Advantages to Learning Final Cut Pro



01/07/2012

If you’re an up-and-coming filmmaker, there are a number of digital film editing programs from which to choose; however, it seems that Final Cut Pro is one of the most widely known and used film programs on the market. It’s no accident that this software is so popular among filmmakers; as an Apple-owned software, it is the editing software of choice for Mac users because it integrates so well with other Apple programs like Color and Soundtrack Pro. (Earlier versions of Final Cut have been offered as part of a suite of related products, in fact.) Many famous movies have been edited with the program, including The Social Network, Cold Mountain, A Serious Man, Intolerable Cruelty, Zodiac and many others. It has become such an industry standard nowadays that failing to learn it may prove to be a handicap for you if you desire to work in most production companies nowadays.


That being said, while Final Cut Pro is definitely a leading program on the market, there are other competitors, some of which have a loyal following with filmmakers. These include Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer, among others. In many cases, which one is the best becomes a matter of personal preference, and as you learn a variety of programs in your experience as a filmmaker, you might even find you prefer another brand for certain reasons. However, because it is so widely used, there are still distinct advantages to learning Final Cut Pro as a filmmaker:

  1. Knowledge of Final Cut Pro qualifies you for more job openings. Let’s face it—if you apply for a job in almost any production or post-production house, but do not know this program, it puts you at a disadvantage. You’ll be hard pressed to find a production company that doesn’t use it.
  2. Using Final Cut Pro will enable you to transfer projects easily. If your unfinished movie project needs to make stops in several production companies, it is best to use a program that most of them are using.
  3. Final Cut Pro itself has a wide range of functionality. If it is big enough to handle major motion pictures, it is capable of handling your editing needs.

There has been some controversy in recent days concerning the latest release of Final Cut (Final Cut X), and many filmmakers have denounced it as a step backward because it functions more like an expanded version of iMovie (Apple’s editing software for home users). While this has caused some filmmakers to migrate to other programs like Adobe Premiere, others have simply remained with earlier versions.


Regardless of the version in use, there’s no denying that if you want to be taken seriously in the film production market, you need to have a working knowledge of Final Cut Pro.