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Thread: The Rise of Digital Film Editing - thoughts?

  1. #1

    Question The Rise of Digital Film Editing - thoughts?

    Hi There

    I am very interested in video/film editing and the subject of the essay is about the rise of non linear editing systems such as Adobe Premiere Pro and Avid. I suppose what I am trying to do here is provoke discussion about the skill involved in editing, in conjunction with editing software becoming increasingly 'user friendly' and cheap/easy to get your hands on. Opinions about this subject would be greatly appreciated! Information about which editing software you used first and the subsequent development of your skills is also welcome. Recent developments to the updates of 'Final Cut Pro' is particularly interesting, along with iMovie, as I believe that they have sacrificed quality and the range of tools available for 'quick fix' style editing which usually comes free with laptops these days.

    As I say, any opinions on the matter would be fantastic, and you will be quoted in the essay in question. Also I have created an official survey for the gathering of primary research if you would prefer to answer more direct questions. It can be found here:
    Last edited by benkersey; 05-13-2014 at 05:15 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    It was a chore back in the day - cutting and splicing

    now it's a bit easier, but you still have to sit at a PC to do "real" editing

    I gave my PC to my wife and if I can't do it in iMovie on my iPad, I can't do it

    ps - surveys are a bad word on this forum

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Huntington, West Virginia USA


    I first learned editing on linear video systems (2 inch quad) beginning in the 1970s in the commercial television industry in the USA. I later worked with helical scan linear systems with various widths. With the exception of being about to do video and/or audio insert edits, it was a very restrictive process. After over 30 years away from the business, I first took up computer-based non-linear editing about a decade ago. As a former broadcaster, I find the Sony Vegas Pro editing system the best to work with using my particular skill-sets. Aside from the technical skills required to use any editing software, there are work experience skills and a degree of intuitive and artistic considerations involved in the editing process. You can train a monkey how to operate an editing system but you can't train one how to be an editor. I will also take your survey. Regards.

  4. #4


    Quote Originally Posted by benkersey View Post
    Recent developments to the updates of 'Final Cut Pro' is particularly interesting........ as I believe that they have sacrificed quality and the range of tools available for 'quick fix' style editing which usually comes free with laptops these days.
    I'm not quite sure what you are saying here as there is a little ambiguity, but if you're saying FCPX sacrifices the quality and availability of tools available (and that the other NLEs are therefor superior) then I'm afraid I'm going to have to disagree with this point.

    I use FCPX almost every day. I've used NLEs for more years than I care to remember and they were such a joy having previously used tape to tape editing solutions.

    I've used Avid (a little), Final Cut Pro (up to version 7) a lot, Premiere Pro a lot and now use FCPX. Why? If I were sacrificing quality and range of tools I wouldn't have done this. FCPX has in fact streamlined the editing process for me by giving me 'more' tools than I had before while at the same time reducing the time required to transcode (even premiere pro still transcodes the majority of audio), edit, colour, etc while also providing much faster rendering of the final output. Skimming source clips, skimming timelines, placing clips in to the timeline, adjusting edit points, trimming edits etc are all much faster than the other systems, yet you think it's some how a lesser tool?

    Did Apple screw up the initial release? Hell yes! But with so many updates coming since they have more than made up for it. The plethora of people around the web who continue to trash FCPX are typically basing their views on the initial versions and never really learned to use it as a proper production tool. FCPX required some unlearning and then relearning, but once done there are tasks that can be done much quicker than other NLEs.

    Is it perfect? No. Are there things other NLEs do that FCPX doesn't do? Sure, but then there are things Avid does that Premiere Pro doesn't do, things Premiere Pro does that Avid doesn't do and similarly things FCPX does that neither Premiere Pro or Avid do. I'm sure that Sony Vegas is similar in this respect, though I haven't used it (lots of others around here do).

    iMovie is essentially free, just like Windows Movie Maker so I don't see why so many people trash it as if Apple were selling it as a pro app that isn't. BTW, in case anyone around the world is still trying to say that FCPX is iMovie pro, they clearly haven't used FCPX to really know what they are talking about.

    I could use any one of the NLEs to make great videos with. NLEs are a personal choice. No one product is better than all the rest in absolute terms and I hope the competition remains strong while ever I continue to edit.

    [edit: I did the survey]
    Last edited by David Partington; 04-27-2014 at 05:20 PM.

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