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employer re-edits in the middle of edit

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John A. Calhounemployer re-edits in the middle of edit
by on Feb 21, 2015 at 12:59:41 am

I'm a freelance editor and the person I'm editing for radically re-edits the video before giving to client. Then I do revisions, he re-edits, back to client, etc.

It gets annoying when I have to edit revisions based on another's decisions. It makes the whole process long and drawn out especially when I think the client is close to the end and it goes another round because of the re-edit.

Has anyone else had this experience? Its really frustrating.

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Todd TerryRe: employer re-edits in the middle of edit
by on Feb 21, 2015 at 3:33:16 am

I know that can be super annoying, and like you said is no doubt very frustrating.

However... unpleasant as you might find it, I think the best route is just to suck it up and do it.

As you said, this is the person you are editing for, and these are re-edits that your employer does based either on the client's direct wishes, or what your boss anticipates that the client would want.

As they say "The customer is always right," and I'll add to that, "So is the boss." I think the best you can do, if this is a situation that you just can't handle, is have a conversation with them about this working method. You'll have to weigh the risks as to whether that's a conversation worth having.

On the upside, you are a freelance editor and not really obligated to this person to the degree you would be if you were a "real" employee. If it proves too frustrating you can always walk away.

Bottom line, I'm assuming they are paying you to do both the editing and re-editing... it's just a job. Unless you are taking gigs at a set fee for the entire project (and if you are, please don't do that), then really it's just more work.

I'm reminded of one of my favorite exchanges from "Mad Men" when Peggy is complaining to Don that she doesn't quite feel appreciated for the good work she does, and Don yells at her "That's what the money's for!"

Many editors these days find jobs hard to come by. Just look at it as more work and more money.


Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.

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John A. CalhounRe: mployer re-edits in the middle of edit
by on Feb 21, 2015 at 6:11:09 am

Thanks Todd, that's good advice. They are paying the rate soooo, yeah. I'll just hang in there ...

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Mark SuszkoRe: mployer re-edits in the middle of edit
by on Feb 23, 2015 at 3:00:13 pm

Not every piece you do is destined for the show reel.

That said,there is a large inefficiency happening here if you do a cut and then it is "radically"re-cut by the boss, every time. This means you and the boss need to get on the same, (well, his), track.

"Boss, I notice that after I make my cut, you seem to make a lot of changes to it. Is there an underlying rule of thumb I should know about how you want it, so I can give it to you, more the way you like it? I want to save you some time, if I can."

That's not too challenging, is it? But maybe we don't know all the back-story to this tale.

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