Does Stability in the Media Composer Mean Complacency for Editors?

The basic Media Composer feature set and user interface haven’t changed much in a decade. Sure some important features have been added, but for a lot of people in features and TV, the big learning curve was over a long time ago.

This has given the community a chance to refocus on what we love best, namely editing. But I think it’s also creating a false sense of security. The emphasis on education, so strong in the mid-90s has waned. Many editors I know even resist learning new things about the Media Composer itself.

Meanwhile, post-production continues to be fundamentally transformed. We’re seeing a shift to desktop applications, file-based workflows and distributed work environments. Editors are responsible for larger and larger swaths of the post-production landscape. And we’re facing stiffer competition from all over the world.

Are feature and TV editors prepared for this new world? I hope so. But one thing is certain — the stability of the Media Composer user interface should not be taken as a sign that things have stopped changing.

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2 Comments on “Does Stability in the Media Composer Mean Complacency for Editors?”

  1. L.R. Pebler Says:

    The fact that Media Composer’s UI has been stable for a long time means it was realtively well-designed in the first place. It is certainly true, though, that things are changing quickly in the electronic periphery.

    As a young, aspiring editor, I’m more worried about the opposite problem. A lot of my peers confusing knowing the hotkeys with knowing the craft of editing. I’ve grown up in a world of ever-updated geekery, and keeping up with the tech has never been a problem. The only way we can learn how to edit, though, is by learning from our elders, as it were.

    It’s up to the assistants to nudge these editors into learning the new tricks, I’d say.

  2. Steve Says:

    Well said, on both counts. Ideally the assistants keep the editors up to date on the gear and the editors help the assistants learn to tell a story. But all too often we end up in our own worlds. It takes energy to bridge that gap and sometimes there just isn’t time to do it.

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