2016 SMPTE Tech Conference Overview

If you’ve never been to SMPTE’s Annual Technology Conference, I’ll lay the scene down for you. It takes place in central Hollywood, perched above the most touristy parts of the Walk of Fame and Chinese Theater that are littered with visitors and people dressed as superheroes and Transformers hustling for money. But don’t let the luxurious location fool you: once you ascend the escalator from a parking garage where you definitely wouldn’t want to be when the next big earthquake hits (which is apparently sooner rather than later) and help out a guy dressed as Optimus Prime who happens to be stuck in a door (yes, actually happened), you find yourself where all great presentations in our industry are made: in hotel ballrooms arranged classroom style.

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More Than One Path to Success: Senior Editor Mae Manning

I interviewed Atlanta-based editor Mae Manning on her less typical path into the industry on Creative COW.

We talk a lot about things like “accessible tools” and the “democratization of video production” — what has this meant for the emerging talent whose creative development has taken place largely, or even entirely, within this democratized landscape? Mae Manning is one such editor, who taught herself to edit music videos, and caught the eye of a local production company. Several years later and now their Senior Editor, she cuts corporate and industrial training videos, promotional videos, sketch comedy, short films, and everything else that gets thrown her way. Mae’s story is an inspiration for anyone that thinks there is only one path to success in the industry.

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Why Representation Matters: Thoughts on the Creative Arts Emmys

The first time I had tea with Meaghan, it was a bright summer day in New York. She told me I would have to work harder than almost anyone I knew if I wanted to succeed.

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Watch: #BCPCWest Panel on Ageism

Our final panel of Blue Collar Post Collective’s 2016 summer series was about ageism in post production — what does it mean to be “too young” and “too old”, and how can we fight those assumptions?

Getting relevant and staying relevant in the industry is difficult on both ends of the spectrum. Young people find it difficult to break through the catch 22 of needing experience to get jobs that require experience. Established veterans in the field find their skills questioned — how can you teach an old dog new tricks?

The panel was held in Hollywood and featured Meaghan Wilbur, an Emmy-nominated editor for CONAN; Harlan Doolittle, assistant editor/data IO engineer at Encore; and Eolyne Arnold, award-winning sound designer and foley artist. It was moderated by Norman Hollyn ACE, Professor of Cinematic Arts at USC and film editor

Watch here: https://youtu.be/KuhtLqrT-3c

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A Discussion on Mental Health in Post Production

On August 13th, the Blue Collar Post Collective conducted a town hall style panel discussion in Hollywood on the state of mental health in post production. The panel was live streamed on YouTube, and the archive is available to watch.

Mental health is a very important topic, but we don’t focus on this discussion much within post production. We’re in an overworked industry that doesn’t prioritize self-care. Creative people are by nature more likely to suffer from mental illnesses (and commit suicide at a higher rate than most people) so it’s important that we keep ourselves in check and watch out for one another. During the panel, people working in the field (and a licensed therapist) addressed these topics, and more.

Panelists included assistant editor Natalie Boschan (Empire, Shooter), online editor/assist Chris Visser, dailies colorist/assistant editor Kira Prince (Jane the Virgin, Allegiant), and licensed marriage and family therapist Shayne Vitemb. The panel was moderated by finishing editor/post engineer Matt Christensen (Blue Giant).

The panel was also live tweeted with the hashtag #BCPCWest, so you can catch the highlights on Storify.

Watch below, or on YouTube.

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WATCH: #BCPCWest Summer Series: Making Post More Inclusive

This summer, I launched the west coast chapter of the Blue Collar Post Collective, a grassroots nonprofit organization that seeks to support each other and emerging talent in post production. We have regular social meet-ups in Hollywood, and our first educational series has been about the human side of post production. Our first panel on making post more inclusive was moderated by me and can be viewed online.

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Addressing Professional Fears and Growing Up

Last week, a young woman on Twitter told me she had read an old blog post I wrote and immediately related to it and needed more information. The post, titled “Professional Fears”, was published on February 5, 2010. As a recent graduate, she told me she was being held up with exactly what I wrote about and wanted to know how I moved past it.

My initial reaction: wait, I’ve moved past those fears? Says who? I’d forgotten all about this post and hadn’t read it since I wrote it and sent it off to the internet six years ago. That’s not to say I haven’t been in the throes of job-related fears ever since. Of course I have. Everything is scary and loud and I have to make my own doctor appointments and pay bills and everything.

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Taking Over the ACE Student Awards

Each year, the American Cinema Editors holds a student editing competition in which students are provided the same set of video dailies they must edit into a short. The submissions are judged by a panel of professional film editors, with three finalists invited to the formal and fancy ACE Eddie Awards held in LA in January. One student recieves an Eddie award among the crowd of high level editors also being honored for their work on the year’s biggest and best movies and television shows.

For the first time, one school swept the finalist nominees for the award. Not a school in New York or LA, but University of North Carolina, School of the Arts in Winston-Salem, NC.

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NAB 2016 Review: It’s The Little Things

This was not an exciting year for the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

But that’s okay, because the “exciting” stuff isn’t what affects post production workflow the most. At least not immediately. Some “really cool” products that make a big splash on NAB Monday might slowly assimilate into the mainstream of post production over many years.

Some new cameras will start to gain traction a year or so after they’re actually released. Hot topics like virtual reality are new and exciting, but still relegated to an odd mix of specialists and dabblers trying to figure out what it all means. We won’t know what those things really mean for years.

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Art of Post Bicoastal Art Show

When I moved to Los Angeles, “show my art in a gallery” was as much of a realistic goal as publishing an autobiography or being including in Forbes’ “30 under 30” list (there’s still time!).

So when I saw the Art of Post event featuring art created by post production professionals in Los Angeles and New York, I knew it wasn’t just a new idea, it was necessary. And that’s why visual effects producer Lauren Ellis decided to put this event together with assistance from her company The Molecule, which has locations in both cities.

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