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Young Editor-Next Move?

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Kelton Corc
Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 6:11:54 pm

Hey guys,

I'm a young editor (14) and I want to keep pushing my skills for career options in the future. However, I am only editing on a 13" MacBook Pro and use the internal drive and shoot with a Flip Ultra HD, I know save the comments please. I need to move forward, and want to know how to do it. I am on a budget, being a kid, and I want to get the cheapest, yet best upgrade to make better videos. Should I invest in a new hard drive, camcorder(editable on my system?), RAM, or just stay put? Keep in mind getting a new computer is NOT AN OPTION. I would have shelled out for a beefy computer, but when I bought this I wasn't that big on editing, only using iMovie and was not a big computer fanatic.

Thanks for any help,

Kelton


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Walter Soyka
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 7:25:46 pm

[Kelton Corc] "I need to move forward, and want to know how to do it. I am on a budget, being a kid, and I want to get the cheapest, yet best upgrade to make better videos."

What does "better" mean to you? What do you want to improve about your current work?

Fancy hardware doesn't necessarily make for better videos. If there's a specific technical problem you need to overcome, then fancy hardware helps, but the best hardware in the world will not make better videos by itself.

[Kelton Corc] "I'm a young editor (14) and I want to keep pushing my skills for career options in the future."

You've got an early start, and that's great. You can focus on learning storytelling with what you've got now, and worry about getting more gear later.

Watch the classics. Study them. Analyze what decisions the filmmakers made, and try to figure out why they made them. Listen to director's commentaries. Learn a little film history.

Expose yourself to art forms unrelated to film. With respect to creativity, you are what you eat, and having broad exposure to the arts will give you greater resources to draw upon. Paintings, music, sculptures, architecture, dance -- all have something direct to offer (color, melody, composition, rhythm) that can actually make you a better editor.

Keep making videos. Ask for critiques, and learn from the feedback. Get other people involved in your projects, and get yourself involved in other peoples'. This is a team sport, and being a good collaborator will get you recommendations when you're working.

I see far too many people who only want to learn to push the buttons. They regurgitate the effect of the week that they learned from a free tutorial on the Internet -- but without really learning the underlying techniques, or how they convey thoughts or emotions. These are not the people I want working for me. If you can buck that trend by becoming a true storyteller and a creative collaborator, you'll have an outstanding foundation for a great career.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 7:47:25 pm

Better so it just a little less of a headache, I know that gear doesn't make better editors, although I do some tech reviewing also so it is not just to look pretty.

Like I said, just above I do some tech reviewing so I hit two birds with one stone. Trust me though I can learn about Filming and I do, every day. My father is a Professional Video Editor and I guess I picked it up after him. One thing that I think is I have no idea if I will be a video editor in my future, but I don't care. I live my life, trust me video editing is not taking up my whole life, I fit it in to and extent. I know what you are supposed to do in film making, you tell a story, that is worth a million words.

After that I know that gear does not make people better, yet I am not saying that I want to blow my savings on a Mac Pro. I won't even buy a new computer because I love the gear that I have as it fits both my life and my hobby. I just want a little boost of performance, maybe a hard drive, because it is bad to edit off of your system drive. Or a camcorder that I could use for, well everything because the Flip isn't even mine actually(family's).


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 9:35:24 pm

Find a good community theater in your area and go learn how to build sets, light, run sound, and act. Live there until you graduate high school. Make promo videos for them, to show of your work. Learn pacing, working with a crew, and problem-solving in high stress. This will make you a better videographer, and it'll introduce you to other jobs that you might like better than making videos.

Tech doesn't matter, as long as it's not holding you back. I edit on a 4-year-old G5, because it just works. If you want some more toys to play with, get a couple halogen worklights at Lowes to experiment with. Get Final Cut Express -- your young brain learns quickly, and you have time to play with it. Knowing how to work quickly and precisely in Final Cut Express will make you much savvier when you jump up to FCS, CS5, Avid, etc. If you want a new camera, save up for a decent Canon consumer camera or a T2i.

Find a couple of older editors/directors/etc who will give you harsh, precise, and constructive criticism. Take your work to them often, and ask them for homework.

Keep doing your thing. :)

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 9:51:23 pm

Well, my town doesn't have anything where I can go to kinda observe videography, yet I always travel with my father to his sets and sometimes watch him edit while I edit some tech reviewing stuff. Also a G5 is great, that actually would run FCP better than the 13" MBP I have now, from the graphics POV. Also you say get some toys, I do, don't underestimate me because I am only 14, I work around with HMI's the boom, and various types of mics. Also I use FCS and I make good use out of it at that. Like I said I get a lot of advice from my dad, not to mention knowledge.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 13, 2010 at 8:18:57 pm

[Kelton Corc] " Also a G5 is great, that actually would run FCP better than the 13" MBP I have now, from the graphics POV"
I wouldn't be so sure about that. Pretty much any first gen intel Mac (even the Mini's) can hang, and even beat, a G5 tower when it comes to CPU heavy tasks. The last G5, the quad-core, is the lone exception to this. Add in the fact that FCP doesn't use the GPU hardly at all and more and more things are coming out as intel only and your current laptop is looking at lot more appealing than a G5, IMO.


