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Old December 26th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #1
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Amateur...FCE or FCP

Hey guys,
I am a starting filmmaker with little knowledge about editing. I edited on iMovie and Adobe Premiere Elements. I hardly know anything about the art and was wondering if you suggest I maybe start with Final Cut Express rather than jumping into Final Cut Pro... Should I learn the hard way by learning how to edit with Final Cut Studio? or possibly Ease my way into the world with Final Cut Express. I am a fairly quick learner with ALOT of time on my hands. People have said to just start with Final Cut Studio but I gotta admit it sounds a bit taunting. I will be using this footage for short films, mini documentaries and artistic works. After time I hope to eventually use video professionally.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 04:14 PM   #2
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Fce

I was in the same situation - I do corporate pieces for our intranet and needed more than iMovie.

I decided to go with Final Cut Express, and for what we do, I have not needed more.

I went to a workshop this fall where the engineer from Apple said that a new Final Cut Suite was expected in 1Q2011 which would allow it to take advantage of the ram hardware configuration of the newer Apple computers.

So you may want to wait, or I am sure there will be an upgrade path with the next release.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 05:11 PM   #3
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Go for FCP if you can. The suite has a lot more to offer, DVD Studio Pro, Color, Motion, Compressor, Soundtrack Pro. So in reality you will have an integrated package to go from concept to completion. I have a few clients who opted for express and not only are there limitations to the tools I use very day, but they are forced to use iDVD or toast for the back end of the production. And forget providing multi format web deliveries without third party software. The suite gives you a full palatte of codecs which are necessary for use with the newer file-based pro cameras. Learning curve for basic editing is the same but there's so many customizable features in pro, if you are serious, save yourself some money. Waiting for the new version may or may not be worth it. The upgrade path is usually pretty generous. So buying it in Jan should be a free upgrade if the new version is released within Q1. If not, you havent wasted time waiting and it shouldn't be terribly expensive.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 05:37 PM   #4
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fcp

hey thanks, but do you think a novice as myself can learn the program easy enough?
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Old December 26th, 2010, 05:58 PM   #5
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I was not always a pro video editor! Ha ha! I bought in at version 4 which was quite a while ago. When I decided to get serious, I read the entire 15 pounds of manuals it used to ship with cover to cover. since then it's changed quite a bit as well as the amount of online training and support.

I'd recommend Lynda.com as a good starting point. For $25/month you can learn at your own pace and easily find answers to most questions that come up.
I used it a few years ago to learn After Effects and every time a new release happens, I pony up $25 to soak up any new information. And since you're not limited to choosing one app per month, if you dedicate the time, you can learn an awful lot of stuff for $25!

As I mentioned above, basic functionality is no different between express and pro. Same learning curve and it's not difficult. Just with pro and it's side apps, you can practically do anything you can think of. To really learn the whole suite will take a long time but IMHO, it's worth it.
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Old December 26th, 2010, 09:51 PM   #6
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FCE SERIOUSLY cripples what input formats (not just codecs) you can work in.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 05:04 AM   #7
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FCP isn't really much more difficult to learn than FCE if you are talking about the basic features (cutting, pasting, making an edit, etc). FCP just has a suite of other good programs, some more advanced features, and (this one, as mentioned, is very important) a lot of support for all different kinds of codecs which FCE doesn't have.
The basic interface of FCP and FCE are practically the same, if I'm not mistaken.

If you have the money, I would definately go for FCP. If you just want to make some edits from DV and HDV, then maybe FCE is a good enough option... But me thinks that after a while you will grow towards the limits of FCE too, and then you'll wish for a better program (FCP).
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Old December 27th, 2010, 12:07 PM   #8
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FCE didn't last long for me, but then I wanted things it didn't have (including codecs).

A $25 one month subscription to Lynda.com should get you up and running very quickly in either FCE or FCP (and could help you choose between them) as well as getting you a jump start on Color, Motion, Soundtrack Pro etc.

FCP gives you a lot more room to grow than FCE does if you think you will really move on to larger projects. Not having access to ProRes 422 would be a major PITA for me now.
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Old December 27th, 2010, 12:32 PM   #9
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Learning these 4 things will take you through 95% of your editing needs (amateur or pro):

1) import footage
2) set in and out points on a clip
3) drop clip into timeline
4) export timeline

This is not only 95% of your day as an amateur, but 95% of what all editors do. I started with iMovie (well, after videoshop and premiere), then moved to FCE and FCS when I ran into the limitations of each of the previous version. I'm very happy with FCS1 (still using it) and look forward to upgrading to hardware that will support more recent versions (and the budget to afford to upgrade).
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Old January 6th, 2011, 04:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Partington View Post
FCE didn't last long for me, but then I wanted things it didn't have (including codecs).

A $25 one month subscription to Lynda.com should get you up and running very quickly in either FCE or FCP (and could help you choose between them) as well as getting you a jump start on Color, Motion, Soundtrack Pro etc.

FCP gives you a lot more room to grow than FCE does if you think you will really move on to larger projects. Not having access to ProRes 422 would be a major PITA for me now.
I found a 7 day coupon code by googling it. Now I am a subscriber. I am about 3/4 of the way through my first FSP suite wedding video edit. Love the program.
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Old January 10th, 2011, 03:37 PM   #11
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FCP v FCE

I began with Express and I still think it'll do 75% of what I need to do. Having said that - if you're going to go pro you should have the Suite.
A suggestion here . . . are there any colleges or schools offering Final Cut courses in your area? Years ago, when I was on the verge of buying Express I took a weekend workshop that basically walked us through every function in Final Cut Pro and we were told which features would not be included in FCE.
An evening or weekend course is a good idea.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 08:16 PM   #12
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And perhaps taking a course might qualify one for the student version of the suite (if there is one) at VideoGuys and such.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #13
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Don't get the student version if you plan to go pro. It does handcuff you when it comes time to upgrade.
You will end up paying for the full suite at some point, might as well skip paying extra for the student version.
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Old February 17th, 2011, 11:48 PM   #14
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if you are located anywhere near an Apple store, check out its website under "events." Most Apple stores offer free tutorials in Final Cut Pro, Motion, and Color. You can just go back again and again. There are also classes in FCE.
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