Interview with Brendan Boykin: Author of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production Training Book

March 28, 2014 Tags: , , ,
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An FCPWORKS Interview with Brendan Boykin: the Author of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production Training Book from Peachpit Press.

Brendan Boykin, author of the new Final Cut Pro X Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production Training Book recently sat down for an interview with FCPWORKS. Brendan’s book is the official textbook for Apple’s Certified Training program for Final Cut Pro X. The book can be used as a companion to the official certification course or used standalone for individual training. Without further adieu, here’s Brendan in his own words:

Tell us a little bit about your professional background as it relates to post-production and Final Cut Pro.

My background is in television news and corporate video. In TV newsland, I’ve been an editor, videographer, director/technical director, and live truck operator. After a few years in news, I moved into corporate video, where I wore the hats of producer, director, videographer, editor, technical support, and trainer. I’ve been through the transitions from U-matic and 1-inch, to Betacam and D2 to DV and whichever digital format flavor-of-the-day is current. Along with those format transitions has been the journey from linear editing on CMX and RM 450s through the Cube, Media 100, and all versions of Final Cut Pro through X. 

Describe your background with the Apple Training program and the Peachpit book series.

I’ve been using Final Cut Pro since version 1 and I first learned about the Apple certification program back in 2002. As I had already written short Final Cut Pro training guides for a couple of clients, as well as done silo-installations for those clients, I jumped on board and became an Apple Certified Trainer with Final Cut Pro 3. In 2006, Peachpit Press contracted me to be a technical reviewer for the Apple Pro Training Series books. Eight years later, I’ve served as technical reviewer, technical editor, contributing writer, co-author, and author of 28 books in the APTS and ATS series.

"The AATC classroom is a supportive environment that answers all the technical and creative questions and inspires storytelling. "Brendan Boykin

How is this version of the FCPX book different from previous versions?

The biggest change, so far as trainers are concerned, is the no pre-built projects approach. The student is hands-on for every step of the process. This approach was taken for two major reasons: first, to replicate as real world an experience as possible for the student. Second, to limit the number of potential technical issues due to having to manage all those project files and software updates.

One great thing about using pre-built projects in the lessons was the ability to quickly catch-up a student who was late to arrive or missed a day. For that reason, “catch-up” pre-built files are still available to certified trainers on Apple’s internal site. Also for this version, trainers have access to supplemental materials such as a slide deck and an Instructor Guide, which includes a Trainer Edit Guide.

Another major change is the book’s structure. Each lesson introduces an editing concept in Reference sections. These Reference sections may be used as a lecture component or combined within the Exercise sections. The exercises turn concepts into tasks aimed at achieving that lesson’s goals.

This structural change was not just intended to enhance the classroom experience. The Reference/Exercise model is also the result of developing the book for digital eBook editions first, and print second. Final Cut Pro X’s development cycle has been incredibly rapid since its initial release, with a new update typically being released every quarter or so. By taking a digital-first approach, this book can keep pace with that evolving development schedule in a way that a print-first book really couldn’t.

What should readers/students expect to get out of your book?

Users of the Final Cut Pro X 10.1 book get to experience an entire post-production workflow from start to finish. This is the same core workflow used by professional editors. They’ll perform every edit and “own” the project as they build two complete versions of it. We’ve all said it when reviewing our final work: “I made this.” The user is the true editor and the book serves as producer/director and, to some extent, even a mentor to the user.

How does the experience of taking an Apple Certification course differ from going through the book on your own?

What a user gains in attending an Apple Authorized Training Center (AATC) class is the experience and knowledge of an Apple Certified Trainer. The trainer can take a user deeper into the areas specific to their workflow that the book may cover only briefly. The dynamics of a trainer guiding a user in that user’s workflow are also enhanced by the other attendees at an AATC course as a group. When attendees collaborate through their sharing of post-production experiences, everyone’s knowledge grows. The AATC classroom is a supportive environment that answers all the technical and creative questions and inspires storytelling. 

For more information about Brendan Boykin’s book, Final Cut Pro X 10.1: Professional Post-Production Training, visit Peachpit Press. The book is also available on the iBook Store. For additional information about attending an official certification course for Final Cut Pro X, please visit Apple’s Training and Certification site.


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