The Los Angeles Times is reporting that Apple is trying to win over video editors. They are launching a campaign timed to coincide with the NAB convention that kicks off April 6th. The campaign is going to feature professionals talking about how they use Final Cut Pro X and why they love it. I think this is hilarious; Apple had the professional market, they were killing it with Final Cut Pro 7. When they introduced Final Cut Pro X in April of 2011, right around the time of NAB there was an insane backlash. Final Cut Pro X was less of an update and more of a start over; eliminating many of the functions that professionals used for a more stripped down, user friendly version. Many professionals felt that with the X update, Apple had abandoned their professional base who had been loyal to them for years.
It took years for Final Cut to gain the momentum it had; the L.A. Times points out that the defining moment was in 2003 when Walter Murch revealed that he had edited “Cold Mountain" on Final Cut Pro.
So you can argue that the momentum was slow with the previous versions of Final Cut Pro too. I had jumped on board with version one, mainly because of price and being a student; you have to use what you can afford to get your hands on. Apple isn’t going to win back people like myself, my wife or the hundreds of other professionals who went back to Avid or started using Adobe Premiere with just a marketing campaign. If they want to really win these people back they have to fix what they broke and show that they are committed to the professional market. Fix Final Cut, bring back the 17’ inch Mac Book and give the professionals a Mac Pro update.
All this marketing campaign is going to do is get new users. Users like me, 10 years ago who were just getting started in the industry. The line of consumer and professional editor is blurry now but professionals need tools that they can trust to not change or fizzle away. Look at Shake or even Color… anyone using those anymore? And Motion never really took off as the After Effects competitor that Apple wanted.
Final Cut Pro X might be fast and that’s the argument I hear the most from people. But for me, Premiere Pro has sped up my workflow a lot more than when I was using Final Cut Pro 7. The versatility of Premiere is great and its integration with After Effects is what makes it an awesome program for Animation and graphics professionals. Really, it’s all about finding the program that works best for you and your team. There are a lot of options when it comes to editing these days and Final Cut Pro isn’t an option that as many professionals are using anymore. Here in Chicago, the editing user group called ChiFCPUG (Chicago Final Cut Pro User Group) recently changed their name to ChiCPUG (Chicago Creative Pro User Group).
Apple isn’t necessarily losing but everyone else is catching up and starting to make better products and computers. Professional users are smart and do their research and a marketing campaign isn’t going to win those folks back.
Apple is going to keep pushing Final Cut Pro X on everyone whether we like it not. If Apple improves on it, then fantastic maybe I’d think about giving it another shot but part of me doesn’t trust Apple anymore. At least I know Adobe is committed to creative professionals.