Avid Agility

Splice Here by Steve Cohen

Avid Agility is my new book, covering all things Media Composer, including new features in Media Composer 5. It represents a large fraction of what I know about the system, learned over a period of nearly two decades, during which time I worked closely with the folks at Avid, helped my peers become fluent with the system, taught hundreds of editing students, ran a magazine about editing, and in general, got neck deep in all things Media Composer. Two years in the making, it’s designed to appeal to long-time Media Composer users as well as relative newbies.

For advanced editors it contains tips on most aspects of the system — things gleaned from working with fellow editors and realizing how much information hasn’t yet percolated out to editing rooms. For those coming to Media Composer from other applications, it offers clear explanations of key topics, which should help you get up to speed quickly. The style is similar to this blog, so if you like the writing here, you’ll feel at home with the book. Fair warning: it’s not really a beginner’s book, and it doesn’t cover everything. But if you’re looking to get more out of Media Composer, this is the book for you.

You’ll find material on advanced editing & trimming; use of the Smart Tool; visual effects & advanced keyframes; color correction; titles; mixing; RTAS & stereo audio; multi-camera editing; settings & toolsets; AMA & media management; film & 24p; and plenty more. Because so much of the MC interface is color-dependent, the book is printed in color. I’m particularly proud of the illustrations, all 500 of them, which anchor the book and make it a lot more fun to read.

To give you a sense of what’s inside, I’ve posted some sample pages as pdfs:

Table of Contents

Chapter 7 – Trim Mode – first pages

Chapter 11 – Audio – stereo tracks and clips

Chapter 12 – Visual Effects – advanced keyframes

Early reviews have been very positive.

“Very rarely is the reincarnation of a classic pulled off successfully, but Steve Cohen’s done it. I highly recommend this book.” Frank Capria, Media Composer senior product designer. Full review.

“It is an amazing work — for both new and old Media Composer users. I’d recommend that each and every one of you who are editors … order the book.” Norman Hollyn, head of the editing track at the University of Southern California. Full review.

“For anyone who works regularly on an Avid, and has a desire to take their skills to the next level, this book is essential reading.” Larry Jordan, editor and founder of 2-pop.com and HollywoodReinvented.com.

Steve Cohen has taken his DECADES of experience editing on Avid and distilled them into a very readable, INCREDIBLY illustrated book. … I have done a lot of Avid training of my peers. At one point I read ALL of the Avid manuals. But Cohen’s book consistently delivers magical little tricks that make you say, “I wish I’d known THAT yesterday!” Steve Hullfish, editor, colorist, author of four books, Avid Master Editor.

You can purchase Avid Agility from Videoguys.com for $44.95! I hope you like it.

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