Monday, 11 July, 2011

FCP X cannot (yet) do 24@25 film editing

This is to clarify FCP X's capability, or lack thereof, of some workflows being used in some parts of the world. Specifically India.

FCP X is not currently capable of doing a feature edit in the 24@25 method with an EDL or cut list as the final output. Or even if you need to make an OMF for sound at the end of the edit.

One can, however edit a feature on FCP X. Something shot digitally where the final output for release can be made from within FCP X.

FCP X may not support some of the tape based workflows in use in TV here. But FCP X is still an editing system. So, with some third party help for managing tape, FCP X can still be used in TV shows.

On '24@25 editing'

A lot of editors in this part of the world still edit feature films... 
...shot on film at 24fps (yes, there is such a thing as 24fps) 
...transferred to SD video at 25fps (4% fast, but frame count intact)
...captured into FCP as 25fps, conformed to 24fps using CinemaTools and edited at 24fps.

After editing is complete, EDLs are made for the DI process, or cut lists for manual negative cutting.

India releases close to 800+ feature movies a year using this method. Editing is done on FCP or Avid Media Composer, but I don't have figures for percentage of each.

So, for these features, FCP 6 and 7 are adequate and will continue to be so. 
FCP X currently lacks any feature that would make this 24@25 editing possible.

And then there's Television, 300+ channels in 20 languages. TV is largely dominated by FCP. And TV is still largely SD, with channels requiring a DigiBeta or Betacam tape master. For these workflows too FCP X can be used for the editing, but a third party app like Media Express would need to be used to make the tape outputs.

After observing some editors I've encountered here, FCP X may actually be a better choice as it really is simpler than FCP 6-7. No easy setups to mess up, no frame rate issues. Media is managed by FCP so no maze of Capture Scratch folders. Colour correction is automatic. Clip organization could be automated too. Rendering is background so less time spent making masters.


  1. sir ji, where are you? missing your tippanis.

  2. I know I know. Will get back to it when time permits.


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