If you follow my Twitter feed, you will note that I landed a new job.  This new job will be a History Channel two hour special, and I will be using an Avid Adrenaline (v2.7.7) to edit.  Now, while I am a HUGE FCP advocate and known world wide as an FCP editor and expert…I also know Avid Media Composer.  In fact, that is the first edit system I learned, back in 1995.  I edited with that system exclusively until 2005, when I made the switch to FCP.   Since then I have been editing primarily with FCP, but a few Avid jobs have come up…including the one I will be starting in a week or two.

I mention this as a way to say that, knowing both systems is VERY important in today’s post production market.  Don’t be labelled as an “FCP Editor” or “Avid Editor.”  Just be known as simply, an editor.  You need to be known as someone who can use either tool, because that will make you far more marketable.

Lately I have seen more friends and ex-coworkers remaining out of work because they don’t know how to edit on an Avid MC, or with FCP.  Recently a couple shows I have been working on shut down, in fact I am finishing up the online of the last few.  But the editors of those shows have been done for a while, and are in the market for new jobs.  And one of the producers here has many  many job leads that he gave all of us.  The issue is that pretty much all of them are for companies that use Avid MCs.  And a couple editors don’t know how to use the Avid MC, so the job leads are pretty much dead for them.

This is not a good situation.  By knowing only one NLE, in a town that is pretty evenly split between Avid MC and FCP, you have cut your job prospects in half.  And when post jobs are hard to come by, that is not a good situation to be in, to say the least.

So do yourself a favor…learn the other NLE.  When it comes to Avid MC, they have made this easy.  Avid offers a 30-day demo of Avid Media Composer.  Full feature demo…nothing held back.  You can download the software, capture footage via firewire, or use Avid Media Access to ingest tapeless media, and begin cutting.  Learn how the Avid works.  Go to the Avid YouTube channel and watch the demos.  Look at the demo they have a Lynda.com for Avid Express Pro (a lot of the features will be the same). Take this time you have off, or time in the evening if you do have a job, to learn this.

FCP doesn’t have a free demo…sorry about that.  They make it cheap and that is how it is accessible.  It would be very nice if they had a demo though.  But, there are TONS MORE tutorials out there for FCP, so you won’t be short on instructional material.  Lynda.com has tons, there are a few on CreativeCow.net, and YouTube…all over.

So take this time off and put it to good use.  Or if you are working and want to make yourself more marketable, then take your evenings or days off to learn the application.  Or if you can afford it, take a class.  Hands on with an instructor is second to none.

Now, I don’t mean to exclude Adobe Premiere or Sony Vegas or Edius or other NLEs.  It’s just that, in Los Angeles, as well as other major markets, Avid and FCP are the main NLE’s that companies that hire outside editors or freelancers use.  If there is a big market for Premiere editors in your area, then it would be wise to learn that software as well.

Good luck.

EDIT: Here are some very good links for learning the Avid. Just about everything you need to get you started, including sample media!

Video tutorials:

http://community.avid.com/forums/t/67003.aspx

http://community.avid.com/forums/t/71781.aspx

http://learn.avid.com/content/tutorials/

Sample Media:

http://www.avid.com/register/mcsoft_dl.asp

MC v4.0 What’s New:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=289951

Install Guide:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=263251

MC Basic Guide:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=289465

MC Advanced Guide:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=289457

Advanced Effects Guide:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=289395

Color Correction:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=289409

Best Practices:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=245361

MC Help Menu:

http://avid.custkb.com/avid/app/selfservice/search.jsp?DocId=346171

Not including stuff for FCP as you can throw a virtual rock on the interweb tubes and hit about 5000 things FCP related. Lynda.com being your one stop shop. BUT, this is also a good resource…at Apple: http://documentation.apple.com/en/finalcutpro/