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RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'

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weevie833
RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:50:17 pm

Please hear me out and tell me if you think I'm being unreasonable.

I'm having a problem with numerous editors who either refuse to learn how to use the editing equipment, or are too intimidated to touch it.

There are two basic situations: there's the former Avid editors who were so used to sitting down and working one way, where the video goes in, and it goes out, all media formatted the same way, all in the same place. All standard def, no effects, no setups, no control panel, etc.

Then they get into a FCP/AJA setup, working on DV, 601, DVCProHD, Anamorphic, HDCam, cross-conversions, realtime downconversion, etc etc, and they just freeze. If something doesn't work automatically, it's a dead end. Can't figure it out.

The other situation is the former DV director/editor who never went through the apprenticeship process to learn the basics of working in the TV environment, and they screw up all the settings because they don't know what their doing and the system ceases to work properly. And again, there is no experience to draw from for them to be able to isolate the problem. And they don't wanna know about Reference sync or proper mastering, legal colors, etc. Their projects are a gotdam mess with media all over the place with badly formatted drives, filled to gills, etc.

There are two colliding thoughts here that burn me up. One is that some of these editors are making from $500 to $1000 a day to do this work. Am I THAT cynical to think that MAYBE someone who gets paid that much ought to KNOW their damn systems inside out and backwards? And yet this is a pervasive problem I continue to see.

Am I being to pretentious to think that the so-called power skills I have gone out of my way to acquire over the years are too much for the average pro editor to acquire as well?

The other side is, did Apple and AJA make a system that is just too good for the average editor to be able to use without practically having to have certification level training?

My problem is that I am finding that there is a dilemma between having a REALLY EXPENSIVE turnkey system that is relatively inflexible, versus an inexpensive REALLY FLEXIBLE, versatile, powerful system that no one but a quasi-engineer can use. I am constantly having problems where switching between formats -- DV/601/HD, etc. -- frame rates, codecs, aspect ratios, sound setups and so on, is causing editors to enter into a catatonic state of "I dunno how to set it up! It doesn't work!! It looks wrong!!"

I will admit that some of my setups are less than ideal, such as using an AJA LH with an AJA IO for D/A of audio. This has baffled those who don't understand that you have to change one of the SDI channels to downconvert to SD in order for it to work in HD. HEY! IT"S NOT THAT HARD! READ THE MANUAL!!!

I'm losing my patience. Emotionally, I want to cut the day rates of the editors who don't know their chops on these systems, except most of them are actually AMAZINGLY good editors, when it comes down to the concept and execution.

Can't shoot 'em.

steve covello


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walter biscardi
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 20, 2007 at 11:57:33 pm

Great Post! I hear you on all points.

How many posts have we seen here for "automatic logging" or "auto scene detection" or auto just about everything an Editor actually gets paid to do.

Most of the new editors I meet today want to tell me about their plug-ins and how many layers they can cut on. I ask them to show me a story with straight cuts only, no effects. They freeze. Everyone seems to forget that editing is:

1 - Monotonous. We look through a LOT of raw material and log all the shots because that's what we get paid to do. Nothing automatic about that.

2 - Storytelling. The best effect in the world is a well timed cut and a well placed dissolve. Just watch any movie.

3 - Demanding. As you noted we are now editors, engineers, graphic artists, compositors, sound designers and now colorists.

Yeah, most of the new folks I see coming out of college all learned on high end Avid or FCP systems but really don't have a clue how it operates, but then I'm sure the schools didn't want them monkeying around with them. The difference is the new editor who truly wants to learn and I'm very lucky to have found an incredible editor right out of college that knows how to tell a story and is willing to learn.

They're rare but out there.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Oliver Peters
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 21, 2007 at 12:17:29 am

Steve,

1. You can hire different editors who know what they are doing.
2. Hire assistants who are skilled on the technical side to assist editors who might be valuable for their creative talents.
3. Bring in someone to train them.
4. Knock done their pay.

