February 15, 2007


The Class This Week


Assignment for Next Week

Additional Material

We're going to do two things today.

The first is to watch all of the scenes as they've been edited so far. Just like in real life Being a great editor or assistant editor is one thing. Getting the opportunity to prove it is another thing entirely. There are a number of skills which we will try to develop, at the same time that we are learning how to be great editors and assistants. The hardest thing that I ever had to do in the film world was looking for work. It is axiomatic that it is easier to look for work when you are working, however it is difficult to do that at the beginning of your career.

So... how do you get those first jobs?

There are as many ways to do that as there are people who get those jobs, however the key items are:

Tonight we are going to have the first of two visits by Janet Conn who is a Transition Consultant/Advisor. Her experience as a Job Counselor, as well as having worked in the film world, puts her in a unique position to understand just what the special requirements are for job hunting in the world of film editing.

Creating an Impression during the Interview (PDF File)
This graph describes how to know what to talk about in an interview. It's a combination of what you can do, what you like to do, and what the interviewer wants you to do. This all leads to one of the questions that some interviewers ask: "Tell me about yourself."
Self Assessment (PDF File)
This simple chart illustrate how to think about determining where to look for work.
Career Planner (PDF File)
In order to best plan where you want to go, it's best to figure out what your strengths and weaknesses are. This chart will help you to organize that thought process .
Accomplishments - Your Success Story (PDF File)
Interviews are tough things and interviews in the film world are even weirder than outside. However, it still helps to be prepared. One of the best ways is to think of your successes in a concrete way. This form asks you think of a problem that you faced and asks you to think about your successful meeting of that problem.
Resume Samples and Resume/Cover Letter Writing (PDF Files)
Two of the most difficult and subjective battles in looking for work is figuring out how to frame your experience in a resume that will force people to take you seriously. These two handouts deal with both of these issues. The resume samples illustrate two ways of doing a simple resume (Ms. Conn will talk about ways of improving on these samples tonight) as well as putting together a winning cover letter that will help people to frame and remember your resume.
The Splice Is Right, But... (PDF File)
This article, from Daily Variety's annual issue associated with the A.C.E. Awards dinner (this year's awards are this coming weekend, by the way), interviews a few editors who are not happy with the way that the new technology is changing the work demands on the editors. As such, it is an interesting counterpoint to Janet Conn's work here today.
New Post Production Schedule (PDF File)
Note that next week all of your scenes must be cut and have music and sound effects as part of them -- wherever you feel they help tell the story better.

Continue to edit
We need to have all scenes in the film in their first or second cut form by next week. Today we will discuss where everyone is on that path and determine whether we are keeping to that schedule or not. Every day of a typical post production process, we are always gauging our progress against the post schedule. Sometimes we can change the schedule to accurately reflect where we are. At other times, we cannot change the schedule -- a release date, a preview, a reshoot, etc. In those cases, we have to adjust our pace in order to make those firm dates.

Women in Editing
Doe Mayer teaches a class in women's issues in the film business. On the evening of March 7 she willl be running a panel on editing with editors like Anne Coates (LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, OUT OF SIGHT, ELEPHANT MAN), Mia Goldman (THE IN-LAWS, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING), Carol Littleton (ET, BIG CHILL, ACCIDENTAL TOURIST) and Heather Persons (THE WEDDING DATE, MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING). Everyone is invited.
Comparison of Avid Xpress DV and Xpress Pro
We're not editing on Avid Xpress, however it's a powerful tool (and getting better with each release) that is challenging the low cost Final Cut Pro 4 as well as the Media Composer itself. This page describes the differences between Xpress Pro and its predecessor.
Avid/Pro Tools Workflow
This page describes the ways that Avid Media Composer and Pro Tools interact; that is, how to get material from one into the other.
Getting a 24 frame cutlist from a 30 frame project
With the newer Version 11 Avids, it is possible to create a 24 frame list from a 30 frame project if that project has been created with matchback. Though we are not working on Version 11 (in fact, USC doesn't have Version 11 yet) this is a valuable thing to know. This site also has a page detailing how to get a 24 frame EDL from a 30 frame project.
The 24p Web Site
has a great list of resource papers, many of them written by Michael Phillips, who has been one of the chief people pushing the Avid platform to the heights that it has achieved. This site provided the paper listed in the entry above.
HDV Glossary
This is from the VASST web site, which is a site built by a group of low budget filmmakers at Sundance, devoted to helping filmmakers in their video projects (that's the "V" in VASST). This is a glossary of terms involved in the new HDV format.
Production Hub
This is a web site for crew people looking for work as well as a resource for suppliers/vendors. The link above goes directly to their post production category. Click on the HOME tab to go to the main site.
Craig's List
A well known bulletin board where people post jobs available and job positions wanted. The above link is for their New York Film & TV Section. The link to the Los Angeles list is here.
Rosebud's Film Glossary
Rosebud is a web site that is, in its own words, is "dedicated to the discipline of film studies and its component parts, film history, criticism, theory, and concepts & definitions. " What's cool is that as it discusses the film use of certain shots and techniques, it uses Quicktime movies to give examples -- from BRAZIL (to show wide angle lenses), from CABARET (to show complementary angles), and THE THIRD MAN (to show low and high angles). Very cool. The site's creators taught/are teaching a course in Digital Narration (story telling through the use of digital tools).
HD Expo
This event, which I've never been too, looks like it might be interesting this year. There's a panel on hybrid workflows, which has to do with capturing film and finishing HD, as well as a panel on "The Technology Wish List." Don't know what would be on that -- I'd vote for some good stories -- but it all looks cool.
Digital Fact Book
An exhaustive compendium of digital terms as compiled by Quantel. This is where you'll go when you want to figure out just what "anti-aliasing" really
ACE Seminar With The Academy Award Nominated Editors
The American Cinema Editors organization has invited everyone to a free event to meet the Oscar nominated editors. This would be a great way to meet editors and listen to some really great people discuss their craft. Here is the information:


This years's Oscar nominated editors discuss the art of editing.

Nominated films are Cinderella Man, The Constant Gardner, Crash, Munich, Walk the Line

Moderated By Alan Heim, A.C.E.

10am Saturday, March 4, 2006 at Grauman's Hollywood Egyptian Theatre (6712 Hollywood Blvd). FREE. First come, first served admittance.

Visit the ACE web site at www.ace-filmeditors.org