Birth of a Nation

So it’s nearing the end of 2014 and Apple have had 2 major upgrades in the last 12 months, there’s new iPads and iMacs and let’s not for get the gorgeous trashcan that is the MacPro. I went for a new iMac. I bumped up the cpu and the grafix card and am waiting on some extra RAM and it’s glorious. I haven’t retired my 2010 iMac yet. It waits in the wings to be used as my home theatre setup and occasional odd job machine.

It’s also official I am now a confirmed Mac whore – with the purchase of my iPad Mini I crossed the road to full blown whoring of the Mac variety:-)

Now to the crux of this post.

I purchased my new iMac just prior to the launch of Yosemite and so it arrived with a late version of Mavericks which is fine. My concern was that I would not be able to run FCP 7. My old iMac handled FCP 7 fine on Mavericks but what to do about Yosemite, as I like the shiny. So when I finally made the transition from old to new iMac I reformatted the old to Mavericks and immediately installed all the old software I have to have for work. And then did the upgrade to Yosemite. Tentatively. Very tentatively. And it worked. Hooray a 2010 iMac running Yosemite and a perfectly good FCP 7 install. Next came the 2013 MacBook Pro. Already on Mavericks and already having FCP 7 and FCPX installed I did the upgrade to Yosemite and voila, success. But now I’m in two minds about upgrading my new iMac just in case…

And what is the point for ‘alla dis nunsense’.

Well I work for a company that has 3 main editors, 2 assistant editors, 1 online editor and 3 subtitlers, all running FCP 7 on macs of various ages. In the next few months we are going to be buying new machines and they will come pre-installed with Yosemite which is fine, but from what I can see installing a fresh version of FCP 7 is not going to be that easy on these machines etc etc, which means that finally technology has surpassed FCP 7. A sad day indeed.

I have the rather unfortunate affliction of liking the shiny so I already am using (and loving) FCPX and I am also spending a great deal of time in Adobe Premiere CC (and loving that too) but my colleagues are clueless and stubborn. Even with the writing on the wall (which they don’t/can’t read) no one has picked up the new software and gone ooh let me see what this button does. And this is a problem. Particularly because management are not technically minded (eek) and are also not aware of the looming shit storm that awaits us as a company. It just takes one machine not to be able to run FCP 7 and it’s nuclear war.

Sure I am exaggerating the timeframes here and there will always be a way to run FCP 7, but it means never moving forward and here comes the biggest death knell for FCP 7. XAVC, DNxHD, 4K etc etc. All of it will require massive amounts of transcoding to run on those systems. I recently worked on a series that was shot with, at times 8 cameras. And not any two were the same. We had a mixture of cameras, a C100, An A7, a 5D Mk2, a 5D Mk3, a 7D, a 70D and at any time they threw in what ever the DOP was given to test with that day. So a variety of native codecs and a variety of looks. Everything was transcoded to ProRes on a 2011 iMac. I kid you not. It took a week to transcode one days shoot of 8 cameras. The show was a 10 part 45 minute reality show and we eventually ended up with over 35 terabytes worth of footage. FCP 7 shat in it’s tiny pants. But it ran and it made it thru the other side, a little worse for the wear. And that is where I think it’ll end. There is only so much time left for FCP 7 before we have to move on or get left behind and then to upgrade will cost more than buying a small island in the pacific. So as much as I love FCP 7 I will have soon to say goodbye to it but in the meantime I’m hanging on there like so many other of my counterparts out there in the edit kingdom. I made the leap of faith and bought FCPX and I subscribe to creative cloud and I am all the better for it, but so often FCP 7 is just there like a lonely, loyal, faithful, pretty puppy with sad eyes and you just have to reach down and pat it on he head. FCP is (almost) Dead, long live FCP 7.

Peace Love and Vomit

You’re Mac Whore