How I learned to stop worrying and love Final Cut Pro X

“I’d never actually used FCPX before. But I’d heard things,” David Tillman writes for “The things I’d heard started with the backlash from the Final Cut Pro-loving community in 2011. There was the Conan O’Brien sketch that poked fun at FCPX later that year. The stuff I read on tech blogs and social media compared it to iMovie (the horror!) and was generally dismissive. Within a year, when it became obvious there would never be a Final Cut Pro 8, the NLE community picked up the pieces and moved on, like the crowd at a concert when the house lights come on and it becomes obvious there will be no second encore.”

“Gradually I started to hear rumblings that some of the initial deficiencies in FCPX were being ameliorated. I had friends who used it to edit web content for a YouTube channel, but without knowing better, I still dismissed it as too prosumer to be taken seriously for professional work,” Tillman writes. “In the meantime, I used Avid on several projects including ones for Discovery and Smithsonian Channel. I even broke down and used it on a personal project to gain a little more experience.”

“‘You can learn on the job.’ That’s what executive producers Chuck Braverman and Stephen Auerbach told me when I interviewed with them for the O.J. Simpson documentary, which would later be titled, O.J. Speaks: The Hidden Tapes,” Tillman writes. “At first I found myself fighting against FCPX, I wanted the layout of my sequence — I mean “project” — to look more like FCP7 and Avid… Slowly but surely I acquiesced… However unprofessional FCPX was deemed in the beginning, I can’t help but feel I’m kind of a poster child for how today, it can be a revelation in non-linear editing. I was able to pick it up very quickly and before long my brain was thinking about editing in a completely new way.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Is all the noise we’re hearing today really coming from Final Cut Pro users who still have their previous Final Cut version(s) and already know how to properly and rationally submit feedback to Apple?

Or is it coming from non-Final Cut Pro users who see the $299 writing on the wall and realize that they’ll soon very likely have to learn something dramatically new and different from outside their comfort zone? Apple’s previous Final Cut Pro versions have not stopped working, nor has Apple stopped work on FCP X – in fact, they’ve just started working with a paradigm-shifing, extremely strong and powerful foundation upon which to build. Have a minute of patience, please. I heard the same sort of whining when we went from Mac OS 9 to Mac OS X and some had to be dragged kicking and screaming. People stopped crying over Mac OS 9 in short order, too.

Or do perhaps some editors feel a little bit threatened that “non-pro” users will be able to edit so well for so little? And/or perhaps it’s coming from Apple’s now price-demolished competition who simply cannot crunch their numbers and make them come out profitably if Apple is going to offer Final Cut Pro X for $299?SteveJack, MacDailyNews, June 24, 2011

The biggest YouTuber in tech switches to Apple’s Final Cut Pro X – January 2, 2016
The BBC adopts Apple’s Final Cut Pro X – September 4, 2014
Happy 3rd Birthday, Final Cut Pro X – June 20, 2014
Pushing Apple’s new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X to the limit (with video) – March 21, 2014
The first 24 hours with Apple’s new Mac Pro and Final Cut Pro X 10.1 (with video) – December 20, 2013
Apple aims to win over video editors with new Final Cut Pro X marketing push – March 28, 2013
Ultimate Mac: Building the Final Cut Pro X dream machine – November 9, 2012
Final Cut Pro X gets significant update with new features and RED camera support – October 23, 2012
PC Magazine reviews Apple’s Final Cut Pro X 10.0.3: Editors’ Choice for high-end video editing – February 7, 2012
Apple significantly updates Final Cut Pro X – January 31, 2012
Editor Walter Murch is feeling better about Final Cut Pro X – November 8, 2011
Apple releases major Final Cut Pro X update; debuts free 30-day full version trial – September 20, 2011
Film editor: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X is flexible, powerful, incredibly innovative software – September 12, 2011
IT Enquirer reviews Apple’s Final Cut Pro X: Very much a professional’s tool – July 8, 2011
Former Avid employee on Final Cut Pro X: Only Apple seems capable of pushing boundaries – July 5, 2011
Why Apple built Final Cut Pro X – July 1, 2011
PC Magazine: Apple’s Final Cut Pro X makes serious leaps and bounds past its predecessor – June 30, 2011
Apple revolutionizes video editing with Final Cut Pro X – June 21, 2011


  1. The problems though using Final Cut Pro 7 are insurmountable. On two Mac Pro’s of different vintage editing an 85 minute HD feature there were constant crashes and instability on both machines (it was worse on a 2012 Mac Pro). Even broken up into shorter timelines it was problematic.

    I am at a point where I loathe FCP7 and once I loved it in lower resolution SD days. I haven’t used FCPX yet though I have it and hopefully it will be OK. I was thinking Premiere Pro was more my future and it also handles more pro formats. We will see.

    1. Don’t get me started too on a real pro update to Quicktime 7 and “Phenomenom” the supposed replacement for Shake that never arrived. There are so many great ways Apple could be spending it’s money hoard and pumping up the value of the brand they seem to ignore.

      1. Sorry “Walter”, but the reality is that FCPX was so poorly launched that Apple actually issued customer refunds with their apologies:

        So as one of your fellow apologists said, “Follow the Money” – –

        – – and when a supplier actually starts issuing refunds to their existing business customers, you cant claim that it is all merely sour grapes spin from competitors.

