OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 10:36AM
We know how important we are to the process. I'm sure that each of you, hired as an "editor", has been expected to quietly perform the task of a producer, writer, colorist, sound mixer, graphic designer, animator, and therapist. We are the problem solvers. We are the truth tellers. We are the last stop -- the final conduit through which every preceding mistake and act of idiocy must be processed and resolved. The term "preditor" hardly does us justice; it's the industry's lame concession to the guy working ten jobs for the salary of one.

So given the immense creative and technical demands placed upon us, why must we suffer the indignities we do? I'm not talking about what each of us endures at the workplace -- the long hours, the windowless office, the producer who CAN'T TAKE HER EYES OFF HER BLACKBERRY FOR FIVE SECONDS SO SHE KEEPS ASKING US TO "BACK IT UP AND PLAY IT AGAIN" BECAUSE OUR TIME IS APPARENTLY LESS IMPORTANT THAN HER @#$%& TWITTER ALERTS...

Ahem. No, I'm talking about our public image. Despite our significance and ostensible prominence (we're on the poster, after all), why do I keep having this encounter:

WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
ME: Uh, I work in TV.
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
ME: I'm an editor.
(a beat)
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh. So you, like, take stuff out?
ME: Well, there's more to it than that.
WOMAN AT BAR: I'm sure there is. Hey, good to meet you! Take care.

At the risk of sounding crude, let me say this: I've arrived at the unfortunate conclusion that among women ages 21-35, my job description is the leading cause of vaginal dryness.

I'd like to think that we could change that. I'd like to thing we could sexy up our image. Perhaps a new title? Preditor aint gonna cut it. Sure, it's got an air of danger about it, but not the "bad boy" kind, more like the "Dateline NBC" kind. How about Post Director or Master of Montage? Hatchetman? Johnny Overwrite?

I don't know. Honestly, I'm not sure we can turn the tide. 100 years of cinema and no civilian knows what the @#$%& we do. Maybe that's our lot in life. We chose an invisible art and now we have to lie in an invisible bed. Or something. I'm not good with aphorisms.

Anyway. Godspeed, fellow travelers. May your renders be quick and your sessions go short. I may not know you, but I know what you do. And it's a heck of a lot more than taking stuff out.
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 10:58AM
Aw its the patter, the lingo, the chat, thats failing you here man...


Should have gone like this...

WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
YOU: Uh, I work in TV.
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
YOU: I'm an editor.
(a beat)
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh. So you, like, take stuff out?
YOU: Hell yeah you should see the stuff that doesn't make it in! You really get to know what the actors are like and the stories I could tell you about "the so called truth" of news and documentaries!

WOMAN AT BAR: (Actually very intrigued now) Oooo like what?
YOU: Well... For nature docs - did you know they bait carcasses with dog food to get bears to eat near them?
WOMAN AT BAR: No way
YOU: Yes way - there is so much my industry wouldn't like people to know and I get to see it all!
YOU: Anyway enough about me - what about you?
WOMAN AT BAR: I'm an accountant...
YOU: (Fein interest like when a director shows you the money shot and it's clearly a buck worth)


Anyway the upshot is; how you sell yourself - don't expect your job to make you interesting - you should be what makes your job interesting.



For instant answers to more than one hundred common FCP questions, check out the LAFCPUG FAQ Wiki here : [www.lafcpug.org]
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 11:03AM
If you're expecting to build a relationship with someone based on what they think about your career choice, you are welcome to the kind of world you live in.

Maybe it's not that you said you were an editor, it how you said you were an editor. Sell it. The best non-sensical response to "so you take stuff out" is a pretentious "Yes that is quite true but, as I learned from my editing Guru, Baba Murch, on my initiation day, it's actually not what you take out but what you leave in that really matters. He also told me that it's not where you cut it's where you don't cut that is also important. I have spent my whole career trying to figure that out."

Plus it's not only what you do to get paid, it's what you do when you're not getting paid that makes you interesting to other people. Editors who can't hold a conversation with non-editors because they have no other interests other than the length of their rough cut and width of their audio rack, can go stand awkwardly by the stove in the kitchen at the party with the other bullet point conversationalists and studio tanners.

ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 11:05AM
It's called "The Invisible Art" for a reason. There's a saying cops use - "If you want gratitude, be a fireman" - works for us, too.

