Music Video Editing with Final Cut Pro

This was one of two classes that I took during the 2021 Winter Term at Berklee Online. Overall I really enjoyed this class and got a lot out of it. The teacher, Mehdi Hassine, was also the creator of the course and I feel he did a great job in making this a really enjoyable and informative class.

Perhaps the most helpful thing I got from this class was practice doing straight cut editing of footage that wasn’t my own, which was super useful. Also, I really enjoyed the watching the teacher’s workflow and work style during his weekly live class. It was great seeing a professional do the work quickly and efficiently.

Here’s what we covered during the twelve week term:

Week 1: Basic layout of FCP and it’s interface; getting set up to use with FCP; working with and organizing source material; working within the browser; creating a program and working with the timeline.

Week 2: This week was all about “Video Editing Essentials”. We covered insert/append/overwrite/insert edits, three-point editing, four-point editing, modifying positions of /deleting/replacing clips in the timeline and editing to music and promo narration.

Week 3: Focus this week was mainly on the various types of trim editing that are possible in FCP: Single & Double-Roll Trimming, trimming via numeric input, J & L cuts, using the Trim Edit window, slipping and sliding clips via the Slip & Slide Tools. Other topics included: Flipping video clips, changing the speed of clips, freeze frames (via the “Hold” in the Retime Editor), reversing clips, Speed Ramps (to/from 0%), Instant Replay, Rewind, Video Quality & Preserving Pitch on retiming of clips, as well as basic aesthetics to consider when making transitions.

Week 4: This was the “Capturing and Transferring Footage” week. Topics included: “Preparing for Capture Footage”, “FCPX Supported Cameras/Devices and Hardware Setup”, “Transcoding Preferences”, “Capturing Footage From Tape”, “Importing from a Supported Camera”, “Organizing Tape Footage”, “Rating Selections”, “Transferring Media”, “Transferring Media into Final Cut Pro X”, “Workshop: Capturing and Transferring Techniques and Workflows” and “Assignment 4: Scripted Short”.

Week 5: We focused on transition effects during this week. “Selecting and Applying a Transition Effect”, “Transition Preferences”, “Audio Transitions”, “Modifying and Saving Transition Effects”, “The Inspector Window”, “Copying and Deleting Transitions”, “Rendering Effects”, “Rendering Preferences”, “Background Tasks”, “Clearing Unused Render Files”, “Workshop: Real-Time Settings and Effects Rendering”, “Assignment 5: B-Roll Editing and Transitions” were the topics we covered.

Week 6: This week we went over “Editing with Multiple Tracks and Camera Angles”. Main topics for this week were: “Synchronizing Camera Angles”, “Synchronization Techniques”, “Discussion 6.1: Multiple Angles and Synchronisation”, “Multi-Camera Editing with Multicam Clips”, “Creating Multicam Clips”, “Using Multicam Clips”, “Editing Across Multiple Connected Storylines”, “Connected Storylines”, “Compound Clips”, “Auditions”, “Synchronizing in Final Cut Pro X”, “Troubleshooting and Fixing Sync”, “Workshop: Fixing Sync”, “Discussion 6.2: Multi-Angle Music Video Examples” and “Assignment 6: Multi-Camera Music Performance”.

Week 7: This was “Video Effects” week. We went over: “Choosing, Applying, and Modifying Effects”, “Previewing Effects”, “Applying Effects”, “Modifying and Customizing Effects”, “Bypassing and Deleting Effects”, “Built-In Effects”, “Transform”, “Crop”, “Distort”, “Stabilization and Rolling Shutter”, “Spatial Conform”, “Compositing”, “Keyframing”, “Applying Keyframes”, “Adding Additional Keyframes”, “Deleting Keyframes”, “In-between Frames”, “The Video Animation Editor”, “Managing Effects”, “Advanced Rendering”, “Discussion 7.1: Video Effects”, and “Assignment 7: Student Choice”.

Week 8: This week was all about “Titles and Graphics”. Topics included: “Title Safe and Action Safe Areas”, “Titles”, “Customizing Titles”, “Title Tab”, “Text Tab”, “Themes”, “Video Formats”, “Frame Sizes and Screen Resolutions”, “Progressive vs. Interlaced Video Frames”, “Frame Rates”, “Aspect Ratios”, “Workshop: Video Formats”, “Graphics”, “Generators”, “Importing Graphics”, “Discussion 8.1: Titles and Graphics” and “Assignment 8: Credit Sequence with Music”.

Week 9: “Audio” week. We covered: “Audio Levels and Pans”, “Adjusting Audio Levels”, “Audio Meters”, “Clipping”, “Mixing Strategies”, “Setting Audio Levels”, “Panning”, “Soloing Clips”, “Resetting Levels and Pans”, “Audio Fades and Automation”, “Audio Level Automation”, “Pan Automation”, “Audio Fades”, “Fade Shapes and Modifications”, “Audio Enhancements and Effects”, “Audio Enhancements”, “Equalization”, “Channel Configuration”, “Audio Effects”, “Workshop: Audio Editing and Processing”, “Discussion 9.1: A History of the Title Sequence” and “Assignment 9: Music Video with Sound Effects”.

Week 10: This was the week I was looking forward to the most as it was about “Color Correction and Project Finalizing”. It’s a deep subject that I’ve spent some time learning about in the past but feel that I could use a lot more work understanding and doing better. Topics included: “Color Correction within Final Cut Pro”, “Automatic Color Balance”, “Match Color”, “Manual Color Correction”, “Color Tab”, “Saturation Tab”, “Exposure Tab”, “Using Color Correction Presets”, “Secondary Color Correction: Color and Shape Masks”, “Managing Color Corrections”, “Markers”, “Finalizing the Edit and Rendering”, “Video Scopes”, “Waveform Monitor”, “Histogram”, “Vectorscope”, “Troubleshooting Video Level Issues”, “Color Bars and Tone”, “Workshop: Color Correction and Project Finalizing”, “Discussion 10.1: Color Correction Techniques” and “Assignment 10: Music Video”.

Week 11: This week was “Outputting and Encoding”. We went over: “Outputting a Final Master Movie File”, “Video Encoding Essentials”, “Export Using Compressor Settings”, “Workshop: Video Encoding”, “Encoding Video with Compressor”, “Compressor User Interface”, “Compressor Workflow”, “Discussion 11.1: Video Compression and Quality” and “Assignment 11: Student Choice”.

Week 12: Our final week of the course was about “Creating DVD and Blu-Ray Discs”. Topics included: “Uploading Video for Internet Streaming”, “Method 1: Uploading Straight from FCPX”, “Uploading to YouTube”, “Uploading to Facebook”, “Uploading to Vimeo”, “Method 2: Converting in Compressor”, “Uploading via the YouTube Compressor Template”, “Uploading to YouTube”, “Uploading to Facebook and Vimeo”, “DVD and Blu-ray Authoring”, “DVD Authoring in FCPX”, “Blu-ray Authoring in FCPX” and “Exercise 12.1: Authoring a DVD or Blu-ray with Final Cut Pro X”.