Book Image

Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing

By : Iain Anderson
Book Image

Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing

By: Iain Anderson

Overview of this book

Final Cut Pro (also known as FCP, previously Final Cut Pro X) is Apple’s efficient and accessible video editing software for everyone, offering powerful features that experienced editors and novices will find useful. FCP is the quickest way to transform your raw clips into a finished piece, so if speed is important, make this a key tool in your editing arsenal. Final Cut Pro Efficient Editing is a comprehensive best practice guide for all editors. You’ll not only learn how to use the features but also find out which ones are the most important and when you should use them. With the help of practical examples, the book will show you how typical footage can be assembled, trimmed, colored, and finessed to produce a finished edit, exploring a variety of techniques. As you progress through the book, you’ll follow a standard editing workflow to get the feel of working on real-world projects and answer self-assessment questions to make sure that you’re on track. By the end of this Final Cut Pro book, you’ll be well versed with the key features of this app and have all the tools you need to create impressive edits.
Table of Contents (20 chapters)
Section 1: Importing and Organizing
Section 2: Rough Cut to Fine Cut
Section 3: Finishing and Exporting

1. Quick Start: An Introduction to FCP

"FCP X was built for the future as we saw it developing — more cameras, much more footage, reliance on metadata, the need to simplify complex and technical tasks to focus on creativity. You can see that this imagined future is exactly where we are right now."

— Steve Bayes, Final Cut Pro X and ProRes Product Manager, 2010–2018

After 10 years as a video editor in the 1980s, Steve became the first certified instructor for the Avid Media Composer and eventually the Principal Product Designer. In 2006 he became Apple’s Senior Product Manager for FCP. From 2010 he product managed the development and release of the ProRes video codec and FCP X, including the almost 30 subsequent releases. Steve retired from Apple in 2018 and continues to consult and invest in developing new technology for film and video.


Welcome. In this book, you’ll learn how to use Apple’s flagship non-linear editing application, Final Cut Pro, from a standing start — and it’s going to be fun. As I won’t be assuming that you already know how to edit, this chapter will guide you through a few of the fundamentals of editing, give you a broad overview of the interface, show you how the editing workflow functions, and give you a few tips on what kind of hardware will help you down the track.

Video editing is a huge field, and there are many, many ways to proceed, either on your own or as part of the wider industry. You’ll hear many opinions on best practices, and, indeed, not all of those opinions will agree with the advice I’ll give you here. And that’s fine! Wherever there are conflicting opinions, I’ll do my best to explain why I’m making my specific recommendations, and you can feel free to go a different way if you have different needs. It’s all good.

Before I get into the details of Final Cut Pro — frequently abbreviated to FCP — I’d like to take you on a quick tour of video editing more broadly. You can tell a story with any software, but the technical details do matter, and a lot has changed. This book has been completely updated for the 10.5 release, where Final Cut Pro X became Final Cut Pro. All the recently introduced features will be pointed out throughout the book so that existing users can easily discover them.

This chapter will cover the following main topics:

  • A brief history of editing
  • Interface basics
  • An editing workflow overview
  • Hardware recommendations

By the end of this chapter, you’ll have a great understanding of what the app is about, what this book’s about, the editing process that you’ll learn, and the gear you’ll need to put it into practice.