Sincerely,
Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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weevie833
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 21, 2007 at 12:43:17 am

1. You can hire different editors who know what they are doing.

They're never available unless you book them two to three months in advance [no exaggeration]. Viacom and HBO have them in lockdown.

2. Hire assistants who are skilled on the technical side to assist editors who might be valuable for their creative talents.

Assistants who want ONLY to be an editor, not a director or a DP or a movie star or a rock star, who are committed, willing to learn, with an understanding of client services, with talent worth committing to develop, who show up, who stay late, who aren't drunks, who don't move in 6 months, who will work for entry level wage, are hard to come by.

Not only that, if you factor in the cost of an editor AND an assistant on a job that the client has already squeezed you down to a mouse's worth of profit, it just doesn't make good business sense. Back in the day when you could get an $8000 creative fee, add in another $4000 for "assistant labor" [oohh, those EDL's are sooo haaard to export], then a room rate, dubs, shipping, meals, and then [gasp] MARKUP, these staffing issues did not exist. As Poe would say, "...Nevermoooorrre."

3. Bring in someone to train them.

A good proposition, but training takes a long, long, time, and should be done on the editor's own nickel, not mine. If they are staff, that is one thing. Freelance - no way.

4. Knock done their pay.

Wish I could, but when you've been booking someone at the same rate for a couple years, and then now you tell them, "Sorry. You don't know how to use the Control Panel. I'm bumping you down to $400/day." They'll never work for me again.

Hey, I'm just being a jaded ranter right now. I completely know you are right.

steve


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Joe Murray
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 21, 2007 at 1:50:38 am

The great thing about desktop editing software is that it's very accessible. The bad thing about desktop editing software is that it's very accessible. Back in the day of linear suites, technical ability wasn't an option...now it is. Now creativity trumps technical skills every time. I've met more than one editor that cuts national commercials in a top market who has no clue about how the editing system actually works, where the media is stored or how to solve common technical issues when they arise. "That's what the engineer is there for."

And even in smaller shops where there's no fulltime engineer, editors can usually squeek by without having to be the kind of problem solver you're looking for in your editors.

The other thing to consider is, can you pick up some help from a market that isn't as busy as yours, where there might be some good ediors available at a lower rate to offset travel costs?


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Bob Zelin
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 21, 2007 at 3:45:57 pm

I LOVE your post - replies below.


You write -
there's the former Avid editors who were so used to sitting down and working one way, where the video goes in, and it goes out, If something doesn't work automatically, it's a dead end. Can't figure it out.

REPLY - these people will soon be unemployed. These were the Film Editors that would not learn CMX, and these were the CMX editors that would not learn AVID (AVID sucks !). You either keep learning until you die, or you go work for McDonnalds.


You write -
The other situation is the former DV director/editor and they screw up all the settings because they don't know what their doing and the system ceases to work properly. And they don't wanna know about Reference sync or proper mastering, legal colors, etc. Their projects are a gotdam mess with media all over the place with badly formatted drives, filled to gills, etc.

REPLY - hey, this is how I make my living, dealing with these people. I can't yell at them in real life, so I yell at them on Creative Cow. These people are EVERYWHERE - no experience (and they don't want the experience) - they just want to get the job done.
Where would I be without these people ?



YOU WRITE -
some of these editors are making from $500 to $1000 a day to do this work. Am I THAT cynical to think that MAYBE someone who gets paid that much ought to KNOW their damn systems inside out and backwards?

REPLY -
This is the classis "don't tell me, I've been editing on AVID for 20 years, and I KNOW EVERYTHING. This FCP sucks. I don't do graphics, I'm an editor. I don't do audio, I'm an editor". This person will be unemployed in 3-4 years, so don't worry.


YOU WRITE -
The other side is, did Apple and AJA make a system that is just too good for the average editor to be able to use without practically having to have certification level training?

REPLY - Apple made it so that ANYONE could edit. And guess what - anyone is editing, and they have no clue. Apple succeeded in this. AJA and Blackmagic made hardware that ANYONE could afford - guess what - anyone, and everyone is going out and buying it. Everyone has an HD edit system. Does this mean they know how to do an HD edit ?
I know - LETS BLAME AJA - this is the AJA forum, after all !



