3 Books on Editing in Avid Media Composer
If you’re looking for some great books on learning Avid Media Composer and then, after having grasped the fundamentals, developing some mastery for it, then you wont do much better than this trio of highly recommend books. In my search for a few great books on making the most of Media Composer these are the best of what I’ve discovered so far, but if you feel I’ve missed anything better do hit the comments section!
Avid Agility – Steve Cohen
This book was recommended to me in the comments section of my post on Avid Solutions for FCP Editors and Steve Cohen’s Avid Agility looks like its a fantastic resource for working editors moving to Avid.
“One thing about Avid is that there are many ways to do a trim, and you really want to know how to work most efficiently, and that is how the seasoned Avid editors think.” – Strypes In Post
Author Steve Cohen is a highly regarded features editor (check him out on this superb That Post Show podcast) as well as publisher of the Motion Picture Editors Guild Magazine. Avid Agility also has rave reviews from top notch post folk and if thats not enough to convince you, check out the massive contents list here.
“The most ambitious and comprehensive book on Avid Media Composer I’ve read. This is much more than an operating manual or how-to — it’s like having a seasoned pro sitting next to you, revealing his trade secrets. If you’re a Media Composer editor, rookie or old pro, Avid Agility will make you a better editor, guaranteed.” – Jonathan Moser, Post Magazine.
Now in its third edition (revamped for Media Composer 6) there is also a handy colour kindle version too. This book is firmly planted at the top of my Avid training shopping list.
Avid Assistant Editor’s Handbook – Kyra Coffie
As you can tell from the trailer Kyra’s Avid Assistant Editor’s Handbook is firmly pointed at teaching the up-and-coming-would-be-assistant-editor and her book seems to be one the best guides there is out there on the specifics of becoming a working assistant editor.
Kyra Coffie is obviously one of those rare and extraordinary individuals, she is the AE’s AE, and her new book is a painstakingly thorough, researched and exhaustive guide to how to achieve that valued stature of an editor’s closest ally.
The book covers everything from dealing with file based media, creating rough cuts and preparing projects for online sessions and at over 400 pages is pretty thorough. The ‘Assistant Editor’s Checklist’ is also a helpful appendix of a 4 page tick-box list of reminders of all the details you need to get right, especially when working on a reality TV show.
From Jonathan Moser’s review for Post Magazine, its seems like the balanced view would be that there are better ‘how-to’ Avid books out there for some particular points, but as a primer for those looking to become a working editor’s assistant, its a fine read indeed.
The Avid Media Composer Cookbook – Ben Hershleder
The most recently published of all these three books, editor and eighteen year Avid instructor veteran Ben Hershleder’s Avid Media Composer Cookbook provides a task-based approach to laying out its contents, which is actually a profoundly useful way of accessing the ‘how-to’ material.
Each task is broken up into a simple recipe of ‘How to do it’, ‘How it works’ and ‘There’s More’ sections which quickly let you get to the meat of understanding what you’re trying to do. If only the Avid Media Composer was laid out as helpfully!
At well over 400 pages you’re definitely investing in a comprehensive guide to all things Avid in a very accessible format and style. Like Avid Agility there is also a slightly cheaper Kindle edition for those who prefer thumbing through their books electronically. For a detailed breakdown of all that Ben’s book covers and a whole load of free tips, tricks and tutorials be sure to check out his website here.