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Old September 1st, 2009, 11:59 PM   #1
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Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro? For my own movies (HMC150?)

Nice to meet you all! (This is my first post, so please forgive me if I am not 100% clear)

My name is Ben and I am a 30 years old actor. I am going to explain you my situation and then ask you a couple questions...

I live in Vermont, and here we do not have a lot in terms of movie making and show business. The same in terms of stage acting. So, it is very difficult to get cast on a good nice production as and actor and even for stage acting since many companies bring their people from NY. That makes building my acting resume a very tough task. Someone told me that I should create my own opportunities. And I do not want to spend years and years waiting for a big production (or small one) to come this way and shoot a movie (also considering they might not even pick me!). So, I decided to learn the craft and art of film making since I want to start shooting my own scenes and/or short movies and eventually (perhaps some day) a movie as well. As the Producer, Director and Casting Director of my own movies, I can cast myself for whatever role I want to play.
So I have been doing several hours of 'internet' research (this post is part of it) in the last 3 weeks.

What I want to accomplish is: movie quality results on the scenes I shoot (and short movies) to build my acting resume (reel) and have very good movie quality material to send to 'real' casting directors for auditions in Boston or NY someday (can't buy talent but can buy camera ^_^). I would also like to be able to put them on DVD (or Blue Ray).

For doing so, I need to make an investment. How much money do I have to invest? Well, I guess I can end up putting together about 5000 bucks for all I need (unless I get a better suggestion and I can gather a dollar or two more).

My research was mainly on which camera to get. After a lot of on line reading, I came to the conclusion that perhaps the better camera for price, quality and end results is the Panasonic AG-HMC150. Because it can give me that movie like (1080p 24p) I want and not having to spend 6000 bucks (EX1 for example) for a camera that can provide me with the same or better end results. So, I believe that is the camera I am going to end up buying. But I am well open to all kind of suggestions since I AM NOT AN EXPERT AT ALL (but you guys are).

I know I am a beginner, and there is A LOT to learn with an HMC150 (and with film making); but I am willing to learn over time buy reading and doing.

But my MAIN question is:

Should I get Final Cut Express or Final Cut Pro? (Final Cut Studio)

I looked on many, many places on line trying to find that answer with no luck at all (until I came across this forum I hope), I went to my local college's (Dartmouth) media center, I spoke with a documentary film maker from this area, and I couldn't find the answer I am looking for from any of them.

Most people told me:

Movie studios use FCP instead of FCE.
With FCP you can do more stuff.
FCP has more effects and stuff.
FCP has more filters and stuff :)
FCP is a program that comes in Final Cut Studio which comes with several other applications (Soundtrack, Color, etc).
FCP is 800+ buck more than FCE).

I do not understand the real difference between FCE and FCP. Let me explain you what I mean... what I DO understand is:
All of the above.
I need a Mac with an Intel processor.
FCP is better than FCE and it's more expensive. It has more options than FCE.
I've noticed you can get certified for FCP by Apple but not on FCE.

My draft budget would be:
3400 buck for the HMC150
1500 for an iMac (MB418LL/A Intel® Core™2 Duo processor 2.66GHz; 4GB DDR3 SDRAM; 640GB). Yes, I know Mac Pros are much better, but they are a lot more expensive for a decent one.
200 for FCE (or FCP [Studio] for 1000).

But what are the other differences?
Can you please explain me: What ARE the differences?
What FCP CAN DO that FCE CANNOT?
Can I accomplish what I want to accomplish with FCE without spending 800 more for FCP (Final Cut Studio)?
Do you still recommend FCP instead? Why?

I really do appreciate your suggestions and comments VERY MUCH!!!

THANK YOU ^_^

Ben Tolosa
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 02:22 PM   #2
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This might help with the FCE v FCP debate

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...-question.html

One point for your consideration: you hold budget for sound gear - a shotgun mic, maybe a lavalier. The on-board mic just will not give you quality to match the video
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 07:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Tolosa View Post
After a lot of on line reading, I came to the conclusion that perhaps the better camera for price, quality and end results is the Panasonic AG-HMC150. Because it can give me that movie like (1080p 24p) I want ....
FCE doesn't support 24P. Hopefully, the next version will.
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:26 PM   #4
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Thanks very much Nick!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Gordon View Post
This might help with the FCE v FCP debate

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/non-linea...-question.html

One point for your consideration: you hold budget for sound gear - a shotgun mic, maybe a lavalier. The on-board mic just will not give you quality to match the video
I thank you very much, that other post answered all my questions (also the wikipedia definition about FCE).

I know I would need Final Cut Studio.

And about the sound, you are right. I do need to budget for that as well, but my wife works at a college where she can rent for free (as a college employee), any kind of film equipment including mics and lights at the film department.

Once again Nick, that was a quick way for me to learn all I needed to know!

Kind Regards,

Ben Tolosa
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Old September 2nd, 2009, 09:27 PM   #5
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Thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsu Terao View Post
FCE doesn't support 24P. Hopefully, the next version will.
That is another reason for me not to get FCE...

Thanks very much for the input!!!

Regards ^_^
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Old September 6th, 2009, 03:45 AM   #6
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If the money part doesn't bother you, go with FCS. With time, there will be features you will need if you get serious, and you'll end up getting it anyway. I certainly feel that way right now, and for me the cost is an object....
Pavel Houda is offline   Reply With Quote
Old September 9th, 2009, 10:38 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel Houda View Post
If the money part doesn't bother you, go with FCS. With time, there will be features you will need if you get serious, and you'll end up getting it anyway. I certainly feel that way right now, and for me the cost is an object....
Pavel,

I thank you for your advise, and I agree... I think it is worth it, specially when I am trying to shoot in 24p since FCE does not support it.


Once again, THANK YOU!!!

Ben
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