I stumbled on Scott Simmons’ Studio Daily rant “What’s wrong with the young FCP editor?”
And I responded:
Ok Scott, as an English major with a concentration in Language, Writing and Rhetoric from University of Maryland at College Park, my initial observation is that you are caught up in the rhetorical analysis of definition, i.e. “What is an editor?”
As a 29 year old editor & producer (yes, a Preditor) who was trained on Avid and now holds Apple Certified Training certifications in Final Cut Pro, Motion 3, and Color, I’d have to say your comments are borderline ageist and NLE biased. But I digress.
I found lots of value in your observations that many young editors don’t understand efficient timeline management, media management, how to output an edit decision list, etc. But guess what: regardless of your perspective that these are fundamental skills inherent in the title of an editor, kids with FCP skills are still getting their videos up on YouTube and Vimeo with millions of views, millions more than most broadcast shows will ever receive, despite how many iterations of dvd sales and ipod sales they go through.
I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to matriculate my Avid offline / online workflow, my Avid media management workflow, and many other Avid-centric skills, and implemented them into a Final Cut Studio workflow with great success. Many of my peers don’t have the opportunity to learn an Avid workflow because the old steel doors are sealed shut unless you want to work a 6pm – 2am shift with lavish titles such as E2 or Digitizer with the hope that one day, 10 years in the future, once you’ve crossed the age 30 barrier, the old Avid guys will swoop in and title you Assistant Editor. Now you can try making a stringout!
Or, buy FCP, a Macbook Pro and a Canon HV20 and start shooting, cutting, and posting to a the growing New Media outlets available to everyone right now. Which choice would you make at age 21?
So to bring this back to my initial point, as an industry we may need to reconsider what it is that defines an editor. I’ll take it on my 29 year old shoulders to assist those who don’t know why betacam sp tapes are pre-blacked with timecode starting at 00:58:30;00, why it’s important for a Color grading workflow to have a timeline with just one video layer and all your motion projects and still images exported as self contained quicktimes and then reimported, and why you might want to check out the manual controls on the HV20 to control the amount of light being recorded. I hope you can realize that endless finger pointing, role defining, and ageist viewpoints will only isolate the old Avid farts into a corner to find themselves drowning in the crashing new wave of innovative video production workflows.
I look forward to a continued civil discourse.