Ensuring your students make the cut with pro editing software

If you want your students to make a splash in the creative industries, you need to get them using professional standard software as soon as possible – it’s all about embedding those key creative skills early on!  Unless you have someone on staff who’s familiar with one video package over the others and so can teach more confidently and comprehensively on that system, it can be difficult to work out which of the big three editors (Apple Final Cut Pro X, Avid Media Composer and Adobe Premiere Pro) is best for you.

Luckily, our Media & Entertainment team can help. We’ve supplied solutions to schools, colleges, universities and the creative industries over the years, so whether you just want to prepare students for more rigorous training later on or are set on getting them straight into an industry standard workflow, we can help. As well as advising on software that’ll support your teaching style, we can also talk you through hardware, I/O and storage options that will let you organise, store and share work in a way that means you can always access the files you need, but don’t get bogged down in dealing with complicated technical workflows. For starters, here’s their advice on the most popular editing software…

The all-rounder (perfect for embedding creative skills in the curriculum)

Over the past decade, we’ve seen Apple’s Final Cut Pro take off across all levels of education, and the latest version, FCP X, is no exception – in fact, we reckon its similarity to iMovie means that it’s the ideal editing package for schools that are new to video editing and don’t necessarily have anyone with experience of professional programs on staff. The interface is simple, uncluttered, and features a magnetic timeline that makes it easy to trim and reorder clips without losing track of any of your footage.

This is still a relatively new program, but the features Apple are adding are making it ever-easier to use. New addition Unified Import means your students can import footage from different sources in one, easily manageable window, saving valuable class time.

The professional (perfect for getting your music and media departments working together)

Avid’s Media Composer is the original non-linear editor, and is an established industry staple. Like all Avid solutions, Media Composer can be integrated with Avid’s own qualified hardware, giving you professional standard I/O and media storage (much of which comes with education discounts and regular, hefty price cuts), or hooked up to solutions from third parties like AJA or Blackmagic Design.

Investing in hardware of this quality is quite a commitment, but if the creative skillset is a focus for your school, it’s well worth it, as you’ll get a more reliable system in which files can be moved easily from machine to machine or program to program – if your music department uses Pro Tools, this can be integrated with Media Composer to help both groups develop their sound for picture skills. Having an end-to-end Avid workflow like this also means you’re closely mirroring the workflow students will encounter out in the real world, so you’re giving them a huge head start with potential employers.

The one you already have (perfect for teaching transferable creative skills)

Adobe Premiere Pro is part of Adobe’s Creative Suite range – if your school has Master Collection licences, you already have it. Although video editing and image editing are very different disciplines, students who have used programs like Photoshop and are familiar with how Adobe programs behave will probably find Premiere Pro the easiest editor to get to grips with, and will be able to use skills they’ve developed in other programs to enhance their videos. For example, you can create titles and graphics in Photoshop, then import them to Premiere Pro to include in their video projects.

Capable of handling all different formats and resolutions in one project timeline, Premiere Pro removes the need to waste time transcoding footage or waiting for projects to transfer – you can spend all your lesson time teaching. And as for developing planning skills and documenting evidence for assessment, look no further than Adobe Story, an ITV-approved app that’s available free online and handles all your pre- production tasks, allowing students to plan shoots and write and edit scripts, all where you can see and record it.

Want to find out more about how our editing solutions can help your students? Give us a call on 03332 409 333 or email learning@Jigsaw24.com. For all the latest news, updates and reviews, follow @Jigsaw24Edu on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook

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