"What do I need to do to be a Great Editor?"

Here's a question I hear a lot at CQWNTS... What do I need to do to become a trailer editor?  What can I do to be more creative?  Or this one, as if it's a sport, what practice drills can I do to be better?

These are great questions. And if you are asking them it says a lot about you.  You are hungry, motivated, and really want to be in this game.  All great things. 

But instead of asking "what should I do?" Or "what do I need to do?"... How about framing it as "What haven't I done?"

Here's why?

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How to get a job as an Editor

That's great you want to get into Post Production and specifically Trailers. Although the demands of the job can be taxing on you and your relationships; creatively frustrating as you cope with crazy clients; and physically exhausting as you're working late nights, again, and again, and again... It can also be the best job in the world.

Where else can you get paid to watch movies!  The huge Blockbuster movies everyone is talking about way before they come out.  Where else can you creatively express yourself by making mini movies, shot by the best cinematographers in the world. And the pay!  Forget about it!  You'll be shocked that you're getting paid at all... And the amount!  Will floor you!

But how do you get your foot in the door?  How do you get a job as a P.A. (production assistant), assistant editor and even an editor?  You have no contacts?  You have no experience? You only edited stuff for YouTube, if anything at all?

No problem.

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When Stuck...Steal.

The assignment has been given.  Direction said.  Script laid out before you.  Then what....

My first rule is to get to work.  Trust yourself.  Just start adding to the timeline.  Don't wait for the "muse", inspiration or something to hit you.  Definitely don't just stare at the time line.  Trust yourself and just go for it.

But trust, especially in yourself, takes time.  And when your starting out and you have producers pacing outside your door that's one thing you don't have.

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Creators 10 Commandments

This list is about steady rules and principles that will guide us on our creative journey. I wanted to keep it concentrated and fluff-free so I only kept it to 6 Comandments. I didn't want to add a Comandment just so I can have 10.  But "10 Commandments" sounds cooler so there you go!

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3 People to Know When You Start a Job

Who Tells You It’s Time to Leave - Producers, Owner, Creative Director...when you hit “your time”, who do you check in with so you won’t leave the company hanging when some last minute notes comes in.

Who Knows Their “Process” - How are Projects organized?  Where do the SFX Live?  When they say “export”, what are the settings?  What is the process?  Same As Source out of the FCP?  Do you need to bring it through another Program, MPEG Stream Clip, Toast, etc?  When they say “post it”, what does that mean?  On the server, onto an FTP?  What are the password?  These answers usually lye with an A.E., Coordinator, or an Editor.  

Who’s Your Problem Solver - If your Producer is difficult, angry and has a list of demands you don’t really understand, who can help you decode what s/he said?  If there’s a notes on you list written in Chicken Scratch, how do you know what to do?

A great company will have all questions sorted and unnecessary.  Maybe they’ll have an Editor Handbook that explains the Procedures and Process.  Or they’ll Coordinators that are informative, helpful and friendly.  But these places are few and far between and it’s best to find these answers early when things are calm and peaceful.  If you wait too late, it might be 11pm on a Friday with the client waiting and nobody around.


The Timeless - Hit #12

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Porche 911.  Rolex Daytona.  And  Etoll Hit #12.  What do they all have in common.  They’re classic timeless pieces that will never grow old, never get out of style and goes with everything.

No matter what if your working on a Promo Sit Com, a Horror Trailer or a Package piece for Dr. Phil.  No matter if it’s for a music stop, a graphic slam, or a punch.  Etoll’s Hit #12 is perfect.

If you’re a Rookie, put it in your Fav SFX Bin.  If you’re a Vetern, don’t bother taking it out.  It works.  It’s awsome.  It’s Hit #12.