Filmmaking Amateur | Learning Final Cut Pro 7

by Scott
(Georgia, USA)

Just when I thought I was out, they brought me back in. The demon editing Gods, that is. I've spent the past year working with a pretty basic editing program. iMovie.

I had my challenges with iMovie at first but there came a time when I had that Aha! moment and I understood what they were trying to do and how they (Apple developers) wanted me to use their product.

iMovie actually does just about everything I need it to do. I'm more (much more) of a camera guy, and editing has always been challenging. However, I've never had any problem standing over the shoulder of an editor telling them what to do. But when it comes to actually learning software, I get stage fright at first, then frustration, then excitement because I think I have figured it out, then comes more frustration and a blow to my confidence all to return to stage fright again.

Luckily for me, I worked through all of the stages of editing with iMovie and was working it like a true geek. But this tale is not about iMovie and my success at figuring it out. No, just when I thought I had editing figured out and could again focus on my cameras, the demon editing God's put Final Cut Pro in front of me.

I accepted a contract to edit a series of videos thinking I would be able to edit them in iMovie. Probably on the first day of this contract I learned that I had to use Final Cut Pro 7. Why!!!??? I had already planned to get Final Cut X because it is essentially iMovie on roids. But because the videos need to be compatible with the client's other projects that are on Final Cut 7, that's what I have to edit on.

So now I have had to take an extreme crash course in Final Cut Pro 7, an editing software way too powerful for the types of videos I produce and was asked to produce. Using Final Cut Pro for these projects is like going to the store to get milk in a Ferrari. Sure, it can carry a gallon of milk and even a loaf of bread, but a Ferrari isn't made to get groceries.

Way too many options exist in Final Cut Pro.

I am currently confused and contemplating getting a job as a florist. I'm not a tech guy or a geek, I liken myself to an adventurer seeking to get the best images at any cost.

Sitting in a chair and looking at a computer screen all day is not natural to my DNA. And dealing with Final Cut is making me go through all the stages of editing all over again.

I sat down and watched a dozen videos on Lynda.com, but that didn't make the information simply stick in my brain. I wish I was a computer; just download the software and go. As I sit staring at Final Cut Pro and trying to figure out how to add text to a shot, my brain wanders and dreams of sunset shots in Africa or clipping roses; anything but learning something new.

I know. Learning is good and making my brain figure out something new may keep senility away for another six months, but I swear, if I lose my eyesight because I spend 10 hours a day staring at a computer screen and that prevents me from shooting video and taking pictures, I swear, I will become a florist. Or maybe a baker.

I'll keep providing updates on my mental health and education progress on Final Cut as the weeks and months roll on. And please, please don't remind me that Apple no longer supports Final Cut 7 and that Final Cut X isn't compatible with FCP 7. I'd rather you ask me to bake you a cake.

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