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There are a gazillion tutorials on how to use editing software. What is MUCH rarer are tutorials on the craft of editing itself.
That’s where EditMentor comes in. It’s an online, hands-on way to teach video editing. Currently in late beta, you can try this yourself. Currently, there is only one course available because the software is currently in development.
Recently, Misha Tenenbaum, CEO of EditMentor, sent me a logon to try it out. Here’s my first look.
EditMentor provides lessons and media to enable students of all ages to learn video editing. Created by Misha Tenenbaum, himself a professional Hollywood editor, and developed by Flux Technologies, EditMentor seeks to emulate one-on-one training via an interactive website.
“With EditMentor, educators can create and customize their own challenges, quizzes and courses using footage of their own choosing. EditMentor’s simple interface and manageable puzzles take away [the] fear [of learning something new.]” (EditMentor’s website)
Currently, the software only supports the Google Chrome browser.
EditMentor is amazing – they built a complete video editor in a web browser solely to enable video editors to learn their craft. Educators, especially, should give this a solid look.
Education pricing: $400 / year for 30 seats, individual pricing coming soon.
A free trial for individuals is available.
Currently, EditMentor has one course posted: “EditMentor Example Course”. This course consists of 13 lessons. Click the first lesson to display a summary of its content, an estimate of how long it will take to complete and several challenges (online quizzes) you’ll face along the way.
The first lesson focuses on providing familiarity with the user interface and operation of the program.
The editing interface has six main windows:
NOTE: Here’s a link that describes the rest of the interface and instructional flow:
Each lesson starts with a written orientation covering the lesson and its instructional challenges, which is what you are expected to learn by the end of the lesson.
The actual editing interface, though unique to EditMentor, will feel familiar to anyone who has edited video in Final Cut, Avid or Premiere.
This is an example of a challenge question. You need to watch the edit, study the interface and understand what the question is asking in order to get a correct answer.
When you answer all the challenge questions, EditMentor displays your score, as well as explaining any questions you got wrong. If you get an answer wrong, you have the opportunity to go back and get it right.
It is important to read the questions. For example, in the second session you THINK you are learning how to delete a clip. What you are ACTUALLY learning is how to see the content of a clip. You are asked to remove a duplicate take – but one has a crew member in the background, while the other doesn’t. Only by deleting the correct clip do you get a correct answer. Cool.
Lesson instructions are clear and always visible during a lesson.
I like how editing is taught by using media that tells a story – in this sample lesson, a 30-second spec commercial – with clips already built into the timeline. This means that beginning editors immediately concentrate on story-telling; rather than wrestling with importing and organizing media.
THE INDIVIDUAL STUDENT IS AT THE CORE
It quickly becomes obvious that EditMentor was designed by people who teach a wide variety of students. In addition to providing adjustments for accessibility (screen shot), students can also adjust:
As well, online chats and context-sensitive help are one mouse click away from any screen.
THINGS I’D LIKE TO SEE
Apparently, this message says there’s a problem, but I’m not clear what I need to do to correct it. There’s nothing that tells me how to get back to 1Y-4.mp4. In fact, as I was moved between lessons, this message appeared a lot – and I have no idea how to fix the problem.
Here are some other questions:
Clearly, EditMentor needs more lessons – but that will happen as it comes out of beta and opens its doors to more educators.
EditMentor is amazing. It is deep, extensive and well-thought out. It is obviously a labor of love on the part of the EditMentor team, with a clear focus on education. There is a very large world of media creators that EditMentor could enable.
Learning the craft of editing has always been a mix of having a good mentor, a willingness to experiment on your own and at least a couple of years experience to get reasonably good.
EditMentor won’t make you a world-class editor. But it will shorten the time it takes you to get there. Educators, especially at the middle and high school level, should give this program a very close look.
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