What I Learned By Dropping Final Cut Pro for Wochit

Why I stopped creating short-form videos with Final Cut Pro

When the media company that I worked for asked me to use Wochit to edit daily videos, I was very skeptical. By saying yes to this platform was I giving in to eventually being replaced by a super savvy chatbot that could shoot, voice and edit video packages quicker than I could write a headline? The answer, thankfully, was no. In fact, Wochit made my work as a video creator much, much smoother.

After working in TV news production for well over a decade, I’d spent countless hours in the editing bay. Although most of my work has been deadline driven, there’s still an undeniable artistry behind conceptualizing, producing and editing a short-form video from start to finish.

But editing short-form videos was a time-sucking process. Whether I was working alongside a videographer or one-woman-banding it in the field—the entire process of conceptualizing, producing, shooting and editing a video could take anywhere from a few hours to a full day to complete.

Given the fast-paced nature of news, I secretly wondered how sustainable this “run and gun” method would be long-term. For many multi-media journalists and content creators that I know, wear and tear is real and burnout is increasingly common. Social media has rapidly increased the level and range of content needed on demand. As a result, it’s pushed traditional media companies out of their comfort zones.

Given their slim budgets, most cannot sustain themselves on the production methods of the past. Gone are the days of flying multiple correspondents to the national story of the day. Today local news reporters not only have to master storytelling on command, but are also wearing the hats of a producer, videographer and editor. They’re challenged to be more technically agile and increasingly resourceful.

This is why Wochit works. Nothing beats crafting an entire video in twenty minutes! In terms of time spent, it’s the production equivalent of fast food — with less guilt and a way better nutritional value. The “slow cook” method is how I now refer to editing with Final Cut Pro. After digitizing, logging and organizing bins of content, there’s still a script to write and a timeline to fill. A voiceover commands even more time, as does importing it into the system and selecting the best track.

Let the sweat bubbles drip, because that is only the beginning! After waiting patiently for each clip to render, there are graphics to create, company branding to infuse and oh – what about those gnarly quotes that you wanted to use? Did I mention that the still images that you collected require a credit? And this package needs text on video to do well on social. In Final Cut, text overlay means consolidating every spoken word used in your video and popping the sentences into individual, color coordinated, spec specific graphics that you create.

Final Cut users are also familiar with numerous other post-production tweaks. Audio needs to be adjusted clip by clip, color correction is a must, and adding music can also kick up viewing interest, but requires obtaining usage rights.

If you have the luxury of time and creative bandwidth, Final Cut X may be ideal for longform, heavily stylized productions. But if you’re a quality driven, time-conscious content creator, looking for a seamless editing experience with few roadblocks, Wochit is where it’s at.

Internet connectivity is all that’s needed to jump into Wochit’s cohesive system. Having access to a smorgasbord of video footage – ranging from current events and timely features to archival jewels – is the first plus. Their editorial and creative image libraries also present a wealth of creative possibilities when fishing for content (that you don’t have to spend additional time or money to shoot).

Accessing footage can easily be done with the use of key search words, similar to Google. The biggest timesaver is having pre-cleared network, local, pool, animated and specialty footage readily available all under one system. There’s no uploading, digitizing or rendering. The footage is pre-sliced into short clips, so logging is minimal. And related footage can be auto-populated based on your story’s theme.

Social media platforms are integrated under a simple, neat media selection panel. This allows you to seamlessly pull relevant posts from Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram feeds. For those who enjoy storytelling through GIFs, there’s a library for that – woot!

Post-production details are also organized under one section. There’s no additional symbols or shortcuts to learn, outside of what’s clearly presented on-screen. Instead of popping in and out of your editing software to drop in integrations, you can easily insert quotes and text overlays, tweak audio, and select clearance-free music within minutes. A big plus – source credits and branding bumpers are all consolidated and unobtrusively placed at the end of your piece.

Wochit takes the pain out of video production, uniting creators with technology in a seamless way. It ensures that video creators can do what they do best—create!

Chie Davis is a multimedia journalist and consultant, with over a decade of experience as a writer, broadcaster, video producer and editor. She has created multimedia content, ranging from news and social justice to pop culture and features for outlets like Wochit, USA TODAY, Upworthy, EBONY.com and The Huffington Post. She can be reached at chiedavis@gmail.com or on Twitter and Instagram @chieone

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