Lumberjack logging system fcpx

Want to log on set on an iOS device or in a browser and then have all the keywords imported into Final Cut Pro X ready to edit? The Lumberjack System is a clever and quick way of first logging and then getting all that data into FCPX.

An application that we have been keeping an eye on for a while as it seems it could be the answer to a couple of our logging problems.

Philip Hodgetts and Gregory Clarke have just made the Lumberjack System available to everybody after an extensive beta period. You can't buy the apps, but there are two rental plans, $9.99 per month with a yearly subscription or $25 per month with no commitment.

So what does the Lumberjack System do? Good job we found the new demo video on YouTube!



The real-time logging in Lumberjack opens up a whole range of possibilities, ranging from speeding up episodic production to sports editing. It doesn't stop there either and we are sure that there will be many ways Lumberjack gets used that Philip & Greg didn't envisage.

"This is changing the way content providers interact with post, enabling them to deliver media that is pre-logged with relevant and useable keywords and synced to all clips via time of day. Editors can now accomplish almost instantaneous string-outs that are keyword driven and shorten their delivery time significantly," says Philip Hodgetts, President of Lumberjack System. "It is evident that much of the post production budget for these types of shows has been used up in the hours and hours of organizing, logging and prepping footage for the first string-outs. We are confident that producers will immediately see the usefulness of Lumberjack System and its ability to help them cut down those labor-intensive hours and deliver a product that is on budget and on time."

  • Logging is captured at the source with push button ease on any web-enabled device (whether live via internet, or off-line for updating whenever the internet becomes available).
  • Keywords can be logged consistently over the course of the shoot and identified as potential story lines in post.
  • The logger can update the keyword lists while logging and can even back-time logging so that the timing is consistent with the story as it occurred on the set.
  • As data is transferred to the FCP X workflow with 100% integrity paper logging is no longer needed. No chance of misinterpretation and no retyping. The editor is guaranteed to see the logs, as opposed to what happens way too often in pre-Lumberjack productions.
  • After the shoot, the XML from Final Cut Pro X is round-tripped via the Lumberyard app and returned to FCP X fully logged.
  • String-outs for first cuts or approvals can be created in a matter of 2-3 seconds based on Person, Activity or Other keywords.

One downside, each import of the FCPXML will create a new event in Final Cut Pro X. Which means you can't add extra data to an existing event. We really hope that Apple allow the updating of events via FCPXML from external applications, this would allow the real time logging and editing of an event to happen simultaneously. Then Lumberjack used in conjunction with Softron's MovieRecorder could make a very cost effective rival to EVS's IP Director system for sports & reality highlights editing. 

We think that if somebody can be present at a shoot, or on the end of a satellite feed, this is an excellent way of logging the material with keywords for FCPX. If the work is put in before the editing has started on a project, then huge time savings could be achieved. We have been in many edits where the first half day or day has been spent logging and organising the footage. Using Lumberjack, this might become a thing of the past and we can get on straight away with what we like doing most, editing.



Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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