The Five Stages of FCP X Grieving

Denial: "No support for FCP 7? You're joking, right?" Anger: "You have to organize clips by date now? What the fuck."

Bargaining: "Just give me multicam support."

Depression "I'm never going to relearn all these new shortcuts."

Acceptance "Hey look, Avid is having a sale."

Teaching FCP at the Northern Short Course, March 2011

I will be teaching two classes of Final Cut Pro at the upcoming Northern Short Course in Photojournalism in Warwick, Rhode Island, March 10-12, 2011. The first class is for absolute beginners and will focus on organizing your project, the Final Cut interface, and the basics of non-linear editing.

The second class, for intermediate users, will emphasize keyboard shortcuts as well as advanced editing techniques.

Hope to see you there.

10 Final Cut Keystrokes I Use Every Day

Here are some of the bread-and-butter shortcut keys I use most frequently: Command-Shift-A Deselect all.

Contorl-B Enables/Disables a clip. This is a great one to use when trying to compare clips. Stack one on top of the other and use Control-B to turn your alternative on and off.

Control - and Control = Raises or lowers the audio levels 1db, respectively. Make sure to either select your clip or place the playhead over it first.

F Loads the clip under the playhead in to the Viewer.

J, K, L These are the transport keys. They move you through the timeline. J is backwards, K stops, and L is forward. Pressing J or L twice in quick succession doubles the speed. Also, holding J and K together moves backwards in slow-motion while K and L moves forward in slow-motion.

Keypad 'del' The keypad delete key performs a  ripple delete, collapsing the space left after removing a clip. The result is the same as using shift-delete but simpler.

X Marks an In and an Out point on the clip beneath the playhead.

Option-V Paste attributes. First, select the clip whose attributes you want to copy (command-C). Then, paste on to another clip using option-V. Great for pasting size and level attributes between clips.

TTTT or Shift-T Changes the cursor to overlapping arrows. Touch any clip and all clips forward will be selected. Great for moving around large chunks of an edit.

+ and [number] Moves the selected clip forward - to the right - by an increment of the entered number. - and [number] moves the selected clip backwards, or to the left.

For more Final Cut  keystrokes, check out my twitter feed @fcpkeystokes where I post a new shortcut every day.

Advice to Multimedia Producers

There are dozens of books available on the workings of Final Cut Pro as well as innumerable websites filled with tips and tricks, like editing guru Larry Jordan's FCP Tip of the Day.

So after my last MediaStorm blog post, Ten Ways To Improve Your Multimedia Production Right Now, I thought it might be instructive to take a step back from technical issues and focus instead on some of the underlying ideas that help shape the production process at MediaStorm.

Advice to Multimedia Producers was inspired by two short but powerful books on creativity, David Lynch's Catching the Big Fish: Meditation, Consciousness, and Creativity and The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. And while I can't claim the genius of these two masterful books, I can say that my blog post was made far better by the contributions of the MediaStorm team.

Check out the piece here.

The Mother Load of Final Cut Pro Keystroke Shortcuts

The easiest way to find a Final Cut keystroke is to search the Button List (Tools>Button List). However, if you're the brave kind who wants to see all 600-plus shortcut keystrokes, there's a solution for you, too: Tools>Keyboard Layout>Save Grid as Text... You'll be asked to save a tab-delimited text file. Import the file in to Excel or any Spreadsheet program like Google Docs and witness the mother load: every single keyboard shortcut.

Test next Tuesday.