3.2GHz 8-core, FCP 6.0.4, 10.5.5
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (6.8.1)



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Alan Lloyd
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 10:32:17 pm

Storytelling above all.

How do you make a sculpture of an elephant? Get a block of stone and carve away everything that doesn't look like an elephant.

And as the others have also noted, learn the other parts of the production process as well.

Always principles over specifics - principles are portable, specifics rarely are.

And maintain your joy in it. If you stop loving it, you might as well be swabbing floors someplace.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 11:03:15 pm

Yes I know that the story is the main part and the only reason we edit is to make the story look good and spread the story around.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 11:04:37 pm

Also could someone please give me an answer the question originally asked?


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 10, 2010 at 11:20:54 pm

Well, if you're already editing with FCS and shooting with your dad's pro gear, it sounds like you're pretty much set.

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Gary Hazen
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 12:02:47 am

Next move for a 14 year old??
Girls, Cars and trying to stay out of trouble.




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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 12:06:08 am

Ha, not the answer I need though.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 2:12:41 am

If you're asking for technical advice, we'll need a lot more information about your system and your requirements. Please let us know what the specs on your MacBook are, describe a bit about the videos you're working on, and let us know where you're getting hung up in your workflow.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 3:15:56 am

Ok forgot that as the post went way off track, it is a 2.26GHz MBP with the 9400M GPU, 2 Gigs of ram and a 160 GB HDD. I edit with like stated above, Flip Ultra HD footage converted via MPEG Streamclip to HQ ProRes files. Most of my videos end up to be 1-7 minutes long. Final codec is H.264


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 3:31:39 am

So what's your bottleneck right now?

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 3:52:13 am

Well I want to know my cheapest way to get some good gear, I either want to go for a camcorder, yet with that I would get a nice HD one Probably a Sony CX-100 or a Cannon VIXIZ HF200. I don't know if I could edit that on the system I have now though. Or I could pick up an hard drive for my FCP work, it would be a nice 1-2TB 7200rpm and big cache buffer. What do you think?


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 4:00:37 am

Get the VIXIA. Very nice camera for its price range -- one of my clients is using it for a web series right now. It plays nicely with Final Cut. Get a decent shotgun mic, too.

Get one of these:
http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11030

Don't bother with converting Flip video to ProRes HQ -- it's overkill. Vanilla ProRes or ProRes LT sufficient.

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 4:29:30 am

Ok, but is the video editable on my system, because this baby gets really humming when I'm editing my Flip footage. Also, I cannot use other forms of ProRes because I still am using FCS2, my dad's company will be purchasing 3 soon though and I can install that then. It should work with FCS2 right, latest update for AVCHD?


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 9:16:34 pm

[Kelton Corc] "It should work with FCS2 right, latest update for AVCHD?"

Yes. Final Cut Pro 6.0.1: About transferring AVCHD footage

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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grinner hester
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 9:05:22 pm

Your tools are not important, Kelton. Your pushing them to their limits is what will get ya gigs. Create a sweeet reel, shop it around and take the first internship offered. You need real work experience and this is how you'll get your foot int he door.
Props on the early initiative, brother. Have fun, man.



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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 9:59:04 pm

Thanks for all of the help guys, but with a family trip coming up and me becoming more experienced I am looking at picking up a camcorder because then I will be set for a little bit. Also, I am not talking about if FInal Cut can handle AVCHD I am talking my MBP, it gets pretty slow when editing with flip footage, I can't imagine 1080p. I know that tools are not important, but it would really change things to have a smooth workflow. Yet I guess that is what post-production is, a headache, yet we do it because the final product makes us proud. Also if any one could check out some of my videos on http://www.youtube.com/XxHiLaRoUSxX
that would be great. A quick word about those videos though, there are some not taken seriously. The ones that are good are as follows: Best Parent In America: Interview, Kahlahad Takedown PT.1(pt.2 will be much better as we are setting up dates for it), The chase(one of my best edits when I turn the corner with the M4 and then cut to another angle. And finally my first gun shot test was the showdown.

Thanks A TON,

kelton


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:04:19 pm

Sorry about that the link was not showing up for some reason
http://www.youtube.com/XxHiLaRoUSxX


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Ryan Mast
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:19:35 pm

Transcode and edit in ProRes or AIC. No big deal.

