Archive for the ‘Avid Agility’ category

Amazon Discounts Avid Agility

August 11, 2012

I’m happy to announce that Amazon has reinstated its usual discounts on “Avid Agility.” You can now get the new third edition for about 27% off the cover price. That beats the discounted price at CreateSpace and includes free shipping. If you are frustrated by the limits of Avid’s documentation, you need this book. Details and pdf samples are here. Amazon also has the Kindle edition, at an even lower price, which allows you to have the book on your iPad, iPhone, Android device, and on your Mac or PC at the same time.

Those of you who already have the book and want to support it — please add a review at Amazon. Thanks!

Avid Agility – Print & Kindle – Now at Amazon

July 27, 2012

The latest edition of Avid Agility, my book about Avid Media Composer, is now available from Amazon. If you’re looking to make the most out of Media Composer 6, you’re going to love this book. Filled with detailed screen shots, it offers a concise, visual, and easy-to-understand look at how to use the system — from an editor’s perspective. The new third edition has been extensively revised, is almost 50 pages longer and includes a new chapter on Script Integration and ScriptSync.

The ebook is now available, as well. It’s designed for all Kindle devices but it looks terrific on color screens like those on the iPad, Kindle Fire and Android tablets. You can also open it in the Kindle app for your Mac or PC, making it easy to have it on the same screen as your favorite editing application.

For details, reviews and pdf samples, check out this page.

To get a 20% discount on the print edition, order the book directly from the publisher, CreateSpace, and enter this code when you check out: HGDQXDTN.

CreateSpace // Amazon // Kindle

If you’re using MC6, be sure to get the Third Edition.

[Update — on Friday, an Amazon software glitch prevented installation of the digital book on the iPad. But as of Saturday morning, everything appears to be working. I’m very sorry about this. If you are still having problems, please let me know at]

Avid Agility — 3rd Edition — Available Now

July 18, 2012

Today, I’m excited to announce the release of the third edition of my book, Avid Agility. This version is bigger than ever, with almost 50 pages of new material, lots of important new tips and a brand new chapter covering Script Integration and ScriptSync. It now focuses on Media Composer 6, and all illustrations reflect Avid’s new design.

If you’re looking for ways to make the most out of MC6, you need this book. The reviews for the second edition were stellar. Newbies have raved about how it clearly and succinctly explains difficult concepts, and long-time Avid editors have discovered crucial shortcuts that they were unaware of. Many people have told me that it has changed the way they edit. The second edition is in use all over the world by prominent editors and at major film schools.

Here’s a sample of recent reviews (details here).

  • Post Magazine: “Like having a seasoned pro sitting next to you, revealing his trade secrets. Avid Agility will make you a better editor, guaranteed.”
  • Editors Guild Magazine: “Very much a definitive book about the Media Composer.”
  • Lawrence Jordan: “The quickest path to becoming a Media Composer Jedi Master.”
  • Norman Hollyn (USC): “An amazing work — for both new and old Media Composer users.”

You can buy Avid Agility today from CreateSpace. It will be available from Amazon in a few days, along with a new Kindle version. I encourage you to take a look at it. No matter how much you know about Media Composer, I’ll wager that it will help you work faster and with more facility.

To make it easy for early adopters to take the plunge I’m offering a 20% discount through CreateSpace. Just enter this code when you check out: HGDQXDTN. Standard shipping is inexpensive and will get you the book in about a week.

I hope you like the new edition, and I’m eager to hear your feedback. Add your comments to this post or write me directly at

Amazon Reinstates Discounts on Avid Agility

February 13, 2012

Those of you who are thinking about purchasing my book “Avid Agility” may have noticed that Amazon stopped discounting it last week. Their discount formula is a closely guarded secret, but I’m happy to say that humans can prevail, and after I talked with tech support, they’ve reinstated it. In fact, they’re now offering the book at their lowest price ever — just $30.99, making this a terrific time to pick up a copy. With its detailed illustrations and simple explanations, “Avid Agility” is a great way to learn about using Media Composer in the real world. Check out reviews and order it from Amazon. Or take a look at the sample pdfs here.

Did Apple Know What They Were Doing?

