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Old October 16th, 2010, 06:47 PM   #1
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FCP minimal editing skills

Unusual question but I am trying to be fair.
I recently hired a new editor that claimed to be proficient in FCP. Now I find that he can't figure out why a cross dissolve won't work when there is no extra footage at the head/tail of 2 clips. This was just one of many similar missing skills. Command G etc for closing up a gap, auto white balance feature in color corrector,etc.,etc.
What should I expect for minimal skills when advertising for a FCP editor? Salary 40k.
Thanks, Craig
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Old October 16th, 2010, 07:05 PM   #2
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My short list for basic edit skills:
3 point editing
BASIC 3 way colour correction
Understanding transitions (ie. need for media on both sides of an edit point)
The Motion Tab
How to separate tracks and select individual tracks or segments
Appropriate sequence settings selection for media and/or workflow (highly personal in some cases)
BASIC audio mixing, preferably using key frames
Importing media
Use of Blade, Direct Selection and Track Selection tools
J,K,L and space bar as transport tools
Arrow keys for next/previous edit/frame
Inclusion of basic graphics (stills) and text
BASIC key framing

Probably some more but those would be MY "must haves" for hiring an editor.

For the record, I use rt-click to close gaps so multiple ways of doing the same thing would be acceptable AS LONG AS it isn't always using the menu system... And I almost NEVER use Auto White... I'll manually correct IF I have to. And probably talk to the shooter IF I'm doing it too often...

Oh... and Snapping and Audio leads Video (and vice versa) split edits
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Old October 16th, 2010, 10:30 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Now I find that he can't figure out why a cross dissolve won't work when there is no extra footage at the head/tail of 2 clips
I think one can learn some hotkeys and shortcuts more quickly than to acquire basic comprehension of what should happen and why. If someone can't figure out why a transition needs some extra footage beyond the trim mark, but claims to be an experienced FCP user, he's nothing more than a deceiver.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 10:42 PM   #4
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Not having an encyclopedic knowledge of keyboard shortcuts would be neither here nor there for me, folks work in different way and not everyone needs or uses all the same shortcuts ... but not understanding handles is kind of a biggie!

A good understanding of the color correction tools, including auto white balance (for getting into the right ballpark before making manual adjustments) should be essential for anyone hired who is also expected to produce online/finish quality material.
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Old October 16th, 2010, 11:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Command G etc for closing up a gap
Isn't it Control G?
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Old October 17th, 2010, 02:19 AM   #6
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Yep,
Control G to close the gap. I find it just as easy to right click and close the gap as the mouse is already there.

Cheers
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Old October 17th, 2010, 04:38 AM   #7
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Thank you all

Much appreciate the feedback. As mentioned I'm really trying to give the benefit of the doubt...your input really helps my perspective.
Thanks again for your comments and your time!
Craig
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Old October 17th, 2010, 07:13 AM   #8
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I'd personally be looking for basic usable knowledge of how to use the editing package and concentrate more on the actual editing skills of the person. And for that I'd really look at previous work and/or a showreel.

I'm self taught and as such I find I lack some knowledge of the intricacies of various packages but I can cut video. I'll explain that a bit. I can use many packages in anger, Avid, FCP, Media 100 and amateur packages but if was given a computer, some footage and an editing software I was unfamiliar with (something amateur like free or $100 sort of thing) I reckon I could cut something to a decent standard. I wouldn't know the keyboard shortcuts but I'd know how to cut the scenes.

