Can i use a Mac Mini for editing film?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Star Destroyer, Nov 1, 2007.

  1. Star Destroyer macrumors 6502

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    #1
    Okay, so i was thinking for a while, and it looks like i would like to look into film a a hobby or a possible career (if i am good enough, of course). It seems that it would be best to ask everyone here on the basic computer i would need.
    Since this is not a for sure thing, i dont want to buy a mac pro. I already own a macbook, but i was thinking perhaps i could beef up a mac mini and use it to run Final Cut Express HD on, i would buy an external HDD.

    So the question is, can i do things like basic editing/learning Final Cut Express HD, (perhaps a little After Effects, and Shake as well) on a Mac mini or would i need to buy an iMac?
    I would really prefer to spend as little as possible, to start i plan on reading some of the books apple puts out on how to use the programs, from there i would like to buy a machine and camera and equipment on my own to play around with it to see if i really like it. From that point i would like to take one of apples certified courses that they office in FCP and Shake. And see where that takes me.

    So assuming i like where the books take me, will a mac mini cut it? or will i NEED dedicated graphics for editing? (i dont think it will be HD or alot of HD)

    Thanks for the help once again everyone!
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #2
    a mac mini won't give you anything more than your macbook will. max the RAM on your macbook and take the money you would've spent on a mini and spend it on a good display. you'll need the extra screen real estate for a good editing environment. you also need to buy at least one external 3.5" hard drives (FW 400) to put all of the media on. don't run the media off of your internal, ever.
     
  3. Star Destroyer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    Okay, i need to get 2GB of Ram for my macbook. And then buy a large fast, FW external HDD?

    In september i bought a 19inch widescreen Monitor, i think that should be enough for the little that i want to do right ?

    So i have a 1.83 CD macbook, the REV A. macbooks, now all i need is 2GB of ram on that (i have 1GB Ram currently and 60GB HDD)

    What size External HDD should i get? and it should be 7200rpm right ?
     
  4. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

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    #4
    Yep make sure it is 7200RPM. As for size it depends how much filming you will be doing.

    To give you some idea DV and HDV use up about 12GBs of hard drive space for 60 minutes of footage. I use a 500GB drive myself for a scratch disk.
     
  5. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #5
    Lets say I have a machine with a second HD would that be sufficient enough?
     
  6. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #6
    I'd say you need to be more specific with your question. What kind of machine and sufficient for what?
     
  7. Star Destroyer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2006
    #7
    Well honestly, i dont know the first thing about filming, sooo whatever is the basic film used i will most likely use that for a while, to learn off of.


    Can anyone give me a a good place to start learning? Like, where i need to be in order to start the path of filming. I have been writing, stories, comics, novels even. I want to try translating something to film, since i am relatively young and poor i have to learn it all and do it all myself (i assume i will meet people along the way to help, but i dont wanna count on it).
    Where do i start?
     
  8. CoffeeMonkey macrumors regular

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    Feb 23, 2003
    #8
    I apologize if this is obvious, but why not?
     
  9. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #9
    Just go shoot something, anything. And then when you finish editing it, go out and shoot something else. You learn film making by doing, not out of a book.

    And to CoffeeMonkey, You don't put your media on system drive for a couple reasons. When working on a laptop, internal laptop drives typically aren't fast enough. 7200rpm laptop drives are a waste. external drives are faster, cheaper, bigger, and more reliable.

    Also, you don't want scratch files and constant reads back and forth on your system drive. It'll ultimately shorten it's life. Keeping you media on a separate drive also protects your system.
     
  10. Star Destroyer thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2006
    #10
    Okay, shooting something is good.
    But i was hoping for more, what to do after i have shot something. what to edit it with (im thinking Final Cut Express) and thats what i was planning on reading about and learning from a book. Also you bring up something else, what type of camera to buy? lenses? other equipment ? thats really what i need to learn.

    I have a pretty solid story, and 'vision' i can see the whole plot and where i would put what camera, but in my head i dont really use lense names, or camera types its just a picture (ya dig?) so its hard to translate those images into reality without learning about what i want.
     
  11. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #11
    spend as little as possible on a camera now. shoot a few projects and figure out what you NEED to make it better. you will only really learn this through experience. as far as software, FCE is good but I'd start with iMovie until you actually know what you need.
     
  12. MacFan25863 macrumors 6502a

    MacFan25863

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    Jun 20, 2004
    #12
    I wouldn't say spend as LITTLE on a camera as possible...a good mid-range consumer camcorder (think ~$400-500) should fill your needs for the time being.

    I would try FCE first...if you find it too hard go down to iMovie (use `06 though, iMovie 08 is AWFUL!)
     
  13. Malfoy macrumors 6502a

    Malfoy

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    #13
    If you find FCE too hard, you should try to learn to use it. Overcoming challenges is fun.
     
  14. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #14
    you might want to sell your macbook and buy the new one. it's much faster than yours, and can handle more ram. this is, if you have the funds (since you were considering spending over $800 on a mac mini)

    and i would start off using iMovie, just to get your feet wet. then you could always upgrade to FCE later.

    like others have said, go out and shoot something. you could always show us on here for opinions and such.

    good luck!
     
  15. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #15
    Yes, 400-500 for a miniDV cam is good. That's what I was thinking with as little as possible. Basically, don't go out and buy an anything HDV or prosumer (DVX, XL2, XL-A1, etc). Don't buy (yet) lights, lenses, audio equipment, etc. You can learn how to tell a story with just the camera. When you want to improve your stories by picking up some of the above stuff, buy one piece at a time and perfect using that before getting the next piece.

    too many people buy up all the gear that their budget allows at the time without focusing on the improvement of a single key area at a time. I think this leads to a lot of people wasting their money and their potential.
     
  16. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #16
    i agree with you here. very good advice
     
  17. seany916 macrumors 6502

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    Southern California
    #17
    If you're running a MM, you might want to reconsider going into video editing. Hardware is expensive. So are the cameras, audio, gear, monitoring equip, etc.


    It all adds up. Keep it simple. Keep it as a hobby until you're sure. iMovie '08 is a VERY good program (missing a lot of features), but I believe it is the future of video editing (look! flaming arrows coming my way already!)
     
  18. twoodcc macrumors P6

    twoodcc

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    #18
    yeah i also advise starting out with iMovie. 08 is okay with me so far
     
  19. bloodycape macrumors 65816

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    #19
    A desktop, to use for storing video.
     
  20. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #20
    geez... be specific.

    how much video? are you editing it? just watching it? are you doing small projects (0-2 hrs of source material) or larger projects? DV, HDV, or DVCPro HD?
     

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