The largely controversial Final Cut Pro X may have just got the break that it needed so badly when news emerged a few days ago revealing FCP X is being used to edit a $100M upcoming studio feature. Although over the past year the controversy surrounding FCP X has largely died down as the software has improved immensely, most editors still haven’t given it a fair shot and have either stuck with FCP 7, moved to Premiere Pro, or in some rare cases have gone back to Avid. As it currently stands, the post-production market is still very much dispersed amongst the major editing players, and there is clearly room for one NLE to take the bull by the horns and become what FCP 7 once was. The news that broke this week may just push FCP X to become just that.
Let’s get up to speed on exactly what is going on with this new blockbuster being cut on Final Cut Pro X.
Several months back, there were a number of rumors popping up online about a film with a reported budget of $100M that was being cut on FCP X. The sources seemed certain that this information was true, and while I was intrigued by the news, I didn’t want to post an article about it until there was some more concrete evidence pointing to FCP X as their primary NLE. A few days ago, that evidence emerged as a video that was released by Digital Cinema Society gives us the information we needed. In the video (which I’ve embedded below) Neil Smith of LumaForge confirms that a team of six editors are currently working on a Blockbuster film, using FCP X as their primary NLE. It’s also worth noting that he specifically refers to the studio as being “under a water tower”, which as many of you already know, likely means Warner Bros. This has led many to believe that this is a confirmation that the film in question is “Focus”, which is starring Will Smith and slated for a release later this year. Here is the plot summary from Wikipedia:
Nicky Spurgeon, a professional con artist, takes a young, attractive woman under his wing. They get involved romantically but that becomes perilous in a business where they lie and cheat for a living. The complications of the encounter haunt them when they meet up again in the future. Complicating matters even more, Nicky finds himself at odds with another suitor for the girl’s affections, as well as a run-in with a former flame…all before the heist of a lifetime.
Apparently, the directors of the film have been huge advocates for FCP X after using it personally on their own smaller projects, and fought with the higher ups to get FCP X used on the film, pointing out it’s speed advantages and relatively low cost.
For those of you that weren’t using Final Cut Pro in the early days (versions 1 – 4), you may not realize that it took quite a few years to gain traction in the professional market. Just like FCP X when it first launched, FCP was considered to be a non-professional software that was used only on pro-sumer level projects. This changed drastically when the feature film ‘Cold Mountain’ was the first large scale production to use Final Cut Pro and from that point forward, everything changed. All it takes it one major film or show to give an NLE their seal of approval and editors all over the world inevitably take notice. It is very possible that FCP X is about to have it’s big breakout moment, and in fact I would bet on it.
I wrote an article a few weeks back on the new release of FCP X 10.1, which is worth reading if you want to brush up on the new features FCP X has to offer.
Noam Kroll is an award-winning Los Angeles based filmmaker, and the founder of the boutique production house, Creative Rebellion. His work can be seen at international film festivals, on network television, and in various publications across the globe. Follow Noam on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more content like this!