We editors are a passionate bunch. Many of us are quite passionate about the little fruit company from Cupertino that isn’t so little anymore and in fact is among the largest of corporations in the world. Most of us use some Apple product throughout our workday whether that is our editing workstation, our personal laptop, or even the little pocket computer that also makes phone calls.
Apple has an even more special place in many post people’s hearts for the gem that was Final Cut Pro. Released at NAB in 1999, the software was a wildcard that bucked the need for $50,000 turn-key workstations and accelerated the democratization of NLE software. I directly benefited from this as I headed into film school in 2008 with a MacBook Pro and a copy of Final Cut Express. Learning more about editing and post, I dove deeper into Final Cut Pro when version 7 was released. I even made it to the Los Angeles stop on the 2009 Pro Studio World Tour to see some new features and a visual demo of the new ProRes 422 (Proxy)!
While it absolutely had its flaws, Final Cut Pro 7 was a beloved piece of software. We all know what happened next. Apple teased Final Cut Pro X in April of 2011 and released it in June. This piece is not about Final Cut Pro X.
This piece is a slap in the face asking you to move on.
Post Production Is Not Apple’s FocusIt is imperative to remember that Apple does not care about you. Apple is a jumble of thousands of people working around the world to create things to sell for a profit. Full stop. This is not a bad thing. It is simply the reality of the situation.
Disruptive new NLE software available only on the Mac led to more people buying Macs. More Macs sold meant a struggling Apple got to stay in business. Apple staying in business meant iPhones got to happen. Apple never really entered the post production market in that selling Final Cut Pro was never really a major part of their business. I can tell you from working behind the Genius Bar from 2011–2013 that most Geniuses could not do a single thing in Final Cut Pro. They didn’t have to! More than 99% of all of Apple’s customers have never opened the software.
Get Behind a Company Who Wants Your BusinessLast year I attended the first annual Adobe Premiere Pro World Conference. On the first day a group of us met in the hotel lobby and walked over to Adobe headquarters to kick off the conference. The whole short walk there a man was bemoaning the fact that Apple had really upset his workflow by dropping Final Cut Pro 7 and releasing FCP X. I couldn’t believe I was still hearing this, over three years since it had happened. Yes, it was a surprise. Yes, the way Apple marketed the good while not mentioning the obvious bad in FCP X led to a terrible launch. The same not caring that led to such a thing also means Apple does not care that you are upset. They chose a new vision for their editing software and they went with it. If you don’t like it, they won’t hear you complain.
Find a company that wants your business. Adobe certainly does, and they listen. Avid needs as much business as they can get, and they’re starting to listen. Blackmagic Design is clearly listening to editors as seen by the recent Resolve 12 public beta. These companies and their products live and die by being good to those that use them. It would be a different story if Avid just sold 13 million smartphones last weekend.
I follow and have talked to employees of all three of those companies above via Twitter. Apple does not even have a Twitter account. Al Mooney from Adobe is coming to LACPUG this week to show us some new features in Premiere. Randy Ubilos came a few months ago after leaving Apple and spoke about creating great travel movies. I enjoyed his presentation and his videos, but even after leaving Apple he chose to speak to a group of Los Angeles post production professionals and not talk about NLE software.
There are some understandable posibilities as to why that is so I don’t mean to shame him, but if you need a clearer example as to how Apple is not a company interested in video professionals I cannot give you one.
That piece is coming. ↩
The disparity between those with that title that deserved it and those with that title who did not is staggering. ↩
Media Composer still would probably be stuck at HD frame sizes! ↩