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Lawrence Benedict
Actor , Cinematographer / Camera Operator , Editor (Film)
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My Final Cut Pro 7 Instruction

Actually, the "why" should come before the "what..."Why:Apple created a consumer friendly editing system from their basic iMovie application that they named Final Cut Pro X. They eliminated many of the tools that professional post production studios must use to create their programming, on the grounds that what they created was more advanced, and what they cut from their new editing program was no longer necessary.Unfortunately, post houses over the past ten years, have invested heavily in the specific work-flow built around Avid and Final Cut Pro Studio (7).  Even more unfortunate was the required abandonment by every professional editor of the incredible investment each individual made in learning the myriad nuances of the tried-and-true Final Cut Pro. Thousands of successful feature films, not to mention countless commercials have been cut using that software.Most current ads, by post houses seeking editors, state, "must have knowledge of Final Cut Pro 7," or "this studio uses Final Cut Pro 7." Those who have looked elsewhere, have gone back to Avid or embraced Adobe Premier Pro.As a result, yours truly is happily tutoring a steady stream of students in the wonderful, and wildly successful, application Final Cut Pro 7.What:To answer the "What" of the subject line I have decided to simply attach my informal curriculum for my 16 Hour Intensive class so you can see exactly what you will learn. And, yes, we do get through it; always.For those preferring on-on one instruction, I cover the same material for one or two people in 8 hours, split into two four-hour sessions and a m al so able to offer an hourly rate for those with very specific needs. Lawrence BenedictApple  Certified  Final Cut Pro  Trainer/EditorClass Curriculum for 2-Day, 16 hour Final Cut Pro 7 Intensive.(This can be split into four 4-hour sessions)The number One Priority for my classes is of the instruction by the student.Our time together is not about me, teaching, it is about you, learning, - and having fun doing it.During the many years I have been training editors, I have developed some special methods to facilitate retention. They include little phrases you can hang on to and ways to explain concepts that make immediate sense.Our time together is the time to learn. That is what that class time is devoted to. The objective is for you to be able to do this on your own once the class is over.Class Tools:Other than passing around a one-sheet with all useful shortcuts printed on it for reference, the only item a student will need during class is a blank notebook (I recommend a “steno” into which to write copious notes). I will however be providing each student with a data disk of footage that we will be using in the class which they will then copy to their respective hard drives. The disks are theirs to keep.I have all the hardware we will need but if you have your own MacBook, I encourage you to bring it so we can set up your preferences, and also get you used to working on the computer you will be using.If some students do not have their own computers, it is fine for two students to share a computer. When they are sharing their learning in such a way, they seem to pick up Final Cut Pro just as quickly as those working, alone, on their own computer.Class BeginsWe start with a discussion of the interface, the naming protocol that Apple has devised, and the general flow of the editing experience.I emphasize the importance of short cuts and we begin learning and using them from the very start.I explain what a project is, what a sequence is, what browser and bins are; what an autosave vault is, etc.We will learn to set our preferences so we can work most effectively in Final Cut Pro.Each operation is discussed in logical steps exactly as you would encounter it during an actual edit session .(There is one exception to this.Since there are now so many different cameras and codecs as well as downloading, importing and capturing methods, I save this till we have understood the basics of the edit itself so people will not be befuddled, right of the bat, by all the alphabet soup).We learn to organize our elements: media, stills, music and sequences in the browser and bins. We learn the best ways to review our footage in the viewer prior to editing; to mark the clips we want with in-marks and out-marks and move them to the timeline.At this point I reveal the magical JKL keys, telling the story about the demo at the Directors Guild when Apple attempted to unveil Final Cut Pro without them.From now on everything we do will be accomplished using the short cut keys.We learn the functions of the Canvas and how it relates to the sequence we are building in the timeline.We learn to understand and use all the tools available for editing in the timeline such as Overwrite, Insert, Fit to Fill, and SuperimposeWe learn cutting and pasting, dragging and dropping, lift delete, Ripple delete and so on.The students will be creating sequences on their computers as we go along.We learn to apply Transition Effects and Clip Effects and get our first taste ofKey-framing.This will probably take us through to lunch but the students will already have a grasp of basic editing.Now they are having fun putting a simple edited sequence together, and realize there is nothing to fear. They see that this is something they can truly master.Lunch BreakNow comes the presentation of the various methods of capturing footage into Final Cut 7. The AVCHD  H.264 codec, card readers, Log and Capture, Log and Transfer, the Red Cam, converting files already on a hard drive to .mov and so on.After that, we get back to editing where we left off.I introduce them to the tool palette and we manipulate media in the timeline using each tool.Next we do an in-depth tour of the tools of the timeline; locking and unlocking tracks, using