What is Final Cut Pro?

Final Cut Pro is Apple's version of non-linear editing software. Non-linear editing became popular in the late 1990s and Avid Media Composer was the motion picture industry's program of choice. This has changed over the past few years with Final Cut Pro becoming the most popular choice amongst filmmakers. This is primarily due to it's easy accessibility and costs. An avid editing system required an owner to spend thousands of dollars on special computers where as Final Cut Pro can be installed on any apple computer and only costs a few hundred dollars.

What is Non-Linear Editing?

Non-linear editing revolutionized the post production process. Before it existed, movies were shot on film, processed and transferred to video. Editors would use the videotapes to decide which edits they were going to make. When the editing decisions were finalized a list was made and the film's negative was cut to that lists specifications.

The editing process was long because it needed to be done linearly. You would use two tapes to edit with. One tape was your source footage and the other was your edit. You would begin by the finding the start point of the shot you wanted to use. You would then hit record on the edit tape and play on the source tape at the same time. Once the clip is recorded to the edit tape you need to go back and find the exact frame you want the next cut to begin at. Then you scan the source tape for the next clip and repeat the process. The timing needed to be precise for the edits to work and often required a lot of repeating to get it right. And if you wanted to make some changes then you would often be required to start over again.

If this process seems frustrating to you then imagine how happy the editors were when non-linear editing was introduced. We can now instantly rearrange clips and easily trim and extend them. This makes the editing process faster allowing us more time to think creatively and come up with great ideas that we weren't able to think of before.

The Rise of Final Cut Pro

Most non-linear editing programs all work under the same principals. The first systems required users to buy special computers and were often slow at processing and rendering effects. As technology became more advanced computers became faster. Programs like Final Cut became available for anyone to buy at affordable prices. Now everyone has the ability to edit on their home computers. And you can rest assure that the latest version of Final Cut Pro is far superior to the $100,000 systems the motion picture industry was using ten years ago.

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