Monday, January 30, 2012

Professional Tools of the Trade

It seems pretty clear that for some in the professional world of video, their particular application/procedure does not work with the new FCPX, and so they call it "unprofessional." Well, no, its just a different market. Has anyone seen the Disney set for Pirates of the Caribbean? Massive. Expensive. Lesser expensive movies are no less professional. Surely the COST of the operation is not the criteria for establishing what is professional. The "broadcast tv" editor's world for FCP users has already rehashed many times among themselves in the blogosphere as to why FCPX does not work for them in the "broadcast" world, but they're only a small part of the video world of professionals, albeit a very vocal one. There's also corporate, institutional, wedding, and all kinds of professional gigs that are outside of broadcast. I'm thinking there is a pretty definitive definition of what the word professional means. It means getting paid. Professional means career. It doesn't necessarily mean the best of "good, better, best," it means business, so yeah it even includes a wedding video which I know has been put down repeatedly because they are not shown on broadcast tv to the general public, but some of those wedding videos rival anything I have EVER seen on broadcast tv in terms of quality and talent and beauty, so... it can be subjective. And it can be lucrative. The wedding video, that is.

As hard as it may be for an aspiring videographer or editor to get "in" to the broadcast world because of the stiff competitions clamoring for that gig, and the long resumes of those who are already there, that really is the last place I would like to end up. Or anyone for that matter? Its a shrinking discipline, networks seem to keep consolidating and combining the duties of the employees that survive the cut, in many cases making reporters become videographers AND editors at the same time. In other words, Producers. This dovetails into the FCPX work flow actually, because if a reporter is going to learn something new like editing, they must learn fast. FCPX.

In contrast to the broadcast work place, there are creative types that actually LIKE working out of their own office, having a schedule that they control, etc. There are more creative choices that can be made, being your own boss... What's not to like about that? It allows for the freedom to explore all kinds of opportunities that present themselves, including working on other businesses that may have nothing to do with video, like music :) There is a certain fulfillment that comes from directly doing or participating in all of the production elements from videography to lighting to editing in post to composing music to production of all of it. There is personal fulfillment in that. It's called being an independent producer and it not not only the future, but that future is already! One can aspire to being a producer, and it is in my opinion the most interesting role. FCPX seems to be a great tool to make this much more possible in the current highly competitive professional atmosphere. FCPX has turned many more people into editors, even kids, and will continue to do so. FCPX will be showing up in a lot of very high end work flows in the future as more people continue to embrace it. Its just a TOOL.

If there are editors today using FCP7 now in the broadcast world who are worried about what Apple did, or even put off by the rise of FCPX and no FCP8 forthcoming, they probably ought to be a little worried about that and find additional ways to remain relevant outside of just editing, because its not about the single editing TOOL anymore. Its now about the BIG PICTURE. Its about the story and getting it done and told in shorter amounts of time. It's about taking control of one's own world. It means that traditional methods and work flows will soon be a thing of the big budgets of the past, and creative editors/producers will collaborate more and more with each other to get the work out, specializing. I am thinking PRODUCER is what an editor needs to become if they haven't already. Then maybe they can keep their skills relevant in the long term. Produce. That's the whole gig.
Grant Johnson

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