June 4, 2018 at 7:39PM


Editing Software Q

Hi, all! First time poster here.

I'm sure this question has been asked a million times, but what editing software do beginning/student/economical filmmakers use typically?

I've looked up Adobe, Apple, Avid, and Da Vinci programs, and was curious what you'd recommend. I want to learn and grow using a program that professionally gets the job done and that will be respected when I claim "proficiency" on a future date.

While I could do the free Da Vinci, for example, am I limiting myself to this more niche program... Thus, am I better off just putting the time into Adobe Premiere?

Any insights would be much appreciated!


The only downside with Adobe is the amount you will have to pay as you gain proficiency. I used Sony Vegas (when it was with Sony) for a while and the switch to Premiere was an easy one. I use Premiere because of the compatibility with After Effects, and Photoshop. Not having to render between the different programs has definitely saved hours of my workload.

That being said if you're most interested in color work, don't waste your time with Premiere. Jump right into Davinci. I still go to Davinci when something needs a special touch that Premiere just can't handle well. There is Adobe Speedgrade, but it feels clunky and awkward compared to Davinci Resolve. That being said, if you want to be a professional colorist, focus on Davinci. If not, I'd swing for a more traditional editing application like Adobe, Final Cut, or Vegas. They all generally work the same, so gaining proficiency in one will likely transfer to another without too much hassle. I have never touched Final Cut but a buddy of mine just bought it and I spent a bit of time teaching him how to use it. It wasn't hard to figure out. Just took a couple minutes to find the things I was familiar with.

That being said, I have never used Avid but I imagine it is similar to Adobe/Apple/Vegas.

I recommend starting with whatever works for your budget. If you don't have any money or want to be a professional colorist, start with Davinci. If you are more interested in typical editing work, hit any of the big four you like the best. They all translate well. If you want to do special effects primarily, go with the Adobe Suite. I know Apple has some pretty powerful special effects software and Hitfilm is tempting, but knowing After Effects inside and out is still the best way to get a special effects job.

June 4, 2018 at 8:39PM

Matthias Claflin

Straight video editing can be accomplished on numerous different software platforms. But as Matthias pointed out above, developing a specialty or advanced ability within that realm might dictate which path you take from the start. DaVinci, obviously has built their editing platform on the backbone of their robust color grading engine. So, it provides a path for you to excel at color grading in addition to editing. The DaVinci software is available for free (for now), but the editing platform has yet to be universally accepted by the industry. So, you may find work harder to come by than, say FInal Cut or Premiere.

As for Premiere (my personal preference), this fully capable editing platform could provide a path to developing a specialty in motion graphics, since After Effects is essentially a companion program. Learn both really well, and you will set yourself apart as a motion graphics and animation specialist. The Adobe path does present a cost to entry. But, there is a wealth of potential return on your initial investment.

George Riddell

July 2, 2018 at 9:40AM

George Riddell

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