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Final Cut Pro and The Road To NAB

Okay, I’m not on the road to NAB… but David Leitner is, and he’ll be filing reports from the conference here at Filmmaker. Look for his pieces beginning tomorrow or Monday. There are other sites to follow as well. Koo will be attending NAB for the first time and posting interviews, write-ups and news over at No Film School. Phillip Bloom will be attending as wIll Vincent Laforet. For many, the big news will be (the rumored) announcement by Apple of the new Final Cut Pro. If you’re not following all the tech blogs, here’s the low-down: at the last minute, Apple has reportedly taken over the Final Cut Pro User Group Supermeet , booting out already-booked presenters (including Kevin Smith), and commandeering the event for itself. The reason? Again, if all this is true, it must be to premiere the long-awaited Final Cut for this group of professional editors. The rumors are flying. It’ll be “awesome,” the interface will be completely redesigned, there may not be tape I/O, there will be multi-touch… Or, as an NDA-compromised Mark Raudonis from Bunim/Murray Productions (who has seen the new Final Cut but can’t give details about it) says in the interview below, using a Wayne Gretzky metaphor, Apple will “skate to where the puck will be.”

Presenting something that’s so radically different in front of a group of established editors is a ballsy move, explains Walter Biscardi:

Regardless of whether you applaud this move or not (I’m in the “or not” category) let’s take a look at what this means for Apple and Final Cut Pro. In the parlance of Las Vegas, Apple has gone “All In” for this one event. There is no Apple booth on the show floor. There is no Sunday Apple Marketing event. There is no ANYTHING from Apple other than a complete takeover of one of the largest paid gatherings of video editors at NAB. In other words, just one shot in front of an audience of the very people who will make or break the product and presentation.

This isn’t an iPhone, iPod, iPad, iAnything launch where the general public ooooohs and aaaaaahs and the latest slick Apple offering. Extensive press coverage of Steve Jobs giving one of his patented presentations including the “there’s one more thing” line dropping that one thing we can’t live without.

No, this is a product launch that directly affects the bottom line of those of us in Post Production make a living. Apple has been quietly working for two years to supposedly re-invent Final Cut Pro. They’ve now gone all-in to give us one look, one presentation in front of a crowd of post production professionals to make or break that two years of work.

Michael Murie at Notes on Video has more. He concludes:

FCP X could be startling in more ways than one. It may not be iMovie Pro, but it may not be Final Cut Pro goosed to compete with the features Adobe Premiere CS5 added either.

Steve Jobs has demonstrated time and again a willingness to embrace the future, and it’s dangerous to bet against him.

So is it all-in? Will this demo be a Big Win or an Epic Fail? Will we enter the Steve Jobs Reality Distortion Field and be amazed, or come out scratching our heads? Or will two camps walk away; one saying that this new version does nothing they want, and the other saying they saw the future.

We find out Tuesday.

With a hat tip to Koo for the link, here’s a conversation that muses on this week’s Final Cut Pro drama from Editor’s Lounge.


PreNAB Editors’ Lounge 2011 Part 1 from Editors’ Lounge on Vimeo.

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