Note: This blog was written by Brandon Marchionda, one of two recipients to be sent by Blue Collar Post Collective to New York City and Manhattan Edit Workshop’s “Sight, Sound, and Story” educational event which highlights the life and work of top editors working in the industry today. Blue Collar Post Collective’s Professional Development Accessibility Program identifies lower income emerging talent in post production and provides them an opportunity to attend important industry events where they can build their education and professional network to take the next step in their careers. It’s important for emerging talent to be present in these spaces to remind everyone they belong there too. PDAP also provides an opportunity for the full-time working professionals who volunteer for BCPC to utilize their network to introduce emerging talent to people they should know in their field for one-on-one conversations.
BCPC owes a huge thanks to Manhattan Edit Workshop for providing entry to their event, the volunteer committee that helps us pair candidates with the best opportunities for them, Evan Schiff, Felix Cabrera, Rob G. Wilson, and the donors to BCPC whose funds go almost entirely toward this program.
Brandon is a recent graduate of Point Park University’s Cinema Program. He’s currently working full-time as a freelance editor in the Pittsburgh area while he saves up for the big move to LA next month. His education in Pennsylvania granted him the opportunity to learn the major tools and storytelling techniques, and programs like PDAP will help him make his landing in Los Angeles just a little bit softer. The rest of this entry is his recap.
The Blue Collar Post Collective Professional Development Accessibility Program is something I think everyone should consider applying for, especially when just starting out. I remember seeing the applications open for Sight, Sound and Story and thinking to myself that I would never get it. But then I kept seeing the posts about it and I did some research on the upcoming event. I said “Why not? The worst that could happen is I don’t get it.” So I applied through the form, which was the easiest application to fill out, and I waited. Not expecting to hear anything, I didn’t even bother to check my spam folder or anything until I received a message from a member of BCPC through Facebook Messenger about getting an email from the Collective. Immediately I lit up. “Did I get it? There’s no way.” I find the email and I read it. I got it.
Then BCPC literally took care of everything. More than I could have ever expected. I was set up with flights, a hotel, car service to and from the airports, and a ticket to the event.
I live in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania currently (before the big move to LA in about a month or so) and it’s not too much trouble for me to get to NY and attend the event in theory. But with this program, I was able to save that money I would’ve spent going and put it towards that move. This program changes how you view these events from a “maybe” to a “I’m going.”
Thanks to BCPC, I also I had the opportunity to meet great people and visit some awesome places.
First, I met with Evan Schiff, editor of John Wick 3, to see the workflow of the film at its early stages. Just meeting and talking with Evan was one of the best conversations I have ever had. Seeing a feature film right in front of me made me realize none of this is out of reach. It’s entirely possible to become that feature film or television editor I’ve always dreamed of being.
Second, I met with Rob G. Wilson, assistant editor on Mr. Robot, who told me about his beginnings and the work he’s currently doing. He spoke of how he got there and it’s crazy to me that it’s simple as long as you try, work hard, and just be nice. He also introduced me to Kevin Tent, editor of The Descendants and Election, who gave such good advice and told some incredible stories.
Then I went to Lost Planet for an editorial facility tour hosted by Felix Cabrera who gave me an insight to the entirety of what a post facility does. There’s a group here in Pittsburgh that does a lot of what they do, but not on the same scale. It’s incredible seeing the work they do and hearing the stories of some of the projects that have come through there.
Finally, I attended Sight, Sound and Story. This event was my first post production panel. Hearing the editors speak about their work was truly inspiring. No one on the panels looked like they hated it or were even annoyed with it. It was people speaking about the role they were most passionate about and it left me with a smile and this feeling of how much I can’t wait to get to edit, even though it means working my way up for years.
At Sight, Sound and Story, so much information is thrown at you. But it’s like your favorite dessert and you can’t get sick of it. You just keep listening and taking notes, hoping that one day you can be up on the panel giving advice and telling your stories. I never wanted it to end and it made me want to make my way to as many panels as I can in the future. I learned that no matter what you do, you keep cutting. You just have to try and always be cutting something, to get better at what you do and faster at it.
Listening to a panel of editors and how they edit was eye-opening because you think it’s some secret, magic that only they know but a lot of what was said was exactly what I do when I edit. It makes it feel so much more real and obtainable. You also learn what you should and shouldn’t do. For example, if you’re working in reality television and would like to be in narrative of any kind, you need to get out as soon as you can. Now, I’ve heard this before but hearing it from someone from the industry really solidifies it for me. This type of event just tells you what it’s like in the edit room and makes you feel like this is the best career path you could be going down and pumps you up.
This program is something I couldn’t believe existed until I got on the flight to go to New York. It’s just incredible the amount of care this group has for other people, and I cannot wait until the day when I can contribute back to the group and allow others to do similar great things that I got to do. I want to be someone that can make it to majority of the meet ups each month and help out as much as I can. I want to be the person everyone has been to me, and that’s something I will never stop reaching for.