Technology - What is the "best"?

I have to be honest... while I like technology and have used technology everyday of my career... I have always been driven by what I can do with it. There are people who like the idea of technology and the incredible innovation and the complexity it represents... and I wonder often how they get 1's and 0's to do all of this as well... but I like to tell stories... and the technology is just a tool.

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THE BEST EDITING PROGRAM

In my opinion, there really is no best. I have my preferences and I can go into the why and how and what I look for but at the end of the day it is all preference. Ask an AVID editor what is best and they will say AVID. Ask an Adobe user and it'll be Premiere Pro, Apple: Final Cut, and on and on.

THE KEY POINT IS...  as long as the software doesn't hinder you - and I'll explain that later - the software doesn't make the editor any more than a piece of marble makes the statue. It's simply a tool. The best editing is done by the best editors... not by their software.

My Edit Bay for 23 years

Editing/Post - What I use

Currently I am running Adobe Premiere Pro and the CC suite on a

 mid 2012 MacPro 12 Core with 40GB of Ram and 2 video cards.

I use Photoshop and After Effects for graphics and animation.

I have RedGiant Universe plug ins, Trapcode suite, BCC, Video copilot and quite a few other plug in suites.

I also use illustrator, media encoder, MS Office and some SONY software for handling files from my SONY cameras.

Production - What I shoot

I shoot primarily a SONY XD Cam EX-1r with a wide angle lens.

I also have a EX3 and SONY FS5 4k camera

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I have wireless and a boom mic as well.

Barry Warner is doing sound in the above picture.

 

It isn't the software

How many question shave people asked regarding what software a certain person on YouTube uses to edit their videos? I'm here to tell you straight - it doesn't matter. The software is not the deciding factor in any YouTube video.

So if it isn't the technology, what is it that make a good or great editor? Click the link below for the series on characteristics of a good editor.

All experienced editors have their preferred software. I am currently using the Adobe Premiere because I use other parts of their creative suite as well. Before that, I used Apple Final Cut 7 and really started a project that simply FCP7 couldn't handle... due to the amount of clips and sequences. the project became too large and FCP7 had a known issue that once you approached 100mb as a project file size it would become unstable... so I had to switch to Premiere which was just at that time finally gaining some of the features FCP7 had had for years. 

So that's my situation.

Many film editors and television show editors use AVID media composer. AVID has a long history and was designed for film editors by film editors. Although they were software people.

Learning in television like I did, there were many features I needed all the time that AVID didn't do because they were things film editors didn't use. External keys, graphics, transition effects etc. Today there are still a huge number of editors that use AVID to edit content and AVID has added a lot of features in now I needed 15 years ago. So Premiere really took the ball from Apple, which focused more on what broadcast editors needed and that's really the difference. Movies can be edited on either  software now.

Both are software, and despite of what the marketers say - content creation comes from the people doing it… NOT THE SOFTWARE.

Apple would, of course, take exception to my comment that Adobe took the ball from them... but for thousands of editors, they did. When Final Cut X came out it was widely considered a joke to professional editors. Most, if not all, the professional features I used on a regular basis were taken out and replaced by a iMovie interface... and it wasn't appreciated. As of today, there are many Final Cut X editors to be sure. Apple survived by appealing to the non-professional segment which of course includes a lot more people... tha the professional ranks. They also relied on outside program and plugin creators to put some of the functionality back but... it isn't the same. There are places like FX Factory that has lots of cool plugins that will only work on Final cut, and since Apple controls the hardware as well as the software [FCPX only runs on Mac], they can and do really tweak how well they work together and I understand FCPX is very fast on Macs working with 4k.

 

As of today, you have the Adobe Suite, or Creative Suite they call it which includes about 36 programs for a yearly license.

Blackmagic Design is a company I have a lot of respect for and they have an editing/color grading/effects program called Resolve 17 that does editing, color grading and graphics/animation in one package. Resolve can be downloaded and used for free, or you can pay a license and get all of the advanced features you may need for a modest price. AVID offers many packages at different price points, including free I believe. Others include Blender [although primarily a 3d Program], Lightwave, Vegas, Wondershare, HitFilm Express, and more each day.

 

That being said, here are some decision points to help you choose which software is right for you.

Do you want to own or rent the software?

Adobe is a rental/subscription. Vegas I believe you buy. You will pay for upgrades if you want or need to upgrade. Adobe includes upgrades in their subscription.

Do you use other Adobe software?

Photoshop, after effects, illustrator etc. are all part of the creative cloud and so might actually be cheaper that buying unrelated software and piecing together your own bundle.

Do you need more than video editing?

Vegas has some effects, and you can find plugins sold for it that can expand its capabilities but it is basically a video editing program. If you will do a fair number of special effects [motion graphics, text effects, custom graphics, 3D etc] then the adobe suite with after effects maybe a better choice.

Do you need to work routinely with others?

Meaning sharing project files and elements. If the people you work with the most use Adobe, it’ll be easier to be compatible. If you are 1-man banding it and just need to edit and render out, then Vegas will also work great. It can also vary by industry. Corporate, documentary, independent television will probably use Adobe Creative Suite. Editors that edit story in movies, or television will probably use AVID. It simply edits picture and sound... it doesn't have graphics or a lot of special effects, so the people who use it, tend to not need those other things.

Do you care what others think?

No one will question your use of adobe - although there are certainly fans of other software like AVID, Blackmagic, Lightworks, Blender, and others. Along with other considerations, Adobe tells your clients you are a professional. Vegas won’t have the same impact even though it is a professional program.

Hopefully that helps.

Choosing Editing Software