Bye Bye Final Cut - Hello Premiere!

So - I’ve made the switch to Adobe’s Premiere Pro and their creative suite. I decided to get the monthly service which seems to be about the same price because I update every year and a half it seems.  I was terribly distraught at Apple’s abandonment from Final Cut Pro’s editing platform.  We’ve spent many hours and projects and I have several machines that run it.  I loved it. 

But she left me.

 I came from Avid and Media 100 and tape to tape, and was the last class to cut film from Florida State (source unverified).  I have always been one to enjoy learning new software - anything that will help the creative and make the best possible project (and to give me more time to do other fun things!).  

So - I tried Final Cut X.  I used a very early version and it had it’s up’s and downs.  Mostly downs.  I couldn’t believe it wasn’t supporting xml and had a crazy file management system.  I did love the interface and the swipe controls.  I felt like I was in the future swiping things around this way and that.  So I did one big corporate project with X which I knew would be a one off kind of project - it had a short shelf life and a loose deadline.  Perfect for learning this platform -  It worked out well but enough for me to look for more and I knew I would never cut any sort of longer form projects on it. 

I picked up Premiere Pro shortly after that and I have not looked back.  Okay I did go back to Final Cut once just to remember the good ole days like 2011. (click to tweet) There were some start up pains for sure with Premiere.  It had a nice feature where I could use all the keyboard short cuts from Final cut and I used that on the first couple of projects. And then I decided on a project to just go with how it was designed and learn how they imagined you using it.  So far - it’s been great and I’ve become really quick with it.  

I’m a very visual person and I love the look of the user interface with the track colors and you can vary the brightness of the background.  It’s the little things that make me happy sometimes.  I love that it handles almost all formats with no need to convert - yippee.  I also love how you can make edits that are super precise with the audio - you can nudge clips with just fractions of one frame.  I also like the bins and how I can see thumbnails and play the thumbnails in the bin.  It’s great for reviewing your footage.  The "dynamic link" action between Premiere and After Effects works well and much easier than FCP.  Also, it seems like the compression is faster than Compressor worked and it seems to have a more diverse set of output options - great for multiple format delivery. 

It’s come a long way since I tried Premiere Pro a a couple of versions ago which was…not so good.  This is a lot less clunky and I’ll admit I’ve been editing with it for a year and I’m still learning it.  I think the most impressive thing was when I realized that I can edit Red Epic’s 5k footage on my laptop - bring it to after effects - play with the HDR function of the camera - smooth out rickety DIY dolly shots and make them smooth - all while being on the road and editing in a hotel room.  That’s just incredible to me.  I edit on a Mac Book Pro a lot right now.  

Now, I know they’ve updated FCX a lot since - and perhaps I’ll give it another try.  But - I am liking where Adobe has picked up the ball.  I decided to challenge myself and edit the feature I’m editing and producing right now on Premiere.  So far so good.  I’ve had to break up the sequences a little because the playback gets a little weird and wacky.  But, I think that’s more to do with the hardware than the software.  

I think an editing platform should be simple to use yet robust in it’s capabilities.  I believe for the most part - it’s all pretty much the same except where the buttons are placed (except for X!).  I do encourage young editors to learn as much as they can about the process and not get hung up on the platform.  You can make great projects on many different editing platforms.  It’s about making the right creative choices and getting to that polished final cut as fast as you can so you can play outside and enjoy the weather.


Jon Swindall

Jon Swindall produces, directs, and shoots t.v. shows, commercial, and feature films.