Why An Amazing Surf Director Thinks FCP X Should Be Called Final Cut Amateur

Cyrus Sutton is a surfer. And he's reviewing Final Cut Pro X for Gizmodo. Why? Because he's one of the best surf flick directors in decades. His movies exude a summertime vibe I wish I could bottle up for winter.


You see, most surfers are inherent detail oriented gear heads. You're talking about a culture where a quiver of 6-12 boards isn't excessive, each with minute differences in shape and contour and material that turn out to cause varying rides on bumps of energy that happen to be passing through the water for a few fleeting seconds at a time. Waves. And Cyrus likes waves. Before he ran a site dedicated to a low-key DIY surfer lifestyle, korduroy.tv, he was a pro surfer representing some of the most commercialized big name surf brands out there.

But Cyrus's gearhead-ness comes in a form more relevant to us, as seen when he starts talking about his cameras, computer and the software that he uses to make his movies. And yet, Cyrus is one of those digital pros that has enough going on outside of the internet to be able to keep in touch with the needs of those of us who aren't pros, too. Which reminds me a lot of what this version of Final Cut Pro stands for.

The new Final Cut is giving up a lot of the workflow tools critical to many professional movie makers. In exchange it becomes more approachable to people like you and me—serious amateurs—by adopting a lot of the niceties that we've seen in iMovie like the ability to directly grab audio files from iTunes and skim-able timelines illustrated by thumbnails, for example. It's breaking from the past, in order to make a run for the future.

As a final aside, I wanted Cyrus to review Final Cut Pro for Gizmodo simply because everything he works on turns out unbelievably stylish and I wanted to introduce you to his body of work. This will become evident to you when you watch his reel below

P.S. This summer, Cyrus's new movie, Under the Sun is due to hit the theaters. Check out that trailer and this documentary he did on Tarp Surfing, as well as his website Korduroy.tv.

Illustration for article titled Why An Amazing Surf Director Thinks FCP X Should Be Called Final Cut Amateur



Nice level-headed video. Thanks to Cyrus for not freaking out as most other reviewers have.

I do this for a living (edit/ post-production). I work on films, tv, commercials, etc.

What a lot of reviews of FCP X fail to mention are all of the shortcomings of FCP 7: ancient architecture, poor handling of memory, painful rendering, inexplicable crashes, etc.

As an example, if you import a still (JPG, TIFF, etc.) into your sequence that has any side greater than 4000 pixels, you won't be able to render out the sequence. This then becomes an annoying find-the-needle-in-the-haystack hunt, losing you valuable time and sanity.

And those generic "Out of Memory" errors that happen at the end of a two-hour export?? Argh indeed.

What FCP X promises is a new start, a new architecture, that does away with a lot of that nonsense.

As of now, yes, I agree, for a "real" production, FCP X isn't there yet. Lack of OMF, XML, multi-cam, etc., are deal-breakers. But by any measure, you would not use a v.1 product in such a situation anyway.

But when these features do arrive, and Apple has already promised they will, then we'll talk. Because I'll have lots of free time now that I don't have to baby-sit a render.