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Rebranding a Classic Western with Final Cut Pro

Hollywood makes plenty of sequels, but how do you retell a classic story in a fresh new way? If you’re the Oscar-winning team of Joel and Ethan Coen, you come out with technological guns blazing. For the Coen brothers’ 2010 update of the 1968 classic, “True Grit,” the Coens turned to Apple’s Final Cut Pro to edit and assemble their rough-riding film.


Joel and Ethan Coen review footage from “True Grit,” with Oscar-nominated star Hailee Steinfeld.

The Coen brothers have made some amazing films (“Fargo,” “No Country for Old Men,” and many more) and have evolved a unique style – the brothers work together to direct and produce a movie. They also edit their films together (using the pseudonym “Roderick Jaynes”). So, with all the creative back and forth between the brothers, the Coens need an editing tool that gives them as much flexibility as possible. “True Grit” presented another challenge to the pair; it was shot on a tight schedule and had to be prepared for a Christmas 2010 release. Final Cut Pro solved both of these problems for the Coens.


Final Cut Pro is the leading editing software being used in film today. Digital Media Academy will use and teach Final Cut Pro and Final Cut Pro X in its Summer 2011 program.

Making The Cut
In a recent online article, Apple showcased the Coen brothers’ editing techniques and how they used Final Cut for “True Grit.” In the article, the Coen brothers discuss how Final Cut Pro fits their style of shooting and editing a film like a glove, and how the application regularly saves them time and extra effort.

“Now I look at footage in Final Cut Pro, mark ins and outs of various takes, and send them over to Joel, who assembles them in a Final Cut timeline,” says Ethan. “We’ve always co-edited,” explains Joel, “And that’s actually the main reason we use Final Cut Pro. The application managed to match the way we were used to cutting together on film, so the transition was almost invisible to us. Final Cut is a very efficient, flexible way of editing.”


“True Grit” stars Hailee Steinfeld, Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon and Josh Brolin. 

Final Cut Pro is the acknowledged industry standard among editing software, and Digital Media Academy is ready to teach you how to use it. Take a week-long or three-day certification course or a film & video production course. Cover Final Cut Pro from all angles – everything from an overview of the software all the way through advanced editing courses that put you in the editor’s chair. See for yourself why legendary filmmakers like Francis Ford Coppola, Walter Murch and the Coen brothers use Final Cut Pro.

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