Creator Interview #1: Brad & Donna

Creator Interview #1: Brad & Donna

A Final Cut Pro Expert

Video | 4 min read

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If you’re looking to transform and upgrade your Final Cut Pro workflow (amongst other editing tips), then you have to check out Brad & Donna! They are a South African couple who love to travel and share a talent and passion for all things photography and filmmaking.

Their story begins when Brad started editing videos as a hobby when he was 11 years old. After working in a production company for many years on TV commercials, TV shows, corporate videos, films and other types of media, he left to run his own remotely-operated production company and create Final Cut Pro tutorials on his YouTube channel 'Brad & Donna.'

What inspired you to get into the creative space?

When I was in school, the time came to decide what subjects I wanted to take that would ultimately decide what I would study at university/college. I had no idea what I wanted to do, but one thing I did know was that I didn’t want to have a “suit and tie” job. I found out that I could get paid to record bands and I decided to study sound engineering. College is also where I met Donna and discovered a passion for video editing.

After that, I tried getting a job as a sound engineer and struggled. At the time, I was doing audio work at a studio and told them that I was interested in doing some video editing work. I had offered to work for free for a month just to get my foot in the door, and that was after they canceled 3 interviews for the job. They didn’t have enough audio work for me so they set me up in a video editing suite and that was where it all started.

How would you describe your style of photography and videography?

Lately, it’s mostly informative tutorial-style videos that I’ve been creating. I always loved creating travel videos but COVID lockdowns made it impossible to travel and I pivoted into creating editing tutorials, specifically for Final Cut Pro.

Does your travel inspire your creativity? If so, how?

Absolutely! Seeing new places, trying new food, and experiencing new things for the first time are all really exciting! That makes me see the world around me differently and as a result, the way I shoot and edit and try to tell a story through my videos changes. One of the most mind-opening experiences one can have is to travel, meet new people, and see how life is lived in different parts of the world.

What gear is a must-have while traveling to capture and create content?

For me, it is definitely my Sony A7iii, my two Tamron lenses (17-28mm & 28-75mm), my Rode microphone for good audio, and my MacBook. There are other accessories and bits of gear that I take with me, but if I could only take a few items, those things would be the bare minimum. If I could add a few more items, I’d include a backup hard drive and a Gorillapod or small travel tripod.

What’s the number one tip you would have for someone getting started in the photography and filmmaking space?

Get to know the gear you have like the back of your hand before you spend money upgrading your equipment. A lot can be done with an entry-level camera or even a smartphone. Learn to use it properly, improve your editing skills and get better at telling stories. Only think about upgrading your gear when you feel like you have outgrown what you have, not when you see the shiny new gear on YouTube.

When did you decide Final Cut Pro was the tool for your video editing?

When I started editing professionally, I started using Final Cut Pro 7. I tried Premiere Pro but I didn’t feel like it was as user-friendly. Things went to a whole new level when FCP7 became FCPX and I honestly don’t see myself ever using another editing app.

How has Monogram made a difference to your editing?

Monogram has allowed me to edit and color grade much faster than before. I was able to reduce the time I spend color grading a TV show from 2 days to half a day. I started using the console for that particular TV show and when I got used to using it, I started using it for other edits and now I use it all the time. Just the other day, I needed to plug a bunch of external drives into my MacBook for a project and I had to disconnect the console for a bit. I kept tapping the keys on the console, only to realize that it was unplugged. That's when I knew that it had become an essential part of my editing workflow.

What’s your favorite Monogram feature?

Tough question. If I had to pick one, I think it would be the ability to assign multiple shortcuts to one key, essentially creating macros. That feature alone has saved me so much time!

Be sure to check out Brad and Donna’s Youtube channel for editing tips and tutorials. If you want to learn more about how Brad works with Monogram, check out the video below to see how Monogram helps him edit 5x faster!