What is "Pro" anyway ?

There seems to be a bit of contention on the internet (mainly twitter) about what is "Pro", and whether or not FCPX is a "pro" app. I put a few people into a bit of a tizzy when I said this in one of my tweets: "FCPX is not “pro” yet.". Now, the explanation that doesn't fit into 140 characters. 

A pro is simply anyone who gets paid for their services, and that encompasses MANY different levels. I actually fall into all those categories. I work on anything from Network TV, commercials, corporate videos, wedding videos, right down to videos of my kids birthday parties. There are wedding videographers right here in the NY area that make a much better living than I do. A pro's work has nothing to do with audience size. 

A week in, I have cut several things using FCPX that I will receive payment for, so according to the cranky and literal people on the net, that means it is officially "professional". I will say this again……FCPX is not “pro” yet……FCPX is not “pro” yet…..FCPX is not “pro” yet……FCPX is not “pro” yet. That doesn't mean professional editors cannot use it to create professional grade pieces. 

I say "yet", because I think it has hope, and hopefully Apple doesn't get bored, and eventually gets it there. There are parts of FCPX that I really, really like. BUT……..FCPX is not “pro” yet. 

Is the issue the wording ? Maybe. A good editor can edit with the following tools : CUT, DISSOLVE, FADE TO BLACK, AUDIO CROSSFADES, and some rudimentary ability to adjust audio levels. That is it. You need nothing more. So under that criteria, iMovie and Windows Movie Maker are professional apps, which is about the stupidest things anyone can say or think. 

Maybe "Consumer Grade" editor is a better explanation than "non-Pro". In just about every industry, there are "Commercial grade" tools, and "Consumer Grade" tools. That being said, there are millions of people that have very successful businesses that use consumer grade tools everyday. 

As it stands right now, there are things that FCPX cannot do. There are actual roadblocks that you cannot get around. At our Network, shows must be delivered with timecode starting at 59:45:00. You cannot do that in FCPX. No matter how much I want to like it, it needs help. No advertising agency is going to let you take their multi-million dollar budget car commercials and color correct them in FCPX alone. It needs help. Say what you want about FCP7 or Avid Media Composer, they do not have these limitations. It may be painful, you may not like it, it may be hard work, but either of these 2 editors can be shoehorned into any workflow. You cannot say the same for FCPX. Until those concerns are met, FCPX will still be falling short of a truly professional app. 

Another example......the Sony EX-1 is not a professional camera. It is a high-end prosumer camera, yet it was used to shoot parts of District 9, and to shoot the entire film "Monsters". Call a spade a spade…..It is still a prosumer camera, that has professional uses. An EX-1 will not be used to shoot Transformers 4, nor will FCPX be used to edit it. There are all kinds of levels.