Seeking Final Cut Pro access in Chicago
January 27, 2008 9:25 PM   Subscribe

Is there any place in Chicago where a stereotypically starving artist can use Final Cut Pro and/or other video production tools for free or cheap?

My computer is ancient, and since moving here I no longer have access to a computer with Final Cut Pro. I make video art, and have a huge list of projects planned out, but no equipment with which to produce them. This is insanely frustrating.

I've looked a bit into Universities, as the one I attended in Ohio would basically let anyone walk in and sit down at a G4 as long as they looked like they could be a student. Doesn't seem so easy here. I would be willing to scrape up a monthly lab fee if necessary, but I'm not sure if that would even do it, as the people I have talked to attending schools here have said you must be enrolled to use the labs. Sometimes even only with a certain qualifying major.

I figure there might be some less strict schools that would allow me in, or an artist co-op type of place, or even some kind of A.V. club for graduates?

A decent computer with Final Cut Pro and the ability to burn DVD's would be amazing.

Rental video cameras and/or a simple studio set with simple lighting would be amazing as well.

A digital camera on a copy stand wouldn't hurt a bit.

Again, I would of course prefer free access but would be willing to pay monthly lab fees, by the hour, exchange use of equipment for time volunteering to help out/assist other artists, or whatever other possibilities could be out there. Possibly a job available somewhere that has video equipment/studios? I've worked as an FCP editor, photographer's assistant, and wet process darkroom supervisor.

Any ideas?
posted by white light to Media & Arts (5 answers total)
Try Chicago Filmmakers. They are a non-profit and should be able to get you access to the stuff you need at low cost.
Also would be a good general resource for you, it seems.
posted by cushie at 9:29 PM on January 27, 2008

Another option would be to do an internship at a post-production house. I used to work for Avenue Edit here in Chicago and I can tell you that they are always in need of intern help. Even if you can only dedicate a day a week you'll still have access to their equipment. Another plus is that you would be developing relationships with people that could further your career.

Other than that, I would say you could attend the next FCP User Group meeting (usually held at Adler Planetarium) and ask around about some facilities. David Sallak from Midwest Media pretty much knows everything and anything to do with FCP here in Chicago, he'd be a good person to ask. Good luck.
posted by ISeemToBeAVerb at 9:44 PM on January 27, 2008

Columbia College?
posted by gramcracker at 9:59 PM on January 27, 2008

If you're near Hyde Park, Fire Escape Films, the film-making group at the University of Chicago, are the people to talk to. I'm pretty sure they'll let anyone use their stuff if you fill out the forms and whatnot and they have software, computers, cameras, lights, etc. for their members to use.
posted by bubukaba at 10:31 PM on January 27, 2008

Since you haven't replied with a best answer, I'll tell you that Future Media Concepts, trades classes with FCP/avid/adobe against light office work as an intern. 2-3 days/week of work.
posted by filmgeek at 1:49 AM on February 6, 2008

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