Fix It in Post: The Age of Digital Delivery and Final Cut Pro X

Fix It in Post: The Age of Digital Delivery and Final Cut Pro X

There’s a saying we have in production: “we’ll fix it in Post.”

These are some of the worst words to hear on set .  They mean that something has gone wrong and will not be fixed.  They mean that a mistake, or omission, or problem will be purposely transferred from Production (shooting) to Post-Production (editing).  Whatever it is, it is now Post’s problem, and they’ll have to fix it.

Bottom line: you have created something that is not good, and it must now be made good after the fact.

Sound familiar?

![](/content/images/2012/05/fallout-new-vegas-20100813104755840_640w.jpg "Fallout: New Vegas")Oh look, you spawn on the ground and not inside it.
We’ve entered an age where it has become acceptable for a product to launch before it is complete.  When internet connectivity is the norm, the consumer is taken out of the update equation, and product creators can continue to tinker with their creations for months and even years after release.

My personal example of this is Fallout: New Vegas.  I put over 100 hours into Fallout 3, and was excited for New Vegas.  But when the game released, it was full of broken – not just the usually funny “ha, that guy spawned inside a rock,” but game-ending crashes and save corruptions.  A week later, a patch was released that fixed over two hundred bugs; two months later, another patch addressed additional glitches and save-game issues.

I never ended up buying it.

But seriously: a product was shipped with over two hundred problems. This is ridiculous.

I’m sure every gamer has experience with at least one game like this: it gets released, you buy it, and then pray that the developer will fix it soon so it actually plays how it was supposed to play in the first place.  It sucks, but at the end of the day, gaming is entertainment.  It’s not like they do this with software that thousands of people rely on to put food on their tables.


![](/content/images/2012/05/FCP_Hero-e1308860335580-300x170.png "FCP_Hero")The X is for all the features you wish it had.
Meet Final Cut Pro X.  It launched yesterday.  It has been described as “a revolution in creative editing.”  It can automatically figure out how many people are in each of your shots.

Know what it can’t do?  Multicam editing.  3rd-party ingest or output (Blackmagic, AJA, Matrox, etc.).  XML/EDL/OMF input and output.  3rd party plugins (word is there isn’t even an API for developers to work with).  Tape ingest or output.  Native XDCam editing.  Christ, it can barely do custom window management.

Now, there’s a lot of talk that features will be added via App Store updates.  And that could very well be true.  But even so – once again, I’m faced with a released product that appears to not be finished.  So either Apple has jumped on the “release now, fix later” bandwagon of game devs, or has simply decided to release half of an editing suite.

Either way, this is not a product for professionals.  This is not a product that editors can use daily to earn a living.

And I take back my previous statement: even at $300, I won’t buy this.


I have been a Final Cut Pro editor for over ten years, and have been using it since version 1.  This is the first time I’ve considered taking that line off my resume.

Further reading on the subject:

*Burning Final Cut Pro X Questions (Scott Simmons via PVC)

FCP X First Look (Steve Martin via Ken Stone’s blog)