The first version of the Final Cut Pro software came out in 1999 just before I started DV Post. The $1000 price was amazing to me, having worked with the Media 100 before, which was a big physical card that was installed in a Power Mac that had a price tag of $12,500. When Apple released Final Cut Pro it was a studio software package, that included an audio editor, a color correction tool, an After Effects like app called Motion and a DVD authoring app, all in a huge box of books and DVDs. It has gone from version 1 to version 10. The changes made to version 10 were really major. It was like relearning the whole thing over again. I miss some of things the older versions had, but version 10 is really amazing.
The program has the ability to be able to work with almost any kind of video file you throw at it. In 1999, on a Mac G3, it would take an hour to render one minute's worth of video that had lots of layers and effects. Now my 4th Mac Pro does that in just a minute or so. It even renders in the background while you are editing in the timeline!
It is a very deep and complex program. It takes a long time for someone to "discover" all it can do. And even after 20 years I know that I still don't know everything that was included in its first nearly 3 inch thick instruction manual. But by using it everyday, it became second nature to me. I think when you are a professional at something, then the tools you work with become a part of your hand. You can use them almost effortlessly.
A NOTE ABOUT USING AN EDITOR: When you hire a video editor, you are not only getting someone who knows some sophisticated software, you are also getting someone with a fresh perspective who can take your material and make your video presentation the best it can be. Many customers of mine have learned that all they need to do is explain what they are after, and then go away so I can do my thing. Making adjustments to a finished edit often saves my customers time. You are of course welcome to sit with me for the whole process, but it will take longer. When I worked for Lockheed Martin, the video customers always wanted to know how long an edit would take. I would tell them, "If I edit this on my own it will probably take X amount of hours, but if you help me it will probably take twice as long." Every customer who tried it both ways realized the wisdom of my words.
Welcome to DV Post.