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Avid Agility: Working Faster and More Intuitively with Avid Media Composer Paperback – September 19, 2010

4.7 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"The most ambitious and comprehensive book on Avid Media Composer I've read. Much more than an operating manual or how-to -- like having a seasoned pro sitting next to you, revealing his trade secrets. Avid Agility will make you a better editor, guaranteed."
-- Jonathan Moser, Post Magazine

"The quickest path to becoming a Media Composer Jedi Master. Cohen has written a clear, comprehensively-illustrated and easy-to-understand guide -- a bible on advanced editing with Avid Media Composer. This book is essential reading!"
-- Lawrence Jordan, founder, 2-pop.com & HollywoodReinvented.com

"Celebrates new capabilities, teases out jewels in the crown, and boldly goes into advanced features. A superb gift for any Avid editor, student or pro."
-- Loren Miller, Boston Creative Pro User Group. Editor, Teacher, Creator of KeyGuide Keyboard Shortcut Pages.

"An easy read, logically laid out, and useful to novice and experienced editor alike. I highly recommend this book."
-- Frank Capria, Consulting Designer, Media Composer, Avid Technology

"A comprehensive guide to making the Avid fade into the background when you're working your editorial magic. Cohen's book will guide you to the next exciting level of the art of editing."
-- Edgar Burcksen, CinemaEditor Magazine

About the Author

Steve Cohen has been a pioneer in non-linear post-production, editing one of the first Avid TV movies (HBO's "Teamster Boss") and then going on to edit the first studio feature to use Avid's Film Composer ("Lost in Yonkers") while helping to develop the company's 24-fps software. He remained closely connected with Avid for many years and eventually cofounded the Avid Editors Advisory Committee, a group of prominent editors that advises Avid about software features. He has worked as a teacher throughout his professional life and was the first chairman of the editing department at the American Film Institute, the first school in the U.S. to offer an MFA in editing. He later helped create, and was the publisher of the Editors Guild Magazine. His book, "Avid Agility," now in its third edition, evolved out of his deep involvement with the development of the Avid system.

His credits include, "Before the Rains," "Material Girls," "The Prince and Me," "15 Minutes," "Blood and Wine," "Three Wishes," "Angie," "Rambling Rose" and "No Man's Land," as well as many pilots and TV movies, including several in the Jesse Stone series. He received an Emmy for "LBJ: The Early Years," an American Cinema Editors Eddie Award for "Don King: Only in America," and A.C.E.'s distinguished Robert Wise Award for writing about editing. He blogs at splicenow.com.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 250 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace (September 19, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1449998925
  • ISBN-13: 978-1449998929
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,813,901 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I haven't met Steven Cohen, but after reading his book, Avid Agility ($36.88), I feel like I have. Cohen was a pioneer in nonlinear editing, cutting the first studio feature to use Avid (Lost in Yonkers). He's taught at the AFI, was publisher of the Editor's Guild magazine and co-founded the Avid Editor's Advisory Committee. And, now, he's published the most ambitious and comprehensive book on Avid Media Composer I've read. (Avid should include this with every Composer system sold).

This book could have had a number of other titles: "Avid Demystified," "Avid Revealed," or "Flying with Avid." I can promise you one thing... should you get this book, and I highly advise you do if you're a Media Composer editor, rookie or old pro, "Avid Agility" will make you a better editor, guaranteed.

This is much more than a operating manual or how-to -- it's like having a seasoned pro sitting next to you, revealing his trade secrets, explaining and enlightening you, all for the cost of a book.

In 236 jam-packed pages, Cohen has managed to take us on a very personalized trip through an admittedly complex and often baffling tool that has had its share of supporters and detractors. He shows us tips and tricks, shortcuts and gotchas, and reveals secrets that explain in concise and colorful prose and illustrations the versatile ways Media Composer can and should be used. He explains it in a straightforward manner that doesn't talk down or overcomplicate understanding.

Frankly, it's no secret that we editors are often stingy with our secrets and methods... admittedly, it's one of our worst traits, mea culpa.
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Format: Paperback
Cohen starts his digital NLE editing book with a quote from an unlikely source: Abraham Lincoln. "If I had eight hours to cut down a tree, I'd spend six sharpening my axe." It's an apt metaphor for the rest of the book.

I learned Avid originally in 1992. One of the primary tools that helped me was an early, home-bound version of Steve Cohen and Basil Pappas' book about Avid, back before there were really ANY other books other than the manuals. That book opened my eyes to a whole new way of using the tools in Avid.

Steve Cohen has taken his DECADES of experience editing on Avid and distilled them into a very readable, INCREDIBLY illustrated book. Cohen does start from the very basics, but I would say this is not a book for the Avid beginner. This is a great book for someone who wants to become a WAY more proficient Avid editor than they already are.

After quickly getting through the basics, Cohen delivers the deep secrets. I have done a lot of Avid training of my peers. At one point I read ALL of the Avid manuals. But Cohen's book consistently delivers magical little tricks that make you say, "I wish I'd known THAT yesterday!"

Well worth the read. The only thing I DON'T like about this book is the title, though it definitely makes sense for the contents of the book, so I'm not sure if you SHOULD or SHOULDN'T judge this particular book by its cover. Either way, the contents of the book are well worth the time and money.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a professional television editor working the Avid hard every day. I now keep this book on my console as an important reference tool. The Avid is such a deep program that there are many functions that do not get used on a daily basis. Steve Cohen has researched and tested them all. Through user friendly diagrams and easy to understand writing, he makes nagivating any operation easier. From Avid basics to the new sophisticated innovations on Media Composer version 5, users will find this book will help them cut (pun semi-intended) through any confusion and allow an editor to do what they want when they want to do it. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For the beginning Avid editor, the options of how to achieve perfect edits appear endless. Many editors fall into a routine that includes what's familiar and easy. Steven Cohen puts all those other possibilities into perspective. He also lists changes in Media Composer 5 compared with previous versions. The best way to read the book is at the computer, trying out those moves that are intriguing and making them part of your repertoire. It's not the kind of book I can't put down and read from cover to cover. However, it is great to look things up. The Media Composer Basics Guide and Advanced Effects Guide are comprehensive, but not always easy to read, at least not for me. Steve Cohen's descriptions are easy to follow and let you choose what is easiest and most effeective. I keep the book next to my editing desk and often read it while I wait for the Avid to finish rendering.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great book. I'm fairly new to MC and for any like me I would recommend this in combination with their official manual, "Editing with Avid Media Composer 5". When I run into problems, I find having both to be helpful. For example, this one does not cover much on exporting files, while the other does.
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Format: Paperback
Steven Cohen covers all the bases on the new Avid MC 5, which is significantly different from previous releases.
This is a MUST HAVE tool for all those editors and assistant editors who might be stymied by all the new changes.
Cohen's writing style is appropriately to the point...easy to understand, and not too techy.
The graphics are wonderful, easy to follow.
Thank-you Mr. Cohen.
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