R is for Remote Post

Recently, one of my old time clients moved out there office building in downtown Toronto and it got me thinking about location, location, location of work and do you need to have an official office space. And, completely unrelated, recently lnkedin sent me an and anniversary notification, 15 years of Gorilla productioning full time, creating some pretty compelling content that is most of the time on the creative, interesting and challenging. Time flies when your own boss (and you the only employee). 

So with these two unrelated things in mind, I reflect and thought about how now most of my clients work remotely with me. 15 years ago, working remotely was frowned upon it was like not having a home phone. People just loved see some one "Jabba da Hutting" it in a darkroom. I think, there was something comforting in seeing someone at the controls of all this heavy expensive machinery sitting in a big chair surrounded by monitors editing away. 

As a freelancer, I had to put lot of kms on my bike to get to the locations, fire up the strangers edit suite, "make it familiar", sit (I edit standing up like Murch) and then I would have a producer and/or director sit with me all day "watching the paint dry" to slowly realize. "Wow this is fairly complicated, slow process, tideous and mildly annoying look over a little section of footage 30 times." The editor's burden. 

Many of those hours in the edit suite were spent being distracted by other employees of my clients visiting this dark refuge, teaching the client some basic filmmaking/editing principals, executing long round about edits only to realize that what you had suggested originally would have saved them and you lots of times. Most of the time this process would gain some respect in the craft of editing and resulted in building their trust in my work. But most of the time it's like watching a baseball; the person behind you starts thinking "I could do that" or "I get how this works" because it looks easy. Then sometimes they would try to do it themselves then realize that this wasn't for them and call me to put some more kms on the bike to fix it. 

Thankfully those days are behind me...Nowadays, people are much more savvy about the process of post, my clients respect what I bring to the table and acknowledge the time it takes to get it done right, it's not the dark art that it use to be. Thanks Apple. (No sarcasm)

Speaking of Apple, they were instrumental in making it easy for me to work at home, back in my day, it wasn't just frowned upon to edit at home, it was laughed at like you just informed someone that you were building a rocket to go into space. Apple's tech made it all possible and it was quite a niche market when Final Cut Pro Classic was a healthy cost effective alternative to the high-end systems and post houses. (Thanks apple, no sarcasm) They made everything more accessible, easier to operate and made people think they could do it all. (Thanks Apple, sarcasm) As editing systems got more mobile, people realized that sitting in a dark room and look at a screen as there emails backed up, they realized that they could be putting out more important situations. 

So, most of my clients took my suggestions. I sold them on how I am more focused and productive in my own space and you would get a better overall result. I would occasionally come in and have a sit down and review the cut with them, take some notes then go back home and make the tweaks. 

Eventually, my clients got the review copy via email using vimeo password locked links. I think they enjoy that since you can watch it and process the edit without the pressure of instant feedback and if you need to get more peoples feedback you don't need to cram into a room and have a creative mosh pit where there is 15 conflicting suggestions at the end of the tornado of talking and no concise plan is really made. 

All this to say that, today the idea of me editing remotly is what my clients prefer and I do too. There are more pros then cons and it renders a better final result and faster turnaround.

The only time that I have worked in a suite in the recent past, has been on a project were the producers don't trust me for some reason and/or have some "control issues". Which now I am wise enough to decline those situations because if you don't trust me with your project I should not be editing it. It only took me 15 years to learn that one!