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Old March 25th, 2008, 06:54 PM   #16
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I will confess I'm somewhat like these guys the blogger complains about. Here's the thing, though--this seems to have a lot to do with your post workflow. First, let me say, I am not REALLY an editor, but I do have the occasional client I edit for. If you are an editor (as I am) that edits something and hands a finished product to a client, then you may not need to know how to generate and check EDLs. The scopes thing is pretty inexcusable (luckily I know how to read a waveform and vectorscope from my years of doing master control/tape op work), but some of that other stuff, like lots of video tracks, stuff "muted" out but still in the timeline, and lots of random crap at the end of the timeline that is unused--yeah, I do all that. But no one else ever sees my timeline.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 07:41 PM   #17
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This is a good place to start. Graham knows how to explian this well. Read up on this, you'll be glad you did.

Benjamin, It's true, I don't have access to an ext. waveform/vectorscope everywhere i edit, but I do think it is extremely important to check your masters for broadcast, even if you have to go to an outside post house, tv station,or good dub house that has a quality well engineered setup.

Ryan, I was very much like these younger editors except I didn't have the Internet. But I learned a lot about editing (technincal stuff like how to set up a time base corrector with bars) from trade mags like Video Systems and Broadcast Engineer. But instead of engineers yelling, you have people willing to share their knowledge on this forum and all across the internet.

All I'm saying is don't wait for your instructors. I'm not saying college is a waste. But like Ryan said it all changes so fast. You have to work hard and sometimes look for the information. All Scott is saying is these best practices will make you a better editor. It can be tedious. So far as EDL's go, I make one about once a year. So Josh is right about it depends on your workflow.

Josh, But what if you have a client that wants to revise an edit a year or two from now? Will you understand what edits/versions graphics, audio mixes etc you did.. As long as you understand it then you're okay. It's sort of like reading your own handwriting. I have clients that revise projects all of the time so I have no choice but to clearly label all of my sequence versions and keep pretty organized. I'm not perfect at it, but I know that I could lose money if I go back to the wrong sequence.

It's been fun. There are lots of people out there willing to help out on this forum. I've learned a lot myself.

Cheers.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:12 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Josh Bass View Post
The scopes thing is pretty inexcusable (luckily I know how to read a waveform and vectorscope from my years of doing master control/tape op work), but some of that other stuff, like lots of video tracks, stuff "muted" out but still in the timeline, and lots of random crap at the end of the timeline that is unused--yeah, I do all that. But no one else ever sees my timeline.
Maybe I'm not reading this right. What's inexcusable about using the scopes in FCP, if you don't have access to a waveform monitor? If nothing else it shows you are serious about the quality of your image.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 08:48 PM   #19
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I completely appreciate the original post. BUT. I think there's a problem here.

It's pretty easy for any professional editor with years of experience under their belt to explain what's missing in a young editor's approach or thinking.

What is HARD is for the younger and inexperienced editor to articulate what it is about THEIR looser, less structured approach that the older pro might learn from.

It's true they don't have the mileage to have faced all the problems. And they don't see the workflow in the same way that the original writer (or even *I* might see things) - but might there be something in their fresh approach that bears examining as well?

Perhaps the fact the they ignored white balancing under the awful sodium vapor lights was a reality. But what if they figure out a title sequence design that turns the awful color into something that works in a new and interesting way?

This is the conundrum for all of us.

The past has value. The present has value. What's coming next will have value.

The ability to integrate not only what you KNOW to be true now - but what might CHANGE your perceptions of true in the future is a useful skill.

Said another way how do we hold onto the standards of the past - in an environment where those very standards are being supplanted so rapidly?

Who decided what are the VALUABLE standards to uphold? And which are ok to jettison?

ee cummings tossed out capitalization - and is revered for it.

Bill Gates punted on a traditional education - and it inarguably didn't mess his success path a bit.

So sorry, but I think it's more complex than just railing against the kids because they don't know enough to do it the "right" way.

(They don't. It's a given. So get over it. And look deeper to see if there is something they ARE doing that YOU can learn from - rather than just pointing out what they're doing "wrong."

My 2 cents, anyway.
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:28 PM   #20
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I don't think the article is really about "old vs new" but about how having a "I have FCP and Mac so I can do it all by myself" attitude can deprive one of learning how to work in a collaborative, professional environment. Basic project organization and conforming to b'cast and/or cinema standards isn't "old guard/new guard" stuff. It applies if you are shooting on tape, CF cards, or HDDs.


-A
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Old March 25th, 2008, 09:33 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I completely appreciate the original post. BUT. I think there's a problem here.

It's pretty easy for any professional editor with years of experience under their belt to explain what's missing in a young editor's approach or thinking.

