I publish here a series or free articles and tutorials, as an introduction and educational resource for my up-coming Editing and Color Grading Workshops and Seminars.
All my courses are for the moment online, using Zoom. Classes are in English, with a maximum of 10 students per workshop. From October to December 2020, al courses have a reduced price of 135 Euros, instead of the regular 195 Euros fee, to help a bit during the Corona Virus pandemic. This is a 60 Euros saving.
My Workshops include: DaVinci Resolve Editing, DaVinci Resolve Color Grading, Premiere Pro, Avid Media Composer, Final Cut Pro X, and Thinking the Edit (my Film Editing Theory and Analysis Seminar).
If you are interested, click here to find out about the next available dates. You can read reviews about my teaching here. I’m a highly experienced editing instructor, with more than 15 years of workshops behind!.
Now, to the free content of today!
WHY LEARN AVID MEDIA COMPOSER?
I use and teach all major editing and post-production software: DaVinci Resolve, Premiere Pro, Final Cut Pro X, After Effects, and of course Avid.
I always say none of them is necessarily the best, and I recommend one or another one to different people, depending on a number of factors: profesional background and needs, previous experience, kind of project, budget, workflow, aspirations, etc..
You know how the internet is: many people like to get into platform wars, and get very defensive when questioning/defending certain programs, certain cameras, certain computers…
It’s just a big waste of time!
Some editing programs are in fashion in some moments.
I offered lots of Final Cut Pro 6/7 workshops back in the day.
Then FCPX showed up. I was one the first defending it, and teaching it. It was the right choice for some professionals.
Then people started to request more and more Premiere Pro workshops, as it slowly gained terrain.
And the last couple of years, DaVinci Resolve is the absolute star, of course as a color grading option, but also as en editor. My Resolve workshops are the most demanded today.
In general, if you are a freelance editor/video-maker, or have a small company, you can choose any program, and you’re going to be fine. They all have pros and cons, and it’s possible to combine them in a workflow.
Also in general, if you wish to develop a career as a film/series/tv editor, then it’s super easy: you need to know and master all programs in the market.
The thing with the Avid is, despite temporal fashions that come and go, Media Composer has always been there, and is there today, in a very specific area of the industry: high-end production.
For all these reasons, in this article I want to tell you why learning/studying Media Composer could be interesting to you, not from the point of views of its advantages (it has many in some workflows), but from the point of view how its position in the market.
In other words: maybe you’re one of those who believe Avid is an old thing, and maybe you even don’t like it (in my experience, people who see it this way never really used it or train themselves), but also maybe you should still know it, and know it very well, to access specific markets and projects.
Disclaimer: I do offer Avid Media Composer training, but I promise you I’m not trying to convince you of anything, or sell you a biased idea. All my courses, fortunately, work very well.
Actually, why do I bother organising Avid workshops, knowing like I know it’s a harder sell?
Well… First, I love Media Composer. Second, people who study the software with me end up loving it too. And third, I just see that some people need it, career wise!
Before we start, keep me in mind I describe what I see in my area, mainly Germany and Spain.
OK, OK, BUT… WHY SHOULD I LEARN AVID?
1. THERE IS A DEMAND FOR GOOD AVID EDITORS
A good reason to learn Media Composer is there are not enough good/well trained Avid editors out there.
Big production companies and broadcasters struggle to find editors who really are proficient with it. They often hire editors who are supposed to know it a bit, to then realise it’s not really the case.
Some of my ex-students are working today as editors in film/series/tv productions, from news editing, to fiction, to realities.
One of them wrote me a couple of months ago, to ask me if I would be interested in a position in his show. This was a reality show for a national broadcaster. He explained they were looking for Avid editors for a while, and couldn’t fight the right ones. This, he wrote, was a constant problem lately, in different shows.
These editing jobs usually have very good conditions: good salaries, eight hours a day in morning/afternoon rotas, no extra hours, etc..
I said no, because I’m now more focused on education, and because a live between Berlin and Madrid, but I really thought about it.
In my last Avid workshop in Berlin, two students who own their on little company told me the registered because they had to pass on a number of projects were they were asked to edit with Avid, because of workflow, and because of the characteristics of the production. By the way, this workshop was sold-out, so that shows you Avid stills get the love from young professionals.
These are just two recent examples, but I assure you I’ve seen this for years.
