Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Passing the Editing Torch

Seth Witzel and Bryan Ganek

There are 2 postings for editors, they went up last week. About 4 years ago, Seth decided he wanted to be an editor after doing a video for a high school project. While working here as a tape operator, he has been going to The Colorado Film School. There is a perfect storm here for him. The assistant editors don't want to work weekends so they're out of the race (unless they change their mind) and there are two "entry level" positions posted. Double the odds? So, he's in my session today, cutting. I'm really impressed, not only is he passionate about editing and driven to get the job (he doesn't care if he has to work weekends, he just wants to edit) but he is expressing himself creatively. For such a newb, he is confident on the platform, a great communicator and in it for the long haul. Even though he is tired, he is not giving up. Editing can be exhausting. Full on brain work for 10 hours sitting in a small, dark, windowless room. Just you and your producer. Bryan is the prefect producer for Seth to cut his teeth with. He is encouraging, supportive and patient. We are 6 hours into our 10 hour day and Seth is not abandoning the process, in fact, he's an active member of the session, driving the content, getting it into the timeline. So much so that I can blog! I can tell he is tired but he's plugged in, focused. Before the session I explained the invisible side of editing, anybody can learn how to push the buttons. An eye and ear for pacing, storytelling, and how shots go together takes experience. But the soft skills; those are the backbone of how well the session goes, how creative it gets. You have to read your producer, how they work, their mood. Evaluate how much time you have and how much work there is. Listen, be open to the process, have a willingness to try different things birthing an exciting visual experience. He heard me, the rapport between Brian and Seth, is warm, comfortable, fun. Bryan is giving him compliments. By the end of the day Seth will have created 6 spots and 8 timelines, plus, quicktimes for approvals, the OMF and AFE. Seth is getting his energy back, having fun, not wanting it to stop. Bryan seems on the edge, maybe wanting to head home early into the dark, cold, and snowy evening. Seth persists, saying he has the time if Bryan does, wanting to cut the final one. Bryan acquiesces. They really make a good team, coming alive at the end of a long day, better for having worked together.