YOU WRITE -
I will admit that some of my setups are less than ideal, such as using an AJA LH with an AJA IO for D/A of audio. This has baffled those who don't understand that you have to change one of the SDI channels to downconvert to SD in order for it to work in HD. HEY! IT"S NOT THAT HARD! READ THE MANUAL!!!

REPLY - this is YOUR FAULT. In the "old days", when facilities ruled the world, and people SPENT MONEY, you would have a big machine room, and there would be converters on EVERYTHING, so that if you were in an SDI plant - EVERYTHING, including the VHS machine would be SDI in and out of a router. NICE AND EASY (but it costs a fortune). Today, people don't even want to buy a single patch bay, so you have inexperienced people crawling on the floor, hooking up VTR's wrong, and saying "how come I can't get this machine to work. The more money you are willing to spend, the easier it is to set up these systems. When you have a router panel assigned to EACH VTR (like the old National Video days in NY), any moron can assign a machine instantly.


REPLY -
there are many talented editors out there. There are many talented young people out there, that know more than the "experienced" AVID editors. You have to have the time to meet with them (and not hang up on them when they call for an interview), and give them a chance.
David Kuther (from the AVID lists) was a classis example of this - punk kid who had more ambition than 20 editors. One of the first people (within 3 months of being exposed to the NY TV market) to figure out how to get Adobe Graphics working with AVID products, when all the "experienced" editors said it couldn't be done. Crew Cuts in NY excells in finding young talent, and develops that talent. Most NY houses (when I was there) would NEVER give anyone a chance, and all the old bags just faded away.

Bob Zelin


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Shane Ross
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 22, 2007 at 3:56:29 am

When I was an Assistant Editor, I and my fellow assistants made fun of these guys. They NEVER got our respect...which is a bad thing. Sure, they are good storytellers. But if you can't figure out how to tell the computer what drive to render to (thus filling up drives to BEYOND capacity) or know how to capture and output, then that good are they.

I vowed to not be that kind of editor....and I pride myself on my creative storytelling ability, and technical know how to build my own system and manage it. Those tired dinosaurs? They never had to be technical, always had assistants.

Shane

Littlefrog Post
http://www.lfhd.net


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Alan Okey
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 22, 2007 at 5:50:34 am

[Bob Zelin] "REPLY - hey, this is how I make my living, dealing with these people. I can't yell at them in real life, so I yell at them on Creative Cow. These people are EVERYWHERE - no experience (and they don't want the experience) - they just want to get the job done.
Where would I be without these people ? "


Boy, you hit the nail on the head. I've found myself earning more money from consulting than I would ever have dreamed simply because there are so many techically clueless "experienced editors" out there. I'm amazed by how many people pay so little attention to the technical aspects of their craft. The excuse "hey man, I'm just an editor, not an IT guy" just doesn't cut it. Other artists have to learn their craft - painters need to learn how to mix colors, use medium, etc. Metal sculptors need to learn how to set up a cutting torch, a MIG welder, etc. Why should editors be any different?

[Bob Zelin] "There are many talented young people out there, that know more than the "experienced" AVID editors. You have to have the time to meet with them (and not hang up on them when they call for an interview), and give them a chance. "

Another well-aimed dart of a comment. A few years ago, I applied for a job with a small local video company that shot and produced videos of equestrian events. The guy who ran it was interested in getting into nonlinear editing (he was still using linear gear), and I could have helped drag him (kicking and screaming) into the 21st century. He had no experience with Avid or Final Cut Pro, and no experience with DVD authoring. I could have brought a lot to his business, but he was too busy to get back to me. 5 years later, I'm getting $90/hour for freelance compositing and doing a fair amount of editing, finishing and DVD authoring, and he's still shooting his little horse shows with SVHS gear. I can't imagine that his clients are too thrilled with being offered a VHS tape as a deliverable these days... But of course he was an "old pro" who "knew better."