July 26, 2011

For those of us fascinated by the evolution of editing technology, the Final Cut Pro X release is the gift that keeps on giving. Kanen Flowers has reinvigorated his long-dormant podcast, “That Post Show” (on iTunes), and the episode released yesterday covering FCP X a month after the launch, includes Mike J. Nichols, Paul del Vecchio, Peter Wells and Larry Jordan, talking about why the application is not for pros, at least not yet. But go to Apple’s FCP site and you’ll find the word “professional” everywhere, so much so that the whole thing seems defensive — a rarity  from Apple. The center of the page showcases four videos that highlight innovation in the program, again explicitly aimed at “professionals” and, shock of shocks, including screen grabs from the competition. Apple is feeling the heat, that’s for sure. They’ve damaged their biggest asset: the loyalty of their user base. Avid’s new management, by comparison, understands how precious that is (and current Media Composer users are a very loyal bunch).

The conventional wisdom right now seems to be that Jobs and Ubillos knew exactly what they were doing. They deliberately accepted the loss of the pro market in order to appeal to a much larger market. We may not like it, but it was a smart business decision — or so that line of reasoning goes. But I’m not so sure. Everybody makes mistakes, even Steve Jobs. Did the people at Apple really expect this much push-back? I’ve seen too many companies get stars in their eyes going after the Hollywood market to be confident that Apple is willing to write it off. I suspect that they want it all, and they still think we’ll come around. The question is whether the FCP X interface, which lacks a source monitor or bins, can ever be patched to work for people like me.

Apple has attempted to purify and clarify the editing model for a file-based era, removing anything that comes from film or linear tape. The source monitor — linear tape. Bins — film. EDLs — tape. Even in and out points are gone — again, they stem from the tape days. Frankly, I applaud that kind of out-of-the-box thinking. And there’s plenty of innovation in FCP X, innovation that I hope Avid and Adobe are busy copying. But Apple wins by taking chances, going where no one has gone before. And sometimes it goes to far. It sure seems like this is one of those times.

Let me end this post with a shameless plug. If you’re thinking about moving from Final Cut to Media Composer, you need my book, “Avid Agility.” MC is not a clone of FCP. Much of what makes it so powerful and responsive is hidden. The fastest way to understand why so many people think it’s the best way to edit is to get my book.

Avid Reinstates FCP Cross-Grade

July 1, 2011

In the wake of Apple’s perceived abandonment of the professional editing community, and the desire of many FCP users to take fresh look at the competition, Avid will reinstate their Final Cut Pro “cross-grade” offer on July 5th, making it possible once again for licensed users of FCP (through version 7) to purchase a copy of Media Composer for $999, and find out why so many Media Composer editors would rather fight than switch. For details, see this message from Avid CEO Gary Greenfield. If you’re a student, you can take advantage of Avid’s academic pricing and get MC for $300, or you can download it for a 30-day free trial.

If you’re moving to Media Composer from Final Cut, I recommend that you take a look at my book Avid Agility. It’s your best way to get the most out of MC, and do it quickly. As one reviewer put it, it’s “the quickest path to becoming a Media Composer Jedi Master.” Check out additional reviews and sample pdfs here or order it from Amazon.

Avid Agility for Kindle

May 21, 2011

Today, I’m very excited to announce the release of Avid Agility for Kindle. As many of you know, I’ve been busy working on this version for months now, hoping to create an ebook that fully incorporates the printed book’s illustrations and looks as good on screen as it does on paper. I’m proud to say that the version I’m releasing today is every bit as effective as the traditional one, especially on larger color screens, and it has some important advantages: it’s easier to carry around, you can quickly search for anything you’re interested in, all cross references are active and clickable — and it’s less expensive.

Remember that you can read Kindle books on all kinds of devices, not just the Kindle itself, where the black and white screen is a limitation. Avid Agility looks particularly good on the iPad, where the big color screen works wonders for the illustrations, and it’s also available on the iPhone and on Android phones and tablets. The free Kindle apps for Mac and PC mean that you can have the book where you need it most — on your editing system, while you work.

The new Kindle version is also available in many European countries, where you can get it without having to pay shipping charges.

The book has gotten terrific reviews: from some of the most important editors in Hollywood to relative neophytes. You can be reading it in seconds by ordering from Amazon’s Kindle Store. Find out more about it here. I hope you like it as much as I do.