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    #11
    Resident Preditor mcgeedigital's Avatar
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    Producer/Director/DP/Editor

    Have been my whole career.

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

    -Robert A. Heinlein
    Matt Gottshalk - Director/ Dp/ and Emmy Award Winning Editor
    Producer/Director, Digital Creative for the United States Postal Service


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    #12
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mcgeedigital View Post
    Producer/Director/DP/Editor

    Have been my whole career.

    "A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects."

    -Robert A. Heinlein
    Changing a diaper and pitching a manure are two skills that directly translate to this business and are useful every single day in it.


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    #13
    Senior Member James0b57's Avatar
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    I don’t own a computer. Do i win?


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    #14
    Senior Member Run&Gun's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James0b57 View Post
    I don’t own a computer. Do i win?
    I think my Dad has you beat. He hasn't even owned a TV in over 20 years.


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    #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    This is an interesting subject to me and one I discuss often.

    From my earliest experiences shooting I was also editing...1/2" black and white reel to reel (Sony Portapak) was my first experience in both, then early VHS. In college it was film, then back to tape again thereafter. Three years at a production company doing all of the shooting and editing (mostly 3/4"). Eventually I focused more on shooting, although when Final Cut Pro came out in '99 I got back into editing my own reels and personal projects, which continues to this day.

    What I took from all of this, as mentioned by others above, is learning how to shoot for the edit. In prep, I see the edit in my mind and reverse engineer the shotlist out of that. I always maintain that if I can visualize my cut in my head, a great editor can come up with five other ways to cut it that are (hopefully) better--but it's certain that they won't get stuck with a difficult piece to cut.

    It's hard for me to imagine doing what I do without having that background. As it is, I sometimes have conversations with my operators about nuances of their choices and will tell them "you just forced the scissors", meaning they have hamstrung the editor into having to make an edit which limits their options. A classic example is when a character walks out a door or stands up in a closeup--do you follow them out the door or out of their seat, let them out of frame, or "nickel them out" (meaning, give them a little bit of movement to keep them in frame just a bit longer and then let them out)? Those choices all have to be made based on the best guess of what the editor will want--it is surely that much harder to deliver that if you haven't been in their seat.

    I have a lonnnng story I could tell about this--probably not the right venue here. Would definitely be a tl;dr situation.
    After reading your post Charles - I guess I have been editing since the start - not sure why I didn't "count" it in my original post - other than it seems so quaint nowadays.
    My first experience was VHS deck to deck while still in college - and then 3/4" tape decks before Beta SP shooting for ENG local affiliate. Still remember my first "special assignment" that involved going to DC and then getting to work with Avid editor upon our return. Remember that Avid taking up a large portion of the small room - but boy was I hooked on non-linear instantly (just couldn't afford it back then).

    I think your "reverse engineer" description of visualizing the cut - is exactly how I've always done it in my head as well. I very rarely edit others footage nowadays - but over the years I could always spot a shooter who wasn't thinking "coverage" or about choices in the edit. They didn't get repeat work.


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    #16
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    When I was in business (2000-04) I began as a camera operator only, to get my foot in the door with the other video producers in town. The businesses were sole proprietorships, and the gigs were entry level: weddings, recitals, school games, etc. I moved up into editing as soon as I could, partly because it meant more money. I would think that plays a part in others' decisions. Ironically the more you pay someone, the more specialized they often are. For example, the wedding videographer will rig microphones, operate camera, and edit. But Roger Deakins does not edit his own movies. So if you can make enough money while doing just camera, more power to you. I have to agree with the others, that you might try editing every once in a while, just to make yourself a better camera op.

    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    As it is, I sometimes have conversations with my operators about nuances of their choices and will tell them "you just forced the scissors", meaning they have hamstrung the editor into having to make an edit which limits their options. A classic example is when a character walks out a door or stands up in a closeup--do you follow them out the door or out of their seat, let them out of frame, or "nickel them out" (meaning, give them a little bit of movement to keep them in frame just a bit longer and then let them out)? Those choices all have to be made based on the best guess of what the editor will want--it is surely that much harder to deliver that if you haven't been in their seat.