It continually amazes me that despite all of the free, quality information that is available online these days, far too many people don't have the curiosity or professionalism to learn more about their own craft and the tools they use on a daily basis.


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Hector
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 23, 2007 at 7:21:35 pm

You either keep learning until you die, or you go work for McDonnalds.

Sorry man! You can't work at McDonald's either. :)

I work for McDonald's (freelance), we have many Adrenaline Avid's, FCP, Protools, and all the Adobe toys here as well.

You need to know how to use most of these tools forwards and backwards before you can aboard.


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Wayne Carey
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 30, 2007 at 3:33:47 pm

Ok... I have to jump in here...

I'm in the car with all of you!

I've been in the business for about 20 years now. I started working for a local PBS station with absolutely no budgets and very basic well-used equipment. I learned an incredible wealth of experience. I did everything production. I was an engineer, set designer, audio engineer, camera operator, director, producer, editor, DP, production vehicle driver, and so forth.... I think you get the idea.

You can learn alot from college or a film school, BUT, you can't replace actual experience with school knowledge.

All of these people who think they are editors have really hurt my end of the industry, making it very difficult to make the money that we should. BUT, when it comes down to it, people will notice your work, good and bad.

Just because you decided that your current job isn't working out and you've always wanted to be an editor so you went out and bought all of this equipment, it doesn't mean that you are an editor. If you like medicine, that doesn't make you a doctor.

_______________________________

Wayne Carey
Schazam Productions
http://www.schazamproductions.com
http://blogs.creativecow.net/waynecarey


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Christian Glawe
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 22, 2007 at 6:39:42 am


Wow! Great post...

"I'm having a problem with numerous editors who either refuse to learn how to use the editing equipment, or are too intimidated to touch it."

At first blush, I'd say "don't hire them" - are you being thorough enough in your interviewing process to weed these people out?

"There are two colliding thoughts here that burn me up. One is that some of these editors are making from $500 to $1000 a day to do this work."

Don't worry... they won't be for long.

"Emotionally, I want to cut the day rates of the editors who don't know their chops on these systems, except most of them are actually AMAZINGLY good editors, when it comes down to the concept and execution."

If these editors were willing to learn something new, and you were willing to be a little bit patient with them while they learned it, that could be a great situation for you. Personally, I would rather hire the great editor, who's maybe a little short on particulars of a FCP/Kona system, than the guy who knows all the FCP setup menus, but can't edit a lick. This, of course, presumes that the Great Editor is willing to learn something new... you should be able to determine this in an interview.

"Am I being to pretentious to think that the so-called power skills I have gone out of my way to acquire over the years are too much for the average pro editor to acquire as well?"

Too pretentious? No.. probably not. The rules of market economics will weed these people out - but it will take a few years for the new paradigm to become Established Convention.

Quick story: I had never worked on FCP before I moved to LA - I was Avid, and discreet edit before that. Once I knew I was moving out here, I did some research, and realized that there's a big FCP market in LA. Well... guess I'd better get a Mac, get FCP, and start learning it! Now, easily 90% of my work is FCP, and I'm busy as can be...

I was willing to adapt to the realities of the marketplace - some people aren't, primarily because it requires a time investment and hard work to properly learn new skills.

Your rant is completely understandable - I'd say A) interview more thoroughly - some people make prospective editors do a "hands on" test as part of the interview for the gig, and B) take the time to share your knowledge with those folks that are eager to learn... it might take some time, but it will ultimately pay off in spades as you cultivate your pool of talent.


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weevie833
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:22:28 pm

Thank you all for such a great response. Keep it coming.

After some thought, I am considering a new policy for the freelance rate based somewhat on the NYC going rate of, arguably, $650/day:

$400/day - "cuts and dissolves", no setup skills, no effects, no compression, no mixing, no color correction, no DVD making, fulltime assistant required.

