TGIM: Thank God It's Monday!

Thank God its Monday! Yeah, I enjoy Mondays. Actually I enjoy, Monday to Friday, the weekend too. I also don't understand "hump day" aka Wednesday. And Finally, I don't really acknowledge those weird statutory holidays that periodically come up. Basically, a day in the the week is a day in the week, when it comes to my job. Let me back up a bit here, 3 days to be more specific. 

On a Friday, years ago I was dropping off my son to day care and on the elevator ride down after the kid drop off, another parent looked at me, breaking the uncomfortable silence of the ride by gasping "Thank God It's Friday". I soon realize that doesn't go through my head when I go to work. I am lucky that I like my job and don't work towards the weekend. I might not like the subject matter or certain tasks associated with my job but I love Editing. Making and creating a story with images and sound give me a satisfaction and joy that I can't really describe.

Most of my career has been as a freelancer and because of that I schedule the lines have gotten blurred on the work day. At the beginning of my post career, I would work all crazy hours, since I was a night person. Then I got into a routine and slowly realize, when I was building a family that I needed to structure the time more, basically into the 5 day work week. But even when I did that I never dreaded going to work. I found myself working towards getting back into my home office or edit suite to get back at it. I do love what I do even if I had to modify it to fit a more standard lifestyle. 

Even now that I have a stable gig that has me working a 5 day work week, in a more and I never have that feeling. I have been lucky enough to get jobs where I am self managing and that I am trusted to do the task at my own pace with the minimal supervision. Editing requires a certain level of self motivation or you will be gasping every hour on the hour, counting the minutes til the 5pm "school bell" and at that point your just a machine operator. Don't get me wrong, I do dislike parts of my job, sorting and organizing footage, debating with less than savvy producers, dealing with confusing feedback notes... I could go on but really the pros outweight the cons. 

So Thank God It's Monday!

Low Cost Freelance Post is like Driving without Insurance

If your not listening to the Freakonomics Podcast your missing out on some interesting insight.

This recent episode of Freakonomics Radio was an interesting one about customer service which is what a good freelance editor delivers ontop of the technical and artistic skills. The Social scientist prove what most in our industry almost always fail to appreciate, cost and quality are related. 

When I get request for a quote occasionally some potential clients will inquire, "why is your quote and rate higher than.." Then, I explain that it's usually a worst case scenario guestimate, factoring in some contengency time and trying to anticipate some problems that has occured in my past experiences.

About my rate, I use the analogy of a general contractor quoting for some work on your house. "Never use the cheapest quote, that guy is usually the problem/unexperienced craftsmen."

Unfortunatly, sometimes some clients don't take my advice and the outcome is usually not satisfatory and they inquire a few months later with a request for a Fix-this-mess-Quote. 

Invest in your post.


Freelance Video Editing 2: Don't Sell Me Easy


As I read the Linchpin Book from Seth Godin, I realize that he is preaching to the converted. I agree with most of his points and work as art concepts. One point that he make in the book is to "lean into the work, not away from it".

I often get some small projects that offered to me at some of my re-occurring clients that involves mind boggling boring work. The person/salesman offering the work always comes with some of the famous quotes "This is easy", "Steady work", "a no brainer" and/or "You just have to crank it out". My stomach turns every time these tasks are offered to me with this type of pitch. Tasks, that is a good word because it is a task or a chore like taking out the garbage, cleaning the bathroom or washing the inside of a car.

Do professional editors seek out easy gigs? I have never taken a job because of easy.

Unless my family is starving, these tasks have a home somewhere else than on my plate, I have realize. When I started working I would do these task and ultimately they result are boring, underpaid, never gonna see the light of day on my demo reel and they usually suck all your creative energy/time. So, over the years I have turned down these jobs. Luckily, more often than not it has resulted in a better demo reel worthy, exciting job popping up, something incredible.



So the next time you want me to do a job for you and not some work (there is a difference but I won't get into that I will leave that to Seth Godin), don't. Don't sell me "Easy". 


Freelance Video Editor: Give your clients all your ideas or let them steal it.


I am a strong believer that you should show your clients all your ideas and sometimes let them steal them. Let me back up...

I have been reading (or should I say listening) to lots of books about winning organizations. Bill Walsh's The score will take care of itself, What would Google Do?, Six Pixel of separation and currently Seth Grodin's Linchpin.


It made me think about workplace dynamics and how people react to my style of work which is direct, honest and opinionated.


I believe that the people I work with generally appreciate it and they are repeat clients or referrer me for other jobs. 

As a freelance media editor, I go from one "Office space" to the next, meeting and collaborating on with a variety of types of workers: The Troubleshooter, The lifer, The Can't-wait-til-the-clock-hits-5o'clock. A lot of the people have lots of opinions but never verbalize them. Even worst, I often give them some ideas that would clearly get them a "gold Star" from there boss, a little suggestion or hint to how to make things more productive and tell them to "steal it from me" and I see them do nothing with it.*

As an editor, you should get use to getting your ideas stolen. It is built into the job, you do get use to it. I don't mind it as long as the project is good, I have never cared about credit, nobody looks at the credits anyway. When is the last time your mom said "wow Thelma Schoonmaker really did a great editing job on Cape Fear remake?"

I believe that an Editor's main job is to show options which will result in a better final project. Not all the permutations but all the possibilities that you think are good, that you are truly passionate about. I think it is important to push yourself to do and explore other options critically. For me that means, listen to people comments, seriously consider them. Do your editing job to ingest and discuss with director what are the options that will make for a better project.

Here are some exemples of Color correction options that I proposed more recently for the Game webseries for Golf Town. (It isn't editing example but it is the same theory)


I showed them some extreme style but I went for something that would have an impact. It is a little extreme but my logic was and always is try to do something visually impact-full. 


The client opted for a more conservative look that was an amalgamation of ideas but it definitely sped up the decision making process and made them sure of what they liked. Instead of the "tell me what you want" attitude that many media creators chant as there mantra. 


* I will wait to let them steal my ideas but after I have let them have some time to "discover my idea" as there own; I will mention it to people in the organization that this would benefit. I have never been told not to speak up with a helpful suggestion or fired for a recommendation. More often the result is that they see that I won't look at the "ship sinking" and not speak up.



LSB Interviews Anthony K. Baird or Rantings of an Editor

My old friend Haig Armen, web maven and all around great designer has a media studio in Vancouver.
Last time I went to Vancouver to visit, he showed me his pretty sexy studio where his crew of mad web scientist do their craft. Way back when, we use to be roommates in Toronto and he introduced me to macs, adobe products and how PC's don't have to be clunky . Thanks.

Lift has recently started a cool podcast but as per usual they are not doing it the same boring "Charlie Rose" or 6 o'clock news style with a fake BG. When you check out the vidcast on the lift studios' site it takes over your screen in glorious MASSIVE FLASH. 

For some reason, probably because I always have strong opinions, he interviewed me via Skype.
Was nice to talk about Movies & Creative stuff with my old roomate. 

Subscribe to the podcast there is always a good creative conversation a-la Ted Talks.