A good book for Final Cut Pro 5
October 8, 2008 3:02 PM   Subscribe

What's the best handbook for guiding my Final Cut Pro 5.1 learning curve?

I've done a little non-linear editing in the past (Adobe Premiere) but am about to make a more committed leap into the land of Final Cut Pro. An editor friend suggested I pick up a good book to aid me in my learning curve.

Any suggestions? I'm not concerned with editing theory and the like, just the nuts and bolts of actually working with Final Cut Pro 5.1.
posted by philip-random to Media & Arts (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I don't know any books, but I have heard great things about lynda.com. I've never actually used them though, so this is second-hand information.

Also, apparently Ken Stone's site is a goldmine.
posted by Magnakai at 3:58 PM on October 8, 2008

Yeah, sorry to be another "I don't know of any books," but I do find the websites Magnakai mentioned helpful, as well as other FCP forums (just google 'em, they're out there).

Really, if you want books on using FCP, find a few of them and compare them. Pick the one that matches your learning style and dig in. Editing is more an art than a science (95% of your cuts will just be cuts, like in Premiere), but yes, you do need to learn some nuts and bolts. The web resources you'll find are populated with people sharing information and tips (especially with regard to secondary stuff like getting FCP to work properly with your specific setup, interfacing FCP with other software, etc.)

One thing-- learn the keyboard shortcuts for FCP. Learn them. Trust me.
posted by Rykey at 5:45 PM on October 8, 2008

Diana Weynand's Final Cut Pro 5 moved me from Premiere to Final Cut 5.1.
A solid nuts and bolts book.
posted by Izner Myletze at 7:36 PM on October 8, 2008

Considering I'll probably be the only ACT who answer this....it doesn't matter. Any FCP 5.x book will provide you basic structure. Don't stress out about which book is best. 80% of what you'll learn will be provided by every book on the market.

The only big thing, will be that you can find (hopefully) the older books cheaper. Weynand's book is fine. So is Tom Wolskys'. Just pick a book and go through it. The 'advanced' stuff will come...as you're ready for it.
posted by filmgeek at 10:01 PM on October 8, 2008

Best answer: I kinda went hog-wild on tutorial materials when I started up with Final Cut after exhausting iMovie. I bought a LOT of books and subscribed to lynda.com, bought some video courses from MacProVideo, etc... I love books, but honestly, the videos were by far the more useful to me. And they've largely spoiled me for reading about software basics except for isolated issues where I need detail. In short, I can't imagine a single book, or even small collection of any of the books I've bought that would be as valuable as spending $25 a month once or twice at lynda.com to get you up to speed. MacProVideo's stuff was equally good; they just don't offer a subscription approach.

From my book collection, though, I'd choose this QuickPro guide as a comprehensive and concise task reference, and this cool collection of tips from some working pros, over all the project-walk-through and wordy over-view approaches offered in the Apple guides and most of the others. Project walk-thrus are best watched, not read, and references and tips are best read, imo.
posted by dpcoffin at 1:27 PM on October 9, 2008

Oh, and Larry Jordan's free newsletter is always a good read.
posted by dpcoffin at 1:31 PM on October 9, 2008

Response by poster: Thank you, all.

Lots of useful stuff here. I asked for a single book, I got a library. dpcoffin gets "best answer" because I just found the QuickPro book he recommends on craigslist for dead cheap.
posted by philip-random at 3:48 PM on October 9, 2008

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