But I feel your pain. When people ask what I do for a living I tell them "I'm in film, but it rinses off."
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 11:17AM
I'm going to like this thread. Good lament Alex

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 11:53AM
It's a strange difference of cultures. In Chinese, the craft of film editing (Jian Jie) translates literally as "to cut and to join together", as opposed to "edit" and it doesn't have the connotations that the English definition creates.

Btw, Mike, I got a Phorum error trying to post in Chinese.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 12:20PM
Might be that damn spam thing. Usually when you try twice it then works

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 12:27PM
If all your encounters are like that, you need to handle that conversation better. Your response "More to it than that" with nothing else...that's a defensive stance and you have lost the conversation at that point. If she walks without hearing your description, she's not worth the napkin under your drink anyway. Chin up smileys with beer. People that judge you on your occupation are shallow superficial twits that don't deserve the time of day. I personally would rather drink alone than be surrounded by fake friends.

"So you take stuff out" is a comment from someone that knows nothing about the craft. What you should have said was "...I don't 'take stuff out'...I 'put stuff in'. I build stories. Launch careers. Create visual memories that people talk about for years (maybe forever)."

Nobody talks about what was taken out.

That said, if you announce that you are "porn editor", that might have a negative effect on say a church-going Playboy bunny at a bar. There are variables winking smiley

A bit OT...

If you feel like you are an outcast by being an editor, you are in either the wrong facility, the wrong client demographic or the wrong career. The wrong facility or client base can make you feel like it's a thankless career for sure. My mantra is "...to exceed all client expectations" so if they are unappreciative, I tend to not work with them again by choice. My steady clients love me and tell me constantly. I am not a robot. I thrive on positive re-enforcement and I always want to do better for those clients. It's not worth the $$$ to me to be emotionally beat on and degraded. I love what I do and life is too short for anything else.

IMHO, and I am outside the feature / film business, when I do tell people what I do for a living, I get nothing but a "COOL!!" response and they want to tag along. That's why I hang out with like-minded people that love what we do. That is why I am here and why Supermeets are so successful...people that GET IT are a community of CREATORS. I love that. Let the muggles mix amongst themselves. I love my global Post Production community thumbs down

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 01:53PM
Yea, as everyone mentioned, you need to brush up on those pick up routines...

Fade in:

WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
Trufffaut400: Uh, I work in TV.
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
Trufffaut400: I'm an editor.
(a beat)
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh. So you, like, take stuff out?
Trufffaut400: Nope. I take naughty girls like you out. So what do you do?
WOMAN AT BAR: I'm an accountant.
Trufffaut400: I'm game! Let's hit the dancefloor and you can check out my accounts.
WOMAN AT BAR: Can you buy me a drink?
Truffaut400: Sure, but you have to buy one for Mike first, but don't tell his wife.
WOMAN AT BAR: Who's Mike?
Truffaut400: He's the dude sitting at the corner holding the cue cards telling me what to say. I'm actually bugged, and you are on Dateline NBC.

Cut to Bumper.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 01:56PM
P.S. Mike, it's not the spam thingy. Apparently it doesn't seem to do foreign characters or even Latin accents. I tried it both on the Mac OS and iOS.



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:04PM
No Latin accents? Like é and ñ and none Latin ones like ü and ø.

All the best,

Tom
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:20PM
Niño
Désolé


www.derekmok.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:20PM
Just Chinese characters, it seems.


www.derekmok.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:47PM
(Fade in)

WOMAN AT BAR
So, what do you do?

TRUFFAUT400
Uh, I generate content for the internet, TV, and film.

WOMAN AT BAR
Oh my! In what capacity?

TRUFFAUT400
I (emphatic pause) am an FCP editor!

(a beat)

WOMAN AT BAR
Okay then. So you, what, build tension, create drama and enhance meaning from
raw footage while worshipping mindlessly at the feet of Steve Jobs?

TRUFFAUT400
Nope. I actually came here specifically to ripple your timeline and trash your preferences.

WOMAN AT BAR
Excuse me?

TRUFFAUT400
You heard me. Now lets quit this place before the rest of the LAFCPUG gang shows
up and we have to listen to them drone on about sensible backup strategies.

WOMAN AT BAR
You want to come back to my place and check out my System Settings?

TRUFFAUT400
Now you've got the hang of it. When we get there I have some Long GOP codecs
I want to try out on your self contained quicktimes.

WOMAN AT BAR
I have no idea what that means, but you may colour me slightly intrigued.

TRUFFAUT400
I don't know what it means either, I am an editor after all, I can only work with the
material they give me. Let's go... oh wait, I need to go media manage my bar tab.
Meet you at the front door.

