Larry Jordan changes tune on Final Cut Pro X, calls it a “large step forward”

Tue, Jun 21, 2011


Back in February, Apple showcased its upcoming Final Cut Pro X software to a number of influential post production professionals, including FCP consultant Larry Jordan. At the time, Jordan called the update a “jaw dropper.”

This past April, however, Jordan was speaking about the impending release of Final Cut Pro X at a Final Cut Pro usergroup meeting where he opined that users should be wary of the first release version of Apple’s professional video editing software, specifically stating that it won’t be ready “for professional use” when released.

Whenever you’ve got something which is that big a re-write, stuff gets changed, stuff gets left out, stuff gets added later because they can’t get it all re-written and I guarantee you that on day one when the dot zero release ships it will not be ready for professional use.

Apple has a very poor track record of perfect dot zero releases. So for those of you saying: “this is without a question the second coming, I’m going to bet the ranch, I’m buying this the day it’s released and God help me I’m plunging forward whether it’s ready or not” — I want your clients.

I think there is only one company on the planet that could rethink non-linear editing like this. I think it’s Apple. It’s not ready for prime time. First it’s not ready because it isn’t shipping, then when it is shipping it’s time for us to experiment.


So what gives? What prompted Jordan to do an about face?

Well hold your horses and Larry Jordan addressed hate mail folks. Jordan has subsequently clarified his remarks about the impending quality of FCP X.

In a blog entry posted last week, Larry explained that his initial thoughts regarding the professional usability of FCP were misplaced.

When I made that presentation to the LAFCPUG, it was the week after NAB; a week after Apple presented the new version of Final Cut to the world. When I watched that presentation, I was watching it through the prism of my experience with Final Cut Pro 7 and all I knew about the application was what Apple showed on stage in their demo.

How could anything that radically different equal what we already had in Final Cut Pro 7?

I knew this new version was far more than iMovie – but, at that time, I didn’t think it was Final Cut Pro, either.

Its no secret that Apple gave me rare access to the software by inviting me to a demo of an early build of the software in February this year. However, what is not known, is that they also gave me permission to contact their development team to discuss the new version.

After NAB, and after my presentation at that April LAFCPUG meeting, I finally had time to follow-up on Apple’s offer. And I did. A lot.

I peppered them with questions:

• Why did Apple decide to totally reinvent the interface?

• Why did Apple feel they couldn’t simply do an incremental improvement to what we already had?

• Why did they only talk about Final Cut Pro?

• Why did they add the features they did?

• Why did they not mention others?

• What did they view as the future of editing, and who did they see doing the work?

While I can’t tell you what Apple told me until after the NDA lifts with the release of the product, I can tell you that what I learned during those conversations has completely changed my opinion.

Because so many of us base our lives on this software – both creatively and financially – there is a lot of stress whenever a new version comes out. Especially a radically different new version.

I understand, I feel the same stress.

But I no longer feel, as I once thought, that this is a step backward. Based on what I learned during my conversations with Apple, I believe this release provides us with an opportunity for a large step forward.

Apple earlier today announced the release of Final Cut Pro X and we’ll keeping an eye out for early reviews and impressions.


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