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Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Canada

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Final Cut Pro HD

Chris Campbell

I've been working with Final Cut Pro for a long time. It's one of those programs that I loved right from the first time that I've used it. It feels comfortable to me and it's like working with an old friend. With the latest version which adds HD instead of a version number (but it's really version 4.5) it's even better. I haven't done any HD stuff with it, but someday I'm sure that I will. What I like about FCP is that it doesn't get in my way. I can sketch out ideas fairly quickly now and don't have to think much about how I will do it. When I'm editing I want to focus on the story I'm telling and how things will look and sound without needing to remember a lot. One of the challenges with any application that you've been using for a while is to learn new tricks and to break out of old habits. I'm using some of the new features such as the full-screen preview with an external monitor. It makes a big difference in how I work. The other thing is that I'm consciously trying to work in a more visual way and moving away from a list of clips to thumbnails arranged in a bin. My secret dream is to combine some of the very cool XML parts of FCP with CVS to have a way to roll back to different edits and allow multiple editors to work together. All of the pieces seem to be there and I'm hoping that Apple is thinking this way too. I would love to set something like that up, but I don't know if I'll have the time. Wouldn't it be great to have something like a Project Manager that would let you check out the latest cut of the film that you're working on? You'd have the captured footage on a local hard drive and would just need the XML that describes the timeline. Then I could change one part of the timeline and someone else could change the other. You'd just need to make sure that your footage was in sync and it would work. I'm working on a simplified version of this (without CVS) that will use an iPod and maybe iDisk to share and synchronize things, but true version control would be the ultimate goal.