A while ago I posted an article about FCP X getting it’s big break on an unknown $100MM Hollywood feature film, and in the past week details have finally emerged that the film in question is Will Smith’s upcoming feature “Focus”. This is of course coming after the news that David Fincher’s “Gone Girl” was cut using Adobe Premiere, which if nothing else signals the fact that things are changing faster than ever in the post-world.
Readers of this site know that I am a big fan of FCP X, but I also enjoy using Premiere Pro and occasionally even Media Composer when a client requests it. While it used to be uncommon for a producer, editor, or post-house to run so many different pieces of software, now it’s becoming the normal thing to do and that has largely been illustrated by the two Hollywood level feature films that we’re discussing here. For freelance editors, the days of learning a single editing system are over… In order to survive as a freelance editor today, you need to be able to run as many NLE’s as you can (at least the major ones) so you don’t prohibit yourself from taking on work as a result of not knowing how to use the software that the client is requesting.
In many ways, choosing an editing system is much like choosing a camera – You pick the right tool for the job. I love FCP X, but for good reason I don’t cut every project it in. The same goes for Premiere Pro and Avid. Well… Avid I don’t like so much, but it definitely has a time and a place!
The point is that this type of open mentality when it comes to software is slowly trickling up to much bigger productions as well. It’s just taking them longer to come around since they have more rigid infrastructures and pipelines that have been built around specific pieces of software and hardware. Filmmakers on every scale are now understanding the benefits of having the ability to tap into specific tools for specific jobs, as opposed to believing that they need to buy into one perfect system that will do it all. Granted, the majority of Hollywood features are still being cut on Avid at the moment, but these two films certainly signal that there is a change going on and I don’t doubt that Avid’s foothold will continue to be diminished over the next couple of years. Not only because their software doesn’t appeal to the younger generation of editors, but also because Avid as a company is in a lot of financial trouble. But that’s another article.
If you haven’t already seen it, here’s the Premiere promo-spot that showcases how it was used on ‘Gone Girl’:
And here is the trailer for ‘Focus’, cut on FCP X:
What do you think? Do these two films truly signify a change in the post industry, or are these two films simply the odd ones out? Comment below!
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!