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Inside Editing with Final Cut Pro 4

Only on a Computer
Minimum of 256 MB RAM
Mac: OS X; G4 Processor
DVD Drive
Minimum screen resolution 1024 x 768

7 hours of video-based lessons
Project Files (to work along with the instructor)
Company: Magnet
Media Films

($133.99 until 1/02/04 (look for promo code)

Available for purchase HERE

Final Cut Pro 4 is a radical
upgrade from version 3. It has a ton of new features that are
very useful to video and film editors.

The question is, how do you learn
all the new stuff? Sure, you can muddle through the manual, but
isn’t it always easier to look over someone’s shoulder while they
show and talk you through the new features? Video training for
video production is the way to go for that, unless you have friends
who are already fully adept at FCP 4 and have the time and patience
to teach you. Well I don’t have those friends so this DVD is ideal
for me.

Magnet Media has produced
some fine titles for this purpose and I’ve reviewed several in
the past. This one, however has a new direction, in that it focuses
on people already familiar with FCP who want to learn what’s new
and how best to take advantage of all that is in FCP 4. They have
other titles to get you up to speed if you’re a Final Cut virgin,such
as “Inside
Final Cut Express.”

and Inside
Final Cut Pro 3

This DVD has an easy to
use interface, which only works on a computer, not a conventional
DVD player. It can easily be browsed by chapter and sub-chapter,
and the interface can be minimized easily in case you wish to
work on the included “mockumentary” and want to edit
along. And you will want to edit along. The mockumentary is very

The host is Evan Schectman,
a professional editor and the founder of Outpost Digital, and he is a very thorough teacher.
He keeps your attention with a steady stream of good information,
– over 7 hours worth, and it’s PACKED. You’ll be going back
over and over to rewatch sections, and thankfully the interface
makes this very easy. Actually, if you don’t quit the app, and
just “minimize” it, it will start playing again from
where you left off when you click it’s icon in the dock.

There’s powerful stuff
in here: how to customize the interface, how to optimize your
computer for even better performance – with explanations as
to why you’re doing what you’re doing, and even how to prioritize
what your processors are doing via the Terminal. They show how
to easily set up any configuration to make best use of your various
types of screen real estate including the new customizable buttons
in the windows, remapping the keyboard, and much much more.

The capturing and editing
sections nicely explain how to bring in and work with a variety
of formats, along with solid explanations of each of its various
strengths and weaknesses. It also goes into a great deal of the
basics of the FCP interface, very helpful if you’re a recent convert
from another NLE.

The color correction section
is fantastic and Evan explains all aspects very well. He covers
how to use the waveform and vectorscopes, and the other monitors,
to help balance your footage and keep it broadcast-legal if that’s
your final delivery goal, as well as how to create a different
aesthetic in post, e.g. film look, aged footage, etc. These tips
alone are worth the price of admission.

The compositing and animation
section not only go through the basics, but covers the new type
tools and time remap tools. There’s even an undocumented feature
on time remapping that they, well, document.

The audio editing section
takes you into all the amazing new audio tools available with
FCP 4, including Soundtrack. This of course is an amazing tool
what with both the included loops, and importing your own, and
Inside FCP 4 gives us a great tutorial on on how to use it.

The Media management section
has many good tips. Though the interface for the MM hasn’t changed
much, it’s a good primer for everything from how to make an offline
RT version of your project for editing on the road, to how to
not destroy your project and related files with the Media Manager.

The Workflow for Output
section also has great tips on archiving both your footage and
your final projects and what to save when you backup a project,
and more.

My DVD had a couple of
glitches, one section wouldn’t play, and at times playback on
normal segments would run out of sync with the video. Pausing
and starting playback again cured it, and my copy might have been
a pre-production DVD, though it was fully packaged.

Overall, if you want to
be really productive editing in FCP 4, this DVD is well worth
the money, even at $199. The time you save with this DVD as opposed
to spending all that time with the manual
or bugging your friends for help makes this DVD a bargain in my

Tony Donalson

This review
was first published on lafcpug and is reprinted here with permission

Available for purchase HERE

About Tony Donaldson: Tony is a sports photographer
(still photography, mostly extreme sports) with clients including
Xtreme Video (new magazine from the makers of DV), Sports Illustrated,
Sports Illustrated for Kids, ESPN the Magazine, Millimeter, Video
Systems, Cobra Seats, Lee Jeans, Maxxis Tires and many more. He
also shoots, edits and produces video projects from commercials
to short films (Odessa or Bust, The Cypher, Dissonance) to the
Redline Bicycles Team video to a new video-based photography training
series and a television wine show pilot. He lives and works in
the Los Angeles area and spends way too much time online learning
all of Ken Stone’s secrets .