My Week in TV WC 14/11/16

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Nov 202016
 

Monday

A new member to one of the WhatsApp groups I’m in was introduced today, they’re a new graduate and I decided to contact them directly to give some advice. I have a strong notion of helping others within the industry, especially those at the beginning of their career. My motto is taken from a quote from Kevin Spacey: If you’ve done well, it’s your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down. How much my advice helps those remains to be seen, but I’m always eager to help. I started going through a C story that is currently not being used but held as a backup for an episode. I’m doing it mostly for myself but partly as it could be used as an interstitial story. I spoke to an editor about their process for going through a story and how they get it from hours of raw footage to a cut story and I’ll try and emulate this to learn it for myself – this is what I’m doing about that boredom I mentioned last week. 

Tuesday

Having finished going through the C story I have found that there probably isn’t enough in it for an actual story but I’ll try. Perhaps I could make it into several interstitials that convey the story. I was given a next time for the episode that the finishing editor is going to cut next and I managed to completed it before he even had a chance to watch the latest cut, so he watched my coming up first. Then I was given another next time by the editor whose ‘what happened next’ sequence I cut. After last night I’m seriously considering my work/life balance as this wedding video is really taking up my own time. I’d really rather not be spending my evenings worrying that I haven’t done enough on it. I tried to do some more work on it this evening but then discovered, not unexpectedly and yet still to my dismay, that my version of Avid is too old and won’t work with the bins and sequences from the newer version I cut on at work. Looks like I’m going in early/staying late sometime this week. *sadface*

Wednesday 

Having looked at my calendar I have decided to book another Sunday suite at the Farm which should alleviate the evening work on the wedding video. I finished yesterday’s second next time although I wasn’t happy with my music choice again. I took several attempts at it but the transition from light hearted to darker themes was tricky. I’m sure there’ll be notes from the editor. 

We had a TX party after work where we had a few drinks and some pizza whilst watching the first episode go out, which was both lovely and fun. I managed to talk to some of the production team and get to know them more, and the whole thing made me feel really part of the team. There were some great reactions to the programme from everyone there – watching in a large group provided an interesting dynamic. I left when the stragglers started trying to do the mannequin challenge. 

Thursday

Today was a relatively quiet day. I spent most of it looking for interesting bits of sync from a particular doctor who will be featured in an episode. 

Friday

Two editors showed me how they had changed cuts I had done for them which was great to see and really educational. One was the next time which I’d had trouble with going from light to dark, he’d done a really good job using the stuff I’d already used and I learnt a lot. I then cut a next time for an episode which, whilst well made, lacks a little in that none of the cases are particularly dramatic. It’s one of the occupational hazards of observational documentary in that sometimes what you observe may not be the most interesting. I’m quite pleased with what I’ve done with it, the finishing editor will see it Monday when he starts his stint on the episode.

My Week in TV WC 07/11/16

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Nov 152016
 

Monday

Today was mostly spent cutting interstitials, which is nice. I was given another next time tease and promised a 3rd later this week. Generally a good day.

Tuesday

More cutting today. Really enjoying it, which is good since it’s what I’ve been wanting since I was 15. Today’s awesome thing was seeing one editor react to an interstitial I’d cut in the same way I would react to one when watching it at home – and this from someone who does this as their day job!

Wednesday

Today I watched possibly the best episode of 24 Hours in A&E I have ever seen. It is an episode I am doing the next time tease for and I was just in awe from start to finish. Sadly the editor who cut it finished last week but I had the chance to say how much I loved it to the edit producer. I then spoke to the finishing editor who has been giving me most of these editing opportunities and told him how brilliant I thought it was (he agreed) and I compared it to an episode from a while back that I also loved which it turns out he cut! It was weird realising that for the past month or so [more in fact as we worked together on The Supervet] I have been working with someone who is like a celebrity to me. I then had to cut the next time.

This was no mean feat. I spent ages just thinking about how to construct it. Part of me wanted to break the mould of A&E next times but then I felt that wouldn’t really work so instead I just tried to make the best next time I could. The format is usually to take a number of the best hits or moments from the main two stories and cut them together to create a sense of impending drama that builds towards a muted ‘boom’ like a bass drop at the end with, if possible, a light hearted or comedic element somewhere along the way. The difficulty is getting all that in the space of 30 seconds and making sure it’s visually legible: you’ve got to be able to understand what you just saw. With this episode there are just so many hits and moments of real drama to choose from, it took me a long time just to whittle it down to even nearly the 30 second duration. I wasn’t perfectly happy with my result – it feels like too much in too short a time and seems rushed which doesn’t do it justice but I’m working with the finishing editor to improve it.

