Seems I started a theme of essential texts for the beginning editor this week, and I’d like to conclude that with a book about the “other” professional editing solution (of which there are actually a number, but it’s mainly a Final Cut and Avid game, so I thought I’d throw out a little Avid love this evening.) The Avid Handbook: Advanced Techniques, Strategies, and Survival Information for Avid Editing Systems, 5th Edition. A book which there are several versions of sitting on my bookshelf, because I pick up each edition as its revised.
Continuing to build on yesterday’s post about learning the craft of editing from books, we’ll take the next step and discuss a book that teaches you how to edit in a particular vendors editing package. In this case, Final Cut Pro.
It’s usually at this point in a conversation between editors where a religious debate ensues. Editors tend to be very passionate about their choice of editing software. Avid users, in many cases, would rather fight than switch. Final Cut Pro users feel the same way, except they have more time to talk about it since they’re so much more productive with the software than Avid users. I kid! (not really.) I’ve cut on several flavors of Avid, including the Media Composer, Adrenaline, and Avid DS, Discreet Smoke, Final Cut Pro, and, even a little bit of Premiere (although that was years ago when it was still a very young product.)
I’ve been reading Scott Kirsner’s Cinema Tech Blog for a long time now, and enjoy the his perspectives on the influence of emerging tech on the film business. As a long-time lover of Cinema History, I was looking forward to his new book Inventing the Movies: Hollywood’s Epic Battle Between Innovation and the Status Quo, from Thomas Edison to Steve Jobs, since I hear about it.
As it turns out I had the opportunity to hear Scott talk about the book a couple of weeks ago, and finally got around to reading it this week.
There’s a lot of familiar ground here … Anyone who has studied the history of the Film business has heard the same basic stories about Thomas Edison, the Lumiere Brothers, the Warner Bros., etc., but with Inventing the Movies, Scott Kirsner takes a departure from the standard telling of the tales to look at Cinema History from the perspectives of technologies that have driven the industry, along with the individuals who have done their best to discourage, or even defeat, the adoption of new tech.
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I got my new Canon HF100 Camcorder on Wednesday, and managed to take it out for a few minutes this week. Basically I was looking to shoot some footage, get the data off the flash memory card and into Final Cut Pro. This is just to get an idea of how easy it it, and what it looks like to shoot with this HD format off the shelf, and without any tinkering.
The HF100 is smaller than it’s older siblings … Such as the HV30. That’s due to the absence of any tape drive mechanism. The first thing I noticed is that you want to hold it at chest-to-waist level, but the record start-stop button is placed to be convenient for holding the camera at eye-level and using your thumb on the back of the camera … Which is kind of weird because there is no view finder, just a very nice view screen that folds out from the left side of the unit. (Heh, heh … I said “unit.” <$1 to Beavis & Butthead>)
I would have probably opted for using the space reclaimed from the tape drive to provide a viewfinder and a little more surface area for ergonomics. Also a start/stop button on top of the camera would be nice.