We received an email from one of our editors last night. It’s not an uncommon question and I thought it might be worth sharing my response. That question was…
Just out of curiosity are there many people editing professionally with FCP X? Because I don’t really get it and I am wondering if I am doing something wrong (…by not learning it). Always keeping an open mind…
My answer is two fold: Yes there are editors working professionally with FCPX but in my opinion, not enough. We get more requests for FCP7 editors at this stage which is, I think (for the most part) crazy.
I see plenty of jobs come through the FCP Talent Registry (and non Talent Registry jobs for that matter) which would be far better suited to FCPX yet are still FCP7 based.
As an editor I am one of those who now cut with nothing but FCPX. Personally, I find it very difficult to edit in FCP7 or CS6 after becoming proficient in FCPX.
Here is the current situation as I see it from my fairly unique perspective as someone who hears from a lot of editors and a lot of employers on a daily basis:
- Most of the experienced editors I know are not yet proficient in FCPX (mostly due to resistance or lack of opportunity to use it professionally).
- Most of the less experienced editors have embraced FCPX, except some who seem to think rejecting it makes them seem more “professional”. To me at this point phrases such as “FCPX offends me as a professional editor” tells me I am probably not dealing with a professional editor.
- Employers are afraid of FCPX because of what they have heard about it from experienced editors who have not yet used it.
- When I demonstrate FCPX to employers (which I do from time to time) they will usually do a 180 degree about face from which they don’t look back. Of course then they ask me to find them a good FCPX editor…at which point the trouble is…Most of the most experienced editors are not yet proficient in FCPX. Which is frustrating.
Here’s the thing I want to get across: I believe there is a first-to-market advantage to be had at the moment for genuinely skilled and experienced editors who know FCPX like they knew FCP7.
As it stands those people are rare, but I am confident that the demand from the employer side is only going to grow, especially if FCPX 10.1 manages to impresse upon release.
I think the bulk of video editing work that will coming through us will be FCPX based within 2 years if not sooner, and I think (badly handled FCPX launch not withstanding) it deserves to be.
I have nothing against other editing systems, love what Adobe is doing and I think Avid is great for large traditional collaborative post environments.
But FCPX is IMHO following a remarkably similar trajectory to FCP before it, by which I mean it is beginning life as an underdog but prevailing due to the fact that it is a genuinely fantastic application. It’s a familiar story to anyone who grew up on legacy FCP.