I Don’t Care About Your Toothpaste.

There have been a lot of rumors and a decent amount of frenzy over an upcoming version of Final Cut Pro. It seems like for the past year, there have been periodical freak-outs relating to FCP that lead back around to the never-ending Premiere vs FCP vs Avid discussion/argument/brawl.

I haven’t followed the various apps as closely as I have for the past two years simply because I’ve only been out of school and in a professional environment for a year and a half or so, but it seems like lately it’s gotten more out of control than ever.

Here is what I definitely know:

Other people may use different NLEs. That is fine.

Other people use different toothpastes. That is also fine.

If I visit a friend’s house and forget my toothpaste, I can use theirs. It’ll work fine.

Maybe I’ll like it better. Maybe I won’t. Maybe he chooses his for his sensitive teeth while I choose mine for the taste. In the grocery store, we consider these differences – what we NEED and what we LIKE in a toothpaste.

Sometimes a certain toothpaste will change. Something will be reformulated. It’ll gain some users, and it’ll lose some users. You move on and find something else, or embrace the change.

Sometimes a toothpaste company will go out of business. You’ll look for something comparable.

But in general, they all get the job done for you if you use them properly (and floss daily).

Same with NLEs.

So why do we feel the need to get bent out of shape about this? I don’t know any dentists having the same fight over toothpaste. Actually, I don’t know any dentists personally so maybe they do and we need to set an example for them.

Yes, I know that someone’s choice in toothpaste isn’t a tool that can effect their paycheck so maybe it might seem like a trivial analogy, but I feel like it’s a trivial argument to begin with, no?

No matter what happens with any particular NLE — whether Premiere suddenly takes over 60% of the market or Apple turns Final Cut into SuperiMovie ’11 or everyone suddenly decides to go back to physically cutting tape — I’m confident in my ability to effectively tell a story and that’s what really matters. Functioning software is important, and knowing the software is very important, but you’re nothing if you can’t tell a story.

One time during my senior year of college, I was in an advanced editing lab class that was teaching some pretty basic stuff about Final Cut (but that’s another post) and the professor stopped to ask a student to follow along in Final Cut instead of ignoring everything and editing a project for another class in Premiere. He said no. The professor, pissed off at this indignant attitude, asked again.

The student politely told him and everyone in the class that he was very happy with Premiere Pro and he didn’t understand why at the end of his college career he should bother learning Final Cut Pro at all. He said “I’m never ever going to use it, and I hate it, so I don’t see the point of wasting my time or yours learning it.”

I’m sure his opinion is shared by a lot of people, and these are the type of people that are at the other end of the computers in the forums and on blogs, sniveling and typing in the dark about the doom and gloom of Final Cut or the clunkiness of this or that or whatever.

Ultimately, my point is: who cares?