    I have a lonnnng story I could tell about this--probably not the right venue here. Would definitely be a tl;dr situation.
    This is really cool that you have a taxonomy of ways to let the subject exit the frame. Not surprising when I think about it. I might enjoy the long story some time.


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    #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by James0b57 View Post
    I don’t own a computer. Do i win?
    Yes - you win. If you are a working professional - without even a laptop - then hat's off to ya...you must be a good Bs'er.


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    #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by markfpv View Post
    After reading your post Charles - I guess I have been editing since the start - not sure why I didn't "count" it in my original post - other than it seems so quaint nowadays.
    My first experience was VHS deck to deck while still in college - and then 3/4" tape decks before Beta SP shooting for ENG local affiliate. Still remember my first "special assignment" that involved going to DC and then getting to work with Avid editor upon our return. Remember that Avid taking up a large portion of the small room - but boy was I hooked on non-linear instantly (just couldn't afford it back then).

    I think your "reverse engineer" description of visualizing the cut - is exactly how I've always done it in my head as well. I very rarely edit others footage nowadays - but over the years I could always spot a shooter who wasn't thinking "coverage" or about choices in the edit. They didn't get repeat work.
    I have a theory that anyone who starting editing tape-to-tape or splicing film had to develop a more precise sense of timing in the edit vs those who came along non-linear, because it took so much longer to complete each edit, so there was more incentive to get it right. I used to supervise cuts with a young editor who started on a non-linear system (Media 100!) and after a while he teased me about my specific timing notes, i.e. "take 7 frames off the source side and add 3 to the record side". He was like, 7? Not 5 or 10? For me everything had been time-code oriented so I was acutely aware of the difference a single frame could make, where he was doing it visually and not numerically and trimming in multiple tries as needed. It's just a different way of working!

    Below during my tenure as cameraman/editor at a small production company in the late 80's...everything in this picture feels like it's from a million years ago!

    telecommercialeditor-denoise-Recovered.jpg
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    #19
    Director of Photography
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    The other part of this is grading (or what we used to call coloring/color correction until a few years ago). I dabble in Resolve, I use it to cut my reels (and fix color on clips that were finished without my participation!) as well as cut and color my own projects. Most of the time I sit in color suites with incredibly skilled colorists who are able to do things far beyond my capabilities, but it is helpful to be able to speak a bit of the same language. Most importantly, it gives me ammo to know how much I can "let go" on set and fix in post, which is increasingly becoming a desirable way to go (a fast DP is a desirable DP, and while there is still a cost associated with the color process, it is much less weighted than taking time on set). Typically this involves gradients and vignettes for walls vs taking the time to flag, balancing hot windows, lightening or darkening faces when people are standing next to each other and it is tough to light them separately.

    One discipline that I have no hands-on experience with is VFX or compositing (After Effects etc). This past season on Crank Yankers I spent a lot of time with our VFX artists advising on comps as we had a lot of blue-screen backgrounds, and it was a fantastic learning experience.

    Ultimately I think it's possible to armchair-quarterback all of this if one is perceptive enough. After all we have spent our lives ingesting visual material and it's really a matter of analyzing and understanding how the pieces all come together. I do feel like the more jobs one has done on set (or at least taken the time to learn about), the better one gets at their own job. Ultimately, it's about being a filmmaker!

    It's not without its risks as sometimes things will slip through the cracks, and
    Charles Papert
    charlespapert.com


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    #20
    Senior Member Liam Hall's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CharlesPapert View Post
    The other part of this is grading (or what we used to call coloring/color correction until a few years ago).
    I'm old enough to still call it either telecine or colour timing!
    New Website: www.liamhall.net
    TWITTER: @FilmLiam
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