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Tips for interviewing a new editor

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Adam Fischer
Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 15, 2012 at 9:53:30 pm

Im looking to bring on a new contract editor who I hope to keep busy at least 30 hours a week. So I want to make sure I'm investing my time into someone I can trust and depend on

Looking at demo reeks is easy enough, but I was wondering if any.one had any tips on good questions to ask or scenarios to present to a potential editor so that I can better trust their abilities and gauge if they would be a good fit.

Im posting this here and in the business and marketing forum to get a variety of answers. Thanks for any input.



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Justin Fick
Re: Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 15, 2012 at 11:40:54 pm

When interviewing a new video editor make sure they know what compression to use for the web, I suggest MP4
when using any video editing software. When interviewing a video editor, make sure they can speak the language of video codecs
Here is a link to accurate description of video codecs, so you can study up on the concept and know a little too http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_codec . Also see what other skills they can bring, such as motion graphics and camera work. See if they know their cameras.


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Scott Cumbo
Re: Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 16, 2012 at 5:56:36 am

codecs? I know guys with emmy's, who been cutting for 30 years and don't know a thing about codecs, nor do they care. That has nothing to do with editing. Though it is usefull to be well versed, but encoding something can be learned quickly where being a quality editor happeneds over time.

Best way to find someone is word of mouth. Ask around in your area and see who has worked with certain editors. Most pros have a decent reel so they really aren't helpfull. But it also depends on what your needs are. are they working with clients in the room? on their own? or even off site? and what kind of work, broadcast? corporate? long form? spots? everyone has different experiances and may be better at certain things.

Good luck

Scott Cumbo
Editor
Broadway Video, NYC


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Juris Eksts
Re: Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 16, 2012 at 12:16:08 am

I think this would depend very largely on what sort of editor you're expecting to employ.
Do you need someone who will push buttons for you, or someone who will have very strong opinions on how to make programmes, will know how to interact with clients, somoone who will work with anything they're presented with to make any programme work to the best of its potential, even if that potential is low, or someone who will throw out any dodgy camerawork, wobbly, out of focus shots, bad grammar, (in terms of language or filming technique)?
I was once present when someone was choosing potential flat-mates, and they just had all the potentials in together at one time, not interviewing them one at a time, but to see how they'd react together in a stressful, social situation. That way they could see genuine reactions, which told more than asking questions, and being told, where someone with good verbal skills will win out, but those verbal skills aren't neccessarily the most important in that situation.
Editors are very often in sensitive and stressful situations, and each one will react differently. Those stressful situations can create either awful tension and a terrible working environment, or a place where really good work happens, and I think it's only by working with people over a period of time, seeing how personalities interact, that you learn enough about them to make a decent judgement.

It also works the other way round - does that editor want to work with you? Can they make a living with you on only 30 hours a week? but more importantly, do you give enough space for a real editor to make a meaningful, satisfying contribution?

So my recommendation would be: employ a few as freelancers, see if they fit, then make a decision later.


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Fred Jodry
Re: Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 17, 2012 at 3:00:14 pm

"So my recommendation would be: employ a few as freelancers, see if they fit, then make a decision later." (Juris)

-but hire your choice soon enough and just as important, lay off your non- choices gracefully, and as soon, so that you don`t make one worn out new employee and a heap of brand- new enemies. Fred Jodry
I see plenty of good advice above. F. J.


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Stephen Smith
Re: Tips for interviewing a new editor
on Apr 20, 2012 at 4:15:19 pm

Great advice above. The company I work for is small and the last thing in the world that we need is employees that don't get along. We have always brought someone in on a Free Lance basis first and decided if we liked them, do they work hard, do they bring anything extra to the table and will they be a good fit. Then we approach them about full time employment if it is available. If we don't like them then we don't have to fire them because we only brought them on as a Free Lance gig. I feel we have a strong team that does amazing work and we get along great so I think this model works.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Vimeo page


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