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.
This isn’t the warm-and-fuzzy approach to learning that you find in the Peachpit Press/Apple Professional Training Series. The Avid Handbook is a hard-corps, workflow-centric, approach to working on Avid Media Composer systems presented on a topic-by topic basis. It includes a very comprehensive section on the role of the assistant editor in non-linear cutting rooms that is a great supplement to the material found in The Film Editing Room Handbook, Third Edition: How to Manage the Near Chaos of the Cutting Room. There is also an excellent chapter on preparing materials for turnover for an online session.
This new, 5th Edition of the book, adds an additional author, Greg Staten. The author of the previous editions of The Avid Handbook was Steve Bayes, who is now the Product Manager for ProApps (including Final Cut Studio) over at Apple. The result is a clear, concise text that will get you familiar with the process of getting through the edit at a practical level, rather than concentrating on tips, techniques and keyboard shortcuts.
When I was doing assistant work on an Avid show, this book was one of the first things I brought to work with me on day one of any show.