(Cut to Bumper)


ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:53PM
There's a short film in here some place

Michael Horton
-------------------
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 02:58PM
Hmmm, you clearly don't live in LA....most of my encounters have been like this...

Chick at a bar: What do you do?

ME: I'm an editor...

Chick at a bar: Oh me too! I just edited my actor's reel. Also I'm a comedian. Also I'm a waitress...Also I want to eventually produce....


and so on....
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 04, 2011 09:29PM
lol@Matt. That's so true. But I'm also with Trufffaut on this one.

Everyone knows I'm a gal, and I'm not looking to pickup (thanks for asking), but still, when you say you're an editor, it's either 'Oh. What does that mean?' or 'Oh, me too. I'm just cutting a documentary right now' and when you get excited for them and delve further, you find they are actually entering a short film competition with footage they shot on their handicam of themselves and their mates. And 'cutting' on Windows Movie Maker.

Given the mass of the whole mass communication thing, it's kind of surprising that people have such a vague idea of what editing really is.

I often tell students it's like being a professional puzzle solver. People give you conundrums and you get to figure them out. And that I love my job. Most people go away still having no idea what that means, I'm sure.

Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 01:02AM
Thanks you All -
That the Hardest I Laffed in Months-
That is Exactly what it take to be a Good Editor


Could also go like this-->


WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?

ME: Uh, I work in TV.

WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?

ME: I'm an editor.

WOMAN AT BAR: Oh. So you, like, take stuff out?

ME: Ya - Im working on a TV Reality show-

I cut out parts where things dont go right -
Camera man gets a bad picture-
- sound man get in the frame-
- the contestants flub there lines - Stuff like that-

WOMAN AT BAR: There is a Camera man on Reality TV shows ???
--- No Way --

Me : Ya Way --

WOMAN AT BAR: -- WOW --
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 06:44AM
Quote
I've arrived at the unfortunate conclusion that among women ages 21-35, my job description is the leading cause of vaginal dryness.

Quote
Nope. I actually came here specifically to ripple your timeline and trash your preferences.

Quote
ME: I'm an editor... Chick at a bar: Oh me too! I just edited my actor's reel. Also I'm a comedian. Also I'm a waitress...Also I want to eventually produce....

Haha, these are hilarious. I love how this thread is bringing out the screenwriting prowess of LAFCPUG members.

Trufffaut400,

it sounds like the girl you dealt with is your typical L.A. .... However, by bringing out your personality and doing the best with what you have physically, you can increase your chances.

Do you have hobbies/interests outside of editing? Do you exercise? Do you dress well? I've come across plenty of editors who are overweight and don't take much pride in their appearance. Unfortunately, being in a room for 12+ hours a day, staring at a monitor, with little contact with the outside does not really encourage a healthy lifestyle.

After the writer and director, the editor is the most important member of the crew and it's a shame women ages 21-35 don't know this. Unfortunately, until directors start giving credit publicly to their editors, we will not.. I don't recall Trufffaut lauding the contribution of his editor on"The 400 Blows"
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 11:57AM
> After the writer and director, the editor is the
> most important member of the crew

I think the ASC might have something to say about that.
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 11:59AM
WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
ME: Uh, I work in film and TV.
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
ME: Well, it's kinda' complicated, but the studios pay me to make the actors look attractive and talented. I'm the guy that puts the program together for the director and the studio... What do you do?
(a beat)
WOMAN AT BAR: I'm studying to be an actress.
ME: Excuse me, I don't mean to be rude, you're an extremely attractive woman, but just before we met I got an urgent call from a director. And when someone like Mr. Speilberg or Mr. Tarantino has a problem, I really need to help them solve it.
WOMAN AT BAR: Speilberg? Tarantino? Wait a minute...Would you like my phone number?

Travis
VoiceOver Guy and Entertainment Technology Enthusiast
[www.VOTalent.com]
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 01:13PM
It gives a different meaning to the line "let me render your footage"...



www.strypesinpost.com
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 03:53PM
Michael,

If the board is suddenly swamped, it is because I have sent a link to this thread to every single person I know.

And - what's this? Jude's a gal? Gracious me. I didn't know girls were allowed in here. I resign.

Harry.
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 05:48PM
WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?

ME: Uh, I'm the guy who creates the emotional experience for the audience watching the film.

WOMAN AT BAR: Oh so you're a film director.
ME: Nah, I'm the guy who convinces the director that he needn't commit suicide after he's viewed the dailies & fears he'll never be able to work again. I convince him that there's gold nuggets buried in the pile of @#$%& we've just looked at.