What is HARD is for the younger and inexperienced editor to articulate what it is about THEIR looser, less structured approach that the older pro might learn from.

It's true they don't have the mileage to have faced all the problems. And they don't see the workflow in the same way that the original writer (or even *I* might see things) - but might there be something in their fresh approach that bears examining as well?

Perhaps the fact the they ignored white balancing under the awful sodium vapor lights was a reality. But what if they figure out a title sequence design that turns the awful color into something that works in a new and interesting way?

This is the conundrum for all of us.

The past has value. The present has value. What's coming next will have value.

The ability to integrate not only what you KNOW to be true now - but what might CHANGE your perceptions of true in the future is a useful skill.

Said another way how do we hold onto the standards of the past - in an environment where those very standards are being supplanted so rapidly?

Who decided what are the VALUABLE standards to uphold? And which are ok to jettison?

ee cummings tossed out capitalization - and is revered for it.

Bill Gates punted on a traditional education - and it inarguably didn't mess his success path a bit.

So sorry, but I think it's more complex than just railing against the kids because they don't know enough to do it the "right" way.

(They don't. It's a given. So get over it. And look deeper to see if there is something they ARE doing that YOU can learn from - rather than just pointing out what they're doing "wrong."

My 2 cents, anyway.
Great post Bill
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Old March 25th, 2008, 10:17 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Bill Davis View Post
I
So sorry, but I think it's more complex than just railing against the kids because they don't know enough to do it the "right" way.

(They don't. It's a given. So get over it. And look deeper to see if there is something they ARE doing that YOU can learn from - rather than just pointing out what they're doing "wrong."

My 2 cents, anyway.
This isn't about stifiling one's creativity. It is however about professional broadcast post production. And sorry, those standards and references are established by SMPTE, ITU, and the FCC among others. Basically, the engineers that designed all of these tools. It is also about productivity, efficiency, and organization that keeps clients happy. After all, they pay the bills. I think there's plenty of creativity out there. But what good is your creative when the audio is over modulated and distorted, or the blacks are completely crushed or the white levels cranked so high that it buzzes the audio. (It happens!!) This isn't Jackson Pollack throwing paint on a canvas.

And if it is a paying gig, well you might not get paid or you might even get fired if you don't do these things correctly.

With all due respect, no one is railing against the "younger" editors. If we didn't care, we wouldn't say anything. After all, I'm fortunate to have the experience.

I'm an old guy and I can edit on 4 different platforms. Why??? Because I set up color bars the same way whether I'm on Premiere, FCP, Avid, or Edius. The same goes for audio as well. IAs well as importing graphics/animations. In the end it's up to these guys as to whether they can work hard and compete in the real world of post. They may never walk into a post house, but these best practices will help them much more than hurt them.

I'm all ears as to learning from other editors, young and old. Always have been. Like I said, i've learned a lot here.

By the way, Bill Gates had to learn programming in basic first before anything else. How else could he communicate with other programmers when starting Microsoft. He wasn't writing code alone in his bedroom.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 01:18 AM   #23
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I've relied on my experience as an assistant editor almost every day of my career as an editor (and cinematographer for that matter.)
That kind of experience is invaluable, and it is in that kind of atmosphere that one really gets to know what the score is. But what can these aspiring editors (to get away from the "young/old" paradigm) do to find that kind of opportunity? Surely, working for free on someone's short movie isn't going to give them the preparation they need...

I've never spent a day in a classroom learning any of this stuff (I went to Humber as a jazz musician), partly because i was never exposed to this kind of thing when I was younger, and when I discovered that I had an aptitude for it (and loved the whole editing process) I was in a place that going back to school just wasn't realistic.

So I dug in and started reading, reading, reading... and doing crappy craigslist gig after crappy craigslist gig (crappy = low/no pay... unlike the decent CL gigs that are far and few between). Eventually landed a job as a director/editor in a small TV studio just north of Philly where I worked for a guy that worked in network television as an editor for >30 years. It wasn't just a job, he became my mentor and through lesson after lesson at a me.

Then the US gov't tossed me out of the country... visa/work permit issues... so now I'm in Montreal... but that's another story for another place...

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I've been screwed too many times by untrained assistant editors who think they can just stick the tape in, capture the whole 60 minutes, and then sub-clip it later.
I had a client insist that we do it that way. I tried to explain that it may seem like the quickest way to get it done, but yadda, yadda, yadda... I guess he thought I was just blowing smoke in an attempt to drag out the process (he was paying by the hour) longer than it needed to be. I knew it was wrong, but he's the one with the cash so I acquiesced.

