When it comes to editing short films, there is only one combination of tools in my view that can adequately match the need of indie filmmakers.
Whether you are editing your first short film, documentary or a music video, having the right combination of tools to make your workflow easy to manage is important. Below I am going to put a list of items that I feel can provide you with a proper editing solution and go through each one, and why I think it’s good:
Apple Macbook Pro 17″ + 27″ Apple display monitor
Portability is important because you will want to have the flexibility to take your macbook pro to the set, and check your HD rushes instantly. Since the Macbook Pro comes with a big hard disk you can get hours of HD footage before you will need to carry around with you external hard drives.
For those of you looking for hard drive power, the standard 17″ Macbook pro may not be enough with a 5400 RPM configuration. You can opt in to have an SSD drive built in.
Apple displays are the best configured screens to work with a mac and after using them extensively, I have to say, they are the best for colour, depth, clarity and all round reliability.
For all your external storage use, hook yourself up with a LaCie 1TB drive to get a reliable, sturdy, and fast hard drive including firewire 800 ports.
Adobe Photoshop CS5
Adobe Photoshop CS5 is hands down the most genius of all photo editing softwares, CS5 can bring so much added value to your work. It’s an indispensable tool for editing images, titles and credits. It gives you all the functionality you will need for years to come. (I haven’t used CS6 yet, so I won’t recommend it for you here until I get a good look at it).
Final Cut Studio 2
I am not a fan of Final Cut Pro X, and after consulting with editors, it’s clear to me that the new software is a clear change in direction for the editing profession. That is why I recommend you get a copy of Final Cut Studio 2 instead, since this has been well established as a go-to tool in the industry for years. Most editors using Apple FCP will have this version of final cut so you are more likely to find a huge archive of helpful information online to help you use it.
Mpeg Streamclip (free)
Mpeg streamclip is a useful free-to-use file format converter. For people shooting on HD cameras using H264, converting that footage onto FCP can be a pain. Mpeg stream clip allows you to drag and drop your files, re-export them in the proper format.