Since the very start of my career as a professional video editor, my tool of choice has been Avid Media Composer – widely recognized as the industry leader in video editing software. Now I’m not for or against any editing software package in itself as it’s the way you use it that matters (plus you can’t download ideas and creativity can you?) But if you are familiar with video post production, you may have worked with a Final Cut Pro editor or a Premiere Pro editor before (both of which I do still use occasionally) but Avid Media Composer for me is the best video editing platform in the world.
After over a decade of working both as a freelance video editor and within the post production department at many Nottingham video production companies, this year I finally decided to work towards my certification as a Avid Media Composer certified user. I’ve just arrived back from London where I achieved my certification as an Avid Certified User and I’m chuffed to bits.
But why should you care?
Continuous Improvement is vital as a freelancer
Since becoming a freelance Avid editor in 2009 and subsequently starting my own award winning video production company later that year, I learnt that self-employment and being your own boss is both a fantastic and stressful experience. One thing I learnt early on is the need to constantly be learning. Working between many East Midlands video production companies introduced me to countless new ways of working. The idea of getting a dog for the office stuck with me for a while, until my cat came along! But to follow up these discoveries with a strict diet of education was vital. Endless hours spent on Lynda.com learning to brush up my audio mixing skills or leafing through thick reference books and blogs on colour grading and camera developments are the minimum requirement to stay on top of industry developments. So finding new ways to be inspired and learn new skills quickly became a habit.
Certified training helps you learn the proper ways of doing things
On the job and self directed learning can get you a long way, but I find that to truly understand something – especially software – taking lessons from the creators cannot be beaten. It’s like an animator spending a week with Aardman or Pixar. Without proficient training it’s easy for your methods to become warped. You end up using inaccurate terms for particular attributes within a software programme (because that’s what that bloke at Company X always used), calling one feature by another name (because the icon looks more like a Hot Dog than a Paint Brush), or missing out on crucial software developments and being left behind. This is especially true in the creative industries where software distribution moves towards a ‘rolling-contract’ approach and software updates are trickled in several times a year without you even noticing. So keeping up to speed on improvements and changes is essential, and Avid make this easy by providing several courses, workbooks and exams for professional Avid editors to expand their knowledge.
So what does being an Avid Certified User mean for clients?
Being branded as an Avid Certified User (the only Avid Certified user in the East Midlands) means that my working methods are approved by the most trusted video and film editing software manufacturer in the world. If it’s good enough for Hollywood it’s good enough for me! My listing on the Avid website shows that my knowledge of the system is viewed as on par with a small number of professional video editors in the UK meaning I can make better decisions in the edit suite and create more creative and effective programmes. But most of all, all my clients now know they get more value for money. Understanding the intricacies of the software to a level that very few in the UK have achieved, allow me to develop content, implement feedback and deliver projects fast than ever before.
And more importantly, I have a shiny new logo to show off and a neat little certificate!
Drop me an email or give me a call if you want to chat about your next edit project.