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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:46 AM   #1
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AVID skills necessary for hire?

Hey, fellow DVers. I was at school today, and stumbled on a class called applied techniques, which is really just devoted to AVID. It got me wondering...

Question time...

If I want to eventually work for a post house in some form, must I learn AVID immediately? The reason I ask is that I love to use Vegas, but will force myself to start using AVID if it's a must to get "somewhere" in the professional post-production workforce.

Mind you, if I stay free-lance, I will of course just stick to what I like, but I'm asking this assuming that I will be working for other companies; not my own.

Can any of you guys working in posthouses, or doing pro (read: paid) post work comment on whether going AVID early makes getting work much easier? Or does each company train you on their specific setup assuming that you have some catchall knowledge of NLE editing and effects programs in general?

Any comments from any users on the topic are welcome. Thanks in advance for any replies.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 12:56 AM   #2
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Yes...you'd better learn the Avid. It is the king of NLEs and has about 90% market share in the production world. All big post houses have at least one. But, it depends on the kind of work you are looking for. Many commercials are hugly graphics intensive and edit on Smoke or Flame systems. Many corporate jobs are FCP or Vegas. But a majority of film and TV production use Avid.

It is a tool...and you'd find it worth your time to learn to use it. A person looking at your resume will have more respect for you with it present as a skill. Nothing can substitute for talent, but knowledge of the most widely used tools is highly recommended.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 02:14 AM   #3
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It depends on what you want to end up in. Personally, I've never seen anyone actually using Vegas professionally. Surely somebody is, somewhere. I see a lot of Avid Symphony, tons of FCP systems, IFX Piranha HD (my favorite after FCP), Media 100 iFinish, and even some Premier based applications.
It's much more important to just learn the craft of editing. Any moron can learn software so really it doesn't matter but if you can get time on an Avid Symphony or Composer, I'd do it!
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Old December 9th, 2004, 07:56 AM   #4
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Avid is the "Industry standard". THat is, you will find it in most broadcast and film houses.

FCP is an "indy standard". Most of the one-stop shops and small advertising agencies use it. Its making inroads into Feature productions, but that's still on the scale of "Hey, look who just cut a feature with Final Cut Pro !" The fact that its a big deal indicates how seldom it's done.

Other systems like Maya, Film, Smoke are essential in effects and compositing.

I cut on AVID, and will be taking a course in FCP in February so that I can use it efficiently. I might even learn Vegas some day. Never pass up a chance to expand your skillset. The more you CAN do, the more you will do.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 08:12 AM   #5
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Just for a lark, I dropped by Mandy.com and looked at FULLY PAID post production job postings all over the US. I counted 19 Avid requests and 10 Final Cut Pro requests. A couple of those were double posts, that is "Need experience in Avid or Final Cut Pro". There were lots of posts for people with After Effects and Maya experience.

Eleven posts looking for "Experienced editors" with no platform specified. (Does that mean they will be open to Vegas or Premier or ??)

I've done this before, and seen the results skewed towards FCP on some days. But the "industry" label still seems to hold. Most of the jobs for feature, or television work, seem to be looking for avid.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:16 PM   #6
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I have never heard of anybody seeking editors with Vegas or Premiere experience. Has anyone else?

Has anybody that has worked in post received (extra) training on the job for the system that was used in-house, be it AVID, FCP, etc...?
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:28 PM   #7
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All the places I have gone to work for expected me to know the tools I was using. But, I did work for one place that sent the Vault manager to Avid Boot camp so that he could be used as an Assistant Editor. But they got him in cheap...one of the editors taught the class, so he "snuck" him in. Not many places I know of paid to have people learn to use the equipment already in-house.

I do know of places that paid for current employees to learn how to use equipment that is new and they were buying...but not of getting an employee up to speed on stuff they currently use. That is up to the employee to learn if they want to succeed.
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:48 PM   #8
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On the other hand, I recently took an Avid Effects course for Media Composer at Bay Area Video Coalition, here in San Francisco. www.bavc.org

Of the six people in the course, I was the only one paying for it personally. Everyone else was there on the corporate dime. Three were from television stations, two were from production houses/ad agencies.

