Chapter 1

Prescriptions for Success

If, as the media philosopher Marshall McLuhan once observed, Gutenberg made everyone a reader and Xerox made everyone a publisher, does Final Cut Pro make everyone an editor? Today powerful, inexpensive software such as Apple’s Final Cut Pro and Avid’s Media Composer rule the independent filmmaking world. Anyone with a couple hundred dollars, a computer, and an idea can become an editor. Or can they?

If you put 100 monkeys in a room with an Avid, it is unlikely they would eventually edit the great American movie. Though anyone can do it, not everyone can do it well; following the rules and knowing how to operate the software are not enough. Despite the accessibility of equipment and user manuals that describe ...

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