Dan learns Editing: Final Cut Pro

Right, OK here we go…

I’m sure you will all remember I have done some editing before. I did a course at City Lit, though that was on iMovie, the little brother of Final Cut Pro. I could use iMovie, but I need all the help I can get. Therefore I’m stepping up to the plate and getting stuck into Final Cut Pro.

12 Sketches in a London House PITCH being edited using Final Cut Pro X

12 Sketches in a London House PITCH being edited using Final Cut Pro X

Now I’m sure your thinking how the hell is Dan going to learn how to use a product he’s:

A) Never used before

B) Is attempting to pull off professional looking sketches in only a few weeks time!?

Good points. Well there’s only one thing for it. I need to get some 1:1 tutoring sorted asap. Introducing Lily Markiewicz a film maker and seriously experienced editor. We met at City Lit and I found out that most lecturers also do 1:1 tutoring. I booked in a few sessions and off we went.

Now obviously most people would say, “Why not just do a course?” or “Why not just buy a book?”

Yes those are ways to learn, but do they give you instant feedback? Do those routes give you the exact information you need, right here and now? Do those options progress you at the speed you want to progress?

Or do you find yourself getting a little confused or distracted. The class is going too slow, or already you are completely lost, but too embarrassed to ask for help? Maybe it’s the end of a long day, picking up that book and learning something might be the last thing you want to do?

I learnt a long time ago that there are different ways of learning and achieving goals:

  1. Working hard
  2. Working smart

Working hard usually consumes a huge amount of time and energy, it’s what 80% of the population are doing, without thinking:

Is this task moving me closer to my goal, or is it a distraction?”

Working smart is working in the most efficient way. Always checking in with your goals, and asking:

Is this task moving me closer to my goal, or is it a distraction?”

A good example would be either running for an hour or driving for 10 mins to work.

Now if your goal is to train for a marathon, then you could say this is the only time I can train therefore I am training and getting to work at the same time if a run for an hour every day. This is working smart.

Or if your goal is to get to work asap to complete the day’s tasks to meet a deadline, then driving for 10 mins gives you as much time as possible to meet that deadline. Then this is working smart.

Always ask yourself “What is my goal?”

The other really important thing I have learnt is the person with the most time is the wealthiest person.

So, combining these two elements and, in my case, paying a person who has 25 years experience to give me exactly what I need in the shortest possible time means that I have maximised my time and am working smart.

Ok this is now getting a little deep and as this is a comedy blog, we better leave it there.

So the bottom line is that I can now, after only 2 months, edit a 3 min comedy sketch to a level which is good enough to be released onto my Youtube channel as part of the first series of 12 Sketches In A London House.

So the question is, how much did that cost?

Well a 2 hour session cost me around £120 and after 6 – 8 lessons I was producing the results I wanted. i.e. I was able to deliver good quality editing for the cost of around £1k (if you include the software)

If you compare this with the price of an actual editor at £250 a day (some are £250 an hour!) the series would have cost me £6k approx in editing.

I have just saved £5k and I have learnt something.…

Whoa, hang on Dan, what if I had bought a book (£25) or did a course (£700), that would have only cost me a lot less”

Yes that is true, though the course would have taken almost 9 months and the book option would have taken me almost 2 years as I would have been learning through trial and error (which is a very lonely path).

Dan Tambling is a stand-up comedian, sketch comedy writer, actor and producer of ‘12 sketches in a London house’. This is his blog.


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