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Re: Grinner's Leap Of Faith String

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Dan Asselin
Re: Grinner's Leap Of Faith String
on Dec 23, 2007 at 6:49:20 pm

It has been a week since I first saw this string and a full month since the original post. After some thought I think I have some thoughts which may be of interest to those involved.

My history starts in the early 80's after graduating college with a major in editing. I got sidetracked and ending up as creative director in the commercials division of a combined TV/Radio operation. (It's not as impressive as it sounds)

In the days of 2-inch tape and new Ampex tone editing we cut some corners but normally created decent product even in our small market.

This being the 80's, however, I saw the big money being made in real estate by people with a grade 2 education and decided I HAD to have a piece of that. So I did and what followed was the most amazing roller coaster ride ever eventually leaving me flat broke and careerless in the early 90's.

What follwed was a few years of doing anything to pay bills.

Finally I got fed up around 2002 and decided to look at what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I remembered how much I enjoyed working in the creative end of things and how I seemed to show at least some promise as an editor so I thought i'd try to get back into that line. I knew I would have to adjust my lifestyle to accomodate what I knew would be lower pay but figured I might be happier as the trade-off.

Now adjusting to the technical side of this decision goes without saying but luckily I had become a bit of a late-blooming computer enthusiast so that wasn't so bad. And my years of drifting had taught me that life-long continuous learning was the only way to survive the future.

My biggest shock was how much standards had changed.Even in college it was accepted that people wouldn't finish things on time. And the phrase "we'll fix it in post" was used almost as much as the most common of swear words.

I perservered through college and wrote off the bad experiences as merely the youth of my classmates and their need to grow up.

Getting into the "real" world I was stunned to find that I was as wrong as I could be. A customer called to have me quote on editing some footage which had just been shot by a "professional" cameraman. I could not believe the lack of focus, the lack of lighting, the lack of tripod and incredibly the lack of any shot which held on a subject for more than 1.5 seconds before panning or zooming into oblivion.

When I told the client that I couldn't get him what he wanted with this footage I was the "Bad Guy".

Through this, however, I was able to land a couple of good clients and was making some progress when this happened.

A supposedly "industry-admired" production company was hired to shoot 3 episodes of a series of Pilates DVD's. The only problem was that they had only 1 16x9 Hi-Def camera so they shot all of their cutaways using a standard Mini-DV cam.

Then before giving me the footage they stretched all of the Mini DV stuff to fill the 16x9 frame making the hostess of the show look like an Easter-Island statue. The incredible difference in the quality of the footage also made inter-cutting a really amazing adventure.

When I complained about this I was told that I was too picky and that the client needed someone who could work with him better. Exit stage left.

I guess what I am trying to say is that it's not your imagination. Standards have fallen ridiculously and the gap in my career has simply made this more obvious to me.

Also, anyone who is tiring of the grind and looking to get out there is no silver lining on the other side of the hill.
In 3 of my jobs during my wandering years anyone who could retire was doing so as soon as possible. Even my wife, who has been at her job for over 20 years (Thank Goodness) says that anyone who can get out is doing so ASAP or counting down the days until they can.

As for me I'm 51 now and too far into this to do anything but follow Grinner's lead to some extent. If I have to I'll shoot my own stuff and find a market for it. I don't think this is what I envisioned when I got back into the business but when life hands you a lemon.............

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