And my #1 bold prediction of 2015 is perhaps the boldest of them all…
#1 – Final Cut Pro X will regain the throne as the NLE of choice
I am certain this prediction of the 5 will ruffle the most feathers and stir up the most debate. To recap, predictions 5 through 2 (respectively) were: explosion in VOD, death of the wedding DVD, mirrorless goes mainstream, and 4k becomes the new “HD.” All of those are ample fodder for great debate. But there’s something about filmmakers and their NLEs that is on par with the battles like Canon vs. Nikon and Apple vs. Windows. It often gets personal and provocative.
Lest you think me a fanboy, I refer you to my popular posts “FCPX and the Problem with Creatives” as well as “Could Final Cut Pro X be the NLE of the Future.” In both of those I lay the ground work on the slow, thoughtful, and steady analysis I made of the NLE market and why I took nearly 18 months before I selected FCPX as my NLE of choice.
When the long overdo update to Final Cut Pro hit the proverbial “shelves” as FCPX in the spring of 2011, the proverbial fit hit the proverbial shan. It was ridiculed as “iMovie Pro”. Users left in droves. People were pissed. A lot has changed and happened in just under four years. But the data is in and the evidence is there for your review. FCPX has made a huge impact in the NLE world. Besides already selling more copies than all previous versions of Final Cut Pro combined, you also have sites like FCP.co and the podcast FCPX Grill, with a plethora of articles and interviews highlighting a wide range of uses of the program. When you look at the quality and caliber of productions being cut on FCPX (from feature films like the Will Smith starer “Focus” to MTV shows to Major League Baseball videos to broadcast TV commercial spots), and combined that with the sheer volume of sales, it’s really a no-brainer.
The debates we’re seeing about Final Cut and whether or not it’s a “pro” tool are the exact same debates we saw about the original Final Cut Pro in the early 2000’s. (What’s that popular sci-fi saying? “All of this has happened before and all of this will happen again.” Wait. Didn’t I already write this in another post? Freaky. All things really do happen again.) Within due time we saw Final Cut Pro go on to become the defacto NLE for many filmmakers. My final bold prediction for 2015 is that this year will see that trend repeat itself definitively.
What this means for you
Practically speaking, if you’re using some other NLE and you’re happy with it, more power to you. There’s no reason you need to change. (Truth be told, if you’re wise, it’s good to become proficient on more than one NLE.) And at the end of the day, it’s the final product that matters the most, not the tool you use to get there.
But, if you’re at that juncture where you’re trying to decide on which NLE to go with, and if you want to use an NLE that will lead the trend in how NLEs work, and if you want to use the NLE that all the cool kids are using, then FCPX is the way to go. 😉
What say you?