Some additional thoughts on editing – and doing more with less…

I’ve been using Sony Vegas Pro 11 for the last two years. I paid $300.00 for it on Amazon. I have worked with Adobe Premiere, ten years ago, and liked it too. I did feel, and still do, that Vegas is faster to work with but a lot of that is because, well, I know it inside out. This is all by way of saying that I don’t think it really matters anymore what you edit with. I’m not talking about Hollywood here, but smaller independent productions doing basic editing. Vegas has it’s strengths, Premiere has its too. So does Avid. They all work. I think you would tend to be really choosy about your editor if one or another had certain strengths that you needed for a particular project. I do a lot of cuts with occasional simple titles. In addition, I wind up doing a fair amount of compositing as well – and even that is on the simple side – three to four layers max. Vegas has been fine for this work so far, but Adobe After Effects is out there and I may need to explore it in the near future for a theme-based long form film I’m contemplating.

One thing that’s a real minus with Vegas is the poor integration between the New Blue Titler that bundles with it. I try to avoid using it as it causes crashes about 1 in 5 times I use it during an edit session, (I’m using an I7 Intel processor, 12 gigs of internal ram, and an AMD Radeon 6700 Series graphics card with a gig of on board ram. This isn’t just me, a lot of people online complain about New Blue Titler crashing Vegas…So I wind up losing a couple of minutes of work, (back to the last auto-save). Like I mentioned, I keep my titles simple so I use the Sony bare-bones titler and if I need anything a bit more tricky I can even open Photoshop and whip up a title or graphic. Then bring it into Vegas and apply motion fx, whatever. Again, if I were doing car commercials or stuff that needed a lot of flash, I’d be into a whole different edit package and titling/graphics add-ons. I like how quickly I can drag and drop clips together to “sketch” a scene. I like the way I can slide together clips for dissolves. I like their pan/crop effect which I use all the time for creating moves when I’m using photographs. I know it’s strengths and weaknesses so I’ll be sticking with it for now. I like the way you can create subclips with descriptive names and then search them out at any time – great for b-roll.

Switching gears,…I was thinking the other day while out walking the dog that if my house burned down and destroyed all my gear and computers and I lost everything and was destitute, (forget about the fact that our house is insured – and destitution is relative:)!), I’d still be able to make films. Let see, I’ve got my smart phone, and a couple of apps, my favorite being Vintage 8mm , I’d scrounge a two year old laptop and edit in Windows Movie Maker. What, no lighting, sound, or other filmmaking paraphernalia? Not if I really went for the “content is king approach” and continued to stick to small productions working within the limitations of my “new” toolset of course. Other’s have done it:

Perhaps this is me telling myself once again, (by way of the Brooklyn Bridge), that the story is everything. In this glorious age of filmmaking, the possibility of making a film on less than a shoestring is a reality. And even if you don’t reach everyone, if your film means something to even a few people that’s something isn’t it?

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