Final Cut Pro X: Thinking about Video as Data (FCPX Part 1)

I head up the video team at Logos Bible Software. And we’ve been using Final Cut Pro for five years.

At first it was just me, but now our team has over a dozen people. We’ve been using Final Cut Pro X since day one. Prior to that, I was using FCP 7, Xsan and Final Cut Server. It was my experience with Final Cut Server that trained me on the importance of metadata with huge projects. It taught me to think about video as data. This is really the key to understanding Final Cut Pro X, and the biggest hurdle for experienced editors.

I’m planning a series of articles about FCPX so that you’ll be able to understand a new and, I believe, superior way of thinking about your video projects. Forget bins and folders, it is time to think about your footage existing in a database, Smart Collections as answers to organizational questions, and the profound effect metadata has on transferring your “brain” to your teammates.

One of the amazing things about FCPX is that I can train somebody with zero video editing knowledge to use the software in less than hour. Every new hire goes through Ripple Training’s “Basics” training videos for FCPX.

But experienced editors are another story. I literally give them a therapy session for the trauma that they about to undergo. It takes about a month as an editor works through stages of discovery, frustration, disillusionment, confidence, more frustration, experimentation, re-trainning, and then acceleration. And they get faster than they ever thought possible. And suddenly, freedom. Then they get mad at bugs, but it is too painful to go back. But if you can train yourself to understand that metadata is the key, view video as data instead of like film, you will absolutely transform your editing — and that acceleration becomes exponential as a project passes hands throughout your team.

In short metadata = money. And Final Cut Pro X does it better than any platform out there.


  1. Michel BAM Grens • audiovisualist August 21, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    Dear Rüben, (I’m Dutch, a German derivate :-))

    Fully out of respect:
    In the above article: ‘′, I see a typo.
    Because you spend so much energy informing others with your site, I have the feeling you care.

    “It takes about month as an editor/…/”

    Kind regards,

  2. paurray November 25, 2013 at 3:49 am #

    Hi Reuben

    Love your article man. I have a question. I am one of those old war horses that went through the FCP Legacy to FCP X time warp thing. I totally concur with the pain threshold for non experienced editors and experienced editors. Do you see a trend after a month or more. Do you think that the old war horses are any faster in the long run than the new kids on the block?



  3. Juanita July 5, 2014 at 1:30 pm #

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