FWIW
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Old December 9th, 2004, 03:54 PM   #9
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Avid really is the big kahuna in professional editing but FCP is making very fast inroads. Some in feature film but mostly in TV production and corporate work. There are a ton of TV shows being cut on FCP because it is so much cheaper than a full Avid suite and there are so many new TV programs coming out with much smaller budgets. If you owned a studio and could have 10 FCP stations for the price of 1 Avid, which would you choose?
That's not really a completely fair statement because although George Lucas uses FCP to edit the Star Wars movies, the software isn't the real price concern. It's the bazillion terabytes of Ultra 160 storage that cost so much, that and all the custom support he gets, not to mention the million other cost's involved in post production.

If you have a chance to learn on an Avid, jump at it. If you want to edit your own stuff by learning Vegas as well then do that too, it can't hurt.

As Richard said, "never pass up a chance to expand your skillset"
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Old December 10th, 2004, 02:05 AM   #10
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Well, from my expirience - learn Avid. I am using for my private projects FCP, but big thing with Avid is that lots od TV and post facilities have an Avid. I am traveling a lot across the Europe shooting news and sometimes some documentary stuff for my TV station. There was almost no tv station in EU which didn't have Avid edit room. There are lots of versions of Avid, but other advantage knowing it is that you can immediatly start to work with almoust any version of it.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 09:25 AM   #11
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The interface pretty much is platform neutral. That is, if you learn XpressPro, you will be comfortable sitting down at a Media Composer Adreneline, Nitris, NewsCutter, Symphony etc.
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Old December 10th, 2004, 10:05 AM   #12
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Keep your eyes on the bottom line. More and more TV channels (the cable / digital world) means more than more deamnd for programming at lower costs. The use of lower cost systems, cameras, and other equipment is based on that deamnd for lower costs, as well as the ability for these products to produce good end results.

It's all bottom line.

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Old December 10th, 2004, 11:53 AM   #13
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Thanks for all the input so far guys...it looks like I better get a real working knowledge of AVID, ASAP!
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Old December 12th, 2004, 07:36 AM   #14
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Reality check:

As much as FCP has been marketed as a professional edit system, take a look around the web, visit folks who try to do broadcast programs with it, or come with me as i travel around trying to fix problems with FCP that plague producers who keep getting their shows rejected from QC and you'll see what FCP really is, a $1000 piece of software. Even my Leitch Velocity system is four times more reliable than my FCP system and when it comes to deadlines and executive producers that don't stay places very long that have problems, reliability is what determines a good edit system. Avid is the standard for good reason. It's more hardware based not software based, has been part of broadcast far far longer, and is a more reliable system for creating quality broadcast television. Sure lots of folks own FCP, but lots of folks own DV cameras too and think they are filmmakers. Are they?

Forget Vegas and everything else and learn AVID if you want to work in the real world. You'll find your career has the possibility of advancing more.
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Old December 12th, 2004, 10:19 AM   #15
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Hello,

This is a great thread!! I have been wrestling with this very question in my own mind, over the last month.. I have a day job in a separate High Tech industry, but have moonlighted and run my own Video Editing/Graphics company for about 8 or 10 years..
And I have recently learned that my fulltime gig is being OUTSOURCED to the far east...So I am facing a choice, and I am leaning toward the career change of doing the Video work full time..
One of the things I have wrestled with is leanring Avid or FCP to make myself more marketable and attractive, just in case i have to go to work for someone else... I am well versed in the Newtek VT4, Speed Razor, Vegas,Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, Lightwave and more.. But my editing skills lack experience in the Avid and FCP arenas.. And I have monitored some of the job sites on the web, and most established places that will give you some stability and a steady paycheck.. seem to use Avid or FCP..So I have been debating which way to go..

I have been leaning toward Avid more recently as I have never used a Mac, ( I am not knocking Macs mind you) and i thought I could get Avid Express pro... and take a few classes and learn the interface to make myself more industry marketable..
Of course i will continue to edit with Vegas, Newtek etc.. Just trying to broaden my skill set..
Thanks for the great discussion here..

mike m.
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