Sharing is Caring, in Final Cut Pro X

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So it’s been out for a couple of years, and everyone I know in the professional circles is still bitching about FCPX and what it changed. Or some of what it changed. Or what they assume it changed, based on what they heard a few years ago and kinda remember, but don’t quote them because they were drinking at NAB or maybe it was after the Supermeet, but whatever, it’s just not for them.

Wrong.

Wrong on so many levels, but I give you this, I couldn’t use it for a while, either, and yes, there are some things that outright suck about it, right now. Yes, they do. But they can be worked around. Two that bother me to no end are Events & Projects.

Events – this is the capture folder for all the media for whatever you’re working on. In other words, this is a bin. You can have a ton of bins, thousands of them if you want, and while I don’t have thousands, I have enough that this is getting out of hand. I have well over 60 clients that I work with, so I have 60 Events, and each one has between 2 and 2000 captures, with one project having a whopping 7500+ items in it. I don’t need to load that every time I load the system, but I need those as they are on-going projects. FUCKING HELL FIX THIS.

Projects – we used to call these “timelines” if you’re under 42 and are mainly a digital editor, or “sequences” if you’re over 42 or worked with actual film. We call them Projects now because someone at Apple wanted to give us another term. Fine, whatever, it’s a sequence, get over it. I also don’t need you to load up the 28,000 sequences that we’ve built up in the course of 5 years of HD production.

The work around for this? Event Manager X. Could not live without this. I may buy another copy just because it’s so damn useful. And it’s $5. Money well spent.

The other problem that we all ran into was sharing our work. Yes, Vimeo is there, but creating the H.264 and uploading can be a pain, and then the viewer has to have an internet connection, and sometimes they just want a DVD they can pop into the player that’s attached to the shitty old CRT TV in their office and watch what you’ve done.

Enter “The Most Missed Tool in FCPX Ever™” and it’s in the Share Menu, it’s the first item: DVD. This does exactly what you want – it reduces the frame size to SD, leaving your aspect ratio alone, and letterboxes if it must, and puts the disc together with a simple menu, while giving you the option to add a background image if you want, and building in chapters based on markers in your timeline. Excuse me, in your project. Literally, three clicks and you’re done. The only weird thing is that it looks like it failed because you get a sheet telling you it’s preparing the media, and then that goes away. Then it appears to be doing nothing. But it is doing something, it’s just considered it a background task.

What used to take about 20 minutes is now three clicks, and done. And that’s why FCPX is becoming my editor of choice. I can everything I used to do with FCP 7, 6, 5, & 4, and yes, some of it’s very different. But I’m not afraid of change, I’m afraid of stupid. Thankfully, after two years, FCPX is moving past the stupid phase and becoming really useful.

And with Tags in OS X Mavericks I suspect that the future is going to be even easier.

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