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Why I'm switching to Premiere Pro. (X2PPro)

“I don’t want to read your dumb bio… where are the tutorials?”  (Look over there on the left!)

First a bit of my history.

1986 - Started in broadcast television doing live shows from the local PBS affiliate. In PBS you definitely learn about “broadcast standards”. Spent most of my time in a control room behind a large format switcher.

Early 90’s I dabbled in switching live sports but I sucked at it cuz I hate sports. 

Mid 90’s started my business of creating corporate communications slides that met broadcast standards for satellite transmission.

Late 90’s started editing full time.

Video Toaster Flyer (don’t laugh it made money). 


Media 100 (a trusty Mac-based friend)

2000 - jumped into Final Cut Pro.

So, I think I have a bit of history under my belt and have been thru a few techtonic style shifts in the industry to have formed a bit of opinion and also to be in the place where I can really say, “been there, done that”. Like the late 80’s when everyone dragged their feet and didn’t want to give up their tube video cameras because CCD’s looked flat… or, “I don’t get these computers, whats wrong with editing on tape, you don’t have to digitize!!” or “DV, I don’t DOO DV, I’m a broadcaster…” (uh, OK) or, “My clients aren’t asking for HD” (yea, cuz your clients are MY clients now).

You can drag your feet in your comfort zone or you can be looking for the next log in the river to jump onto. If you don’t move forward, your ‘log’ may drift out of the pack and then you’re left standing there with no where to go.

Philip Hodgetts said on twitter, “Are you going to switch on a RUMOUR?” to which I answer, “no, not entirely” but the writing is on the wall, at least, in the near term. Who knows where Apple will be in 5 years or 10 years and as much as I want to say, “What ever tool works” I also want to look to the future and say, what tool will be there for me!.

You CAN stay behind and figure “everything will work its self out” or you can be proactive and get ahead.

Do I think Premiere Pro is perfect? No I don’t but was FCP perfect in 2000? NOPE. Premiere has some usability issues to address but having seen how much they have done in the past year I can tell you that Premiere Pro has had more improvements in the past year than FCP has had in several. (Although those colored Markers are indeed pretty bad ass).

I will also say this. I DO know people in “The Loop” (notice that was capitalized for a reason) and I have worked side by side with some of them over the years. Some of the ones that i DID work with are now pimping iPhones to corporate america where as, they USE to be marketing FCP to ME.  What does that say about the focus of the company?

I said that FCP 7 was my bell weather. If it let me down I was seriously gonna think about changing… It let me down in a MAJOR way and i stuck around for another year. But now, after spending a few weeks with Premiere Pro CS5… (don’t leave that part off.. CS5) I got to tell you, I think this thing has legs and if I get a chance to run some ideas up a few flagpoles and have a bit of a say… that would be wonderful.

So, you guys do what you want. I’m sure there will be versions of FCP coming out for a while… (I would bet I could predict the next release within a 45 day window but I won’t tell you as to not incriminate anyone.) But I’m thinking about MORE than today, I’m also thinking about tomorrow.

JFK… the past is prolog.

Let’s look back on this post in a year and see how far off base I was.

My guess is that FCP 8 is gonna suck ass, like FCP 7. I’d like to be wrong but I’m affraid I won’t be.

 If you’d like to follow along on the journey… join me.

 UPDATE: on February 28, 2012 I added an FCPX tag because this is part of the “FCPX Story” even though it predates the release.


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Reader Comments (9)

Premiere CS5 is the better program. I've used both programs professionally for years. When it was time to take my production company full-time, and work for myself, I made the decision to equip my team with Premiere. It was a good decision, and it's a great program.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Paula

Yep, Premiere has FINALLY arrived, I'm a CS5 user also. And to think you get that little bonus in the Suite called After Effects and Photoshop CS5 Extended! It's a wrap!

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPaulie

The CS5 Suite is by far the most stable release I've seen from Adobe (I started with Premiere 6.0). The ability to batch render, create DVDs and Blu-rays from the same source with a simple menu selection is awesome. Then there's the Mercury Playback Engine that boosted my HD editing performance by 10x with a $250 investment in a new graphics card! I know many many FCP users getting frustrated with Apple's lack of attention.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Chapman

I walking the switcher course with Chris but I have come from almost entirely the other end of the spectrum. I am not an old (sorry Chris) pro with FCP who was in at the ground floor. I am old hobbyist who had a brief affair with Premiere back in the DV days. I wasn't even a Mac guy, I come from a finance/IT back ground and was partial to a bit of gaming. Macs were an anathema to me, I was a PC guy - even used to build my own. Then I had my own "Road to Damascus" moment just a couple of years ago. I realised that I was tired of computers that never quite entirely worked. I bought a MBP, primarily for my son to use because he was doing creative stuff, and got hooked. Now I am a bonafide Mac fanboy, I own at least one of nearly everything they make right down to the battery charger and I have served my time outside Apple stores in queues for iPhones and iPads. At about the same time I was also bought a 5D Mk2 and my own personal Mac revolution and the HDSLR revolution have become intertwined. So my experience with FCP has only been less than two years, learning as I go with a little help from Lynda, Larry, Macbreak and Chris. So why switch now after putting so much effort into learning FCP?

