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My thoughts on Final Cut Pro X…

April 21, 2011

My thoughts on Final Cut Pro X… we’ll I’m not going to tell you really.  I have the same skepticism as many video editors out there.  To be blunt I think there’s a lot of features that I saw in the presentation last week that were appealing but at the same time I feel Apple has lowered the bar for editors and now everyone and anyone can learn to become an editor.  This isn’t the first time this has happened though.  I think it’s fair to say this past decade if you’ve invested some money in a camera, a personal computer and an editing program you could learn to become an editor.  That’s exactly what I’ve done.  I didn’t even start with Final Cut, I started with Ulead VideoStudio 5, then onto Dazzle Video, Pinnacle Studio, Adobe Premiere, and finally Final Cut!  To be honest, film editors who came before me probably wouldn’t even consider me to be an editor.  Sometimes I wonder if I really am?  But over the past 10 years I’ve learned how to do things through editing that I didn’t know how to do before.  Each year I improved and learned the programs more and more.  For instances I learned about transitions, title safe areas, lower thirds, color correction, and much more.  Through the editing I was able to understand and learn what kind of footage I would need to capture in order to help my editing process speed up.  This is all basic information but through 10 years of growing I’ve learned this and still am learning today.  Then came Final Cut X:  Apple has made it a lot easier to be an editor.  Things I struggled with in the past have been made simple thanks to technology.  I know for a fact there are ways digital video editing is a lot easier than film editing (I.E. splicing actual film!).  I’m not complaining that being an editor has been made easier, in fact it’s better for movies because the craft of filmmaker will improve.. hopefully!  I hope the next generation of editors will understand how far filmmaking and editing has come along.  I still consider myself a “noob”!  I’m not even in the “film business”, I’m independent!  The competition will now grow enormously but I’m not worried because I know what it takes to tell a story through editing.  That’s what it’s all about.  Emotion, Story, Rhythm, Eye-trace, Two-dimensional & Three-dimensional space.. Seamless editing!  So bring on the newcomers because I’m not stopping anytime soon.

If your interested take a look at my progression in video editing below.  Starting with the first video from the early 2000’s up to the last video which is now the present.  I’ve got a lot of growing to do which drives me insane daily but you will see the progression.

Blinkstas “Dammit” (Music Video) was not the first but one of my first videos edited for a marketing class in 2001, where I had to take one bands genre of music and clash it with the visuals of others to try and market.

“Smoking” was one of my first PSA’s I’ve done.  This was for my first editing class I’ve ever took in 2003.  Before this I started editing around 7th or 8th grade so I was always doing it independently.  At the time I had no idea why my teacher wanted me to make a PSA.  It was “not cool” for me, I wanted to make something exciting.  Thankfully I enrolled in video classes nearly every semester which somewhat helped me along the way.  It also brought criticism and made me want to improve and impress the class.

The “Mad World” (Music Video) I created in 2003 was one of the first times I realized through video I could express myself.  I focused more on telling a story, setting up shots and creating an emotional edit.  At this point I was really feeling motivated to become an editor because I understood what the power of movie-making can do.

“Insomnia” was an 2004 experimental short-film where I actually wrote out an idea, filmed and edited it.  I was trying new things, speeding up and slowing down time, playing with color and experimenting with sound.  The following year it was played at the performing arts center at Poway High School.

2005 – This was my year.  It was senior year and my teacher had told us he was going to enter the top 3 films or so from each class into the Best Fest America Film Festival.  I wanted to see if I had what it takes to be a filmmaker.  I was listening through my music trying to find the perfect song to make a music video to and eventually stumbled across Northstar’s “American Living”.  I filmed it with a couple of friends, edited it and turned it in.  The video was selected by the teacher and eventually selected by Best Fest!

Let the partying begin.. college years.  A few years before this I had always taken my camera out to our friends house and filmed us “partying”.  Sitting at home bored I had nothing else to do and started editing videos of my friends.  This went on for years and in 2006 I remember thinking to myself “you can’t be lazy about it”.  I knew that if anything I was going to make was going to look good, that I had to care about each and every cut between shots.  This video and many of the party videos I’ve edited aren’t great but they taught me a lot about montage editing.  Although no one really cares about a bunch of kids partying, I felt a connection with the music and matched every edit to the beat.

“My Imaginary Friend” was a 2006 short-film I created with my friend Brandon Mackey in college.  We got the general idea from a video he did back in high school and came up with new ideas.  We were supposed to shoot video live in class but we decided to shoot out of class and while we shot our live footage in class we would then cut to our recorded segments.  There’s actually another version of this video that Palomar College has but I’ve never been able to get my hands on it.

2008 I really wanted to learn “motion graphics”.  I soon realized over the years I was always creating motion graphics but not in a motion graphics program.  UPDATE: The video I originally posted above was blocked from embedding by YouTube so I’ve replaced the video with another motion graphics piece I’ve done the same year.  In this video I wanted to replicated what I saw in the Hewlett Packard commercials at the time.

Besides music videos I think documentaries are my favorite “genre”.  This was fun to film my little brother on the guitar and create this mini-documentary in 2009.  Within this edited video you will see everything from compositing, lower thirds, transitions, split edits, and many little things that add up to create a finished piece.

Here’s another documentary type video that I created in 2010.  Lately I’ve been creating a lot of promo videos which I enjoy creating.  They’re kind of like a mix of documentary, music video and montage editing.  In this one I created some motion graphics in the beginning and transitioned to a live performance from Monkeys In Space.

“Desolate Dreams” is a trailer I edited this year (2011).  I’m currently trying to improve as a “FILMMAKER” so I’ve been playing around, trying to experiment like I did back in 2004 for Insomnia.  We’ll see how this goes as I continue on my path as a video editor!

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