Add $50/day for each of the following:

- FCP/AJA setup skills
- AE, PSD, IL skills
- 3D graphics skills
- DVD and web compression skills
- Color Correction and mixing [includes prep/export of OMF]
- Online, mastering, legalizing and output to tape skills
- Perhaps a negotiable Creative Fee on a per day basis, if the talent is prized that much

I am ready to stop being a 'slave to the talented creative genius at ANY expense' regardless if skillset. There has to be a line drawn somewhere.

I believe that the tiered prices would create a clear delineation of skills/expectations, and an incentive for those motivated to improve. Same goes for, in my opinion, of graphic designer/animators who don't know squat about video formats and send files not usable in the video domain.

Comments?

steve covello


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walter biscardi
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:28:15 pm

[weevie833] "After some thought, I am considering a new policy for the freelance rate based somewhat on the NYC going rate of, arguably, $650/day:"

around here (Atlanta) the going rate for skilled NLE editors is $350 - $500/day. It only goes up from there if you own the gear.

[weevie833] "Comments?"

Extremely difficult to pull off that tiered pricing. I wouldn't go for it if I was an editor. What does "skilled" mean? They know how to start the app? They know how to run the app? They know how to be really creative with the app?

Basically if I'm working with a new editor, I generally bring them in at a reduced rate to see what they understand. If they are a good editor and know their way around Photoshop and a few other areas, then I'll pay them the full rate. That's my suggestion to you. If an editor says their day rate is $400/day tell them you'll play $300/day for the first week to see how good they are. If you're satisfied with their talent level, you switch to $400/day. If you're not satisfied, you let them know it stays at $300/day or they can leave.

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
http://www.biscardicreative.com
HD Editorial & Animation for Broadcast and independent productions.

All Things Apple Podcast! http://cowcast.creativecow.net/all_things_apple/index.html

Read my blog! http://blogs.creativecow.net/WalterBiscardi


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Oliver Peters
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:33:42 pm

I would agree with Walter. A tiered structure is too open to question. I've worked with new clients under the same type of deal Walter describes - first job reduced, next job full rate - and both of us were happy. After all, you are trying to establish a long term relationship between you and the editor.

Sincerely,
Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Bob Zelin
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:59:33 pm

All those people reading this and saying "wow, $650 a day, I'll take that " - must remember that Steve is in Manhattan, which is a different planet (financially) than almost anywhere else in the US.

Bob Zelin


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John Pale
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 22, 2007 at 6:28:25 pm

[Bob Zelin] "All those people reading this and saying "wow, $650 a day, I'll take that " - must remember that Steve is in Manhattan, which is a different planet (financially) than almost anywhere else in the US. "

Thanks for adding that Bob....from another Manhattan resident.


Believe me, that $650/day is becoming harder and harder to get, yet my rent doesn't seem to go in any direction but up.




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Joe Murray
Re: RANT! My new policy
on Jul 23, 2007 at 1:42:12 am

That tiered system sounds like a lot of extra work for YOU.

Joe Murray


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Oliver Peters
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 22, 2007 at 2:24:09 pm

I would tend to characterize myself as both creative and technical, so I often find myself at facilities working alongside other creative editors who aren't very technical, especially with FCP. It's obvious to me that quite a few have bluffed their way into the gig telling the facility owner/manager that they have FCP chops when they don't. The reality is that they are trying to get up to speed. Actually working a gig is one of the best ways, though, I'm sure the owner doesn't want to know that. I don't mind giving them pointers to get them through if they ask. Generally the jobs get done in the booked amount of time, even if the project structure is a bit of a mess. After all, even in the linear days, how many good editors kept really messy EDLs?

The stronger facilities in the area have at least one junior person on staff who is a combination dubber/assistant editor/editor (on small jobs) and it is generally their job to make sure the freelance editor has everything patched correctly to the VTR room, has their FCP preferences right and has their scratch disks set to the location desired by the facility. That's the only way to do it and they were doing this in the linear and the Avid days, too.

Sincerely,
Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Tcurren
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 23, 2007 at 5:53:14 am

[Oliver Peters] "Actually working a gig is one of the best ways, though, I'm sure the owner doesn't want to know that."

