It's really basic, in that it covers
topics for the first-time user, but there are a lot of useful
tips buried within for more experienced users. Things like the
easiest way to get 44khz audio from a CD in one step to 48 khz
audio for FCP using Quicktime (Pro version, of course).
It's available on VHS or DVD, depending
on your preference. Jerry is easy to listen to and informative,
covering how to organize your media, reconnect it if needed,
edit within the timeline, add titles, transitions, and basically
everything you need to get started editing in FCP.
My one gripe, perhaps my only one, is
that there aren't enough chapters. Makes it VERY hard to go back
to where you left off or to find a really specific technique
if needed without having to hold the ffwd or rwd buttons for
The first chapter, Introduction
& Equipment Overview, is really basic and walks you
through the capabilities you probably already know.
The second chapter, Setting Up
Preferences, takes you through the basics of how to set
up FCP for most of the projects that most people do. Doesn't
explain any of it in depth, but covers the majority of what people
do with FCP.
Third chapter, The Interface,
is similar, explaining the interface and its basic elements.
Goes into enough detail to get you quite familiar with the controls,
etc. which is especially helpful if you're new to NLEs.
Then we got to the behemoth fourth chapter,
Your First Edit. This is the one that would have
been nice to have a few chapter marks to skip to. It does cover
a two camera edit nicely, good emphasis on the types of edits
you can do and how to do them, plenty of good keyboard shortcuts,
editing with and without sound, and more. Much more. It covers
a lot of ground and is definitely the meat of the program.
Jerry does a good job of getting you
into frame-accurate cuts and gets you around some bad camera
work and some of the normal problems editors encounter. He covers
a lot with slipping and overwriting clips from both cameras,
with insert shots and a dream sequence with some fancy transitions.
The Basic Audio Controls
chapter is about two minutes long. It's one tip about keeping
audio low, and doesn't really explain why, or how to edit both
channels simultaneously, how to go a dB at a time, etc. There
was more audio detail in the previous chapter. This section isn't
a section, it's a brief tip. This one I was disappointed in,
compared to the rest of the DVD.
The last chapter, Output to Tape,
it also very basic, but does get the beginner set to at least
be able to lay their completed project to tape in one of two
ways. Again, not going into adding bars & tone, leader, or
anything else, and not really telling why.
With the main part being fairly informative,
and the whole video being an overview, it packs a lot in for
about 50 bucks. This video is an easy way to get a feel for FCP
if you've not used it before, and some useful tips even if you
have. It's a great value for the money, and one would almost
hope it may expand into a more in-depth series. But the bare
basics to get you running is enough for many people, who can
then explore deeper through the manual or the many books currently
I'd recommend this program to any beginning
About Tony Donaldson : Tony is a sports
photographer (still photography, mostly extreme sports) with
clients including Sports Illustrated for Kids, ESPN the Magazine,
Millimeter, Video Systems, Panasonic, Lee Jeans and many more.
He also shoots, edits and produces video projects from commercials
to short films (Odessa or Bust, The Cypher) to the Redline Bicycles
Team video to a new video-based photography training series and
a television pilot. He lives and works in the Los Angeles area
and spends way too much time online learning all of Ken Stone's
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