Where FCPX Shines
I think after a lot of reflection I’ve come to understand what FCP X’s professional strong point is, and where it might really succeed. This would be in any business that needs to mass produce video that has the look and feel of a one-off. Pretend, for instance, you’re are in charge of a video unit on a cruise ship that runs a repetitive seven day cruise for a five month span. Your job is to make a 20 min. cruise video that reflects the experience of each week’s cruise and have it for sale for the passengers at the end of the cruise. You could easily create a cruise template, and then use FCP X’s database and preview features to create what seems to be a unique video of the experience. I’m guessing that FCP X would be, once broken in, far more efficient at delivering this product than any other NLE. This undoubtedly would work well for most event video. I can see a videographer that does weddings developing several different templates, and than choosing the most appropriate for a particular job. It would be sort of like having a website template that you can stretch and bend to fit your needs.
To see this idea in action, look no further than the iMovie trailer gizmo, where you plug your vacation material into pre-formatted slots to build a “trailer.” Now, here’s the thing–this idea does not actually work for professional trailers, promos, and commercials. The reasons are several–complexity of material, arrangement of dramatic content, meaningful juxtaposition and counterbalancing of ideas–but, also because the material needs to be freshly arranged to be seen. It needs to be different than what was seen yesterday. It needs to SHOUT unique.
A cruise video only needs to seem unique to the people on that cruise. No one in the public is ever going to line up ten weeks of cruises to see how their video, though different, is dramatically the same as all the rest. A careful cruise videographer can probably set FCP X up so that every cruise video sold can be personalized down to the point of the video buyer and his family being welcomed aboard.