--
Meteor Tower Films
We make music videos, design video for live theater, and build interesting contraptions.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 11, 2010 at 10:48:12 pm

Ok thank you, I edit in ProRes now anyway. I was just wondering if my computer had the horse power, you know. Also if anyone could give me some feedback on those videos please tell me.


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Mark Suszko
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 12, 2010 at 3:23:41 pm

Sorry I'm late to the party. My technical advice for now is, stop using the system drive of the macbook for your scratch drive, that's killing you. My suggestion for your next step is an outboard storage drive that spins fast enough to work for editing. I am told that some of the USB-2 based pocket RAIDS are adequate for this now, but I personally would still go with a firewire-based RAID. Live on the edge, set it up for RAID-0, which gives you fast read/write speed at the cost of losing everything on the drive set if one of the drives fail. The drive will not go to waste once you upgrade; storage is always useful for many things.

Camera-wise, perhaps you can grab a used iphone3 and join in this crazy movement of high-def phone vids. And hey, it's also a phone.

Amazon.com has tons of used books you can get cheap. I would suggest a couple of college video textbooks, even the older editions are great for teaching all the fundamentals. Herb Zettl is the author I would look for there. Also, pick up any of Walter Murch's books on editing technique. Watch a lot of TV and movies with the sound turned off, try to figure where the cameras are and then to predict where the cuts come. Soap operas and talk shows are actually good for this, if you turn the audio off.


Talk to us more about what kind of videos or films you want to eventually make as your living.


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Kelton Corc
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Jul 20, 2010 at 4:28:51 am

Ok well I can't buy a external drive right now. I just picked up a as fast as the MBP takes drive for editing and my life. MY LIFE, I use my computer not just for editing and for right now I don't care what people are saying. At this point it will be a month or so before I can pick up any gear. Camera wise the iPhone 3 does not shoot HD videos and plus the iPhone does not have good enough audio or movement. Plus the iPhone 3? Or do you mean iPhone 4. And hey it's a phone that costs 2-3 grand a year in terms of plans. Books I think that I have quite enough having a father that is a video editor for a whole company of video production. As far as videos I try to replicate, if you can't beat the best try to be the best. I watch a movie a few times. Of course one that I enjoy, then I take notes. Then me and my friend think of a plot that would utilize the same elements used in that movie. For example I am currently making a chase video. One of my favorite chasing videos is the Bourne Trilogy. I took my notes including the types of shots they use, the look of the image, the number of shots. I would really like some people to view this video to give me some tips, but also tell me what you liked. One thing that is hard is making it possible in the tightest configurations, I think me making videos that by other professional video editors have been loved, is one thing that really makes my videos shine. My modo is: How kick-ass of a video can I make with me and my friend in 3 days with a flip video camera and a plot off my head. Creativity kicks in-I will be posting the video in this category tomorrow after I finish some audio. Thanks for all the help!


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Richard Clark
Re: Young Editor-Next Move?
on Aug 2, 2010 at 9:22:22 pm

okay kid, yep I can call you kid because that is what you are, a 14 year old kid. as a 14 year old you need to be out playing, exploring, reading, having fun. It was 10 years beyond you, age 24 that I found film and became a film editor, first in Australia, then New York, Hollywood and then my homeland New Zealand where, as I type I am ingesting 220 hours of my own doc into my 5 year old Mac desk top, I am writing on a 17" macBook Pro. It took me 43 years to get to where I am and if anyone asked me if I would do it different I would honestly reply "NO!" Maybe I would have read more, especially the classics but then again with ADD it wasn't easy to concentrate, I was a classic day dreamer. I am right where I am meant to be doing what I am doing.
Based on my own experience, this is not given as advice, I try not to do that, your life is your life to be lived as you experience it, not as someone else's expectations.
Live your life, experience life and in 20 years, if you are lucky, you will have some life experience upon which to draw. Until then you are in learning mode. Mind you, I am still in learning mode. Do what you can with what you have. At your age i worked at all sorts of income producing work, milk runs, paper runs, etc,. Also, and this has been key to me, I read books. I was a book worm. That is where our story comes from. There is nothing new in life, there is nothing original, everything is a copy of something that has gone before, it's simply people sharing their experience, strength and hope, period. In the meantime, get outside and live your life. It's not without a certain irony that today I am editing a Documentary about the American West that I took two years to shoot in 2004 &5, as a kid I read westerns, especially Zane Grey. He was my muse as a child. That is what we need, something or someone who touches us deeply, we may not know it at the time but that is setting in motion our life's work. I would highly recommend photography, writing, and some form of art, one where you use your hands, painting, drawing, sculpture, it may give you an unique voice if you do it well. What is your best subject in school, pay attention to it. Mine was comprehension and that is the basis of a good story teller, a good film editor.
Fell free to ask anything you like. All the very best for a good life.

Richard Clark's kiwicafe.com
Film | Photography | Writing
http://www.kiwicafe.com/
Aotearoa New Zealand


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