Book Review: 'Avid Agility'

Post by Jonathan Moser

By Steven Cohen, ACE

Working Faster and More Intuitively with Avid Media Composer

I haven't met Steven Cohen, but after reading his book, Avid Agility (in stock $44.95), I feel like I have. Cohen was a pioneer in nonlinear editing, cutting the first studio feature to use Avid (Lost in Yonkers). He's taught at the AFI, was publisher of the Editor's Guild magazine and co-founded the Avid Editor's Advisory Committee. And, now, he's published the most ambitious and comprehensive book on Avid Media Composer I've read. (Avid should include this with every Composer system sold).

This book could have had a number of other titles: “Avid Demystified,” “Avid Revealed,” or “Flying with Avid.” I can promise you one thing… should you get this book, and I highly advise you do if you're a Media Composer editor, rookie or old pro, “Avid Agility” will make you a better editor, guaranteed.

This is much more than a operating manual or how-to — it's like having a seasoned pro sitting next to you, revealing his trade secrets, explaining and enlightening you, all for the cost of a book.

In 236 jam-packed pages, Cohen has managed to take us on a very personalized trip through an admittedly complex and often baffling tool that has had its share of supporters and detractors. He shows us tips and tricks, shortcuts and gotchas, and reveals secrets that explain in concise and colorful prose and illustrations the versatile ways Media Composer can and should be used. He explains it in a straightforward manner that doesn't talk down or overcomplicate understanding.

Frankly, it's no secret that we editors are often stingy with our secrets and methods... admittedly, it's one of our worst traits, mea culpa. So for Cohen to have opened up decades of know-how and tips and tricks to advance our skill set is fantastic, and it only benefits us to take advantage of the opportunity. read more...

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