Years ago I had to do this same day edit mini doco thing (same day/night actually for the next morning) and out of the four crews they gave me the Media 100 suite because I started out cutting on the media 100. We were't given any effects software or anything because we didn't have time for any real effects work or rendering. I discovered a trick to do multiple picture in picture shots which I used in the intro of one of the pieces and it was all in Media 100, no rendering. One of the guys the next day commented on it in surprise because he'd never seen such a thing (he was an experienced editor with a bit of media 10 and lots of FCP). I told him how I'd worked it out and the discussion ended going to the fact I didn't know half of the keyboard shortcuts he did in Media 100 but could do that,

Sorry that ended up being a little long winded. But I reckon I still don't know half the shortcuts in FCP and I've cut 100's of hours (thank heaven Mac has a right click now :)).
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Old October 19th, 2010, 05:40 PM   #9
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Thanks All

Appreciate your feedback. Today's revelation was he didn't know that copy/paste attributes existed.
Time to go.
Thanks again.
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Old October 19th, 2010, 09:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Appreciate your feedback. Today's revelation was he didn't know that copy/paste attributes existed.
Time to go.
Thanks again.
Really? time to fire this "editor".
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Old October 20th, 2010, 12:43 AM   #11
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I hope your hiring conditions for this editor were initiated as a probationary status, because it appears that he was not very honest with his qualifications. While it sounds like he may understand FCP in its most rudimentary sense, this is pretty far from "proficient".

Many years ago, I decided to jump in to FCP, and take the self-taught route based on past experience with entry level apps, and more experience in old-school editing with film and tape. It turned out that entry level apps did almost nothing to prepare me for using FCP. But I decided to jump in full throttle through a baptism of fire, and started a project that required so much image manipulation, multi-cam layering, and color correction that it nearly killed me - or at least my sanity. Early on, I didn't even think about copy/paste with the attributes, until I had had enough of juggling so many settings that it just clicked in my head that there HAD to be a better and more sensible way. So I looked, and sure enough it was not hard to find at all. And I suspect I would have known about it from the get-go if I had more formal learning with FCP, or at least a number of successful projects under my belt through which I would have learned proper workflow and use of FCP features - which I could then use to market my skills. In my case, I subsequently immersed myself in a number of FCP teaching resources to learn a lot of things I was otherwise completely unaware of, and a number of tips and tricks that would otherwise not even have come up through protracted use.

I believe that proficiency with FCP (and other pro level editing apps) is derived from a combination of regular or familiar usage of the application, along with at least some form of applied exposure to teaching materials, whether that be classes, series of workshops, books, or segmented tutorial videos - or all of the above.

It seems to me that your hired editor may not be quite so invested in this combination, and cannot legitimately claim the proficiency you seek. Perhaps instead of you paying him to edit, he should pay you to teach him how.

-Jon
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 01:26 AM   #12
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For 40K tell them to subscribe to Lynda.com for $25 a month (they should only need one month). If they don't know their stuff inside a week, fire them.
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Old October 22nd, 2010, 07:59 PM   #13
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As far as keyboard shortcuts go, any editor with decent experience will have customized the crap out of their keyboard -- and should. I am not a fan of many of the default settings, as their placement isn't comfortable to me. I have tried to create a keyboard layout that requires as little use of the mouse as possible, which translates to much increased editing speed.

Also, many people forget that the keyboard shortcuts are stored in a movable file. If you have extensively modified your keyboard shortcuts, and ever have to edit on somebody else's system, you know what a pain it can be. My solution is that I have e-mailed a copy of my shortcut file to my Hotmail account so that I can access it from anywhere. You can, of course, also choose to carry a thumb drive with the file on it.

This is also a useful trick for job interviews where somebody wants to test out your FCP skills in person (which, by the way, you might wish to do before you hire somebody!).
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 02:10 PM   #14
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I've never viewed a film and wondered if the editor knew the close gap commands or how to copy and paste attributes. Pointless and irrelevant.
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Old October 23rd, 2010, 06:20 PM   #15
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I've never viewed a film and wondered if the editor knew the close gap commands or how to copy and paste attributes. Pointless and irrelevant.
You're not supposed to think about those things when viewing a film, and as far as I can tell, does not pertain to the thread.

Specific task factors aside, when hiring someone to edit a film, it is recommended that you have some assurances of their capacity to do so.

-Jon
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