I started my new job on Tuesday, and this time I find myself in front of an Avid Media Composer.  And what’s REALLY cool about it, is that it is the lastest version of Media Composer. When I interviewed I asked what version they were running, and they said MC Adrenaline version 2.7.7.  That’s pretty old, but a fine version.  But when I got the job, I asked them if they would be willing and able to upgrade to Media Composer 4.0.  My main reasons are that they shot everything on Panasonic P2, and P2 support on MC 4.0 is much better than 2.7.7.  Plus we will be needing to add some stock footage, and to be able to take advantage of Avid’s Mix and Match would be a real time saver.  And other enhancements like SELECT ALL RIGHT or LEFT and transition preservation, it would be a real timesaver and a benefit to me and the production.

Apparently I did a good job of selling this, because before I started, they updated the system.  I cannot tell you how happy that made me.  Oh, but that’s not the point of this blog post, so I’ll move on.

While I am taking these first couple days to familiarize myself with the footage, I find myself resorting to an old practice I had of making select reels.  This isn’t uncommon, this is a standard practice for Avid editors.  What I do is when I run across some good footage, I add it to a sequence.  This sequence is a select reel.  I do this for each scene, or location, or interview.  I have  a bin called SELECT REELS in which I store these, and I will often refer to them.

I can then load this sequence into the PREVIEW monitor (Viewer for all you FCP folks) and scan through it for footage when I cut, and when I cut them into the sequence, they bring over the original clips.  There is even a toggle on the bottom of the timeline that will toggle between the timeline in the Preview Monitor, and the main sequence.  Very handy to have.

Now, you can do this in FCP too, but the default way FCP does this is to NEST the footage from the Viewer to the timeline.  VERY odd behavior, and something I don’t want.  I get past this by mapping OVERWRITE WITH CONTENT to F12, and INSERT WITH CONTEST to F11.  Then the behavior mimics what the Avid does.  But FCP doesn’t have a way to toggle between the sequence in Viewer…which is why in FCP I tend to COPY/PASTE from one sequence to another, because I can have more than one sequence open at a time.

That’s my Avid MC tip of the day.  I’ll see if I can come up with more while I edit…perhaps this will help people just learning Avid.  I might not get to one tip a day, but I’ll try my best.  Maybe a tip of the week?  Because some things are so second nature, I might not recognize it as a cool tip.