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Old October 23rd, 2010, 08:31 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Craig Hollenback View Post
Unusual question but I am trying to be fair.
I recently hired a new editor that claimed to be proficient in FCP. Now I find that he can't figure out why a cross dissolve won't work when there is no extra footage at the head/tail of 2 clips. This was just one of many similar missing skills. Command G etc for closing up a gap, auto white balance feature in color corrector,etc.,etc.
What should I expect for minimal skills when advertising for a FCP editor? Salary 40k.
Thanks, Craig
LOL, if he's proficient in FCP, then I'm going to call myself "Senior Pro Super Editor" from now on ;)
Seriously, I'm more of a cameraman than an editor, and I always tell clients right away that although I am able to edit basic stuff with FCP, they can't expect me to be a highly skilled editor - but this is laughable. Not knowing that a dissolve won't work with extra footage is just a lack of basic editing skills, no matter what program.
I didn't know ctrl-g for closing a gap either (as I said, I don't advertise myself as an editor, I am a lighting cameraman with some editing skills) but of course I know of the auto-white feature in color correction and the copy attributes function.

I am always amazed at how people can overstate theirselves that much...
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Old October 24th, 2010, 01:09 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Jonathan Jones View Post
You're not supposed to think about those things when viewing a film, and as far as I can tell, does not pertain to the thread.

Specific task factors aside, when hiring someone to edit a film, it is recommended that you have some assurances of their capacity to do so.

The only real question is, can they cut?

I've worked with (sacked) lots of editors with a good technical knowledge, but for whom the art of editing is a mystery.
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Old October 24th, 2010, 11:27 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Liam Hall View Post
The only real question is, can they cut?
Totally agreed. My assertion was in the context of differentiating between being concerned about the editing as the producer as opposed to the end viewer. When a film is cut well, the end viewer shouldn't have to ever think about the editing (*) - as is noted in your earlier comment regarding viewing the film and not thinking about the skills of the editor.

And yes, the basic question for the producer et al, is can the editor cut? You are right that some specific factors of technique, workflow, and knowledge of keyboard commands can often be irrelevant. If they can cut appropriately for the needs of the project, have an understanding of both what is needed as well as how to achieve it, and do so on time and and within budget - some latitude can often be granted for personal workflow preferences.


(*) side note: An example of this for me, most recently would have to be my experience of watching Shutter Island. Although an insane amount of talent was involved in making this film, and the editor is a much-lauded expert with a long-time working relationship with a highly-skilled expert director, the fact is that the sloppy editing of this film took me out of the story over and over again. As I understand it, some of the "errors" in continuity and such were intended to very subtly hint at an underlying sense of unease and a questionable grasp of perspective - but it was either overdone, or accidentally sloppy, as it just doesn't account for the frequency of which such flaws are present in the editing of the film. While it may just be my opinion - or I'm just not getting it, I kept noticing it with annoyance, it took me out of the story each time.

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Old October 25th, 2010, 10:03 PM   #19
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What sort of editing? Time sensitive jobs? Purely creative editing?

My boss comes from an editing background on Avid - we have moved mostly to Final Cut for hardware related reasons over the last few years and I can tell you, doing things the way Final Cut is set up for as a default working with him is often way slower than the way you CAN do it if you set things up more like avid. (I.e more so you almost never have to touch the mouse.)

However, the principles of WHY you would do things a certain way, and why you would use different techniques in each program, are the same. You might do things one way in Avid because it's faster to do it that way, and one way in FCP because it's faster to do it that way, but if it ALLOWS you to do it then real experience is knowing the fastest way for you to do it - especially if you are working in time sensitive situations.

Really experienced editors on a particular system, will be editing surprisingly close to the speed of thought. This what everyone should strive for if they are making their living being an editor.

The measure of quality remains however, what those thoughts are.

Someone can be a genius editor, who cuts slowly, and never understands the technical details, and be very experienced, and always have happy clients in there field. Move them into a news cutting environment for a day and it'd be tears all around.

I however don't think that the original posters situation is such a case - I think it's a pretty common practice of someone exagerrating to get their foot in the door. If they are not up to speed, state your expectations about speed, knowledge, workflows and on the job upskilling, and give them the opportunity to prove their willingness to get there. As said it may take no time at all with a few pointers for them to be exactly where you want them, and only a little more time to be better still. Or, they may learn slowly, or not at all, in which case you need a new editor.
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