Serious Editor with a Question
After 10 years in the video production field, I am now looking to focus more on editing (my favorite part of the process). I own a FCP system but lack the serious work needed to become the best editor I can possibly be. I am currently studying for my FCP Level 1 Certification and touching up on my After Effects skills. Outside of my current description, what are some things that I can be doing to make myself more appealing to local Post houses? I have noticed many local (Atlanta) editors have gotten there "teeth sharpened" at Turner (not many Editor 1 or Edit Assist jobs seem to pop up). I realize after 10 years I may have to consider starting as an Edit Assist (Assistant Editor) but, so be it. If that is what it takes. Thanks for any insights!
Turner is a good place to get into. I'd do a full court press on them.
Starting a an assistant editor or is a good possible route. When I was an editor working on 3/4" U-Matic tape (back in the stone age)and wanted to move up to the on-line post houses that used 1" tape, I took a step back to assistant editor in order to break in. I hated it and was not a great assistant, but after a year and a half I got my break and became the night editor.
And I got that 3/4" editor job by joining the company as a cameraman, and in order to get a job as a camerman (having been primarily an editor before then) I borrowed someone's video gear and produced, shot and edited my own little make believe commercial so I had something to show that I could shoot. It worked! So maybe you need to shoot and edit something above and beyond what you have so far to show what you can do and then shop it around.
I don't know if this is the case in Atlanta, but in LA & NY there are always people looking for people to work for free to get the opportunity to put something different or better on their reel.
That's all I've got, I'm tapped. Now get out there and do it for the Gipper!
Are there any higher end producers in the area that would give you some "serious" footage to edit as an alternative to their current workflow, or would take a flyer on you for free?
You might offer to do some edits for free for one or some of these types to get the stuff on your reel, but keep in mind...you'll probably have to turn it fast so they can have their own editor as a "plan B"...
Kolb Syverson Communications,
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2004-2005 NAB Post Production Conference
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Good day KT,
The best way to break into the editorial side is by becoming an Assistant Editor or E2. I have been an editor since '92 and from '87 - '92, I was a dubber and an E2. What the E2 position gave me, was a chance to observe other editors and their styles. Not only their creative styles, but how they interface with the clients, producers and other staff that they would have to work with on any given projects. This was very useful when it came time for me to jump into the editor's chair and fly solo.
Since you have been in the production side, I am sure that you know about bars and tone, how to read a Vector or Waveform scope, how to type up a slate, or when to use drop or non-drop timecode. I bring these up because a lot of people that want to be in this business or be an editor, have no clue to what these things are or what they do. It is somewhat unfortunate that linear editing has/is going away. I am a linear editor as well as a non-linear editor and I am were I am today because I had a couple of years as an E2. Also, I had some great teachers along the way that would allow me to program the switcher or create dve moves while they were editing, or in some cases let me edit part of the program.
As a final note and I have give this advice to other people that are in this business and editors that haven't learned or mastered a non-linear system, ie AVID or FCP for that matter, is to find a client that is willing to let you learn/get some stick time on their project, either paid or for free in need be. I was lucky enough to transition to non-linear when it was in infancy, so my clients didn't have a problem if the session took longer, because the were already comfortable with my skills as an editor. Now days there aren't many places that are willing to let you cut your teeth with little experience.
Hey KT, all the above advice is really good, but i'd add Photoshop to your list of apps to learn. Look for jobs that will pay you to log and digitize footage because this'll get your foot in the door. Once you're there offer to make dubs or whatever for the editor so that you can be in the suite with them to observe how they work. You likely won't start as an editor unless you have a reel to show. Visit your local Film Office and pick up a list of films being produced in your area and send out your Assistant or P.A. resume, but let them know that you'd like to work with in the Editing Dept. Also, New York and L.A. have 411 websites which list all sorts of companies that hire editors from Ad Agencies to Production Houses, Atlanta may have the same.