Yes two things that are slightly shocking from the headline. The price and also the fact that it's only available for Final Cut Pro 7. Not all is lost though...
What a difference a year makes, at NAB last year this plugin was being demonstrated and it gathered a huge amount of interest. Walter Biscardi called its big brother 'Crazy Good' and was impressed how the features translated over into the plugin. "Brings you a ridiculously powerful color correction system directly inside of Final Cut Pro."
The plugin was meant to be released later in the year, but the ship date slipped. Also at the show a few things happened to make the Baselight plugin an even harder sell in the marketplace.
Final Cut Pro X was announced. However it wasn't until the launch in June that developers realised that the possibilities for custom plugins inside the app was sevely restricted. Forget custom GUIs, all you had access to was radio buttons, sliders and drop down menus.
Also at the show was a competing product, DaVinci Resolve Lite. It was and still is a free download. Need more functionality? The full version is now in comparison a tiny $995 and if you want the custom panel it will be $29,999. There's also a healthy smorgasbord of training materials published by various vendors to get you up to speed with Resolve. It has traction in the marketplace.
Into this mix, the Baselight plugin gets released in the month running up to NAB 2012. Will people buy it priced at $995? The answer is yes, but in our view the sales will be limited as they have missed their marketing window of opportunity.
Here's a quotation from the Press Release-
“Baselight for Final Cut Pro makes high quality colour grading available to many new users,” said FilmLight co-founder Wolfgang Lempp. “But more importantly it can play a big part in the accurate and flexible communication of the creative intent throughout the post-production process, empowering filmmaking professionals at all levels.”
They do add-
"Priced at $995 and available to evaluate and buy from the FilmLight website, Baselight for Final Cut Pro is the first release in FilmLight’s new Baselight Editions line of colour grading solutions. Although Final Cut Pro X was introduced last summer, FCP7 is still the preferred choice of the professional editing community for which this product is intended. The company is currently developing similar products for other software packages, including popular compositing and visual effects solutions."
So what can Filmlight do to recover the situation? We will post a few ideas after the demo video of the plugin in action. Don't forget there is a 14 day free trial.
What would we do? We think the first port of call would be to explore exactly what custom GUIs now work within Final Cut Pro X, maybe taking Magic Bullet's deployment as an example. If a plugin was to made possible in FCPX, it needs to be under the $200 dollar mark.
Baselight has got a great name, so why not not get experienced colourists to make up looks packages? There are now tens of looks plugins out there, some are good, some poor, so why not make & market the best? If the Baselight GUI is available in Motion5 then this could be started tomorrow.
So to sum up, a great product, but too late and too expensive. Then again, this just might be the start...