Well, the reasons are actually not so different. One of my new purchases was a Mac Pro, the real deal with twin 2.93 Nehalems and 12Gb RAM and it was really frustrating to find it was barely quicker than the 2008 iMac it replaced. Whilst I don't have to worry about deadlines and turnaround what I am having to use my own free time. That's not something I have a lot of and, if I am editing, I am not shooting. So you tend up to end up with piles of footage needing attention or wondering where the year went. It just seems to me that all down the workflow from transcoding to distribution you are having to employ workarounds with DSLRs.

I agree with Chris' analysis of the way the software is going. Despite my respect for Apple products, the pro apps (and to some extent the pro hardware) does not seem to be where their attention is. Having just come back from IBC where I went to the FCUG Supermeet. There were great stories for the Mac from Blackmagic, Avid and Autodesk - anyone spot the missing name? I spoke to Jason Levine from Adobe at the show and he said it was the first meet in a while he hadn't spoken at. I can understand why Apple are secretive with their consumer products but I don't think its the right kind of approach with the creative applications. In the commercial world you expect a clear roadmap from your software vendor's about where things are heading. You expect to see what's coming. Even if Apple can deliver something special, they are giving are giving the competition a big head start. As I see it, even if Premiere Pro and I fail to get on, I still get After Effects, Photoshop and Encore in the Production suite so there is very little to lose.

October 1, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAndrew Howe

I have been using FCP since V3 and found it a great tool. Yep, its just a tool, so on that note, I will hold on to my nuts and wait and see what Apple delivers with their next iteration of FCP in 2011. Let's throw the ball around - FCP 8 is gonna have to be rewritten and redesigned, for 64 bit and the fact that video production and cameras have leapt forward since its iconic look was launched around 1999. Moreover, when time is money, I'd like to work with native h.264 or AVCHD and I cannot see how FCP8 can leave that functionality out. One thing we all now, Apple makes very easy to use apps and I'm sure they will want to retain the Oscar winning directors who use FCP by delivering a major new release of FCP. The Adobe CS5 suite is great, I've tinkered with some of the apps, but I feel jumping ship to CS5 premiere Pro is way premature, especially if like me, you have years of experience with FCP.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Loretz

my bet... FCP8 will not be 64-bit...

Adam, I was in the position you are in last summer when we were waiting for FCP7... i said, it it blows, I go...

i was REALLY disappointed in it and was waiting for the fog to clear... PPro CS5 lifted the fog for me.

November 15, 2010 | Registered CommenterChris Fenwick

@Adam - I hate to say it, but "years of experience" is not a good enough reason to avoid the switch. You'll be comfortable with PPro inside of a week... with much much more to gain than some time lost re-learning a *slightly* different working environment.

Why wait for all of those FCP8 features (which may never happen), when PPro has had them for almost a year now?

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJonathan Paula

I'm no slouch for learning and I'm sure I could get into CS5 PPro quick. If I get a few decent size commissions in I'll look at buying the Production Premium Suite and get stuck in.

January 31, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAdam Loretz

My Quick Bio:
- Stills photographer for many many moons. Great interest in video but DV and Pre-DV image size/quality looked so non-Pro, so I never bothered.
-September 2008: I see "Reverie" shot with the not-yet-released Canon 5D Mark II, and my socks end up in the neighbor's yard. THAT"S the video quality I've been craving! Immediately I want to know all about video and editing.
-October 2008: while waiting for the 5D2 to get in stock, I start a MANY month marathon learning all I can, from 4:2:2: color space to best practices to avoid jump cuts or breaking the 180 rule. But for editing, all I hear about is FCP, so I post a question about a good suite for Windows on a blog. Needless to say I order the Adobe CS4 Production Premium Suite (needed to upgrade Photoshop anyway). Soon after I realize my Dell laptop isn't going to cut it, so I start researching about building a PC to handle the Adobe monster, lol. Now I have 6-core bliss with a bazillion hard drives, and yes, CS5.
-12/26/2011: Twitter points me to this Chris Fenwick blog post from 2010, TOTALLY vindicating my choice in NLEs. Awesome.

December 26, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaulie D.

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