Final Cut – From Express to Pro

So the computer I’d been doing all of my editing on stopped working on last weekend.  I’ve been fine tuning the finishing touches on the film (music, cleaning up edits, etc.), in order to have a exhibition-ready product to show in the coming months.

None of the information is lost per se.  I have extensive backups and restored everything with Apple’s Time Machine to the new computer.  It’s my first time doing this, and it worked fine, even though I was moving from Snow Leopard to Mountain Lion.

But, while I am happy to finally be running more up-to-date software on a more powerful machine, something which would have been good all along, it means that the full editing stream I had no longer opens (I have the film as a Quicktime file, and all of the raw footage that I can still access though).  You see, I was running Final Cut Express – the more basic predecessor to Final Cut Pro.  Final Cut Express was more like Final Cut Pro 7, the older version, whereas Final Cut Pro X (the current version) provides a way easier and powerful editing experience.  Back when I start editing, Final Cut Pro cost way more than it does now, and the Express version worked fine for me.  It still would, except Mountain Lion no longer will open some of the old PowerPC apps.  While I could run a program to open them, I’m taking this as an opportunity to not only update my software, but the film as well.

On Final Cut Pro, sound and colour correction will be more accessible to me, as well as more precise editing.  What I’ve decided to do is recut the entire film together clip by clip (easy enough since the whole thing is transcribed and put together into a screenplay which I have, that includes the video clip ID’s for each scene).  As I do this, I will make sure that everything is the best that it can be.  The cut will be virtually the same – just a little more polished – and I will finish what I was doing before this minor setback, which was adding a bit of music to the film as well.

I decided to write this since I realized something.  In some ways my first cut on Final Cut Express really was an ‘express’ cut.  Due to festival deadlines, I really needed to have something submittable, and I did.  But now it is time for a ‘pro’ cut using Final Cut Pro.  And I think this one is going to be even a step above.  I look forward to showing it to you.

– Erin

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