I have recently started with some video capture with a Samsung HMX-H104 video camera. With the pile of new clips accumulating comes a need to edit video. There are several packages available to Mac users, namely iMovie and Final Cut Express. I chose Final Cut Express (FCE) simply because it has received better feedback from users regarding the inclusion of a conventional timeline. Also, it is more flexible and powerful compared to iMovie. As an added bonus, iMovie tends to not recognize the proper aspect ratio of movies recorded from the Samsung HMX where clips are perfectly recognized when imported into FCE.
The learning curve is a bit steep for anyone starting with video editing. FCE is especially daunting. There is no real direction when opening the program for the first time. Just a maze of windows to try to navigate. This leads to a need to get some outside help to learn the basics of the program.
I found several websites offering paid subscriptions for instructional clips, but the quality of content didn't seem great and I do not like paying for someting when there is a free alternative that is better. In the case of FCE, the best method for learning the program is to start with Apple's Final Cut Express Tutorials.
The instructions are broken into 6 categories: Capturing and Organizing, Basic Moviemaking, Working with Audio, Creating Effects, LiveType, and Output. The tutorial videos are very well produced and are generally clear, offing examples and screen captures of FCE in action with real video projects.
My advice is for someone to start with the first video and watch them all in order. Then, go back and take them one by one, watching a video and then opening the software to practice what has just been done.
It's also good to get a basic project in your mind, write it down on paper, and then learn all the skills necessary to complete this video. For myself, my first project was a simple video with a title introduction, a few simple clips set to music, and an ending title. I wrote down on paper in timeline fashion what I wanted, and then I started creating this with FCE. To accomplish this simple movie I had to get the basics of LiveType to create the title, I learned how to do simple transitions from one clip to another, and I learned how to insert an audio track and manipulate the clip transitions to music. Creating a simple movie like this can be tedious when learning, but with these basic tools, you can do practically any project with Final Cut Express.