Oliver,

Isn't that how we all got our first gigs.

Terence Curren
http://www.alphadogs.tv
http://www.digitalservicestation.com
Burbank,Ca


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Oliver Peters
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 23, 2007 at 12:52:03 pm

Speak for yourself! ;-)

- Oliver

Oliver Peters Post Production Services, LLC
Orlando, FL
http://www.oliverpeters.com


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Kurt Reitz
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 24, 2007 at 4:32:43 am

I learned that even in High School when I helped the teacher with an Apple II+ there are people that had the theory and then struggled with follow through. In these days of increasing edit complexity the number of people that can keep up with the details of all of the tools and still be creative are dwindling. They have a few strengths and just skim the surface of the rest.
I've enjoyed several cycles of consulting over the years with products from the GVG 200 and D2 based editing to the Stratasphere and the Affinity to currently explaining what format my customers might use in a particular FCP edit and why 4x3 looks funny in an anamorphic timeline. I do enjoy it, sometimes it is frustrating, but when they are succesful with their small window of understanding it is satisfying.
I do agree about the limited skillset though. I had a recent college graduate the other day all hot to edit with his new FCP "skills" and called asking why his SD video was blown out. I asked him what the scope in his edit bay said..... uhhhh scope? Yeah the thing with the green lines.... Uhhhh....
We didn't even get into the fact that his video was likely overexposed in the camera and all detail was lost....
I saw the project later...his fields were inverted in an AE project, he had flash frames of black, he was blowing up 120x120 gif graphics to fill the screen and he didn't even know what an alpha channel was much less what might happen if it was a pre-multiplied or straight key.
His parting comment to me was "High five, it's a good thing we know what we're doing!"
Uhhh....Right...
What are they teaching these days....?

Kurt Reitz
EGT Communications
Editing


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Ron Frank
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 24, 2007 at 12:27:52 pm

I just finished teaching a college level video documentary production course that tried to concentrate on "story telling" and not technology. In today's environment, it's impossible to separate them, but that's what colleges and universities are trying to do.

The instructors and professors that I've run into have no clue how to edit on NLE systems (much less trouble shoot). They live in a theory based world and generally don't want to be distracted with "technology!" The students end up teaching NLE basics to each other, and succeed in spite of their instructors.

I've been a video producer and editor for 35 years. At the age of 59, the software is becoming a bit more complex (too many brain cells lost doing all-nighers), but it is absolutely essential to "know the tools" so that the "story" can be told just the way you visioned it.

In today's world, a successful video story teller is a shooter, editor, colorist, graphic artist, animator, audio sweetener, computer Geek, and most importantly, a writer and story teller.

Have I left anything out?

What a great profession!

Ron Frank
Kansas State University


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Christian Glawe
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 24, 2007 at 5:31:15 pm

"In today's environment, it's impossible to separate them, but that's what colleges and universities are trying to do." That's right... you can't separate them! And, I would argue, learning institutions are doing a huge disservice by trying to separate them - are you going to issue a "video/film degree" to somebody without teaching them about alpha channels, color channels, bit rates, etc.? If you are going to embrace the new technology as empowering for the Little Guy, then it's up to the Little Guy to learn the tech stuff! The "I'm an artist, man" card is not going to play... unless you're willing to hire a tech consultant ("paging Bob Zelin... paging Bob Zelin...") to handle all that for you. If anything, our jobs are more difficult than ever... we're expected to be creative storytellers, but, at the same time, we're expected to be systems admins, tech trouble-shooters, workflow specialists, etc... simply keeping up with all the new tech developments is a full-time job!


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Bob Zelin
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 25, 2007 at 1:54:43 am

Fr. Frank write -
The instructors and professors that I've run into have no clue how to edit on NLE systems (much less trouble shoot). They live in a theory based world and generally don't want to be distracted with "technology!"


