Editors' Lounge Panelists Share Insights On The Business Side Of Film & Television Editing Careers

Top Quote You must an expert in the field on all levels. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) May 07, 2015 - Burbank based AlphaDogs Post Production recently hosted another installment of the Editors' Lounge discussion panel series about The Business Of Editing. Moderated by journalist Debra Kaufman, the expert panel was comprised of award-winning film and television editors that included: Richard Halsey (editor, Rocky, Edward Scissorhands), Tina Hirsch (editor, Gremlins, Dante's Peak), Norman Hollyn (editor, Heathers, Wild Palms), and Glenn Morgan (editor, Project Runway, Under The Gunn, RoboCop 2).

    The evening kicked off with a candid discussion on how the panelists got their start in the business. While the paths they took early in their careers are not necessarily valid in today's world of post-production, it was agreed that by accepting a wide variety of jobs, no matter how small or insignificant they may seem, can be a great start to a career as a film and television editor. Gaining hands-on experience while building relationships with clients will likely lead to bigger projects in the future. Glenn Morgan commented "Working for one day is better than a year's worth of networking when you're not employed." There is no linear path in working your way up to becoming a full-time film and television editor. Beyond just working behind the screen it's crucial for aspiring editors to get out and sell their skill sets to potential clients now that marketplace is much more competitive than it used to be. Keeping track of where your career path is headed while remaining aggressive and tenacious in your pursuits by being your own CEO are key elements on your path to success. "You really have to be very creative and innovative about the way you sell yourself," said Norman Hollyn. "Meet people and convince them that you know what you are doing."

    Another important aspect in the business of editing is how to work with clients. Whether working freelance or working for someone else, it's important to be able to work in a collaborative environment with a wide range of different personality types. Keeping clients long term not only depends on keeping them happy by letting them know you are on their side, but also being proficient in the latest non-linear editing tools and post-production technologies. You must be an expert in the field on all levels. "Technology has radically changed everything. It's not enough to be an editor these days," said Richard Halsey.

    The later part of the evening included a Q&A session with questions taken from the live audience and from the live stream via Twitter. When panelists were asked if a career in film and television editing requires 70 hours a week and a constant scramble to find work, Tina Hirsch commented, "When you gain more experience, you are much faster at editing, that's one side of it. The other side is now the film and shooting materials are endless, requiring more hours." Early in your career you may be required to "pay your dues" working on difficult projects that can require long days. However, once established it is possible to pick and choose projects where you have the luxury of setting your own schedule by being extremely efficient in your work and learning the art of time management. Other topics discussed during the Q&A included how the assistant editors job has changed in the past decade and how new assistant editors can better prepare for these roles as well as protecting your value as an editor and in sustaining a lucrative career.

    The evening wrapped with wise words of advice from Richard Halsey who said, "You can't operate in Hollywood unless you have an act, and you better figure out what your act is. What you're good at. When you go in for an interview, you better have it down."

    To watch The Business Of Editing panel discussion in its entirety visit the Editors' Lounge Channel


    About the Editors' Lounge: The Editors' Lounge is a hands-on seminar for industry professionals. Each month, scores of professionals in the production and post-production industries exchange ideas, discuss trends and learn about new technologies; allowing editors to have their questions addressed objectively. To learn more visit http://www.editorslounge.com

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