When I left the room during the capture, I came back to find him on the computer (that was currently capturing) surfing the net and downloading files for his project -- after I told him we couldn't do that lest we cause issue with the capture. And what do you think happened? Eventually we had audio drifting out of sync... and on a clip that was ~55min in length. Guess what we had to do all over again! And did he take my advice to let me log and capture? No, of course not. He's the "director/producer" and he knows what's best.

The end result, though rough due to bad camera work on his part, did wind up all over the Net and appeared at the #1 spot two weeks in a row on MSNBC's Countdown with Keith Olbermann... so I guess it wasn't too awful (yes it was)
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:19 AM   #24
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[QUOTE=David Parks;848485]This isn't about stifiling one's creativity. It is however about professional broadcast post production. And sorry, those standards and references are established by SMPTE, ITU, and the FCC among others...

Well David, perhaps there it is in a nutshell.

You're clearly seeing the ENTIRE game from the perspective of "professional broadcast post production" - which is ONE very interesting professional avocation - but indisputably not the only one. Not anymore.

Just suppose that another practitioners goal is a successful internet viral video - or video to embed in a Blu-ray video game - or video to excite a 15 year old watching it on a cel phone - NONE of that would be "GOOD" under the terms of your argument - simply because NONE OF IT might meet your (and SMPTE's) arbitrary standards as defined above.

But it's precisely that kid - who sees "video" as something different - something fluid - perhaps something malleable who ratchets it to the next level.

You see the point?

Again, I'm not disputing the need for understanding the requirements of those traditions - heck I just retired my Videotek WFM and Vectorscope last month after not turning them on for more than a year since equivalent tools are built into my NLE - but I'm saying that YOU and I are susceptable to a trap every bit as limiting as the trap a kid falls into when they don''t understand why 0db digital audio is a catastrophic target.

You've stopped your thinking with ONE game. The traditional broadcast game. A game who's rules are useful, important, even necessary - but NOT the only rules that matter.

And I'll wager that this generation's kids are only EXACTLY as poorly equipped as you and I both were a few decades back when we TOO hadn't yet learned to understand the value of white balancing, or room tone, or any of the thousand things WE didn't understand until we had some years behind us.

What we had in abundance was enthusiasm. The urge to explore. And the ability to overlook our shortcomings and press on.

We did. We're here working at the level we are not because we folded and crept away when the senior engineer blasted us for not understanding the way to properly coil a triax cable - but because when called on it we sucked it up, learned, and kept going.

That's my hope for the kids being trashed in that original letter.

Give them time. The best of them will learn and be US in a decade or so.

The real sadness will come if those of us who already understand how to do it right, start to belittle the kids who don't. And instead of finding the patience to put up with their snot nosed arrogance (same as we had back in the day) and help them improve.

FWIW
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Old March 26th, 2008, 04:23 AM   #25
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Well said Bill. I thought one of the best things about this internet forum is that some of us old dogs can pass on our knowledge and experience to younger filmmakers. Reading this, I'm not so sure.

Indeed, I'm very surprised at some of the names on this thread who are having a rant and a rage at our youth. What's the matter guys, have you just discovered you're getting older now?

Back in the day when I started - when a computer was something the size of a house - there were tired old men who despised the young upstarts such as myself. They withheld knowledge and opportunity and grumbled when a I would try something new. I said to myself then that I would never be like one of them and 23 years later I hope I'm not.

Today, there is more rubbish written and talked about filmmaking and technology than ever, I think it's up to those of us who have been and continue to be at the sharp end of things to help the youngsters along and occasionally learn from them as well.

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Old March 26th, 2008, 09:28 AM   #26
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Interersting points being made.

They are not mutually exclusive.

Working 'alone' is very liberating. No one to second guess you. It allows for unfettered creativity. This CAN be a good thing. - That's ONE point of view.

Working 'alone' is very constricting. You cannot learn to collaborate, and you must continually 're-invent' the wheel. - That's ANOTHER point of view.

Working in a collaborative environment - (IE The BIZNESS) - Is very stiffling. you must conform to standards and practices that are well estabilished in order to create maximum efficiency - rendering maximum profitability(time=Money)

Working in a collaborative environmen is very liberating - You are working at a level of professionalism that constanty challenges you, exchanging ideas with other professionals and learning everyday how and why the wheel was invented - and a million ways to use it.


Depending on what glasses one is wearing when reading the first article, I think people tend to see it a certain way. What I took away from the article, was NOT that bedroom editors are 'not creative' or 'less creative' in their visions, but that they have trouble INTEGRATING their visions with others, because they lack knowledge of standard practices. They have trouble 'playing well with others'... and don't understand that there are protocols and procedures - because what works for them - alone in a one man shop - has worked just fine so far.

