You know that scene from The Jerk, where Navin R. Johnson leaps ecstatically into the air when the phone book arrives because it’s the first one to feature his name? “My name in print!” he beams, “Things are going to start happening to me now.” (Cut to M. Emmet Walsh’s crazed sniper randomly opening his copy and choosing our hero as his imminent victim.) Well I had a similar feeling when I decided to call myself the Final Cut Bro’ on Twitter. People will see that name, thought I, and know that I’m to be reckoned with: not just any editor, but the Final Cut Bro’. Things will start happening to me now. A mere three years later, something did.
Chris Fenwick was playing around with Meerkat and I tuned in. He read out the names of each of us viewers, saying Hi, and when he reached my Twitter moniker, he was so impressed that he immediately said, “Dude! We should have you on the show.”
The “show” is his podcast, The FCPX Grill, and it’s how I came to know about Chris in the first place. (His pals all seem to call him Fenwick, so using his first name seems, perversely, the formal option.) It’s an endearingly opinionated series of interviews between he and a guest who has some experience to share about Apple’s Final Cut Pro X. It has, as of my contribution, 115 episodes, all entertaining and informative. Through his roster of guests I was introduced to such editing heavyweights as Alex Gollner, Sam Mestman, Scott Simmons and Mike Matzdorff. (I’d already encountered Philip Hodgetts though his own podcast.) That’s heady company to keep, and here was I, joining their ranks simply because of my Twitter name.
I didn’t really think he could be serious, but when he DM’d me last Sunday night asking if I wanted to do it then and there, frankly, I shat myself.
I needn’t have worried. Chris was great, rolling the conversation along, never short of anything interesting and/ or provocative to say, so there was no danger of dead air, which took the pressure off.
There were a couple of things that occurred to me during our talk that I forgot to say, but that’s okay: fodder for blog posts. One thing, though, that I should probably do is big-up Adobe Premiere’s role in the project I mentioned, Family Goldmine. I told the story of how I secretly switched from Premiere to Final Cut X without regret (on my part), and also how the director, having generously allowed me to choose my own tool (a very rare luxury), remained unconvinced of its merits. I should add, though, that after my time on the film had come to an end, Premiere stepped back in to do things that FCPX couldn’t, like generate a DCP. (The director, Robbie Fraser, also continued editing, and the finished film as I saw it projected at the Glasgow Film Festival was quite different from the one I’d delivered. I told him afterwards that it didn’t seem right that I get sole credit for editing, but he very magnanimously said, “You deserve it.”)
So I had a great time on the show, and I hope the dip in star power didn’t disappoint its many fans. “Congratulations,” Chris said as we bid farewell, “you’ve been Grilled.“ And I had.
Oh, what the hell, I’ll risk a bit of over-familiarity: thanks, Fenwick.