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How many of you editors are introverts?

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Steve Kownacki
How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 6, 2014 at 1:03:34 pm

Best jobs for introverts: Film/video editor. Hmmm.

I consider myself to be an introvert. Or more a combo intro/extro. I don the extroversion when needed for meetings, events, and so on. But I highly guard my personal time as my space and quite time to recharge. I used to do a lot more editing, now it's about 10% of my weekly duties.

http://www.businessinsider.com/best-jobs-for-introverts-2014-3

Curious where you place yourself on the scale?

And if this doesn't work out for the next 23 years... maybe an astronomer.

Steve





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Stephen Smith
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 6, 2014 at 7:18:12 pm

It isn't unusual to have two people sitting on the couch in my edit-bay chiming in with their opinion. I work a lot with clients and that is part of the job. Maybe it is because I do a lot of corporate video (Work with their Marketing person) and TV spots (Work with Ad Agencies). Interacting with people is a big part of my job.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Todd Terry
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 6, 2014 at 9:01:29 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Mar 6, 2014 at 9:12:25 pm

[Stephen Smith] "It isn't unusual to have two people sitting on the couch in my edit-bay chiming in with their opinion."

This is precisely why I purposely have uncomfortable seating in my suite. I used to have theatre seats... vintage art deco seats rescued from a Hollywood movie palace... but they proved to encourage too much lounging.

The room looks inviting (cool lighting, artwork, client platform, phones, etc.), but my hard-as-bricks chairs now will often have a client saying "You seem to know what you are doing, I'll be back this afternoon," which I love to hear :)

I was thwarted once, though... when one agency creative director started bringing her own cushion to edit sessions. Foiled again!

Unfortunately (for him), my other editor has the vintage "I Love Lucy" couch to deal with. I love the look... but I put it upstairs in his suite to shift the camping out elsewhere.

I by far do my best (and fastest) work alone... and my other editor would definitely say the same. I don't think he likes it when I barge in myself.

As we (sarcastically) say here, "There's nothing better than art by committee."

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 7, 2014 at 5:40:52 pm

I have to agree with Todd that editing alone is more "fun". But I don't really mind having the client sit in, if they know what they want. The dynamic is very different with a co-pilot, though. You spend more energy explaining ideas and "selling" them, or showing examples, then getting approvals to go ahead. Or if they have a really bad idea, you may have to gently let them down by wasting a little time to humor them, before they see it was bad for themselves and let you revert to the better plan you had all along.

But, if you're patient in these scenarios, you soon build enough trust that the clients tend to give you your head and let you go it alone from that point forward.

This is why the best technical editor isn't always the best hire at a post facility. You also have to have great interpersonal and verbal communication skills, an ability to teach and educate a client, even as you're taking direction from them, without insulting or hurting them. When you work on a project side-by-side with the client, they leave with much more emotional investment in what you've done together, so they go to bat with their bosses for approving the cut you collaborated on, instead of sending back lots of fickle and meaningless or damaging changes later.


So yeah, solo flying is rewarding and efficient. Dual-piloting is more work, and takes more time/cost, but can also get you to a good place. A good editor should be able to handle either mode of working.


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Mark Suszko
on Mar 7, 2014 at 7:24:54 pm
Last Edited By Mark Suszko on Mar 7, 2014 at 7:25:20 pm

I have to agree with Todd that editing alone is more "fun". But I don't really mind having the client sit in, if they know what they want. The dynamic is very different with a co-pilot, though. You spend more energy explaining ideas and "selling" them, or showing examples, then getting approvals to go ahead. Or if they have a really bad idea, you may have to gently let them down by wasting a little time to humor them, before they see it was bad for themselves and let you revert to the better plan you had all along.

But, if you're patient in these scenarios, you soon build enough trust that the clients tend to give you your head and let you go it alone from that point forward.

This is why the best technical editor isn't always the best hire at a post facility. You also have to have great interpersonal and verbal communication skills, an ability to teach and educate a client, even as you're taking direction from them, without insulting or hurting them. When you work on a project side-by-side with the client, they leave with much more emotional investment in what you've done together, so they go to bat for the cut you collaborated on, instead of sending back fickle and meaningless changes later.


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Stephen Smith
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 10, 2014 at 2:53:36 pm

I don't consider clients in the edit bay to be pest or unwelcome guest. This is their video not mine and they are paying for it. The first client I worked with in the edit bay was a Creative Director who moved here from one of the biggest Ad Agencies back East. I learned so much from him and I'm a better editor today because of it. I agree that working with a client can be nerve-raking because your creative abilities are on the spot, but collaborating with a client and building something great is very rewarding.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Andrew Rendell
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 8, 2014 at 12:52:41 pm

I dislike being alone for extended periods of time. I really value what I'd call the unexpected and unanticipated usefulness of colleagues - having people around to talk things through with can really help get things straight in my head.

I think the collaborative nature of editing is what drew me to it twenty five years ago and what keeps me interested today (not having more people choosing the shots or the timing of a cut, that's just a waste of everyone's time, but things like the interaction between cutting pictures and sound with writing the script).

Also, when the filming is lazy "interview plus b-roll" instead of properly thought out sequences it can be soul destroying to have to wade through it on one's own.

