If predictions of an impending Twitterstorm are correct, the official release of Final Cut Pro X could come as early as tomorrow. Before the deluge, why not sit back and reflect on where it all began?
This video promo for Final Cut’s very first version, in all its blurry, pixelated glory, reminds us just how far FCP technology, and tech promos in general, have come. Back in 1999, after Apple purchased Final Cut from Macromedia, the video landscape included peaks dotted by Avid and Media 100, DV was a hot term, and white-and-teal G3 towers and bulbous Macs were just part of the scenery.
The promo may not have the real-time immediacy or resolution that we’re used to now, but it is a terrific timepiece on the NLE’s origins and Apple’s early emphasis on user-friendly interfaces. Hear a much younger Randy Ubillos, who created the first three versions of Premiere for Adobe and went on to develop FCP’s precursor, KeyGrip, for Macromedia, talk about why the brand new Apple product could create “an explosion in the video market in the next few years.” That early pedigree has served Ubillos well at Apple. Today he’s the company’s Chief Architect for video applications and has gone on to democratize the FCP brand with the development of iMovie for computers, iPhone and iPad. Here he is last October, introduced by a frail-looking Steve Jobs, giving a demo of iMovie ’11:
In the original FCP demo, there’s also more than a passing reference to “workflow,” then still an emerging term. Now it’s the only way to talk about making media in a file-based universe.
Props to Alan Haburchak, an adjunct professor in digital media at Columbia Journalism School, for bringing the promo to my attention on Twitter this afternoon.
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