        Finally, insofar as your claim that it has been ready for prime time “for many years now” … please identify specifically when that occurred, date and revision and the basis of your claim so that it can be substantiated through independent objective review. And while you’re doing that, please identify just what businesses were expected to do for the interim period…take a three year vacation with zero income?

        The problem is that FCPX was very poorly launched and as a result motivated the existing customer base to much more seriously contemplate their product alternatives – – the question was by the time that FCPX really did become ready for prime time (regardless of that pedantically was this year or last year), did they even care anymore, or has FCPX jumped the shark into being (finally good but) irrelevant?

        Apple burned a lot of customer goodwill – – the question isn’t if it is now “Good Enough”, but is it downright “Insanely Great” so as to earn back the customers who have moved on?

        Given that the nMP has issues of its own, such as being a two year old piece of non-updated hardware … the prospects aren’t good.

  2. Follow the dollar! The money men at Adobe and Avid have been putting wildly exaggerated negative bogus rants on FCPX (and hyping their Flash, Premiere and Avid cash-cows) for many years now. That’s how they compete. They can’t afford to give y’all the truth or a constructive, realistic, balanced critique—they want you to pay so much more for their apps instead (how much do they charge you for PS! now). Screw them, don’t fall for it. I’ve been using fcpx all along and its amazing, fantastic results, easy to use and it’s getting better all the time. Thanks for your heavyweight/knowledgeable comment and link Walter Murch, shining some truth on these duplicitous Adobe/Avid narratives which Apple traditionally never gets involved in defending.

    1. Yes, indeed: Follow the Money. To that end, here’s a report of Apple issuing refunds to existing customers and apologizing for just how bad FCPX was when it launched:

      Just remember: that’s not competitors trying to poach existing Apple customers – – it was Apple doing damage control for their poor customer focus and service.


      Now today, the big question today is *not* if FCPX is ‘finally good enough’, but if it has become an “Insanely Great” product … so as to be able to earn those customers back?

      Unfortunately, these articles’ narrative have been a tone of “doesn’t suck as bad as I was afraid it would be” … and while it can be made to work, as the article points out, ‘learning on the job’ with the assistance of the guy sitting next to you weeks being literally one of Apple’s FCPX Trainers is quite clearly something that’s an exceptional exception. This story could just as easily been about nice it is to buy a winning lottery ticket.


  3. All the controversy about FCP Pro X (and it is real controversy, not sniping from competitors) stems from Apple’s determination to impose a workflow/workstyle on its users. Some people like it, but others like me don’t like it. If you don’t like it then you either suck it up or move on. Like me, droves of users have moved on.

    Are there good things in FCP Pro X? Sure. Quite a few. But the bad things are so bad that moving on to something else is the only options for me. I have tried for 2.5 years to like Pro X but I hate it with a passion.

    I would use it to make a home travel movie. Otherwise I am using DaVinci Resolve which is $299 cheaper than Pro X (not that this is the reason to look at DR). Colour processing is, of course, amazing in DR and, hey, my stuff stays where I put it and I can build my tracks how I like.

    Arrogance on the part of the FCP design team has cost Apple a lot of users. I learned on FCP but many of my classmates have moved on to other editors. That is an unusual occurrence among Mac users in general.

    Some people love FCP. The silly thing is that Apple could have kept the rest of us in the tent if they had provided options, especially for media organisations and the slippery, mind-of-it’s-own magnetic timeline. It’s not as if Apple didn’t hear the uproar.

    Goodbye FCP.

  4. FCP x simply is not professional. It just isn’t.. Youtube, Weddings maybe,,, Every pro I know bailed on FCPX… So you are hearing from “Enthusiasts”… But hey,, those Effect filters and wipes are SO COOL. Knock yourselves out…

  5. With FCPX Apple lost one very important thing:
    People had faith that the dog that was 7 would learn some new tricks. After *years* of waiting they got an unusable incomplete beta version of an app that could open iMovie projects but not FCP7 projects.
    It was a massive FU to an entire industry that had supported Apple through the dark days, and MDN etc. have the gall to call these guys fools for not seeing Apple’s long term ‘strategy’.
    What a joke.
    Note please: “SteveJack” is not a NLE pro, so quoting him on this topic is absurd.
    Take note of who is saying rah rah FCPX. It ain’t anyone making movies.

    1. Note FFS: Full feature length professional movies edit on FCPX

      You don’t like the way FCPX works? Fine, there are plenty of options out there. I don’t think Apple will, or should really miss you or any other “Pro” no matter how important they think they are. The only reason AVID ever stayed in business was that it absolutely had to charge $60,000 for an editing station because the customer pool was so small. As much as “Pros” don’t like to hear it, they’re a niche market. Small potatoes. Nobody is getting in the Fortune 500 selling and catering to “Pros”.

      However, basically saying that FCPX is for amateurs is just as ridiculous. FCPX is for anyone with real editing skill that doesn’t owe their fees to hiding behind artificial learning curve walls of complexity for job security. Those who are open minded enough to think that there may be an easier way to do things if you just challenge the workflow accepted and passed down from the earliest NLEs that established the current status quo in the late 1980’s and early ’90s.

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