THE EDITOR REPORT #2 - The Weapons Of Choice... Do They Matter?

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Some of you may remember that I wrote a blog post not too long ago about working with and using Final Cut Pro X, and how I felt about it’s advancements over some other non-linear editors, like Premiere or Avid. Since then, I’ve been using the more latest versions of Final Cut X, most noticeably their recent update to 10.1, which included a whole new Library model, where media and projects are stored together, instead of individual libraries for projects and events like in previous versions. This has been the most solid update to Final Cut since X was released back in 2011. The software is turning into a very mature and most indefinitely holds an interesting perception of where video editing will go in this new digital world. 

On the other hand, I’ve also been active using Premiere Pro CC from Adobe. Loving the frequent updates that the company are throwing out, and really enjoying the Creative Cloud storage options which they offer. However, having had experience in cutting with Final Cut Pro X, my muscle memory had difficulty adjusting between the keyboard shortcuts of the two completely different pieces of software. (Some may say that you can change the keyboard shortcuts for Premiere to match that of Final Cut, however, I prefer to cut using the native tools that the program has, as if the instance occurs i’m required to cut on a suite where my shortcuts aren’t on, I’m going to be stuck if I’ve customised my keyboard to a particular and finicky layout).

I’ve been having issues in finding what I want to cut with. I know it seems like a basic choice for some people, however, i’m not exactly basic in my approaches. I like Final Cut and Premiere for completely separate reasons all together. The seamless background tasks, such as rendering and transcoding, that Final Cut Pro X has, trumps Premiere’s ingesting tools, like Prelude, however, on that note, using the tools provided by Prelude, it seems more of a thorougher and much more precise to see what you have shot and make editorial decisions based on the content in front of you. I also enjoy Final Cut Pro Xs synchronisation and multi-cam features, it is definitely more advanced at cutting that particular kind of content, again, I really enjoy After Effect’s integration with Premiere, or in fact, the entire Adobe Dynamic linking between applications such as SpeedGrade and Audition. 

There are a ton of reasons for and against both editing systems. Final Cut X definitely has the foundations of the future of video editing, however, Premiere has established roots in the industry, and is respected by the industry. So what do you pick? Do you cut on track based editing application which is current and is being continually updated and renewed? Or do you stick your neck into something which isn’t being used in the industry, but has the foundations, ambitions and drive to be integrated in within the industry? 

I have a simple answer. It doesn’t matter.

Yes. It doesn’t matter what ever you decide to cut on. A $100 million feature film is currently being cut in Final Cut Pro X with, what I have heard, no issues or problems what so ever. There are tools to turn Final Cut Pro X into an industry standard piece of software, albeit they are 3rd party, but in my opinion this is a good thing, quick turn arounds on updates if everything is a separate entity from the initial software. (I even know a few companies in the UK that are taking on board Final Cut Pro X simply because of it’s speed, in the industry, time is money) 

And on the other side, films, TV shows and what not are being cut on Premiere and Avid, and that’s nothing new, if you’re in the industry you know this. It’s not changed… yet. That’s what Final Cut Pro X is there for, for when things do change. 

An editor’s job is to tell a story, to cut and chop up random shots and images into a coherent and concise story, to tell a message or to create emotion, that’s our job, and the tools that people use are in no way relevant to the content and the overall quality of the finished product.

 If you’re an editor and you have a viewpoint, please comment in this post, I’d love to hear what your opinions are, and maybe the future state of the post-production world. Let’s hear ya! But play nice! 

Thanks for reading.

About the author


Sam Woodhall is a filmmaker, however, primarily works in the field of post production. Working in editing and motion graphics for businesses and various projects for the web. Sam has worked with various and multi-talented people all over the world, from Vicious Record Label in Melbourne, Australia to The Big…

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