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Thursday
Nov282013

Had to chime in on "The Cow"

The other day I noticed a lot of traffic coming from Creative Cow. I went to investigate it and found that we had created quite a ruckus in one of the forums. I decided I needed to chime in. Here is what I said. 

Hi… I haven’t posted here on the Cow in quite some time, maybe a few years, as a matter of fact, getting my password working again was a bit of an ordeal. As you may have heard me say on the show, if you’ve listened to it, I’m not to good at “internetting”. 

The purpose of FCPX Grill is not to start fights or tell the world that they are dopes if they choose to use another NLE, although, some listeners have expressed that THAT sentiment is implied on the shows, I sincerely don’t mean it to be. 

I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time. 30 years ago was the first time I (tried) to make money producing a video, I ended up having to drop out of school (the first time) in order to go learn more about what I REALLY wanted to do. The common theme throughout my career has been this… “You always have to take time to learn.”

Learning can be a drag… there is so much pressure and desire to move forward in this business that the time it takes to sit back, read a book, go to a lecture, crack open a manual or just plain bang your head on the screen is daunting, and it feels counter productive… COUNTER productive. At times I feel like i’m going backwards. 

A great analogy is creating a Photoshop action. I’m pretty good in Photoshop, well, I’m good enough to do what I HAVE to do, I can do the things I need to do very fast. Sometimes, when you have to process a big load of images I look over at that damn Actions menu and I think, “Well… I COULD slow down for a bit, write an action that’ll do all these images FOR me and then be done with it. But then I think… “Hey… I’m a pro. I know my keyboard shortcuts, I’ll be done with this in NO TIME.” Stopping and writing the action doesn’t FEEL as productive. It doesn’t FEEL like i’m moving forward… the images aren’t changing in front of me and I don’t get the satisfaction of being a bad-a$ while I hit all these keys so fast. But I’m being fooled. 

If I were to slow down and make the action… I’d be done in LESS time EVEN THOUGH it feels like I’m not moving forward for a time there.

I remember the pain of learning Powerpoint when I was REALLY good with a Chyron, a production switcher and an ADDA stillstore. (Dating myself?). I remember the painful hours of wrestling with Premiere 3.0 and logging onto the AOL message boards to ask Randy Ubilos first hand questions about why I couldn’t capture video if the capture window wasn’t on my PRIMARY screen. I remember the time struggling with my first Avid in 1997 and my Media100 in 1998 (cuz I hated the Avid) and my reluctance to learn Final Cut Pro 1.0 because, “hey… I’m a pro!! I have a $30,000 edit system, I don’t need a $1,000 TOY application from Apple, it can’t even do a real time dissolve like my Media100 can. 

But I learned it. I got on Ken Stone dot Net and I went thru the HASSLE of learning all new preference panes and all new keyboard layouts and a WHOLE NEW metaphor… (why the hell isn’t there an A and a B track… Media100 had them). 

Everything changes. 

if you dig thru my blog at chrisfenwick.com you’ll find plenty of posts with me truly angry at Apple for dropping the ball with FCPX. I was REALLY mad. I played with Premiere for a few months about a year before FCPX was released, I made a bunch of tutorials and then it REALLY bagged me a on a few jobs… (and YES, I DO understand that CC is better. And I’m SO glad that all those people now have my credit card number, but thats another problem.)

When I sat down with FCPX with a clear head I realized that in much the same way that I made a change between editing tape and editing on a computer, or moving from the A/B metaphor of Media100 and moving to the single track of Final Cut Pro. It wasn’t that the tool couldn’t do what I needed, it did it, it was just a little different. 

I know what you’re thinking and what you want to say, I KNOW that you are sitting there trying not to YELL at your computer screen because I went thru ALL those feelings to. Its ok… take a deep breath, everything will be alright. 

I believe we are due for this change. But what I “believe” really doesn’t matter. 

I fully realize that there are people, and companies, and organizations and networks that have needs that are WILDLY different then MY needs. Our company is very small compared to many. But then its a lot bigger then others. What I DO know, is that this tool allows us to work faster.

My purpose for making FCPX Grill is to talk to people that are using this tool and to find out what they hated about it, what they love about it and what changed their mind. I get no money for doing it, although if someone wants to sponsor the show lemme know. I just want to talk to people and I figured if I wanted to HAVE these conversations that others might want to LISTEN IN. 

So there you have it. My 2 cents. I gotta say, you guys like to write a lot. Talking is easier. You may want to start your own podcast, its easier then all this typing… but if you do, let me give you a pointer, turn on the “Category Podcasting” feature in Wordpress, it’ll save you tons of troubles down the road… 

Later…

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