Monday, 25 April 2011

Final Cut Pro X - Will it give you your 'Edit Zen'?

As most of you Final Cut Pro fans will have no doubt found out by now there is a new version around the corner FCP X (pronounced 10 - to match the OSX descriptions). Its a major upgrade that has lots of new and improved features including functions we've been screaming out to get for quite a while, including H264 support, 4K support for RED and Arri, background colour correction and sound fixes on ingestion and the most significant - 64 bit processing!

But what does this all mean in terms of the craft of editing? Well hopefully it'll mean things get quicker and easier! Remember the outcry in the 80's about how computers are going to make life easier, quicker, more efficient! Well I don't know about you but my life certainly hasn't become easier! What it has become is more interesting - more time and gadgets to allow me to try more things and experience more, cramming more into my life. Its still busy but in so many more ways now.

As an editor, you'll still be able to capture footage, cut it and get it back out to tape/DVD/Web - but hopefully the cutting part will be quicker, giving you more time to play and experiment. Thats what we're here for, to help you streamline! I remember a time before I was Apple Certified where I'd be editing right up to the last minute, late nights, early starts! I was confident in my end results but wasn't the most efficient editor in the world!
One project I had was to deliver a finished edit in 5 days made from footage being delivered while I was editing, the last piece of footage coming in the morning of my final day! I was stressed, rushing, fighting to get this edit complete for an evening ceremony of the 5th day. I did it but I'm sure it took a few years off my life that week!
Then I became certified! I took the 3 day introduction course for FCP6 and thought I'd just be there twiddling my thumbs - I'd been a user for almost 8 years at that point (since FCP 1.2) so I knew everything I needed to know! Or so I thought... What I actually learned was a workflow, organisation techniques, tools I'd glanced at but never thought of introducing into my day to day editing. The end result - I had a similar 5 day edit to do the following year and life was a breeze! Clips were catalogued and slipped into the timeline like water, simple and easy, no stress and I felt so much calmer during the whole process! I still took 5 days but most of that was having the ability to use that extra time saved to be able to craft my edit, actually play and have fun with the footage to make a smoother edit.
The finished piece went out on the evening of the 5th day but it was far more polished and I felt so much better about it!

What was also useful is that I've saved a number of days over the years following certification by streamlining my editing, becoming more efficient - the end result is the same but I'm far quicker and happier about my final pieces because I don't feel like I'm rushing anymore! The course payed for itself 10 times over easily.

Let us give you that 'Edit Zen' with our FCP 7 introduction course (we also run Adobe Premiere and Avid Media Composer courses too), or the FCP X introduction when the new version arrives! Why not let us know your thoughts on your 'Edit Zen', what makes you calmer during an edit?


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