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Total Training for Final Cut Pro 5

Time to tackle another A company By Stephen Schleicher

Total Training is very well known for their training videos covering Adobes line of products.  Now Total Training is branching out and is offering training on other products.  What better way than to tackle Apples Final Cut Pro 5, with Total Training for Final Cut Pro 5:  The Essentials.

For years Total Training has dominated the Adobe application training market covering everything from taking great photos and manipulating them with Adobe Photoshop, to making awesome motion graphics with Adobe After Effects.  Now they are expanding their coverage and taking on another of the Big 3 A companies in this round it is Apple and Final Cut Pro 5.

In this first offering, Total Training is offering an Essentials Series ($229.99) covering the basics of Final Cut Pro 5.  These lessons teach you everything from logging and capturing, organizing the bin, effects, transitions, fixing common audio problems, and the multiple ways to edit video.  The best part about this training video, is it shows you how to increase your productivity by demonstrating the multiple ways of doing the same task.  For example, in the first major lesson, you learn how to edit by dragging, dropping, adjusting length and removing gaps, then repeat the same lesson by using a combination of keyboard shortcut and mouse moves and the introduction of the three point edit, and finally showing how the entire process can be done with keyboard shortcuts alone.  Applications like Final Cut Pro encourage you to use the workflow that is best for you.

For those who have edited for a while, this may seem like nothing new, but remember this series is for beginners.  If you have been editing with Final Cut Pro for at least a year, and have read the Apple Certified Books, then you will find little new information.  But for the beginner your socks will be rocked.

Most familiar with other Total Training products know Brian Maffitt and are aware that he really knows his stuff, and Final Cut Pro is no exception.  I really enjoy Brians laid back teaching style, presenting you with just enough information to get you to understand the material, but not going too far as to bore the viewer.

The two disc set is divided into two parts.  Program 1 covers basic editing and is perfect for the n00b who needs to understand the interface, how to navigate, and how to perform basic edits.  Program 2 goes beyond the basics and covers some of the cool features of Final Cut Pro including controlling motion, working with graphics (an area where Maffitt shines) color correction, effects, and a great section on audio fundamentals

Like all excellent training courses, The Essentials also includes all the project files and footage used so you can follow along.  What makes these files special is instead of working with 4:3 DV footage, Maffitt has gone out of his way to shoot and provide HDV 16:9 footage shot with Sonys Z1U camera.  Talk about being ahead of their time.  For anyone thinking of editing HD/V footage or even getting the feeling for editing a film project, this is a great addition.

Im still not a huge fan of Total Trainings new and improved player interface. I think it is great way to break up the lessons, add bookmarks, and slip subliminal ads for other Total Training products into the mix, however, it means you have to play the training on a computer.  The good thing is you can get great resolution on your screen, but for those with only one system (and potentially no second monitor), it makes it rather difficult to follow along as the beginner would constantly have to switch between the application and the training material. 

Since I do have access to multiple computers in the DMN Central Division, I didnt have this problem.  I did run into a few instances where my powerful PCs would stutter and stumble through the QuickTime files, often losing sync.  Probably best to run this sucker on a Mac especially since it is Final Cut Pro.

With two of the three big editing applications down, could Avid be next?  Time will tell.

With approximately 12 hours of training, beginners are sure to get up to speed and learn what they need to know to edit footage with Final Cut Pro.  With a great instructor, easy to comprehend directions, and solid footage to work with, Total Training for Final Cut Pro 5: The Essentials gets a Strong Buy Recommendation.

For more information on Total Training, visit

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Stephen Schleicher has crossed the country several times over the last couple of years going from Kansas to Atlanta , Georgia, and Southern California. In his time traveling, he has worked as an editor, graphic designer, videographer, director, and producer on a variety of video productions ranging from small internal pieces, to large multimedia
corporate events.

Currently, Stephen shares his knowledge with students at Fort Hays State University who are studying media and web development in the Information Networking and Telecommunications department. When he is not shaping the minds of university students, Stephen continues to work on video and independent projects for State and local agencies and organizations as well as his own ongoing works.

He is also a regular contributor to Digital Producer, Creative Mac, Digital Webcast, Digital Animators, and the DV Format websites, part of the Digital Media Online network of communities (, where he writes about the latest technologies, and gives tips and tricks on everything from Adobe After Effects, to Appleā??s Final Cut Pro, LightWave 3D, to shooting and lighting video.

He has a Masters Degree in Communication from Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kansas. As a forward thinker, he wrote his Thesis on how Information Islands and e-commerce would play a major role in keeping smaller communities alive. This of course was when 28.8 dialup was king and people hadnā??t even invented the word e-commerce.

And, he spends what little free time he has biking, reading, traveling around the country, and contemplating the future of digital video and its impact on our culture. You can reach him at

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