Here is a very brief review of digital tools for media educators, notably those who are novices with editing and moviemaking in general. In particular, those who might be asking “where do I start?”
Adobe Premiere Elements (now at 12 in 2014) is the most widely used digital editing software available and is a more accessible consumer version of Adobe Premiere Pro. There are references available for Adobe Creative Suite 6 and through a new edition of Debbie Keller‘s textbook for digital moviemaking programs: Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, and Encore.
Final Cut Pro is one of the most popular programs for educators across the country, although after some early progress with professional uses about a decade ago, they have dropped significantly from the professional world (thanks to the release of FCP X), although they are still trying. For starters with Macs, most folks are familiar with the basic Apple program, iMovie, which has developed significantly over the years. Oh, by the way, Baxter and Wall edited their Academy Award-winning movies with FCP7.
Avid Technology is highly used by professionals today and is a solid bet for educators (it is the platform of choice at many universities). Among their products, Media Composer is the basic editing program and it is important to note that Pinnacle is a division of Avid.
Sony Vegas remains quite popular with students, although I have found it is less used by educators — is it the name?
For an overall look at the landscape, here is wiki page for video editing software that provides a table-based overview.
And what’s in store at this year’s Oscars in the editing department? There are some interesting stories: William Goldenberg has two nominations — for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty — so he is competing partly against himself, which hasn’t happened since Walter Murch in 1990 (for The Godfather, Part III and Ghost). And he is competing against his mentor, Michael Kahn, who is nominated for Lincoln. Here is a very thoughtful, interesting interview with Goldenberg by the site production Apprentice.