I'm not sure where I am on the extravert - introvert continuum, there are things I do which are solitary and part of the inner mental world (oil painting and experimental music) and there are things that I do which are social. I don't think I could exist without both, but as a freelance cutter I make my living in the sociable side.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 9, 2014 at 9:20:59 pm

For me, the solitude is one of the highlights of editing as a profession. I find Interacting with people draining so I would never want to work in an environment where the client is in the room with me a lot. If the relationship is very relaxed and collaborative I can cope with that better but I still prefer to cut alone.


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Mark Suszko
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 10, 2014 at 12:53:26 am

And yet.... some of the sweetest moments are when you play back a sequence to the client sitting beside you, and see their face change from "what is this I don't even..." to: "OMG, you are some kind of wizard!". I was lucky enough to have a few of those kinds of moments in my career. The collaborative dynamic, when it is clicking, is a very powerful thing unto itself. Instead of trying different things, like whacking at a piƱata, blindfolded; you can get instant feedback and avoid going down a lot of blind alleys.

All our edit suites have the client sit alongside, instead of behind the editor, on a couch or divided by a "console trench" like a network control room. The semiotics or subtext of that arrangement is that we are partners, not a soldier executing orders from a General at the rear.


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Aaron Cadieux
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 11, 2014 at 2:29:02 am

Steve,

I hear you on this. There is NOTHING worse than having someone else sit in on an edit session, especially a clueless client. I remember one particular annoying client that gasped and said "oh, that looks terrible" when I imported a still image into a Premiere timeline. The image was high-res, so it initially was unidentifiable on the preview monitor. I had to stop and explain to her that I hadn't scaled it down yet.

- Aaron



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Stephen Smith
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 11, 2014 at 2:35:49 pm

Aaron,
Your comment reminds me of FCP, when you brought on image into the View it would stretch the image to fit the screen, why I have no idea. But you would always get comments on the still photo looking funny. If you work with clients occasionally in the edit bay it is only inevitable that you will have a client who has never sat in an edit before and has very little experience. You will get a lot more questions about stuff such as the photo looks strange but it provides a great opportunity to explain to the client what the editing process is and what to expect.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Christopher Travis
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 12, 2014 at 10:21:49 am

Not sure where I fall on the intro/extro spectrum. I'd basically say I'm a bit shy. I like people and enjoy company, but I'm not gregarious. I tend to wait until I've been spoken to before speaking my mind. This could be because I'm English. Anyway this thread seems to have turned into one about working alone Vs working with others, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on that.

I've been cutting broadcast docs and factual stuff for about 7 years and have had a nice variety of experience when it comes to the solo vs collaborative ways of working. I think the dynamic here is different to the corporate world because you tend not to be working with "clients" but "collaborators" in the form of producers or directors who (hopefully) know as much or more about film making as you do.

When I started out, I was working with lazy directors who knew I was young and keen, so they would dump the footage on my desk and say "have at it". Which was fine by me, I got to take ownership of the project and develop my own storytelling skills, and they got to go to the pub. So for the first few years I really enjoyed working alone because it felt like I owned the end result more. One problem with this was that I never really had any mentors. No guidance from those more experienced than me, which would have been useful in those early years.

Despite the lack of mentorship I've managed to hack my way into slightly bigger jobs these days and find that now more often than not I'm working with a producer or director over my shoulder all day. This was a big shock to me at first and took some getting used to. The first thing I learned was that even if your producer knows exactly what they want, don't slip into "auto-pilot" mode and just blindly implement their instructions, because at some point they will ask what you think and you need to have been paying attention. That was a big one for me.

Over the last few years I've had good and bad experiences with producers but overall I must say that I broadly prefer working with an engaged partner. I love just sitting there and swapping ideas for ways to make scenes or stories work. Sometimes we'll just talk from 9am till 4pm. But by that time we've hammered out the bare bones of the story and I can just throw the sync cut together in an hour or two because we know it's going to work.

I'm finding this way of working to be a revelation to me because A) if I've worked with someone to get the structure right, then I don't find that I'm terrified of exec viewings because I've got the support of my producer and B) I feel like I'm finally getting the help and guidance from more experienced film makers that I didn't get in my early days. I honestly thought I knew it all about 3 years ago, but I've learned so much more since then and am excited at the thought of how many other people I'll (hopefully) get to work with in the years to come.

Naturally working so closely with one person for 12 hours or more a day 5 days a week can become stressful and there have been times when I've been staring at my screen, clutching my mouse tightly, willing the producers head to explode so I don't have to hear them say "I'm still not sure about this music" one more time.

I think the perfect scenario for me is working closely with someone to get the story straight, then being left alone to make it look and sound right. It does not take 2 people to choose every cutaway, reaction shot and music track.


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Stephen Smith
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 12, 2014 at 2:58:25 pm

[Christopher]
Anyway this thread seems to have turned into one about working alone Vs working with others, so I thought I'd share my thoughts on that.

Sorry, that is probably my fault. To answer the question, I'm an introvert who can be an extravert when I need to be. A fellow charity volunteer was surprised when I told him that I consider myself an introvert.

Stephen Smith

Utah Video Productions

Check out my Vimeo page


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Bob Cole
Re: How many of you editors are introverts?
on Mar 14, 2014 at 1:05:22 pm

sorry, too shy to answer question.

(Bob C)


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