About this project
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Why make a movie about editing software?
There’s an exciting future for the next generation of content creators and I personally believe Final Cut Pro X will play an important role in that future. Off the Tracks is more than just a documentary about a product. It’s also a case study of how creative individuals react to disruptive technological changes.
A Little Background About Off the Tracks
When I started learning the movie making process, I quickly realized editing was where all the creative work came together. In the not too distant past, the equipment necessary to edit movies cost tens of thousands of dollars. In 1999, Apple changed all of that with Final Cut Pro, which really democratized movie making because it was affordable and easy to use. Over the next decade, Final Cut Pro became the de facto standard for editors working on TV shows, movies, commercials, really just about anything.
In 2011, Apple released Final Cut Pro X, a completely redesigned version with a radically different user interface and took the existing version off the market. While I may not agree with how Apple chose to release FCPX, I do believe in the software. Shortly after X’s launch I found myself in the minority as many other creative professionals felt abandoned, betrayed, and even belittled by Apple’s update. Media outlets picked up the story and negative press was everywhere, which led to a lot of misinformation that persists today.
Those of us who gave Final Cut Pro X a fair chance have noted Apple’s commitment to the product. After the initial release, update after update restored and even enhanced features from its predecessor. Today, Final Cut Pro X is able to do things that would have never been possible with the prior version.
As powerful as X has become, it also has an unfortunate stigma which I’ve encountered firsthand. Some clients, producers, and fellow filmmakers bash this application that in many cases they’ve never used and question my judgement when I defend it. These experiences got me wondering: as editors do we define ourselves by the tools we use or by the stories we can tell with them?
Clearly, Apple evokes passion with their products. Often that passion is love, but when the pendulum swings the other way, it can turn to hate. With so much controversy surrounding FCPX, I thought there might be a story worth telling. So I decided to gather the people who knew the most about this tool and discuss all the misconceptions and doubts I was aware of.
Trailer for Off the Tracks
How You Can Help
Up to this point this has been a passion project for me. I’ve been spending money out of my own pocket to travel back and forth from California to interview key interview subjects and get the footage that I need. But in order to get this documentary across the finish line and available for storytellers to see across the globe I’m going to need more help. That’s where you come in.
If you’re interested in Final Cut Pro X, the film industry, or how technologies disrupt and change our lives I believe this is something you’re going to want to see. This isn’t just a documentary about a product made by Apple. It is a case study on how people react when a tool they depend on to make a living changes. Why did some people freak out and swear off Apple entirely while others rallied around Final Cut Pro X and form a community? What lead Apple to make such a polarizing piece of software anyway?
We’re looking to raise funds to help us with expenses like hiring a music composer to score the entire documentary, pay a post production crew for their time, and buy additional stock footage to fill in any holes. If we exceed our goal that will give us something to go towards festival submissions and covering some of the many costs of distribution.
If this is a cause you believe in enough to make a pledge you have my whole hearted thanks! We think we have some pretty cool rewards and we hope you find them to be worth your while.
Some of the Interviewees in Off the Tracks
Randy Ubillos - Randy created several popular software applications, Adobe Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Aperture, iMovie, and Final Cut Pro X.
Steve Martin - Steve has been evangelizing Final Cut Pro from the very beginning. He is the Chief Creative at Ripple Training and hosts a weekly web show, MacBreak Studio.
Mark Spencer - Mark is Steve’s on screen co-presenter and master of all things Motion.
Michael Cioni - Michael has been described as the smartest guy in Hollywood and is the Vice President of Innovation at Panavision and Light Iron.
Glenn Ficarra - Glenn, along with his writing/directing partner John Requa, directed the first major Hollywood feature film edited in Final Cut Pro X: Focus.
Jan Kovac - Jan was the editor of Focus and another FCPX feature, Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.
Thomas Grove Carter - Thomas is a Final Cut Pro X editor at Trim, a high end commercial and music video post house in London.
Wes Plate - Wes co-founded Automatic Duck to provide file and workflow interchange solutions for post-production applications including Avid, After Effects, and Final Cut Pro.
Larry Jordan - Larry has been a software trainer specializing in video for decades, he helps people learn the skills necessary to make their business grow.
Sam Mestman - Sam’s company LumaForge makes shared storage optimized for Final Cut Pro X and leads several filmmaker communities.
Gergana Angelova - Gergana edited the behind the scenes videos for Expendables 3, which was shot in her home country of Bulgaria. Currently she works as the Head of Customer Experience at LumaForge.
Esther Sokolow - Esther was an assistant editor of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, which was cut in Final Cut Pro X. She is revolutionizing post workflows by doing VFX pulls in-house.
Peter Wiggins - Peter is a broadcast Final Cut Pro X editor based in the UK. He also runs FCP.co, the website for news and workflows about FCPX.
A Little Background About Bradley Olsen
I’m a freelance editor, camera operator, and documentary film producer from Salt Lake City, Utah. I got my start in 2001 as an intern at a local video production company which produced industrial videos and infomercials. Not long after that, I became involved with independent film as an assistant editor.
I’ve done work for BBC Worldwide Productions, BYUtv, VidAngel, CW, Spike TV, SyFy, and The Hallmark Channel. Since 2012, I’ve edited 6 independent feature films using Final Cut Pro X.
Share Our Story
Off the Tracks is by and for the creative community. Please help by sharing our story on social media with your friends and family and together we can bring this project to life.
- Share our story with your Twitter followers.
- Share our story on Facebook.
- Follow us on Facebook.
- The Off the Tracks Press Kit is available here.
Disclaimer: Off the Tracks is not affiliated with Apple Inc. To learn more about Final Cut Pro X, please visit: https://www.apple.com/final-cut-pro/
Risks and challenges
Off the Tracks is an ambitious project to pull off. That said, most of the film is already shot and edited. As you can see from the trailer, the footage turned out well and the interview subjects are engaging. There are always challenges in crossing the finish line when creating a documentary outside of the studio system but I am 100% committed to completing this project with your help.
I've also already teamed up with a qualified partner to print and fulfill the reward products and I'm very excited to share them with you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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