different track sizes, splitting the timeline area between video and audio workspaces. Zooming in on the timeline and out again and when that’s appropriate.We discuss turning tracks on and off, muting tracks, assigning audio to different tracks, snapping, linking and de-linking, the importance of shift/Z (Zed) and using the complex scroll function to position your timeline for maximum convenience.We then switch gears and begin to learn the sophisticated titler that comes with Final Cut Pro. We are able to animate titles in a myriad of ways and this gets us a little further into key-framing.We discuss the alpha channel at this point, which gets us started with compositing and layering.Because we have created a title for our sequence, it is logical to jump to the Voice Over Tool so that we can add voice over as the title appears.Audio key-framing comes at this point, both manually inserting each key-frame and using the audio mixer to adjust audio levels on the fly.Next, we begin refining the edits in our timeline and engage in a discussion of the aesthetics of editing. We use the cuts we are making to demonstrate various ways to make your edits smooth and develop pace through editing.We talk about engaging the viewer, emotionally, and the many secrets known by editors to accomplish it.We talk about “crossing the line” or “the axis” and how to flop a shot to rescue that type of camera error.Now we get considerably more detailed about types of transition effects, clip effects or filters, get our first look at color correction, and keying, as opposed to key-framing; (two completely different uses of the same word, and proceeding from two completely different filmmaking disciplines).To conclude the day I show them a simple and quick way to do a very impressive end credit sequence at the end of their movie. This will give them even more understanding of how key-framing works.   Sometime during the day, when an interlude feels like it would be welcome, I will show two videos that I cut, as an example of how it all fits together and how the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. The one video is 6 minutes the other is 1 minute forty nine seconds. I am able to demonstrate many examples of editing techniques during this time. I leave them with the promise to show them how to do the Pleasantville effect, tomorrow, as well as some other very interesting effects.Day TwoWe begin by discussing the work of the assistant editor and how it applies to all those who edit; especially “Preditors” doing “String Outs.”We have a really solid look at organizing your media, your workflow and the importance of naming conventions.Then I explain sub-clipping and organizing your “selects” in bins. (Command U) I explain how to make sure the sub-clip goes to the correct bin.I next explain how to switch from list view to icon view, how to review you sub-clips right in the bins, select in and out marks and change the poster-frame.Finally how to arrange these sub-clips into a rough edit or string-out and in one motion drag them into the time line creating a “finished” sequence in a stunningly short period of time.Here, we look at creating new sequences, multiple sequences, duplicating sequences nesting sequences and why you would need to do that, again emphasizing how much time these skills can save.LunchWe have looked at transition effects and filters, now it is time to understand and use speed controls. We practice slow motion, fast speed, Frame Blending and Time Remapping.Now, we move on to trimming. What trimming is, why it is so important; what the Big Trim windows are, and the three types of trimming. We will understand what the terms out-going and in-coming video mean and the terms “Plus” and “Minus” as they apply to working in the timeline.More time is now devoted to what makes a smooth edit, (or conversely why you may want to make a jarring edit) and the various techniques editors apply to achieve perfect edits. (Why you should choose you editor according to the number of fingerprints on the monitor screen).Then we discuss “J” cuts “L” Cuts and “Slipping” and “Sliding”  Within the preceding will be a discussion of what Drop Frame and Non-Drop Frame time code is.Next we will look at placing markers, how to add information to your marker and how to navigate between markers. Also chapter, scoring and compression markers   BreakExporting has become quite complex these days with all the different codecs and all the different requirements for sending and posting videos, electronically. The students will learn what works best, for which applications and the simplest ways to achieve superior results. Another opportunity to demonstrate my observation; “just because it’s easy, doesn’t mean it’s wrong.”We will also learn to burn both a data disk and a viewable disk and the difference between them.We will learn the advantages of using applications like Streamclip, Toast Titanium and a host of others.We will now really tackle key-framing, compositing, mattes and keying.Then a more in-depth exploration of Color Correction in Final Cut, how to use the Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope and finally… The Pleasantville Effect!Finally, we will review my list of "disasters" that can be "un-disastered" in ten seconds or lessAt this point we will begin a review led by the students and fill in any gaps that they may need to have re-explained.End of ClassI charge $1,000 for the 16 hours plus $100 for each additional student and cap the number of students, per class, at 15.I also offer a one-on-one 8-hour intensive for $500 or tutor one-on-one by the hour for $65 per hour .LawrenceLawrence BenedictApple Certified Final Cut Pro Trainer/Editor (Also Avid)Contact me here on AlivenotDead or email me directlylawrence_benedict@yahoo.com                

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Languages Spoken
english, french
Location (City, Country)
Los Angeles, United States
Member Since
April 30, 2008

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