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Foreword

Foreword

The Creative Cow Final Cut Pro (FCP) users' forum leadership team includes some of the top names in the world of FCP. If you visit, you'll find a team that includes FCP legends like Philip Hodgetts, Tom Wolsky, and Michael Horton. To hold your own in this group and to excel in such illustrious company is tough because each of these guys enjoys a level of respect given to few FCP users. To join their ranks is not an easy task and requires the kind of expertise and authoritative voice that you'll find in Jerry Hofmann.

When we asked Jerry Hofmann at the 2001 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention to join our FCP team, he laughed and said: “I don't think so! You've already got an incredible team. You are kidding, right? I've respected people like Philip Hodgetts and Michael Horton for a long time—they're heroes of mine. How on earth can I add anything to that kind of line-up?” We told him that he already did and that if he'd go back to the forum and look at the posts and the answers there, he'd see that he was already developing an authoritative voice equal to any on the board. It took a few weeks to convince him, but once Jerry joined the team, he became the hinge on which the community functioned.

Today, Jerry is one of the true luminaries in the FCP skies. When he gives you an answer, you know you've been given the definitive answer. The community members respect him because they know these answers come from a long and storied career spanning decades of film experience. Jerry is also a people person whose teaching style is unthreatening—even to net newbies. And he laughs more than any two people we know combined. He's a great man in the truest sense of the word—a man who really cares about people, and it shows.

Jerry has had a long career in the entertainment industry both in front and behind the camera, working as an actor, a director, and an editor. He's also worked as a stand-up comedian whose shows were sold out weeks in advance. Speaking of his film work, the project that forms the subject matter of this book was an award-winning short film at the Rhode Island Film Festival.

Recently, Jerry decided to take his experience back to school, where today he works as an instructor at a film school in Colorado. His experience in nonlinear video editing on computers dates back to the first Avid systems, where his serial number was 004.

Few users we know of can communicate the editing process as straightforwardly as Jerry or with as much passion on the subject. Jerry loves film. He loves filmmaking. He loves the art and the craft of storytelling and all that goes into it. And when you hear him talk, you know that you've been blessed to get decades of this man's experience, highly compressed in a version so much faster than it took to get him to you. Think of Jerry as “faster than realtime” learning—it would take you years to learn the kinds of things that he gives you in the time that it takes for you to read this book.

If you want to master little-known areas of FCP or you want to edit a film successfully, this is the book for you. Although Jerry covers many of the basics and sets a solid foundation in this work, he gives you so much more than the many FCP books written by those with far less than his own incredible experiences in the world of filmmaking. This book might be built around FCP, but we even recommend it to people who use tools other than FCP. It's that good.

The best always,

Ron and Kathlyn Lindeboom
Founders, creativecow.net

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