Thursday

Having been asked to search for some particular GVs I managed to dig up some interesting character moments relating to a particular episode. The series producer and editor of the episode were impressed and ended up putting them in their cut. I spent more time fine tuning the next times I’ve been working on this week and started on more interstitials. Just lots of cutting which is pretty fantastic. I realise I haven’t done any work on the wedding video yet. Looks like I’ll be starting on Sunday from scratch. I should probably email the guy to ask for the music.

Friday

I got a bit frustrated whilst working with some of the music tracks composed for the show. I was finding it hard getting them to fit my interstitial thematically. I left it to do something else for a bit then eventually fixed it. Nonetheless I noted a slight boredom in my work. Interstitials are fun enough but they are just 40-80 seconds of general shots that make an interesting scene. I’m just keen to work on something meatier.

BONUS ROUND! Sunday

I set an alarm and actually got up early on a Sunday for once. I had to get started on the wedding video and was actually kind of looking forward to a day in a suite working away at it. I had a frustrating start, however, as straight from the off I had several crashes whilst trying to just put the media in a timeline to view it. After what felt like an hour going round in circles I eventually discovered there was a single clip that was in some way corrupt. My attempts to fix it didn’t work either so I just left it out. I feel like I made fair progress although I guess I’d like to have done more as it eases my workload for the evenings this week where I intend to do more. Hopefully.

My Week in TV WC 31/10/16

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Nov 102016
 

Monday

This week I began by finishing off the two interstitials I’d started last week. Both were well received by the editors who had asked for them. I then made the changes to the next time tease that the channel asked for late on Friday – these are yet to be reviewed. This is getting a little frustrating as I feel that my cut is slowly being taken apart and put back together in a less creative manner, based mostly on speculation of footage that the channel haven’t seen. I know what our limitations are and have tried to be as creative as possible with what we have. Welcome to the world of editing!

I booked a Sunday in an edit suite at The Farm as my old boss had been kind enough to say I could use a suite when they were quiet. Looking forward to a day spent with a proper suite although I know it will fly by and I won’t get enough done. Shortly before 6pm there was an issue with the network storage system meaning I couldn’t work so I, like others, left for home early.

Tuesday

This morning I was given the hard drive with the footage on for the wedding video I agreed to cut. Actual editing duties are increasing and I am now cutting several interstitials across a number of episodes – we are assured this trend will continue. I’m really enjoying it, not least for the fact I keep receiving good feedback. I realised at one point that I’ve all but reached my dream as I am cutting on my favourite programme, if not a full episode nor actually as an editor, but getting close. I have pretty much reached the top level in Maslow’s hierarchy – self actualisation. It’s a nice place. I spent the evening getting my long neglected Avid laptop ready for the wedding video. I’ll admit there was a small chance it wouldn’t work and I’d have to do the whole thing at the Farm on my weekends. My current plan is to do some work some evenings then get a rough cut sorted on the Sunday I’ve booked. I’ll maybe do another weekend day to finish it off.

Wednesday

As previously promised, the edit work has increased and this afternoon I was sat with the edit producer on one of the episodes cutting the end of stories / what happened next sequences in a bid to get the whole episode together for a viewing tomorrow. At first I thought I should hold back with my opinions and just cut as best I could to the producer’s vision but very quickly I gave up as giving my input just came naturally. What helped was that the producer valued by everything I had to say and was happy to work with my ideas. (Later I reasoned with myself that actually I shouldn’t hold back, I should give my opinions and understand their value.  I’m trying to be an editor and that’s what editors do. This partnership is in essence the job of an editor and I may blog about how that works sometime.) She loved my work, especially when I created one part off of my own back whilst she went and talked to the editor because I felt it would work well. We stayed late to get it all done but I couldn’t have been happier – I felt like a kid who had been offered all the sweets in a sweet shop with the proviso that I stayed in the shop. We left it with a few minor adjustments required, mostly to make the music work, which she said I could do myself in the morning whilst she went and filmed some interviews.

Thursday

I finished the ending sequences this morning and then made changes from notes by the editor ready for the viewing in the afternoon. Apparently this went very well with only minor changes and the fact they are about 10 minutes over on their time. The producer said she would address the notes on the end sequence with me. I’ve also spent the last couple of days since receiving the wedding video drive transcoding the material in the background of my edit. This was a relatively new feature as I left edit support a year ago and so have never had the chance to use it – I’m pretty impressed.

Friday

A quieter day in terms of editing, more time spent looking for GVs or specific contributor shots. There were four channel viewings which, to the best of my knowledge went well. I also received an email pencilling me in for four months from January for second series of BBC1 Obs doc which I’m quite excited about. The job would be assembly editor so more edit work, kind of. Maybe that’s another short blog post.