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Some Advice

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Tom D
Some Advice
on Jan 22, 2002 at 5:22:26 am

Well I am somewhat of a newbie starting out in post production in the NY area. I graduated in May with a degree in film. I took Avid Master Classes over the Summer and was also able to learn After Effects, Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Media Cleaner and Photoshop quite well. I have done a small amount freelance work as an assistant for an avid editor , helping him with after effects and graphics stuff. Currently I am learning Combustion and 3d Studio Max

Right now I am working a day job to save up for a Avid DV so I can freelance more but I would really like to get a job with a Post House. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.



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mike whatley
Re: Some Advice
on Jan 22, 2002 at 1:24:12 pm


If you just graduated and you've learned all those app's you're on a roll. Impressive beginning.

I was in a big time Post house a few weeks back on a tour. As we went through the place (with many suites)-- In almost every room that was not currently in use, there was an editor reading a big fat book on some application or another. It wasn't a show for the tour. It was clearly part of the culture of this organization.

Keep studying. (That's the only "advice" I can offer, since I know zero about how to break into the Post world of NYC. )


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Walter Biscardi
Re: Some Advice
on Jan 24, 2002 at 10:55:12 am

Make sure you also look at some of the corporations in the New York area as well. Many many companies have their own Communications or Media departments these days and since they are usually one to four man shops, they are tremendous places to learn.

You generally get a chance to do everything from producing to editing, they are usually more willing to take a chance on a new hire out of school than established houses, and the pressure to perform can be a bit lower when you first start out. You generally have a lot more opportunity to experiment and learn new things as you go.

Yes, there will be TON of boring, straightforward projects, but those will hone your basic editing/graphics skills. But you'll also be afforded the opportunity to create on your own as well.

Myself, I was fortunate to land at Foxwoods Resort Casino (in CT) and then in the TV department of CitiGroup for a time and did some of my most creative works during those times. The work from both shops was at times very corporate and at other times broadcast quality.

Hope that helps!
CineWave Forum host

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Michael Munkittrick
Re: Some Advice
on Jan 22, 2002 at 2:01:11 pm

Take your pick of those apps and begin to master the subtlties of it's interface. Learn the underlying methodology to how it works and master a workflow technique. You can either be a jack of all trades, or a master of all trades, one at a time. My suggestion is that you continue along our chosen path, but modify your learning so as to progress with your "favorite". How will you know your favorite? It's the one you get paid to use. There are a lot of video editors out there, but few of them get the money they deserve unless they are masters of their workspace and the editing environment, so the Avid is definately THE tool to learn for editing. After Effects has a huge user base and is used on almost every show open and commercial out there, but again, it is those with the mastery of the workflow and proccess that make money. And while I myself now hire people with FCP experience, it is rare that I find someone who has read the manual well enough to really know the program.

Pick one, and master it, but don't forget to diversify from time to time.


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Re: Some Advice
on Jan 22, 2002 at 3:00:06 pm

City Lights in constantly looking for freelancers and staff editors. Jack Fisher is the contact there, I belive...
scope out some of these sites and you'll find plenty of work in NY...

and of course, lets not forget about the new job board here at the cow.

good luck


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Patrick Inhofer
Re: Some Advice
on Jan 23, 2002 at 1:13:23 am


Being in a position to say, "Been there, done that" my advice...

1. buy the MPE book.

2. Look under the section "Videotape Editing > New York".

3. Start pounding the doors and working the phones.

4. Talk to everyone. It's a tough market right now and you need to outleg the other guy.

I strongly believe that for a first job, smaller is better. Your choice of software suggests you have a variety of interests and a smaller house might give you a chance to flex each of those muscles.

That's what happened to me (although for me the choice was between editing or shooting for video - I chose editing). This allowed me to discover what I didn't want to do. When I learned all that I was likely to learn in the place I was at, I took the first job I could get at a post house that more closely reflected my long term goals.

Finally, don't get too snobbish about what job is beneath you. Getting in the door can be difficult... being too particular can make it impossible. I'm not saying take a janitorial position, but I've seen people move from shipping to duplication to editorial in short periods of time.

- patrick

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Marty Hedler
Re: Some Advice
on Jan 24, 2002 at 4:45:37 pm

The media field is rife with stupid hours, insane requests, ruined relationships, "video widows & orphans", worker burnout, drug addiction, unethical employers and deadbeat clients... and those are the good points.

...other than that it's a helluva way to make a living.

Actually, tools are great these days, opportunities are increasingly regionalized (not just city tv stations, or film houses anymore), and you got COW forums... and great resources like it.

If you can find a small facility ( post-house, dub house, production co., tv station) willing to pay a living wage, you could get a solid foundation in video. Smaller joints are more willing to let you float around, pick brains and saddle-up on systems to noodle around. Any place where you can get a good look at the processes end-to-end, and make enough to feed your family might be worth checking out.

It is worth noting that new tools support affordable high-quality acquisition, provide powerful editing features, and output many media formats. These tools were inaccessable to most folks until quite recently. Learning your tools well and tools like them will give you lots of options.

Regards, MPH

P.S. FWIW, I started in NYC as a carpenter.

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