christopher hills fcpx

Christopher Hills is a young editor living in Australia, he's also an Apple Certified Pro Final Cut Pro X Level One. A great achievement, but quite outstanding when you find out he controls his Mac with just a head switch.

Chris has Cerebral Palsy which manifests itself as many unwanted body and limb movements. Not the ideal thing when trying to be precise with a keyboard. The only part of his body he can control reliably is his head and that's what he uses to control FCPX.

By using a head switch and a special piece of software, he controls the cursor on the Mac with clicks to drive FCPX. He's pretty quick at it too, we have seen a few editors who are slower with a qwerty keyboard!

We were intrigued by how Chris finds working this way. We have to admit to thinking that switches such as Chris's could only be used for word processing, emails or surfing. Wrong. They can also be used to control programs that need to have input at a specific points in time, FCPX is a good example. We got in touch and he very kindly replied:

 

''My first non-linear editor was Sony Vegas Movie Studio which I used for a course that I did in high school. Then I switched to a MacBook Pro because I found that the Accessibility support was a lot better. That’s when I started using iMovie 09, which I very quickly grew out of. So, the next logical step was to FCPX.
 
The Magnetic Timeline is a big help for me and saves me a lot of time, especially when I’m rearranging Clips. One thing I find slightly annoying is with the Video Animation pane. I wish that the FCPX timeline would automatically scroll up when I open it as it takes me a while to scroll the timeline up manually. It’s interesting how when Video Animation is closed, the Timeline automatically scrolls down. Why can’t it automatically scroll up when it opens? 
 
I’ve recently started aiming towards getting certified in Motion 5 and I’m just about to buy Mark Spencer’s book to help me to get ready for the exam. As I said in the presentation video, I’m about to start my own video editing business and in the future I’d really like to create short films/documentaries, along the way, sharing my experiences using a head switch with technology, including FCPX.
 
Would be glad to answer any more questions you might have.'

 

Take a look at Chris's presentation from the Inclusive Learning Technologies Conference on the Gold Coast that was held in May. A good watch for a few reasons. First of all to find out more about Chris, accessible technology and how he uses FCPX. Secondly, it makes us realise how dependent we are on keyboards, but that doesn't stop anyone who can't use one from performing complex tasks on a computer.

He also manages to get some jokes in at his Dad's expense!

You can follow Chris on Twitter or subscribe to his YouTube Channel.