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Free video editor for Mac

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Tom Galli
Free video editor for Mac
on Jun 25, 2010 at 1:22:14 am

Aloha all!

Short version: I want to replace iMovie HD, but find the new version of iMovie unacceptable for my environment. It's replacement needs to be free (or really cheap) and easy to use.

Longer version:
I teach video editing production at a university. For the introductory class, I use little Sony SD palmcorders shooting on DV, and edit with iMovie. This class is more about storytelling than technology, so simple is the order of the day.

I have been using iMovie HD. However, it is (and always has been) quirky. I'd like something that performs a little more consistently, without the crashes, or the special effects that sometimes work, or any of the other shortcomings HD is known for.

But (you knew there had to be one), the new version of iMovie is not acceptable. The editing lab is set up so that each computer has accounts for each class, but not for each student. In my case, the students would be logging in as "Comm 250." Which means, with the current version of iMovie, that all of the videos ever imported or edited under that account are not only accessible, they are sitting right there asking to be used. We offer multiple sections of this class, so multiple students share a computer over a week. Having one student with such easy access to the work of other students just does not sit well with me.

So I need something else. Something with iMovie's ease of use, something that runs on OS 10.5.x, and something that is either free or mighty cheap.

I did a little Googling, but most of what I could find is either discontinued or hasn't been updated in 5 years. So, what's out there that I haven't found?

Mahalo!
Tom G

The difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.


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Thomas Morter-Laing
Re: Free video editor for Mac
on Jun 25, 2010 at 9:24:45 am

Final Cut Express is quite cheap, and if you are a teacher or lecturer you can get a discount as well.... There's not much out which is good and cheap for mac which is like iMovie yet, although there has been another post in the cow talking about Lightworks becoming an open source NLE which may be worth investigating...

:D
Tom Morter-Laing
Certified Apple Product Proffessional, 2010
Production Assistant, Grace Productions
Degree; TV Production



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Jason Diebler
Re: Free video editor for Mac
on Jun 25, 2010 at 8:59:46 pm

Your university's lab should be encouraged to change its practice, and allow custom student accounts, so, like you said, projects are protected from abusive users. These accounts could be wiped each semester. Simple documentation would keep that in order. That makes 100% sense.

Technology fees should be included in your course description, that each student should be required to purchase a hard drive for personal use with their media, that way 250 accounts don't bog down the computers.

My 2 cents about what is offered in the course... I don't think it's fair to a student who pays high tuition fees, signing up for a university level class to be short-changed with having to learn a free or low-end editing system, one that is not applicable to them in the real world -- especially when considering the competition in their job market learned Final Cut or Avid at their respective film programs and are taking their next potential job. That's fine for a high school class, but it's not fair to a university level student, who will soon be one of the 12% unemployed in this country. The Dean of your School of Communication should raise the issue with the Academic Provost, that more funding be allocated to give these students the proper tools to learn their trade. If I went to an Art School and was handed a 12pack of Crayola's I'd be pissed.

But since you say the premise of the class is to teach simple storytelling, here are 2 exercises that are cheap (but not worthless).

- In-camera editing. Let them take a camera and shoot a story, with no re-takes. Have them storyboard first.
- Give them an assignment to analyze their favorite movie. Have them count the number of cuts in a particular scene, describe the types of shots, etc.





"The deepest blues are black" - Foo Fighters
(this doesn't help me when I'm chroma keying!)


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Zane Barker
Re: Free video editor for Mac
on Jun 27, 2010 at 4:30:30 am

"My 2 cents about what is offered in the course... I don't think it's fair to a student who pays high tuition fees, signing up for a university level class to be short-changed with having to learn a free or low-end editing system, one that is not applicable to them in the real world -- especially when considering the competition in their job market learned Final Cut or Avid at their respective film programs and are taking their next potential job"

AMEN AMEN AMEN

I want to replace iMovie HD, but find the new version of iMovie unacceptable for my environment. It's replacement needs to be free (or really cheap) and easy to use.

Sorry but iMovie is as good as it gets when it comes to free or cheep. If you want something more you better expect to pay for it.

If a "University" won't even get the relatively cheep FCE and it wants to offer a video production class then perhaps that "University" needs to rethink the classes they offer.

I mean come on I can use iMovie on my phone so I would expect pro level editing editing apps like final cut studio from a "University".



Hindsight is always 1080p



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Tom Galli
Re: Free video editor for Mac
on Jul 1, 2010 at 3:58:37 am

It's always nice to see feedback from someone who has taken time to research the program, look at where a class lies in the overall curriculum, and make an educated assessment.



The difference between theory and reality is that, in theory, there is no difference between theory and reality.


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Joey Burnham
Re: Free video editor for Mac
on Jul 8, 2010 at 6:26:20 pm

Hi Tom,
You never gave specifics except that it was in introductory university class and you needed editing software for basically free. So I guess instead of laugh they gave you constructive criticism. :)

Anyways,
I would really look into Final Cut Express. It's under 200 bucks.

Best,
Joey



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