Video Editing Software: A Modern Marvel

Today’s editing computers are a marvel in my opinion. Did you know that before computers, it took around one million dollars of equipment to stock a professional editing room? You needed multiple tape decks, a switcher, an effects generator, a character generator, an audio mixer, signal enhancers, multiple monitors and years of experience to operate it all.
To rent out all this stuff by the hour, it cost $ 500-$ 1,000 per hour to edit. A thirty second spot could easily take ten hours to edit, even a relatively simple one. That’s ten grand just for one step in the production of something that lasts half a measly minute!


We’ve got it great compared to that. Today, ten grand is More than enough to buy a total system and all the software you’d ever need to edit a lifetime of shows.

Computer editing is loads of fun and the creative possibilities are endless.

Computer editing revolutionized the entire television and video production industry. Computer video editing put power in the hands of the little guy, not just the companies that could afford million-dollar edit suites.

For a small investment, (maybe nothing beyond a computer that has free video editing software already on it) you have the opportunity to produce professional quality edited video stories.

I got windows movie maker version 5.1 free on the Compaq I bought at Sams Club for half-off after Christmas.

Movie maker will easily edit together you video and add professional looking graphics. You have two lines of audio that you can cut and paste. Any Mac comes with free iMovie, which is probably a better program than movie maker and certainly a killer freebie. Both of them are killer freebies. If you want more creative and complex editing options than what freebies give you, you can get awesome software for $ 50-$ 300. If you go full tilt boogie, software that Hollywood uses can be had for $ 1,300 Apple’s final cut pro, now called Studio 2, is the ultimate video editing software experience in my humble opinion.

When FCP first came on the market, it was chump change at $ 1,000, compared to its competitor, Avid with it’s $ 50,000 version of media composer. At the time, people were clamoring to learn media composer because it seemed like such a revolutionary bargain compared to the million-dollar fully equipped suites. Then, all of a sudden, you can get a program equal to media composer for just a grand? Holy crap!

Final cut pro’s price today of $ 1,299 might seem high to newbies, but the power of FCP can not be understated. It can do anything you can imagine and then some. Hollywood uses FCP. However, chances are you’re not Hollywood bound. Final cut express is only $ 300 and gives you all the punch you’d probably ever want unless you’re competing on the very uppermost levels. FCE is what I just bought.

Many companies put out video editing software but I must confess my prejudice for Macs and Apple editing software. That’s what I always used when working for large companies and the vast majority of professionals I know prefer Apple computers to PCs for video editing and other large-file creative tasks. There’re a million and one reasons for that, but I’ve seen such heated debates about the topic, it’s scary. Here’s an actual conversation

I witnessed: We’ll get PC’s for editing over my dead body! That can be arranged! I hate those crazy things!

I try not to get that hot about it, but my money goes to Apple.

Since PCs solidly dominate the market whether I think they should or not, there are plenty of video editing programs for the PC market.

Sony Vegas movie studio is popular. I’ve seen it for $ 99 at the Best Buy store down the street and for $ 63.99 on Amazon. The reviews are mixed, some people give up in confusion but others plod through the learning curve and say it’s a good program. It can do quite a bit more than the freebies.

Corel DVD movie maker 6 goes for about $ 48 on Amazon and pinnacle studio runs about $ 50. Neither is quite as sophisticated as Sony Vegas, but as the price indicates, you can do more with them than you can with the freebies.

Corel paint shop pro for still picture and Sony Vegas combine into one and they call it Corel Sony visual creation. $ 110 on Amazon.

Video editing software has a learning curve, but it’s really not any more difficult than using a word processing program.

Keep in mind that video editing demands a lot of your computer. Video files are huge, and making them spin and dance requires power. Get the biggest, most powerful computer you can afford. The Mac G-5 blows any other computer out of the pond when it comes to computer video editing. But whatever you have can work.

Lorraine Grula has been a well-respected award winning video professional for over twenty-five years. Lorraine has done virtually every kind of video production imaginable and now shares her expertise on the web.
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