Online tutorials are great, but some people prefer a hard copy to learn from. We take a look a the best books for the Apple Pro Video Apps.

We haven't done an update to the normal annual Final Cut Pro book list for a while, so let's fix that with a fresh, updated look at the best way to learn Apple's video apps in print.

1) Final Cut Pro X Efficient Editing- Iain Anderson


fcpx book 03Straight in at number one is Iain Anderson's 'door step' book on FCP, Final Cut Pro X Efficient Editing. He does more than just point out how things work in the interface, he goes through different editing situations where you would use the features. At over 700 pages long, this is a book for beginners to learn the basics right through to advanced users wanting to understand complex workflows. 

You can read more from Iain on how and why he wrote the book in an FCP.co article that we published. He certainly filled the lockdown time in 2020!

Want to take a look inside? Iain has published the first chapter for free that you can read here. Hard copy and Kindle versions are available.


2) Final Cut Pro X 10.4 - How it Works - Edgar Rothermich


z FCPx 10 4   p28Although it hasn't been updated for FCP 10.5, Edgar's 'Graphically Enhanced Manual' Final Cut Pro X How it Works takes a slightly different approach to learning by expanding out all the icons, menu items and screen controls. This makes it a book that is extremely easy to navigate through when learning, we have posted a clickable sample page on the right.

'This is a completely revised and extended version of the previous best-selling books "Final Cut Pro X - How it Works" and "Final Cut Pro X - The Details" with in-depth explanations of all the new features like Roles and Lanes, Captions, 360° Video, plus unique illustrations on how metadata-based audio works in Final Cut Pro. Also, it shows the complete Touch Bar functionality and integration.'

Edgar has also published a 'GEM' on Motion 5, Compressor, Logic, GarageBand and Pro Tools.


3) Final Cut Pro X Workflow - Mike Matzdorff

mike matzdorff book

Mike Matzdorff has documented his workflow experiences as First Assistant Editor on the feature film projects that used Final Cut Pro.

$9.99 gets you 91 pages of workflow practices, tips and tricks and basically the know-how on how to setup a film edit in FCPX. However, it's not a book on how to actually edit a film in Final Cut Pro!

Topics include:

  • The setup and installation of third-party hardware used in editorial
  • A catalog of third-party software used in editorial
  • Pre-production discussions of media management, workflow (and associated testing) and handoff requirements
  • The editorial workflow used on Focus
  • Workflows dealing with visual effects, sound turnovers and screenings
  • A collection of other tips for a successful post

4) Final Cut Pro X 10.4 - Apple Pro Training Series: Professional Post-Production - Brendan Boykin

Apple has disbanded their official training courses and the certification process. However, this was the book that you had to know inside out if you wanted to get certified. Slightly long in the tooth these days, but a solid reference book. The Kindle and the paperback versions are still available on Amazon.

Whilst we are on the official Apple Pro Training series of books, Mark Spencer's Motion 5 book looks like it is out of print, but still available on Kindle.


5) The Focal Easy Guide to Final Cut Pro X - Rick Young

Rick's book came out just before Final Cut Pro 10.2 GUI change. The last update it had was in 2019, the third edition, but it is still full of useful information and as we know the copy checker well, it will be accurate!

Available in paperback or Kindle versions, there's also quite a long 42 page free 'Look Inside' available on Amazon.


We have published lists of relevant books here on FCP.co for a while. With the exception of Iain's book (which is being updated to lose the X and change the icons) nearly all of the FCP and Motion books could do with a refresh. Back in 2013 this list was the top ten best Final Cut Pro books!


Written by
Top BloggerThought Leader

I am the Editor-in-Chief of FCP.co and have run the website since its inception ten years ago.

I have also worked as a broadcast and corporate editor for over 30 years, starting on one inch tape, working through many formats, right up to today's NLEs.

Under the name Idustrial Revolution, I have written and sold plugins for Final Cut Pro for 13 years.

I was made a Freeman of Lichfield through The Worshipful Company of Smiths (established 1601). Though I haven't yet tried to herd a flock of sheep through the city centre!

Current Editing

great house giveaway 2020

2020 has been busy, the beginning of the year was finishing off a new property series (cut on FCP) for Channel 4 called The Great House Giveaway. I also designed and built the majority of the graphics as Motion templates. It has been a great success and the shows grabbed more viewers in the 4pm weekday slot than any previous strand. It has been recommissioned by C4 for 60 episodes, including prime-time versions and five themed programmes. The shows have also been nominated for a 2021 BAFTA.

Tour de france 2020
Although both were postponed to later in the year, I worked again on ITV's coverage of the Tour de France and La Vuelta. 2020 was my 25th year of editing the TdF and my 20th year as lead editor. The Tour was the first broadcast show to adopt FCPX working for multiple editors on shared storage.


BBC snooker the crucible

BBC's Snooker has played a big part in my life, I've been editing tournament coverage since 1997. I'm proud to be part of a very creative team that has pioneered many new ideas and workflows that are now industry standard in sports' production. This is currently an Adobe Premiere edit.

amazon kindle BF

Covid cancelled some of the regular corporate events that I edit such as trade shows & events. I was lucky however to edit, from home, on projects for Amazon Kindle, Amazon Black Friday, Mastercard and very proud to have helped local charitable trust Kendall & Wall secure lottery funding.

As for software, my weapon of choice is Final Cut Pro and Motion, but I also have a good knowledge and broadcast credits with Adobe Premiere Pro, MOGRT design and Photoshop.

Plugin Design & Development

I'm the creative force behind Idustrial Revolution, one of the oldest Final Cut Pro plugin developers. It hosts a range of commercial and free plugins on the site. One free plugin was downloaded over a thousand times within 24 hours of release.

I also take on custom work, whether it is adapting an existing plugin for a special use or designing new plugins for clients from scratch. Having a good knowledge of editing allows me to build-in flexibility and more importantly, usability.


Now in its 10th year and 4th redesign, running FCP.co has given me knowledge on how to run a large CMS- you are currently reading my bio from the database! Although it sounds corny, I am pretty well up on social media trends & techniques, especially in the video sector. The recent Covid restrictions has enabled live FCP.co shows online. This involves managing a Zoom Webinar through Restream.io to YouTube and Facebook. 

The Future

I'm always open to new ideas and opportunities, so please get in touch at editor (at) fcp.co. I've judged film competitions, presented workflow techniques to international audiences and come up with ideas for TV shows and software programs!


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