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’m not so religiously committed to any one package … Any of these tools can get the job done. It’s about the editor more than about the software, but the software can help the effort a great deal. The chief difference, in my opinion, between Final Cut Pro and Avid is that Avid is more mature with respect to media management functions and organization … Things that are a necessity for managing large amounts of film. Final Cut Pro, while not as comprehensive in media management, offers a variety of compositing capabilities, and a whole suite of tools in Final Cut Studio, that make end-to-end editing and finishing of a film possible from within the cutting room.
I do all of my own content creation using Final Cut Studio, although I will occasionally break out a copy of Avid Media Composer to keep my skills fresh. While I’d advise any editor starting out to learn both packages, I’d start with Final Cut Pro. Although Avid is the staple of the big feature film cutting rooms, a young editor is more likely to get a start on smaller indie films or music videos and that world is all about Final Cut Pro these days.
Apple Pro Training Series: Final Cut Pro 6 (Apple Pro Training) is the latest update to Diana Weynand’s comprehensive text on editing with Final Cut Pro. Diana is a very experienced trainer and the President of Weynand Training International, a Los Angeles based company specializing in media tools training, as well as the author of a number of books on Final Cut Pro.
I had the opportunity to take a class based on Final Cut Pro for Avid Editors (3rd Edition) (Apple Pro Training) from Diana through the Editors Guild a few years ago. She is a terrific and committed teacher with a clearly high level of expertise in both the subject matter and how to teach it. That expertise extends to her writings as well.
In its latest incarnation, Final Cut Pro 6 has been updated with new features and workflows, as well as a great deal of hands-on practice in every aspect of using FCP, including editing scenes from the USA TV Series “Monk”. The material is paced to take you from the very beginning steps all of the way to cutting scenes and touches almost all of the key features of Final Cut.
Additionally, as a coursebook in the Apple Pro Training Series, the book also comes with study materials so that you can take a Final Cut certification exam at the end of your training.
This is the third version of this title that I have owned, and keep upgrading as I find it a valuable reference and key to unlocking new features with every Final Cut upgrade.