use? He responded by stating “It depends on what you are shooting. Pick your tools for the job that you are doing”. This rings true in every other artistic profession so why should filmmaking be any different. Just as a painter chooses various brush sizes and bristle thickness, or a sketch artist chooses a medium suited to the style and emotion of a portrait, filmmakers need to be decisive on which cameras, lights, gels, and editing software to use for a piece.
This brings to mind the revelation of a change that has recently been occurring in the editing industry standard ‘Final Cut Pro’. Final Cut has always been a very fast and responsive program and in the newest upgrade, Final Cut Pro X, program navigation has become less of an issue and therefore makes accomplishing your goals easier. At least you would think this to be the case. On the negative side, the interface is drastically mimicked after the consumer quick editor, IMovie HD, which has limited style and an unprofessional way of cutting together a film. Connor Crosby of Finalcutwhiz.com, a frequent user of Apple and Final Cut products, became daunted by the interface, and after diving in without any preliminary study or training, ended up closing the program and walking away in frustration. Though Final Cut’s latest version is great for scrubbing through footage and viewing an edited film with a new full screen playback mode, its background rendering and processing capabilities are brought down to a sub par level. On a deeper technical level, the program does have better support for DSLR cameras and the Apple team has attempted to give more audio editing capabilities with a merging of some, but not all of soundtrack pro’s functions implicated within the software. Unfortunately, this process was done with a consumer directed method and will no longer be a suitable professional level program for genuine filmmakers. Also, this program is just newly on the rise and bugs are almost a weekly find for a dedicated filmmaker using this platform and there is very limited customization to the format of the screens and effect boxes. This makes it hard to switch between classic modes of editing such as compositing, color correcting, and audio mixing.
Gear up creative film directors and editors, as a drastic split heads our way. There are two options that I as a fellow film enthusiast see ahead; staying with Final Cut and learning a new profile of editing that is limited to a consumer concentrating ploy to make money, or switch to Adobe Premiere Pro, which hasn’t yet dropped to the desperation level necessary to create consumer products. Premiere Pro has a beautiful platform that is richly in tune to Adobe’s other programs such as After Effects, Photoshop, Illustrator, Encore and the like. This creates a widespread arsenal of editing software at your fingertips. So, is Final Cut Pro X worth the mere $300, or is Adobe Creative Suite the route to take on your next computer purchase? Either one is a worthy choice depending on the reason. Both programs still require learning a new platform, but remember that they are only tools and after dabbling with one or the other, you will find your creative preference that works for you if filmmaking is really your passion.