Thinking About Final Cut Pro X

Okay, so everyone in the editing world has an opinion on the new FCP X - most seem to be that it isn't ready for primetime - and I completely concur with that opinion.

I won't go over all the ugly details as by now it's been covered ad nauseam.

Here's my take as a professional filmmaker who makes his living editing and has worked with non-linear editing systems since 1996 (including Avid, Speed Razor, Premiere, Vegas and Final Cut Pro)....

This is a version 1.0 release and should not be marketed as a professional tool (yet).

That's really it. It's that simple.

I think if Apple had not called this release Final Cut Pro X there wouldn't be such a huge uproar. Calling it X makes people assume it's a version 10 release and that it would include at least the same functionality that the version 7 release did. But, unfortunately, it doesn't. Not even close.

This should be called iMovie Pro (or whatever, just not FCP).

Does it have some cool new features? Absolutely. Will it likely be accepted by the professional filmmaking community in the future? Probably. But right now this is huge issue for many, many folks who make their living with FCP. Again, if you don't understand why, then you likely don't make a living in post-production.

A few other things to think about...

1. Apple is likely setting the stage to do away with tower computers all together. Their focus will be on iPhones, iPads and iMacs (and laptops - for a while).

2. Apple only makes about 20% of its revenue off computer sales and 3% off software sales. Everything else is pretty much from mobile devices.

3. If Apple really cared about FCP and editing software they would make it a cross platform application. They don't. They care about selling their computers (and other devices) that will run the software. Avid and Adobe are creative software companies and thus they make it for both Mac and PC.

My last observation to think about is this...

I wonder if Apple has made FCP X too much "in the middle"?

It's currently too dumbed down and lacks the professional features that pros need and expect, but then it's likely too complicated and expensive for the casual iMovie user (yes, I said expensive - do you think your brother, or friends or mom or dad would spend $299 on editing software when they can get iMovie for free and it does everything they'd really ever need?).

It's a product really not designed for either market.

Just something to think about.


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Dallas Director Clicks

So, yeah, I guess that's me clicking away in Dallas directing films and web series... What am I referring to exactly? Glad you asked. It's this recent article on called "Dallas Director Clicks with Sexy, Nourish Web Series"...

From the article:

In order to get a taste of the fast-paced, action film work of Arlington-raised, Dallas-based director Blake Calhoun, you don't need to line up at your local movie theater, or even wait patiently by the mailbox for the latest shipment from Netflix.

You don't even need to carve a chunk of time out of your day -- three or four minutes should suffice.

Just log onto the Internet, and behold a few of the bite-size curios that Calhoun has been toiling over in recent years.

Basically the piece is about my recent work including Pink, Exposed, Continuum (coming soon) and my features Killing Down, Hit and most recently Spilt Milk. It's pretty darn thorough! :)

Thanks for checking it out.

Btw, for any folks in the DFW area this is supposed to run in the actual newspaper - that's right - the actual paper you hold while drinking your coffee and trying not to spill on it. That paper is the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and I've heard it will likely be in early July (Why July? I have no idea since this was released online last week... but, that's cool).


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iPad Interactive Storytelling

Ever since I got an iPad 2 I've been very interested in its future as a film distribution platform.

The most obvious apps are Netflix or Hulu, and those are great, but I'm talking more about creating an app for a single film - and making it interactive. A fully immersive experience. Like in this new app The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr. Morris Lessmore.

Here's a trailer for the app (get used to hearing that too - a trailer for an app):

Now of course this is really more of an "interactive book" based on a short film, but it really could be called a "film" on its own too. Either way you look at it I think it's exciting for the future of storytelling and distribution on tablets.

Check out the full article I found this in from Gigaom here.


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Who Am I?

I'm a filmmaker who's produced & directed five feature films including the comedy SPILT MILK (available on iTunes), the new horror/thriller PHOBIA (on iTunes) and the action/thiller KILLING DOWN (which you can buy or rent at pretty much all the usual places).

I also created the Streamy and Webby award-winning web series PINK, which to date has been viewed online around 10 MILLION times at places like YouTube, Hulu, Koldcast and And speaking of, I also produced and directed an online thriller for them called EXPOSED. It was released summer 2010. And most recently I created a new online sci-fi series called CONTINUUM, which is part of the online indie TV network - Just The Story and NOW available via VOD through indie platform Distrify.

Oh, and I don't shoot weddings. Thanks for asking though.

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