If you are just out of hig


If you are just out of high school and are preparing for film school, I assume cost is important to you. An option that you might consider would be to purchase Final Cut Express 3.5 along with a current model iMac. The Express version of the program has all the functionality of the previous version of the full Final Cut suite with just a couple of features missing. FCE will run you less than $300, though Apple does sometimes run specials on this software. Look at the Apple Education Store for current discounts for students.

A new iMac along with a good external Firewire drive will get you editing at a pro level in no time and with a minimal investment. For external drives, I like Acomdata. They run cool and quiet. Some other major brands have heat buildup problems when editing for long periods of time.

Depending on the film school you attend, you are most likely going to either be working in Final Cut Pro or AVID. AVID has its own interface quirks but once you pick up Final Cut, you will be able to make the conversion fairly quickly. Using a Mac will allow you to learn both platforms since you can also run Windows on current Macs. Some versions of AVID are available for both Windows and Macs, but buying a Mac insures that you can run whatever you want, providing you have adequate memory and speed.

If you really want to stay with a Windows machine, look at Sony Vegas. The Movie Studio (lite) version of the program should be enough to get you going.

Good luck!

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