Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


Here is a list of Applications that I deem necessary for editing on my iMac…

1. FCPX is essential for HD video editing version 10.0.7 is very responsive on the timeline, I have over 14 hours of HD 720p video footage ingested into my Thunderbolt Raid 5 Pegasus R6 and the speed also helps Motion 5 when sharing (exporting) your footage.


2. Motion 5 is essential for producing classy looking graphics on the Final Cut timeline though a lot of the 3D is produced elsewhere due to time constraints in producing this level of medical detail.

3. LittleSnapper is a great wee app for snapping anything off the computer or a web site.

4. Safari is used to upload sections of work to Vimeo and download external Shutterstock 3D animations and 3D stills like the one seen above.

5. Email is essential for keeping clients updated with the edit and sending them links to view work in progress.

6. Screenflow is a tool that allows you to record everything that is happening on your computer screen then edit it on it’s very own timeline.


7. iTunes is where all my copyright free music exists which can be accessed direct from FCPX, this has become invaluable allowing me to preview various tunes to suit the mood.

8. A great wee application is ClipWrap this allows you to import that all important AVCHD footage that for some reason FCPX will not look at.

9. Photoshop CS6 cloud edition is the backbone for graphics and photo manipulation for any video work.


10. Audition is my audio editing package of choice as FCPX does not come with soundtrack, I do hope Apple will fix this in a future update as I do not want to start learning Logic.

11.Lightroom is great for upgrading certain JPEGS that are not colour correctable in Photoshop.

12. Encore is the only professional encoding tool for DVD and Blu-Ray DVD production, an essential tool.

13. PDF editor allows me to edit clients PDFs, usually to add my signature or to send them a script or JPEG as a PDF.

14. The Sony XDCAM browser is essential for importing SxS footage into FCPX.

15. Compressor is the number one tool for turning self contained quick time .MOV files into various flavours including MPEG2 for DVDs.


16. BlackMagic Media Express is the number one app for importing older analogue and digital tape for use in FCPX this app comes free with Ultra Stuido Express (Thunderbolt) and the Intensity Pro card.

17. FX Factory is the defacto plug-in package for FCPX, this is an essential purchase for cracking graphics and effects.

18. System Preferences is also essential for tweaking the likes of BM Ultra Studio.

19. iCal is used extensively to add filming, editing dates and reminders.

So there you have it a whistle stop tour of my essential applications needed to produce first class HD productions using FCPX.


Having been working in the video business since 1988 I have amassed a great amount of knowledge of both the kit and production values over the last 30 years.

2 thoughts on “FCPX and the Applications needed to make it all happen

  1. If you’re using all those Adobe programs…why don’t you just use Premiere and AE?

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