Final Cut Pro X: Is It Worth It?

FCPXOver the last 7 years, I have taught on both: PCs and Macs, Adobe Premiere Pro and older versions of Final Cut Pro (FCP).

After working with FCP X for one month, I am not afraid to say that I think FCP X is ABSOLUTELY worth it...and here is why:

The film and video production industry is made up of a variety of different careers from ‘on-camera’ talent, ‘Director/Producer’ types to highly, sophisticated, technical positions. Only a small percentage of our star students are going to actually become editors. Teaching Digital Video Production (DVP) is more than just teaching the skill of digital editing. I see nothing wrong with students starting small (on simple consumer software) and working their way up (to more complicated/professional software). For example, in our district, the standard editing software for Middle Schools is ‘iMovie’.  I have found that students, who took DVP in Middle School, transition much more smoothly into Final Cut Pro X than the older versions of FCP because the interface is very much the same. They can develop their story-telling and videography talents with greater success at a faster pace when the software is easier to use. Later on, when they have mastered the basic production process, they can transfer their understanding of non-linier editing to other types editing software. I feel confident saying this because my level 3 and 4 high school students are able to successfully use other programs like ‘Motion’, ‘FCP 7’, ‘Adobe Premiere’, ‘After Effects’ and more. If editing is their chosen path, I have no doubt they will have the motivation needed to adapt and succeed in the professional world. GentleDec01

It’s no secret that industry professionals are not happy with Apple for jumping out of the professional market with the release of FCP X and I understand why. However, I am willing to admit that for the students who are just starting to learn digital editing and for the teacher who has an entire industry of career options to teach, I like its quick and easy results. (Watch this demo video, created  2 weeks after using FCP X software.”) The fact that the students are achieving greater satisfaction with their video projects benefits the teacher by filling the class with happily, motivated, and exceptionally productive students! I can’t ask for more than that!

Final Cut Pro X has many features that make video production fun and appealing. The easy to use transitions, titles and video effects like Chroma-key help reduce the amount of time needed to teach ‘editing;’ and creates more time to focus on other areas of production.  I am looking forward to working more with my students to improve their skills in story development, writing, advanced videography, producing and over-all production quality. There is plenty of time, if a student is interested in ‘editing’ as a career; to learn more sophisticated software used by industry professionals. And that is why… I am of the opinion that FCP X is worth it!


Misty_CUMisty Gentle started with long format television programs for Nickelodeon Studios in Orlando, Florida. She worked her way up from a Production Assistant to Producer. Along the way, she worked in a variety of positions from pre-production through post. After that, she worked on shows for the Fox Health Network, Animal Planet, ABC, Disney, The Learning Channel, Discovery Channel and More. Misty has been a writer / director / producer for on-air promotions and corporate productions as well as 2nd assistant stage manager, Script Supervisor, Segment Producer, Associate Producer, and Post Production Producer. In the summer of 2008, she was Associate Producer for Nickelodeon's "My Family's Got GUTS". These positions have given her a broad understanding of production from show concept and development through post and delivery.

She began teaching in 2004 with a full television production program at the middle school level. After 5 years, Ms. Gentle moved up to high school where she currently teaches digital video production to 9th through 12th graders.

Ms. Gentle holds a BA degree in Communications - Television and Radio Production and is certified as 'Technical Vocational Education - Television Production'.