On Saturday the news broke that Filmlight is releasing a full featured Baselight color correction plug in for Final Cut Pro. On their website they clearly show the plug in running on Final Cut Pro 7 but the release date is not until Fall 2011. Baselight to FCP Of course we all know now that Spring 2011 has floated by numerous reliable sources as the release date for the new Final Cut Pro (8? X? iMovie Pro?).
So this got me to thinking on whether this means Filmlight knows something the rest of us don’t know yet about the new Final Cut Pro, or its simply a realistic business decision to get into the emerging “color correction for the masses” market.
At first I really thought it was the former. After all, this isn’t merely a plug in ala Final Cut Pro’s 3 Way Color corrector tool. From what I can see on the website, it’s a fully featured color correction tool based on the Baselight main product line. So this would require a lot of time and effort on Filmlight’s part to get this plug-in ready. I could not see the company putting that much time and effort into a product that is already going to end of life with a supposed major interface and operational change to be revealed on Tuesday.
Then in talking to some folks with a good working knowledge of Baselight, I came to find out that a Mac version of the software already existed. It’s an assistant type of application that appears to be where the plug-in came from. Many of you, like myself, may have never heard of this software because it was ONLY available to owners of the full Baselight systems. So unless you had the full on, hardware rig, you could not purchase the software. So now I know that Filmlight already had a lot of work already into the application and it appears that they’ve been able to to modify that software into a full fledged plug-in for Final Cut Pro.
So Filmlight is making the business decision (and I believe a smart one at that) to get into the same market that Apple Color and Davinci Resolve have opened up. The millions of independent editors, boutique post houses and smaller shops that could not afford or didn’t want the “heavy iron” color correction systems, but welcome the idea of high quality, lower cost color enhancement software.
While I initially thought this decision was an opening sign of things to come in the big reveal on Tuesday night, now I’m not so sure. I figured with so much time and effort to put together such an incredible tool for FCP, surely this must have been planned with some sort of inside development for the new FCP. But since it’s been around in a form for a while, it’s not quite so earth shattering.
Filmlight’s decision is not so much a potential insight on the “pro direction” that FCP might be taking so much as it’s just good business. Whatever Apple reveals to us on Tuesday, one thing is absolutely certain. All FCP users suddenly have yet one more tremendous color enhancement tool coming soon.
For those of you at the NAB Show, Filmlight is in SL7920. Apple is…. well you know.