Pro video blog…Produced by Philip Johnston DoP/Editor


At the beginning of April 2013 I had made the decision to edit a one hour program on type one diabetes on a 32G iMac knowing I was going to be one of the first to do so as the new 27″ had just arrived with it’s SSD drive rather than the fusion drive which I had been warned against using.


I have to admit the worst part of the whole process has been a slowing down of the media import pane and the need to interrogate the Pegasus raid every time the media pane is opened, thunderbolt is fast but it still slows down the whole process and the same pane takes its time to leave once I have chosen to import my chosen footage.

The timeline seems to work fine with no apparent slow down though I do notice a slowing down of plugins as they are placed onto the timeline, it’s not as snappy as it is with a short program.

Clip-apperanceAnother bug seems to involve the audio meters, for some unknown reason the VU meters stop working every so often, the workaround is to open the Clip Appearance pane and close it, then the audio meters start working again.

Back to long form editing…the Pegasus 12TB has 5TB to spare meaning 2TB is used for raid mirroring and 5TB of stored footage, renders, audio, Motion files etc. 5TB is a huge amount of data, it’s just as well I am using Thunderbolt and not eSata or FW800.

I have a one hour timeline for the main program and 12 mini features adding up to a further one hour of edited material all in the project library.


The Project Library is invaluable if you have a lot of mini edits as you can double click on any title and then re-edit your material as needed then run off a QT onto an 8TB Thunderbolt G-RAID drive. The Project Library is a clear winner for long form as you could edit a whole  one hours worth in smaller sections if needed.


Motion 5 is simply the best graphics tool to date and I have noticed with Thunderbolt especially that adding complex lighting and 3D does not phase Motion unlike my MacPro non Thunderbolt suite, the iMac version renders complex graphics in half the time.


I am so glad I choose FCPX after a lot of deliberation and soul searching…version 10.0.08 is a great editing tool and the inbuilt chroma key is second to none, DON’T buy any 3rd party chroma key as they can’t compete with Apples own version, I tried one claiming better keying of finer detail and it was not a patch on the Apple version.

FCPX can only go from strength to strength it’s a tool fit for purpose and is not a million miles away from FCP-7s style of editing but with a ton of better features and a chroma key to die for.


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.

3 thoughts on “Editing with FCPX – Part Two “long form”

  1. Great review Philip. Thanks for sharing your experience with FCP X. I learned something new about your workaround for the audio meters bug.

  2. Thanks for an interesting review. I just wanted to respectfully disagree about the built in keyer. It shure is really really good, but after evaluating some of the 3rd party chroma keyers I can say that Phyx keyer is clearly better for tricky fine hair.

    It comes with some disadvantages (slow, limited lightwrap-functionality, no control for soft edges) but I still find it to be supreme when dealing with my C300-footage.

  3. Hi Philip

    Do you mind if ask you how you got your C300 footage in to FCPX ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *