aspiring video editor
Hi I am currently a college sophomore at a local community college in california with a few questions. I have a love and passion for film and film editing and wanna get into the professional world.
I currently own no professional video editing software. I was lucky enough to go to a school where Final Cut Pro was an option for us to use in high school. My community college does not have comparable equipment or classes worth my time for film. With all the recent criticism towards Apple and Final Cut Pro X, I am lost as to where to start. Should I buy Final Cut? Should I look at Adobe CS5 Production Premium suite? Or should I try and get Avid Media Composer? I am currently working off of a 2010 Macbook Pro.
I am also wondering about my next step of education. I have plans to transfer out of my community college in Northern California and move down to the Los Angeles area. Unfortunately, finances are a big issue for me when looking at schools. I have heard good things about CSU Long Beach. I didn't know if anybody had any suggestions of schools to look at?
If finances are a big issue look into getting scholarships. Seriously, look at every film school in the area, or any area, and apply for as many scholarships as you can. Chances are you will end up writing a lot of essays but you can probably use the same essay responses for multiple scholarship applications. I got my undergraduate on a scholarship.
As for editing software, both Adobe and Apple are offering 30 day trials of their software. A company called Lynda.com also offers a 30 day trial I believe and they have really good tutorials on both FCP and Premiere. This site will also be a good resource for learning them. It would be a good starting point. If you are going to try to work in the Hollywood film scene Avid would be a good one to learn. There's more to editing than software though so getting your feet wet on any editing platform will be good valuable experience down the road. If you plan on working for yourself you can use any editor that you like. I have a friend who makes a killing using the less than $200 Avid studio (basically their imovie equivalent I believe) for his wedding video business. Seriously, he makes big dough. Anyway, good luck and don't forget that what you make is much more important than what you used to make it. Cheers.
I would just say it's not about the software. Too many people get cought up in what software the buy or edit with. Avid, Adobe, Apple - who cares. Talent is all that matters. Make that your focus and you'll always make more money than the guys cought up in the software debate.
FCP X: Type A
[spell check OFF]
[Sean Thomas] "Avid, Adobe, Apple - who cares."
I do as should any post facility that has to take an editors cut and finish it for broadcast or cinema release. If, as an editor, you don't care about workflows beyond your immediate responsibility then be prepared to be bad mouthed and have your work opportunities limited.
An editor is not an island. Learn to work with others who will make you look and sound better.
If you are planning on living in LA it is in my experience an Avid town. That said, if you want to make a living then eventually you will have to learn more than one NLE and its ancillary applications. And to paraphrase what has already been said above, the NLE is just the paint. Creating the painting is the hard part.
He's a student. He doesn't have a workflow or clients.
As Timothy and I both said - it is not about the tools - never has been.
[Sean Thomas] "Talent is all that matters. Make that your focus and you'll always make more money than the guys cought up in the software debate."
Although I agree with the sentiment that knowing how to edit is more important than knowing how to use a specific NLE, I disagree with the assertion that talent is all that matters. There are plenty of very talented editors who are not working, and plenty of less talented editors who are.
With the huge volume of media-savvy college grads entering the workplace, you can assume that you will have plenty of competition that knows how to edit, knows all the software, has plenty of talent, and is willing to work for less money than you are.
You will need figure out what's unique about you that will help you to stand out.
You'll also need to mastering some intangibles beyond sheer talent: being personable, being dependable, being a good team player, being an outstanding problem-solver, and understanding business.
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FCP X: Type A
[spell check OFF]
Editing is not the most important thing in a movie...it IS the movie.
You need to take classes like drama (in the English department) and acting (in the theatre department).
That means you really need to know how to tell a story. What is a dramatic beat? What is story structure?
True, Richard. Some may suggest this is less important to a guy that just cuts spots according to the script already supplied, like an automaton. Well, you WILL have to do some of that robotic asembly stuff. But even there, knowing good story structure and principles of drama may help you out of a jam when you put it togeterh the client's way and it isn't working well. many times a script is riffing off of some earlier piece of pop culture or screen culture, and if you understand the underpinnings of what they were going after, you can save or fix it or improve it with little tweaks. SImple things, like knowing what font to use in the graphics to more closely mimic the original idea source.
Being able to know and suggest what to fix, and to demonstrate and explain that as you go, is one of those winning traits. Good editors are problem-solvers, figuring ways around missing pieces, problem sound and bad footage, all to tell the story better.
Because if it was easy, the CLIENT probably would have done it themselves already. (TM)
[Richard Herd] "You need to take classes like drama (in the English department) and acting (in the theatre department).
That means you really need to know how to tell a story. What is a dramatic beat? What is story structure?"
Although story structure, dramatic beats, etc, are very much the kind of thing that I go on about, and I'm convinced that to be a decent editor you have to understand what everyone else does in the team, I disagree that an editor has to do classes in all those things. My point being that if you have to learn everything (and this also applies to learning every piece of software) before you start, you'll never be in a position to actually start because there are new ideas (and new software) coming along all the time.
I'd say you have to learn by combining doing editing yourself, discussing editing with experienced editors and watching how experienced editors actually do it, plus studying films and tv shows to work out how it's done (from every point of view). Doing that in a formal learning environment (i.e., doing a course) is great, but I don't think it's a necessity - I learnt "on the job" so to speak and when I read In The Blink Of An Eye, I'd been editing for about 5 years and was highly impressed with how Walter Murch had managed to explain what we do in regular language, without all the jargon that we use.
Answered in your cross post in the Art of Edit forum but in a nutshell, you'll stop hangin out at the jr college and get to work.
You'll need to know Avid, FCP and Premiere to marketable as an editor today. If creating your own content, you can pick your fav and it'll never be an issue.
Whichever the case, it's obvious your scholl is not in the business of cranking out editors. Spend that time making the reel that'll get you the first gig that will lead to the rest of your career.