One For the Video Editors – June is Square 1 Month with FCP X

As many of you know, in addition to being a photographer, I’m also a video editor. We used to be called film editors, but I think the last time I received film dailies was back in 2009.

So why talk about video editing on a photography blog? Because if you’re a photographer, your future skill set really should include some sort of video editing capabilities. Our DSLRs shoot motion and you should know how to work with your footage.

You may also know that I cut on both Final Cut Pro (yay!) and Avid Media Composer (meh). It’s my personal preference to edit with FCP for many reasons which I won’t get into again here, although I will retell a brief story about  something I once heard from some well placed sources, that Avid cringes when I speak in public about Avid vs. FCP.

“Every time Billy speaks in front of a crowd about how much he hates Avid, our stock goes down.”

It’s one of my simple pleasures in life.

Most of my Avid only cutting brethren say they know they should probably learn FCP (Can we call it bi-curious?… maybe?… no?), but it’s hard for them to wrap their heads around something different when they make a perfectly good living cutting on Avid. No one wants to be ramping up on a new piece of software in front of clients. I get it.

But here is some great news for Avid editors who have always been curious about FCP but in the past have felt that they’ll never know FCP as well as those of us who have been using it since version 1.0:

FCP X is unveiled last month at the NAB FCP SuperMeet

We’re all at Square 1 again come June.

That’s the month Apple is releasing the latest iteration of Final Cut Pro, called Final Cut Pro X. Now, we don’t know a lot about FCP X, except that it’s very different from previous versions of FCP. Many of us saw the Technical Preview of FCP X presented  to a room full of pro editors at the NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) Convention in Las Vegas last month and it looks very promising.

It also looks like all of us will be learning FCP from scratch again. But that’s a good thing.

Why is that a good thing?

Because whether you’ve used Avid or FCP to edit in the past, we’re all going to have the same skill set with FCP X come June.

I’ve mentioned this happy fact to my Avid cutting brethren and after a small pause while the wheels begin to turn, they inevitably smile when they realize that when FCP X is released next month, they will know as much about FCP as me!

Let me repeat that. Even though I’ve been using FCP since 1999, I will be stumbling along for a bit, learning FCP X just like they will be. What a perfect time to learn FCP! Everyone will be on the same level!


And there will be lots of resources to help. The good people at have been posting daily keyboard shortcuts for FCP users for some time now, and I know they will continue the fine tradition for FCP X. It’s a great site to learn a little bit every day to make your FCP editing faster and easier – for both beginners or more advanced users, although as I’ve mentioned above, we’re all beginners again next month!

If you don’t want to wait until June to begin learning, FilmmakingWebinars already has a 90 minute presentation on some of the expected features of FCP X for $25. A lot of the information in the presentation is guesswork, but you’ll have a head start if you wish.

I’ll post more good sites to get schooled with FCP X as I find them. Sharing is caring.

So there you go. A chance to quench your bi-curious editing thirst, Avid editors. And the same goes for you photographers, who know you really should learn how to edit your motion footage.

June. Square 1. A good month for everyone.


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