WOMAN AT BAR:It can't always be that bad!

ME:No, sometimes it isn't, but you'd be amazed how often it is.

WOMAN AT BAR: What did you mean, a moment ago when you said that you create the emotional experience for the audience?

ME: Editor's are very emotional people. They not only know how to handle the panic the director experiences when he see the results of what was shot on set.& focus the director on what was good in the shoot & ways that what was not so good can be made to appear as though it is good.

WOMAN AT BAR: You'd have to be a magician to do that!

MEconfused smileyome people think I am. An editor is a person who is highly attuned to people's feelings. The editor has to be able to look at the footage from any given sceen in a film & feel which individual character in the scene bares the emotional weight & often this is often not the main character. A great deal has to do with timing & feeling when the emotional weight changes from one character to another, whether you hold on the person delivering the line & when you cut to the other actor to see how they are feeling the words of the character who is speaking. My job as an editor is to make it possible for the audience to participate actively in the drama that is unfolding. I make this possible by structuring the emotional interactions that are happening on screen, all the while keeping in mind the emotional needs of the audience. A lot of this has to do with the timing of the cuts. I can't adequately explain this in words. You'd really have to be sitting beside me at the editing machine to see how this works.

WOMAN AT BAR:I'd love to see that. Is that possible?

ME:Yeah, sure. When would you like to come over.

WOMAN AT BAR:Well, how about right now?

ME: O.K. If you're sure you would like to.

WOMAN AT BAR: I'm sure.

ME: Oh by the way, what sort of work do you do?

WOMAN AT BAR: I'm a film director. Maybe you can help prevent me form committing suicide after my next picture.

Exit the bar. The fact that ME's editing suite is in his bedroom is pure incidental.
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 06:38PM
Wow, I'm certainly enjoying the spirited response to my post. Especially from those of you advising me how to talk to chicks... despite the fact that taking pickup pointers from a Final Cut message board is like taking speed reading tips from a dyslexic.

I should confess, however, that I have a girlfriend (who, I'm pleased to report, has a firm understanding of what I do) and the bar scenario was more a reflection of my past than my present. This is really more like it these days:

ME: So what do you do?
DISAFFECTED HIPSTER: I write a blog about vegan taco trucks. What about you?
ME: I'm an editor.
DISAFFECTED HIPSTER: Gross.

For those asking, I lived in LA for many years. Then I realized that I'd rather live somewhere good than somewhere awful, so I moved to NYC.

The point of my initial post was merely to vent frustration about the public misconception of our role and its relative lack of sex appeal compared to other positions in our industry. And, of course, to inspire a thousand short screenplays set in a bar.
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 06:54PM
Quote
Trufffaut400
a thousand short screenplays set in a bar.
Now there's a name for a movie or a book. Sort of like 32 Short Films About Glenn Gould but with more drinking and double entendres.

ak
Sleeplings, AWAKE!
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 09:20PM
You realise, of course, the PROPER pickup line goes like this:

WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
ME: Uh, I work in film and TV.
WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
ME: I'm a cameraman.

Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 10:09PM
Jude Cotter Wrote:
-------------------------------------------------------
> You realise, of course, the PROPER pickup line
> goes like this:
>
> WOMAN AT BAR: So, what do you do?
> ME: Uh, I work in film and TV.
> WOMAN AT BAR: Oh, cool! So what specifically?
> ME: I'm a cameraman.

Sorry to disagree, Jude, but after 40 years in the biz, one thing I've learnt is that it's always the grips who are just way ahead in the pickup stakes. I've never been able to figure out why, but I've seen it time and time again. Cameramen, focus pullers, soundies, gaffers - just stand in line guys. smiling smiley

Mike
Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 05, 2011 11:39PM
Actually...the answer that makes the panties fly most is "I'm a Director". Everything below that line (which is us) is just hired help smileys with beer

When life gives you dilemmas...make dilemmanade.

Re: OT: An Editor's Lament
June 06, 2011 04:18AM
Hey Joey, I'm working mostly as a Porn Editor- luckily its for one of the bigger more arty companies over here in europe and pretty much everyone i've spoken too about this work has had a really positive response. Even from my nan. She saw it as a way for me to work as an editor and support my wife and two kids. So I can't be too negative about the industry! Though given the choice I'd be working on less naked pictures!
In fact now I have a hard time at pubs/parties etc as I get bombarded with questions about work. Now i just opt for having a few home brew beers at home for a quiet life!
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