One of the biggest media groups in Spain is actually offering their own open Avid Media Composer Workshops. A sign they really need new editors in the platform.
2. AVID MEDIA COMPOSER IS THE MOST USED SOFTWARE AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL OF THE INDUSTRY
For some weird reason this idea is irritating and frustrating for a lot of people, but it’s time to accept it already!
Are any hing-end projects edited with Premier Pro, FCPX, DaVinci Resolve, or even the old Final Cut Pro 7?
Yes! Of course!
But the majority still use Avid, and will continue to use it for a while.
There are many reasons to explain this, and I will soon publish another article to describe it more, but for the moment, let me just say that in huge projects, with huge amounts of media, and more than one editor working simultaneously in the same movie, Avid offers a really solid and stable solution, used for many years, and hard to beat.
You can do similar stuff with the other programs. Sure. But no alternative has managed to replace the Avid way.
Any editor who works in this high-level market knows this.
I’m not saying that just because you’re good with Avid you’re gonna edit the latest Netflix show right away. But: mid/long term, if that is your ambition, this is the way. You 100% need Media Composer.
There was a moment, long ago now, when Final Cut Pro Legacy started to really replace Avid in some markets, but, when Apple abandoned its development and presented FCPX, Premiere Pro was still not quite there, and so many companies returned to Media Composer.
Sure: smaller projects, advertising, music videos can easily be cut and are cut in the other programs too. Just not the huge ones.
3. GETTING A JOB AS AN ASSISTANT EDITOR
A consequence of the previous point.
Your chances of getting a starter job as an apprentice or assistant editor are higher knowing Avid.
Again: fining a job like that is very difficult! Very, very difficult! Being good with this software just puts you in a better position.
Managing media, linking, transcoding, syncing, organising, handling meta-data and other processes in the Avid is a must for anyone interested in this kind of position.
What’s funny is some of the best Avid editors out there, the ones who cut the movies you watch in the big screens, are actually not very technical. They are the best using the editing tools in the software, needed for the craft, but rarely take care of the technical stuff around it.
This is where assistant editors step in, and this is why assistant editors need to be very well versed at the technical Avid front.
4. BETTER TO TRAIN YOURSELF IN ADVANCE, JUST IN CASE
You have no idea how often this happened: someone requests a private Avid workshop. They need it because of an interview, and the interview takes place… the day after tomorrow, or next week!
In situations like this, I managed to give my students the basics resources, in very intense private classes, and things went well, also adding additional training once they started working.
And this is important: I always advice my students to be very honest and open regarding their knowledge. It’s best to say “I know the basics, and I’m already doing training, and I’m gonna be good at it” than saying “I’m a master with the Avid” and then disappoint everyone, including yourself.
Always we honest about your true knowledge.
News cutting, for example, mostly Avid based, is usually easy. Low number of video and audio tracks, simple editing… It’s possible to handle even if you are new to the system, and often they will also train you on-site.
But it’s not ideal.
All that said: I don’t think Media Composer is more difficult than Premiere Pro, FCPX or DaVinci Resolve.
What I know is: Avid is frequently not learned enough, and some aspiring editors do little to none training. Also, Media Composer is often badly explained. Same way there is a lack of Avid editors, there is a lack of Avid trainers.
I admit this is not a software you could maybe learn by yourself (you could, but most people have hard time). This is because it’s just different in some areas, and quite sophisticated in others.
When you learn Media Composer, there are four main aspects you need to explore and understand in depth: workflow, media management (how Avid deals with media files), timeline editing (including trimming), and vídeo effects (quite special way of doing things here, needs a redesign).
It takes time.
But once you’re there, editing with Media Composer is a pleasure.
Avid is not for everybody.
You might not need it in your environment.
There are other options.
If you decide to go the Avid way, to maybe position yourself better in the market, then go for it fully.
If you are serious about this, be serious about this.
Train yourself, read the manual, read the Avid forums (you learn a lot there), read interviews with editors, watch tutorials, explore the trimming tools, subscribe to Media Composer (19 Euros/month) or download Media Composer First (free forever), and specially, practice as much as you can!
If after doing all that you still don’t like Media Composer, fair enough, but I’m sure you’ll be very comfortable with it, and you’ll be able to get the job done!
And of course you might love it and embrace it for ever!
If not, you can still join my DaVinci Resolve Workshops.
Dates at the top of this entry!