Human nature hasn't changed. Snot nosed arrogant upstarts we ALL were - no on would argue that. But TECHNOLOGY has changed, which in turn has changed the learning ENVIRONMENT - I think that's the point he was trying to make. "Back in the day" you could be as snot nosed and arrogant as you wanted, cutting super 8 fiilm together. But in order to move 'up' - you had to move 'in' with the old guys and 'pay your dues'. Technology now allows everyone to essentially own a production studio - soup to nuts - this prevents, or at least inhibits that communication, that exchange of ideas, the 'polishing of the roughness through abrasive coopoeration' that was part of us 'old farts' education. I heard the article addressing THAT -These kids have more technology and LESS HUMAN INTERACTION than we did.

THATS what I took away from the article.

I hear the newbies saying "No one teaches us this". I hear the old farts saying "No one is learning this." I hear the question "How do we address this?"

This forum is one way. Frankly, 'virtual communities' and their values are the subject of another thread. But for now technology has taken away the human interaction on one level, and moved it to another.

Is it sufficient?
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Old March 26th, 2008, 11:07 AM   #27
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I hear the newbies saying "No one teaches us this". I hear the old farts saying "No one is learning this." I hear the question "How do we address this?"

This forum is one way. Frankly, 'virtual communities' and their values are the subject of another thread. But for now technology has taken away the human interaction on one level, and moved it to another.

Is it sufficient?
Once again Richard articulates much better, (and in a much better tone) than I. Bill, like I said before (They may never walk into a post house, but these best practices will help them much more than hurt them,) regardless of the delivery medium. But, that's all I'm going to say now. Like Tim Dashwood, I should just not say anything more. I've got work to do.
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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #28
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I agree with much that Richard has very eloquently written but you have to admit it's quite funny that on a forum that does so much to help amateurs, students and newbies there should be a thread condemning them for not knowing or understanding professional practices.

Yes, the changing technology has allowed a whole host of people to enter parts of the industry they could only dream about before and not just young people; the number of people who because they have camera 'x' or editing system 'y' believe that they have upgraded their ability and knowhow is endless. So what? If they don't know what they are doing, they wont be working on one of my productions, but I'll still offer my help and assistance when asked.

I just think there is far too much bashing of young people going on, certainly in the UK and it's probably not much different elsewhere. And bashing youth seemed to me to be the main objective of that article (maybe I need to change my glasses).

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Old March 26th, 2008, 02:36 PM   #29
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Well, we can bash the "lone editor" for not knowing how to collaborate or we can take this chance to pass along our expertise. There are plenty of people who probably would like to be able to be more collaborative or at least learn best practices but might not be sure how to go about it. If any of them have got this far in the thread I'll share what I've learned.

I have always effectively been a lone editor. Not in my basement; I've had a series of jobs over the last ten years in-house at organizations shooting and editing educational materials. As it turns out I've always been a one man shop (as it were). I didn't plan my career path that way, it's just how it happened. I learned how to read a vectorscope and waveform monitor back in college (while I was learning how to edit audio with a grease pencil and razor blade), but when you work in an environment where what you do will never be broadcast try convincing your boss you need those tools. It's a relief to me that the NLEs include them now.

So how have I kept up with best practices, advancements in technology (because I can tell you I don't use razor blades any more and haven't been near a 3/4" deck since graduation), etc? Several ways.

1. read, read read. Trade journals, internet sites, forums like this one. Every time my NLE is working without me - capturing, rendering, whatever - I'm reading something.

2. Join local groups. I'm really lucky that there's a lot in my area. Become friendly with people who do what you do and learn from each other. Just last night I was at a Women in Film editor's round table discussion where the topic happened to be brainstorming a list of best practices for logging and capturing that we could then share around with our interns and E2s. (And I thought, wow, an intern, that would be nice.)

3. Find opportunities to collaborate whenever you can, personal projects if you have to, or work if you can swing it. I'm always happy when we end up with more work than I have time for and I get to hire an outside editor for a project. I love the chance to look at other people's time lines just to see how they've done it.

I would say to take classes, which you should for other reasons, but I don't think it solves this problem. I've taken every Apple certified FCP course and what you learn there is how to push buttons, not how to decide which button to push, if you know what I mean.

Most importantly, young or old, new or experienced, never stop feeling like there is more to learn.

Smile,
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Old March 26th, 2008, 03:31 PM   #30
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I hear the newbies saying "No one teaches us this". I hear the old farts saying "No one is learning this." I hear the question "How do we address this?"
I for one would love to know how to address this. As far as I may have come through my own work and personal studies as well as opportunities for OJT along the way, I know there is more for me to learn -- but that isn't going to happen sitting in my studio, alone at my station. I would love to be in a place where I'm going to get kicked in the pants daily, but those opportunities (to find work even as an assistant) are not readily available.
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