I envy people that teach medicine. I mean, I know how hard it is and all those sick people can’t be fun. But at least the company that ‘makes people’ doesn’t often decide to do a complete reboot. Three heads and seven legs, that sort of thing. No, my job is to teach video production and in my business I have to teach something that can at any moment be made more magical.
Just this week Final Cut Pro became ever so more magical. I mean, pink winged unicorns vomiting rainbows magical.
I’ve heard people call it a debacle. Some say catastrophe. I don’t think that’s a nice thing to say; if a company wants to have sexual congress with a dog, then as long as the dog is consenting I’d say well that’s just thinking different.
What’s the problem? Well for a start you know that some naughty software doesn’t allow you to save so that an older version can load it. That’s called ‘backwards compatibility’ and while PhotoShop is good about it, After Effects is very naughty. Apple have come up with something very magical here in that there is no ‘forwards compatibility’. Final Cut can’t load files made by Final Cut. Just stop there for a moment & be impressed.
It will load files made by iMovie and strangely it has iMovie’s interface and key commands and features and … well y’know one would be tempted to say that this just might be based on iMovie. Y’know? Just sayin’.
Something that was previously intended to handle feature films is now optimised for My Family Vacation. I start a new project and it is saved as an Event. Like My Birthday or My Divorce, rather than say Scene 17 of an existing storyboard and script. What used to be the asset browser now has that … that … well you kind of have to see it for yourself. They have a time line with word wrap. Because long horizontal data imagery works just so well in vertical containers.
Where does the footage go when you capture it? In Movies in your user folder, Silly! OK, so suppose my students are working in a group and need to organise multiple access? Or their user folders are on a server? Hello? Apple? Anyone left in the Pro Applications division? Have you really dropped Final Cut Server?
Once I have managed to edit something, and for the most part the editing is as before (although it’s a bit like an episode of Star Trek where the parallel universe is nearly the same as ours but Captain Kirk is secretly evil) then I get to the point where I want to save this thing. But you can’t save or export your project. You can only SHARE your movie on one of the usual clouds.
OK, so Apple have worked out that they can sell a lot of this to the home enthusiasts, fuck the clique that have been buying it so far. You can’t blame them, it’s in Apple’s blood to find the sweet spot where ‘it just works’, and they dropped the ‘Computer’ a while ago. But I can’t teach on this, technically or in practice and I’m now wondering who is going to take up the industry standard, how long that will take and what the hell I can do in the mean time. If it’s choice between Avid and Adobe, then the latter will do.
When combined with the forthcoming Ipad style OSX Lion the future of the media labs is looking a bit ‘finger painting’. Plenty of people like using iMovie on their iPad. It’s a great simple way to knock up a YouTube video. But we don’t all want to work that way, we are not all average and I don’t want to teach average. Not everything is a cat joke destined for YouTube.
I’ll keep the old version running as long as I can.