Video Essentials

Get Video Editing Lessons from the Youngest Final Cut Whiz

If we can have a 17-year-old American Idol, we can certainly have a 17-year-old Final Cut expert.

Meet Connor Crosby, high school student and Final Cut trainer. Located in Lowell, Massachusetts, he already has an online business devoted to Final Cut training:

“I really don’t consider myself a full whiz, but I do consider myself very knowledge about Final Cut,” Crosby says.

Started in March, the site offers beginner and expert tutorials for Final Cut Studio. Crosby is starting small: he only has three FCS tutorials so far, but he expects to add a lot more once Final Cut Pro X launches in June. He’s especially looking forward to the inclusion of background rendering.

Crosby began gaining Final Cut experience four years ago, when he started volunteering for a local cable access channel, Burlington Cable Access Television. It’s his job to edit footage and add graphics for local baseball and basketball games.

“I figured I could learn and use my skills and have fun with it,” says Crosby.

As he learned more about Final Cut, his fellow students began to look to him for editing help. To share his knowledge, he started his own YouTube Channel (Connor Crosby Productions, which includes tutorials and reviews) and Final Cut Whiz.

Need help with your own editing? Here are three favorite tips from Crosby:

1. Discover the Roll Tool
Crosby recently learned about the Roll Tool in the Final Cut tool panel and says it’s a huge time-saver. Use it when you trim the end off one clip, leaving a small gap in your footage. Rather than manually dragging all the later clips over to close the gap, use the Roll Tool to slide your clips over. Simply click and drag on the gap you don’t want to shift your clips.

2. Fix Problem Exposures
Crosby’s friends often come to him with overexposed footage, or footage that wasn’t white balanced, and ask for help saving it. The answer is the Three-Way Color Corrector in the Effects tab. It can’t make overexposed footage look perfect, but it can lower the white levels while raising blacks and mid-levels. For non-white balanced footage, use the eye dropper to select an area that should be white. The tool will then adjust all the other colors. Crosby calls it “a life-saver.”

3. Get Great Green Screen Effects
For perfect chroma key effects, use the eye dropper tool to select the green (or other color) you want to remove. Getting good results is a challenge without the eye dropper, Crosby says, but simple with it.

Besides thinking about video editing, Crosby is also thinking about colleges. He’s considering Ithaca, Boston University, and Emerson, all of which have strong film programs. After that, he’d like to head to the Golden State.

“I’m hoping to go to Hollywood and become either an editor or a director,” Crosby says. We’ll check back with him to get more tips once Final Cut Pro X launches.


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