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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old October 1st, 2003, 07:46 PM   #1
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Advice on teaching video editing

Hello everyone:
I am needing some input from those of you who teach video editing, particularly to beginner/intermediate learners.
I am pursuing a part-time teaching position in which I would be teaching the basics of editing video non-linear editing software of my choice (the target audience is ages 13 - adult) I have extensive experience in using the Casablanca Avio and Adobe Premiere, so I would probably use either of the two as the basis of my instruction. I would be very interested in learning how some of you plan your syllabus / lessons.

Thanks a lot
Jean King
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Old October 2nd, 2003, 04:22 AM   #2
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Hi Jean,

I demonstarte and train various people on Premiere+Matrox generally one day courses.

I'm pretty new to this as well but generally speaking this formular works.

Have some material which you can use throughout the training.

About yourself
What you do, how you came to work with Premiere
Find out how your pupils plan to use it, and what they would like to get from the class. Have they used or seen it before?
etc etc etc

Start with the basics:
Firewire card
Show the layout of things,
Where things are
How they help when creating an edit
Capture in material
Import material (pictures, previously created clips etc)
Load clip to timeline
start editing - Use different tools in the tool box, add effects, transitions etc etc etc
Export - back to tape, MPEG for DVD, Files for internet or CD etc.

Go into more detail

Let them play

Take questions and answers

That is just a rough guide of what should be covered, obviously there are more things that you might want to include.

All the best,

Ed Smith
Hampshire, UK

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Old October 3rd, 2003, 03:22 PM   #3
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After reading Ed's post, I thought I'd chime in with the other side of the coin. I'm sure that Ed is a great instructor, and seems to cover the mechanical process very comprehensively.

Just to let you know where I'm coming from, I've been a professional videographer/editor for about 10 years now, and I did a stint in film school about 10 years before that (long story)

I have been to several 1 to 3 day seminars about getting up to speed with this software or that software, and for me, most of it leaves my head before I've ever stepped out of the classroom. To me, the mechanics will always be different for each editing system, individual machine, etc. I've never been interested in going beyond the general concepts of input, batching, logging, exporting, etc. because I can always take those basic concepts to any system that I work on.

You said you're going to teach "...the basics of editing video..." I would be interested if this is a 1-day crash course or a more long-form class where you could get into a bit more depth?

If it's even a multi-day or multi-class format, you might consider a segment that talks about the "why's" of editing as opposed to the "how's" of editing. Why not take a DVD player and show the famous segment from Battleship Potemkin (or alternately, the stairway scene from The Untouchables), or the car chase from The French Connection, or just about any scene from any Hitcock film, then talk about how editing takes different shots and combines them to make an impact that is more than the sum of the parts? Make some salient points about screen direction, montage, cutting on the action, etc. Then watch the clip a second time, illustrating those points again. If nothing else, it could make for an entertaining 15-30 minute segment.

It was exactly that kind of presentation that sticks with me to this day. I finally understood what editing really was, as opposed to how it's done. I've seen so many kids that have been "fully trained" on an Avid or Premiere, yet don't know about not crossing the line or avoiding a jump cut. I feel it would be much more valuable to know how to do a simple cuts and dissolves-only edit with some very basic style and form than to know where the button is for a page peel.
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Old October 3rd, 2003, 05:59 PM   #4
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I'm inclined to agree with Scott. The mechanics of roll edits, ripple edits, etc. change from platform to platform. Avid, Premiere, Final Cut Pro, Vegas, Ben & Jerry's, etc. (OK, I just tossed in the last one to see if you're paying attention.) all have the same core feature set. Learning these mechanics is not rocket science once someone understands the basic goals and tactics.

Understanding motivations for making editing decisions are what's most important for students to come away with, particularly in such a short class.

My inclination would be to use 6-8 short clips as a basis from which the class has to portray a segment of an action and/or dialog sequence. Either through hands-on or demo you would work through the various ways in which those clips could be cut together.

I think such exercises will provide a much longer lasting and more valuable lesson to the class than button-clicking.
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Old October 4th, 2003, 08:47 AM   #5
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Jean, and Ken. You are both also right.

The courses I teach are generally how do I do that and, where is this, rather than teaching the basic fundementals of video editing, which you could spend a whole week on rather than a couple of hours.

The people i teach are those that already edit, and so only need to know where the same things they were using before are.

All the best,

Ed Smith
Hampshire, UK

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Old October 4th, 2003, 09:45 AM   #6
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You might want to take a look at the "classroom in a book" series to get a good idea of how to train folks on the basics of editing with NLE's. The "Premiere6.0" book is a very good guide with projects in each segment building upon each other in complexity.
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