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DV Filmmaking by Ian David Aronson

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Chapter 9. An Overview of Nonlinear Editing

In this chapter

Timelines, Frames, and TracksHow Nonlinear Editing Benefits the Independent Filmmaker
Making the Most of Nondestructive Editing: The Difference Between Project Files and Media Files
How Timecode Makes Nonlinear Editing Possible

Just as prosumer DV cameras revolutionized the way independent filmmakers shoot their work, nonlinear editing systems have forever changed the way people edit. For years, people dreamed about the ability to not only shoot with an affordable camera, but to edit on an affordable system without sacrificing quality. When Avid introduced its digital editing systems in the mid-1990s, filmmakers marveled at how easily they could create multiple versions of a project and how, suddenly, it had become so much easier to insert or delete material from a sequence. Almost overnight, rearranging and juxtaposing shots became about as simple as cutting and pasting text in a word processor.

The Avid, however, was not cheap. In fact, at upwards of $60,000 for a complete system, an Avid easily cost more than many independent filmmakers earned in a year. When Apple introduced Final Cut Pro in 1999, professional-quality nonlinear editing became affordable. Final Cut retails for slightly less than $1,000, and unlike an Avid, which required users to purchase proprietary hardware additions like specific capture cards and hard drives, Final Cut runs on standard, off-the-shelf computers.

By the year 2000, filmmakers could ...

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