cross posted from The Art of the Edit
I posted something on FB today and it's getting some interesting responses. I thought I'd share what I wrote here:
Just had a dude, interview style, ask me how many years of After Effects experience I have. When I told him 25 years, he scoffed and said AE hasn't existed that long. I asked him his age. He was 24. Lol
Bless his lil heart.
I was asked about film cutting as fair comparison so:
When I first started editing video in the 80s, I seized every chance I could to hop on a flat bed with film. I knew at the very least lingo would trickle down.
I don't doubt my ignorance on tips and tricks of old school film cutting but I'd never look at an old editor and tell him razor blades didn't exist when he was using them.
So, which is worse... the person in power not knowing the history of our tools or how to use them, or stating false things as fact? Both are dangerous to the company, of course.
In the end I simply asked to speak with his father.
Should probably be in the "pet peeves" thread, but I have a hard time not eye-rolling and correcting people in production meetings that mis-use camera movement and shot terms by saying things like: "pan down"; or "Pan-in"... and one guy in the meeting kept describing a key scene in their script as "the money shot"... I waited until we took a break to walk over and quietly clue him in. He found someplace else to be after that.
Then there was an executive one time, rejected my well-written training video script, saying he knew all about movies - because he used to review them for his college's student paper. This is extra-funny if you know how college radio and newspaper movie reviewers were selected by their editors - "Hey, got a free pass to a movie screening in the mail; who wants to go?"
And the "editing house" manager who told me they couldn't dub my mini-sized, 15-minute portapack U-Matic demo reel because "it wouldn't fit in the Sony Umatic player." Had to go over to the place to see this.
The guy and his head tech are standing there, telling me that the machine's wide slot is obviously made for a larger-sized tape shell. The owner is so proud of his head tech, who looks a little defiant. He's holding up a wide, 60-minute tape cassette shell: "See, it only takes THESE".
I point to the little centering guides on the opening of the player: " These ridges are centering guides for smaller shells - Mini's go in the center of the feed slot: the hubs remain the same distance apart, no matter which size you put in these things". I slap the mini tape in (centered), ....and watch their eyes as it retracts into the player and threads up and I reach over to hit the "play" button. The look on their faces... That tech guy wanted to kill himself, and the owner probably wanted to help him. "Glad to see it's not broken or anything; seems to be playing just fine." Yeah, I was an arrogant young pup at times.
Mark, your story about the U-matic tape hits home for me. Many moons ago, when 3/4" tape was all the rage, the company I worked for has a viewing room for clients to watch 3/4" tapes.
One day I received a call from the Executive Vice President, who was in the room to view a stockholder video we had just produced. He said that we gave him the wrong tape, because it would not fit in the machine. So I rode the elevator up 8 stories and walked in the room where I found him. When I observed what he was doing it was alarmingly funny. You see, he was trying to insert the video tape while it was still in it's case. It wouldn't fit...
Without breaking stride or losing eye contact with him, I just took the tape case out of his hands and inserted the tape into the
U-matic deck. I then kept making eye contact with him as I left the room. No words were spoken....
Greg Ball, President
Ball Media Innovations, Inc.
How about this one: the client told us all our dubs were "defective", because they had no audio.
I run over there and find that someone had patched stereo and mono cords wrong on their machine, using some jank adapters and cords from a dollar store, and phase cancellation was muting the audio output. I re-connected the cables to their proper positions, set the stereo/mono switch, and our dubs now sound fine. I go home feeling pretty good.
Then they call me back to say I've"broken" their machine.
I run back to see what's wrong now... The guy who owned the machine was mad because he came back and couldn't hear whatever he'd been watching; the crazy way he originally patched the stereo/ mono audio into his monitor was the only way he could hear the sound, on whatever programming he usually watched on this system. I didn't want to ask what that was. By connecting the cables and configuring the deck's audio outputs to the conventional setup, I'd made his home-made media unlistenable.
Then there was the high level administrator who asked me to show her how to play an mpeg4 file off of a thumb drive attached to her PC so she could approve my work... Went looking for her media player, there wasn't one installed. So I suggested we go to the inter-webs and download a player app, in this case, VLC.
So I ask her to do a web search for the player so we can download that.
...And she opens a blank Word document.
Sit down for this...
instead of using a web browser, she did all her web browsing by manually typing a URL into a blank word document, waiting for Word to turn that into hyperlink, then clicking the hyperlink. Then after viewing the web page, she'd close the window and trash the document.
I (redacted) you not.
I explained that it would be more efficient if she'd just use Internet Explorer. She had no idea what that was. She was familiar with Explorer as related to the file system, but not as a browser.
About an hour later, finally was able to play the video for her.
They do not pay IT help desk people enough money.
oh - is this where the old people sit around and get to complain -
well heck - I am old - so now it's my turn.
It's beyond the comprehension of many young people that an AVID that would do cuts only at 15 frames per second was $80,000, and you had to conform your cut between two Sony 3/4" VTR's like the Sony VO9850 and Sony VO9800. This concept is inconceivable to young people.
Of course, it was inconceivable to Bill Warner and Eric Peters that in order to remove one simple cut from a video tape, you had to "auto assemble" the entire show from the original masters, using three Sony or Ampex 1" VTR's at $80,000 a piece, plus an $80,000 CMX or Sony edit controller and an expensive GVG switcher. "That can't be accurate".
And of course, all the REAL professional who were doing graphics on a $250,000 Quantel Paintbox used to call Photoshop "Photo toy".
As far as "I've broken their machine" - my favorite story was here around 2000 in Florida, when I started to do stuff for Spectrum Cable (it was Brighthouse Networks at the time) - and I was working on their crappy old AVID running on a Windows NT box. I don't even remember what I was doing at the time, an update, or adding drives, or whatever, but the Win NT PC would no longer boot (the boot drive failed), so I asked for a Win NT recovery disk (floppy disk) and when they could not find one, the head of their IT department said to me "well - it was working before you touched it". Please remember that I had just come from NY, as a complete psychopath, and I was the big AVID guy in NY. It's a miracle I was not arrested.
Here we are in 2019, and I am still the contractor for Spectrum Cable.
Rescue 1, Inc.