No, that title is NOT a snide or sarcastic remark. That’s an honest Thank You to Apple.
In 2000 when I opened the doors to Biscardi Creative Media my realistic three options for an NLE were Avid, Media 100 and Final Cut Pro. Obviously I went with Final Cut Pro in large part because of the cost, though it still cost me almost $30,000 to build an entire suite from nothing. I have proceeded to use that tool right up until today, some 11 years. What Apple did over that time was to rely on third party developers to come up with video cards so I can capture video in and out of my machine in very high broadcast quality.
Developers came up with awesome graphics cards to make my monitors look incredible.
Developers came up with amazing plug-ins and peripheral applications that could work in tandem with Final Cut Pro.
Developers came up with incredible high speed data arrays giving us a tremendous slew of storage options.
Final Cut Pro became such a market force it forced Adobe and Avid to find ways to talk to the product so projects could move in and out.
Final Cut Pro single handedly did more to influence the development and price of software and hardware for the non linear video editing industry than any single product ever did or probably ever will. Without Final Cut Pro we don’t see the proliferation of AJA, BMD, Matrox, Drobo, Small Tree, Dulce, G-RAID, Red Giant, Magic Bullet, Davinci Resolve, Flanders Scientific, Telestream, and BorisFX and many many more.
In other words, without Apple’s dominating influence and pricing strategy, Non Linear Editing systems might still be in the $100,000+ range with dedicated hardware and software. Davinci Resolve might still be a $200,000+ hardware box. Many of us who earn a living today from Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Media 100 might not have even gotten our starts because it would have been cost prohibitive.
Now because Apple and the developers did what they did for the past 11 years, it makes it incredibly easy to simply walk away from Final Cut Pro and transition to another tool. Our entire infrastructure stays in place. We do not have to change a single thing in our facility, except the software.
In the case of Adobe Premiere, we literally just have the change the icon we click on from this
The hardware is the same, maybe a few different drivers but the entire architecture of my facility remains completely intact. In fact, as I showed today on my first Transition video, I can essentially open my Final Cut Pro projects directly inside Premiere.
I can honestly say I have not talked to so many broadcasters in one day as I did today. Phone, email, visits to the shop, everybody wanted to talk me about two things. Final Cut Pro 10 and Adobe Premiere. The biggest concern for everyone is what do we do now that we’ve invested all our time and money into Final Cut Pro? Well the answer is simple. You have an infrastructure that will support a variety of NLE tools out there, right down to the ProRes codec used on so many FCP projects.
And for that we should all say “Thank You” to Apple. Without them, so many of us could not earn a living or have so many choices moving forward.