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  • Writer's pictureJim Gromer

Final Cut Pro X vs. Premiere Pro

I've been in this industry a long time, and the conversation often comes back to Premiere versus Final Cut Pro. These are two staples of the industry, and both have their pros and cons.

I must admit that I started on AVID, moved to Final Cut Pro 6, then 7, then 10. I tried Premiere Pro a while back, and it was skipping frames on me so I immediately went back to FCPX. Who's got time to mess with trouble-shooting that!?!

In the past year, I've teamed up with Rocky Mountain Audio/Video Productions in Littleton, Colorado. They have a full-sized studio, professional audio booth, and even duplication and film transfer services on site. Check them out if you're in the area or need to bring in a film crew:

Alright, sorry about the quick plug for my friends, but they work entirely on the Adobe Suite of products and it's been an interesting transition to say the least. I will say the much (if not most) of the industry operates on Premiere Pro. You may not like it, but it's the truth. There are far less career opportunities for the Final Cut Pro X crowd. Sorry, but it's true.

There are some things I love about Premiere, and it has a myriad of powerful editing features, but it's got some serious short-comings. For starters, you can't simply buy Premiere Pro. You have to pay for the entire suite if you want Photo Shop, After Effects, etc. Most of you already knew that. I paid $299 for Final Cut Pro, and I own it for life.

That's pretty sweet (yes, I still use that term) if you're an independent like me!

My biggest complaints about Premiere come from some of its functionality. We don't have the M1 so we are working on a little bit older version, and it kept giving us the rainbow spinning wheel of death on our Mac. The only work-around we found was to create a new project, then open an old one to edit. If we tried to open the project direct, it stalled.

There are some other strange choices by the creator of Premiere Pro as well. Even heard of something called "Selection Follows Playhead?" This is the dumbest thing ever! Some I.T. nerd, who has never edited a day in his life decided it was a good idea to only select the clip after the playhead. Well, every good editor knows you usually make a cut on both sides, then you delete the clip in the middle. Not the clip after!!!

Now, you can disable this feature so that zero clips are selected, and you have to manually select

the clip you want to delete. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, don't worry about it. Just know that it will add several key strokes to your daily life as an editor, and that stinks. Great editors are all about efficiency, this just ain't it. There may be some magical fix out there (please let me know if there is), and I just haven't stumbled across the magical keywords on Google or YouTube to find it yet. It's frustrating either way.

Lastly, you'll probably read that other editors hate how Premiere won't continue to play when you're in "play" mode and jump around. Final Cut Pro X keeps playing when you hop around, or it won't play if you're not in play mode. Again, efficiency is the key, and Premiere just falls short again.

Final Cut Pro X just flat out wins because of the cost, efficiency and stability of the software. We've won 30 plus International Film Festival Awards (including "Best Editor" and "Best of the Festival") on a World War II documentary we edited completely on Final Cut.

Just beware that it may cost you job opportunities down the road. Happy editing either way, my friends!

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