To Be a Scrub Again

Daniel Cook - January 15, 2013

I remember when I was teaching the old cats Final Cut, folks who had previously edited on Avid systems. Some of them were very much set in their ways. This one particular curmudgeon, who was actually a mentor of mine, raved about how much better Avid was than Final Cut. I laughed at how he sounded like a grandpa complaining about Elvis ruining music. “For that matter,” he added, “it pretty much all went to Hell with computers.” It was no use, said the curmudgeon. The world was sinking further into the crapper. And Final Cut Pro was at least half of the reason.

Today, I’m that guy. After editing in Final Cut for nearly 10 years, it seems I must bite the bullet and learn new software—Adobe Premiere.

But maybe it’s time for reality check. I’ve come to pride myself on how quickly I can grind through projects with Final Cut. And I’ll tell you a secret: I get a geek rush out of it. But what happens when some punk kid comes in here with his sideways hat and fancy, space-age smartphone and starts editing circles around me? I go back to the leaf truck, that’s what. Hell, he’ll probably be running the leaf truck, too, remotely, with his fancy smartphone, and his stupid Elvis shaking his hips. So, I’ve got no choice but to stay with—or ahead of—the technology curve.

Today, it took me about 4 hours to do in Adobe Premiere what I could do in 20 minutes in Final Cut. I now know what the curmudgeon meant when he said, “I feel like a monkey humping a football.” Lots of input. Little result.

But then I remember that, after two days of Final Cut practice, the old curmudgeon was much better than me. “What’s the matter, son?” he said, noticing that I was surprised by his quick progress. “Didn’t anybody ever tell you it ain’t the car, it’s the driver?”

Sometimes we gotta swallow our pride and be a scrub again, if just for a short time, lest we wind up working for the kid with the sideways hat. I haven’t met that kid yet. But when I do, I hope to put him in his place, as my mentor did with me.

Kind of sounds like I’m fantasizing about making a young hotshot feel inferior, doesn’t it? Guess I am. That’s because I’m feeling a little insecure at the moment.

Give me two days. 😉