REPLY - my parents, who had no money, spent their money sending me to Polytechnic Institute of NY, to become an Electrical Engineer. I learned ABSOLUTELY NOTHING about electronics at this university, and I am convinced that not one of the professors at this college could design their way out of a paper bag, least not get an entry level job with a company that had to do with circuit design. Anything I ever learned, I learned on my own, or from friends and associates at work. What a shame - nothing has changed. Everyone said to me "one day you will appreciate this theory". It's now been 30 years since I graduated, and I still have no idea of what those math courses were about. For years after graduating, I always wanted to go back to Mr. Lupo, who "advised me" that "maybe I wasn't cut out to be an engineer", and slap him in the face. (never had the guts to do this).

Bob Zelin


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Mike L
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 25, 2007 at 3:56:19 am

Go slap him, Bob. And ask him if he still remembers Ohm's Law.

And while you're at it, slap all the poor fools who think computers do all the technical stuff for them. Slap those nincompoops who don't know an Edison plug from an RCA, too - but I'd suggest using insulated gloves. Maybe hand them a soldering iron, stand back and watch the fun.

While you're at it, slap yourself, too - on the back.

So much of this stuff is insanely complicated. It's a lot more straightforward to pilot a 777 from Chicago to London than it is to edit your typical video project. It's miracle enough to fly above the clouds. There, you've got lots of smart people watching you, guiding you and telling you what to do.

Go ahead - master a finished program for HDTV and SD broadcast, DVD, multiple web flavors, with closed captioning and 4:3 crops from the 16:9 original, in stereo and 5.1 (don't forget the PAL master) - with all the crappy work out there, it gives a new dimension to a job well done. That assumes it gets done, makes air, and you get paid.

Ohhhh - you want it on You-Tube?

Mike L.




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Mark Richford
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Oct 28, 2008 at 12:18:56 am

What's an Edison plug? I've been making video since it was called radio and I don't think I know that one.

Mark @ Tropical Visions Video, Inc.
Hilo, Hawaii
808.989.0324


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JeremyG
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 25, 2007 at 10:22:31 pm

[Bob Zelin] "(never had the guts to do this). "

Give him a creative cow account and let him have it.



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CharlieX
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Jul 26, 2007 at 10:10:08 pm

Wow, great thread.... I don't even want to talk about it.

There's a feature film getting cut upstairs which they had to hire a "union" assistant editor for

He's making TWICE what I do... and asked one day, while pointing to the VCR in the edit bay, "Is that the Digibeta? How do I connect it to the Avid?" It's frustrating as hell. Yeah, i make salary and don't need to worry about not being booked for a couple weeks at a time, but this kid barely know his ass from a G5 in the ground.

it blows my mind how nontechnical people are in this business... and how they manage to still make money





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Christopher S. Johnson
Re: RANT! Editors who don't know how to 'drive'
on Aug 10, 2007 at 9:38:04 pm


Hi, I'm one of those editors who can both troubleshoot the NLE, capture card, deck, and story-tell. Sometimes when not editing documentaries, I even gig as just a FCP Techie. So there are no sour grapes when I say this:

I dont know about the kinds of projects you guys are working on, but in documentary and doc series, story-telling is king. I have seen my share of technically knowledgeable editors who couldn't come up with appropriate emotional cues or empathize with the client's talking points and they were let go. out-the-door-goodbye. Nobody would have fired them for not knowing how to look at a deck menu!

I can do some audio sweetening, because I forced myself to learn on low budget jobs. And I can do some graphics, because I was the only one with an inkling to learn on a project. But people who are dedicated to these professions can KICK MY ASS at these! There is no way to become the best at everything and if you do, you will most certainly only be mediocre at most of them. There arent enough hours in a day.

For documentaries, if you find a good storyteller, keep them. A techie can be hired on an "as needed" basis. You can hire a graphics and sound mixer later.

I think some of us are just "lucky" to be both story and tech proficient. Expecting this as a standard may produce many plain-janes who really dont have a lot of talent in either but "just pass" in both areas.

A good storyteller is worth their weight in gold.

-Christopher


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