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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old August 29th, 2003, 09:19 AM   #16
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No published numbers, just talking to people in the industry, here in Florida and California. Avid has ruled in the feature department since day one. But Apple has received big press on several features recently. The latest to get big press, being the Walter Murch project, noted above. There is a thread about that project and a link to a big article on our site. Do a search and you should find it.

Learning FCP is a big topic among educators. My understanding, there is far more interest from students and prospective employers in the students learning FCP than Avid. It may be different in other parts of the country. The job bulletins I subscribe to still show a lot Avid jobs in NY and up and down the East Coast. Avid's HQ is back east so it maybe a turf war, of sorts.

On several sites I'm listed as both an Avid and FCP editor. In the last year I haven't received one inquiry about Avid editing. I get about 1 job a month for FCP editing.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 09:26 AM   #17
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Wow, that is impressive. I hope the Avid editors don't see this thread, their heads may explode. Thanks for the information!
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Old August 29th, 2003, 09:46 AM   #18
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Dunn : The Student price is $395, but I hear you get a bare bones kit, and little support. They expect you have a professor at your side and wouldn't need support. -->>>

For the Avid Xpress DV 3.5 Student Pack you get
  • Avid Illusion FX Pack
  • Avid DV FilmMaker's Toolkit
  • and the Image Stabilization AVX plug-in
See this page for more details. While I too would definitely opt for the actual retail version, if you desperately need to save some money, this is an alright way to go. As for support, you can still call Avid for help, but from what I've read on the Avid forums, sometimes its bad regardless of which product you purchased.

<<<-- Originally posted by Jeff Donald: I subscribe to several online job bulletin boards and the jobs run about 4 to 1 for FCP editors. -->>>

What kind of jobs are these for? Are these for feature length films or commercials and shorts? I'm curious too, now that we're discussing this.

<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Dunn: Are you saying that a studio would edit the feature on Avid, and then cut the trailer on FCP? Why would they do that? -->>>

They do this because frequently they hire on an EPK director who does B roll, behind the scenes material for the film, and sometimes, the movies's trailer, as an extension of the film's publicity/marketing department. In other words, sometimes someone else is hired to work on the trailer.

Finally, I think we have to keep in mind that movies are created using many products. For example, this PDF file from Avid, which is an article from Videography magazine, shows that for the Matrix they've employed Apple, Pinnacle, and Avid for different areas of work.

They hired a company called Ocean Video to help out with one of the action scenes. They used a Titanium powerbook on set loaded with Final Cut and Pinnacle CineWave. The filmmakers themselves edited on Avid with Film Composer and Avid Unity MediaNetwork. Danetracks, the audio company responsible for the Matrix, used ProTools (Avid). The film even used Avid Xpress DV, and other products related to the film like the Animatrix DVDs.

True, this may not all be for editing entirely, but the point is that there are different tools depending on the job. If I were serious about becoming an editor, I wouldn't want to limit myself to either platform. I'd start with Final Cut or whatever I can get my hands on, then prioritize from there. Jeff's able to leverage both markets because ultimately he is familiar with both.
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Old August 29th, 2003, 10:24 AM   #19
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There are companies that specialize in trailers. You wouldn't go to an Optometrist for back surgery, so why use the production company for the trailer?

I don't edit features too often. The last one i did was in '98 on free agency in the NFL. Mostly what I do are short form promotional, marketing, training tapes. The occasional TV commercial, PSA, and shorter dramatic pieces. I worked in broadcast in Cincinnati for a short while, editing on Avids. But there is another area that Apple and FCP has made big inroads. The network show Charles' worked on, Scrubs, is edited on FCP, as are many other network shows.
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Old August 30th, 2003, 01:50 PM   #20
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<<<-- Originally posted by Alex Dunn :
Are you saying that a studio would edit the feature on Avid, and then cut the trailer on FCP? Why would they do that? -->>>

Final Cut Pro was a lot cheaper than Avid, literally a fraction of the cost of an equivalent Avid system!!! Presumably, FCP is better at trailer editing but I haven't used Avid or do trailers. From what I gather, FCP can do basic compositing and it's easy to apply special effects in FCP which gives it an edge over Avid.

Trailer editing is very different from feature editing, which is why there are trailer houses. There isn't a compelling reason to stick with the same NLE so the trailer houses can use what they want.

Both FCP and Avid should be good for cutting whatever you want to cut. FCP isn't very good with multicamera work (i.e. live events shot with multiple cameras), but it can be done. digitalvideoediting.com has a comparison between FCP and Avid Xpress DV.
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Old August 30th, 2003, 10:27 PM   #21
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{Learning FCP is a big topic among educators. My understanding, there is far more interest from students and prospective employers in }

I have to disagree with Jeff on this one (and I hate doing it because, whether he remembers or not, he helped me get over my Mac prejudice and get started using FCP so that I could teach it to my students!). I have had several students from my high school video production class go on to film or broadcast schools, and so far they have all required that they learn Avid. FCP is taught secondarily, but that does indicate that it is gaining wide acceptance, But I do believe that the world of video is changing, and I don't believe Avid or Apple can assume that they will be the only players, because all NLE's are getting better and film producers and station managers are becoming more cost consious. And I personnaly believe that is a great thing for us as editors, because it gives us more options and more powerful solutions. And isn't that what we really want? In the end, I want the mos powerful editing tool I can afford, even if it's named "Acme" :)
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Old August 31st, 2003, 06:34 AM   #22
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Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying for a second that Avid editing is not taught anymore. But unfortunately our schools are not the best equipped in many cases, lacking the financial resources to continually update their computer hardware etc. I know of schools teaching Avid editing on pre Power PC hardware, old Quadra 950's running OS 7 and Avid Media Composer. Not exactly state of the art editing facility, but hey, the class is required.

When I talk to faculty members, graduate students, my former students etc. the biggest buzz is about FCP editing or that their new computer lab will have FCP. I encounter less enthusiasm for Avid and much great excitement about FCP.
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