tobynutter

I like stories

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.

My Week in TV WC 24/10/16

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Oct 292016
 

Monday

This week I hope to hear from the production as to whether they can keep me on until Christmas. I’m quietly confident as I know they like me and want me to stay and that there is plenty of work. I guess they just have to make their budget work. I overheard a very complimentary and promising conversation about me at one point during the day so there’s hope. Still mostly pulling GVs today.

Tuesday

My job is getting more interesting as I am taking on more varied roles and being given more specific tasks. Hopefully it doesn’t end soon as I’m really enjoying getting stuck in. I also received notes from the series producer covering the episode I did the next time tease for. ‘This is in good shape, I’d be happy for this to be sent, though if we can have til Monday [we] could do a final polish Monday AM.’ Quite pleased with myself.

Wednesday

I heard this morning that my next time went to channel for viewing. Whilst back pulling GVs a colleague cam and asked if I would cut together a small wedding video he and some friends shot for a former colleague. I agreed to do it although tentatively as I’ve heard many horror stories both from professional wedding video makers and those who have done it as a favour. It could be a good lesson, we’ll see. I also heard through one of my WhatsApp groups about a potential job for if I don’t get extended so I’m not so anxious.

Thursday

Rumours this morning are that I’m being extended. This is confirmed sometime mid morning when the post co-ordinator comes over to say they want to keep me on, get me cutting down scenes and interviews, and maybe even move me in with the finishing editor who has been championing me and giving me stuff to cut. I then receive an email from someone who was a client when I worked at The Farm and has kept in touch since. They were asking about my availability for a possible and exciting programme in the new year! Very exciting – watch this space!

I received notes back from the channel for my next time. There’s a couple of shot changes that create quite a bit of work to make it work but we get it done. The series producer will check it out tomorrow morning.

Friday

Today marks my first year as a freelancer. I’m really proud of what I’ve managed – only 5 weeks out of work and that was at my instigation to go on holiday – and 3 great contracts on programmes I really enjoy and have enjoyed making. We sent my next time off for final sign off from channel. I was then given a short interstitial to cut for one editor and a second one to cut down for the finishing editor. The first one is fun to play around with, the second is trickier as I am cutting down someone else’s edit and the scene has little coverage. I’ll get to carry both on next week.

As I’m preparing to leave I receive an email from the SP with new notes from the channel on my next time. Looks like they want a bit more of a restructure. We’ll have to deal with that first thing Monday. All this going back and forth for 30 seconds of TV! Welcome to commissioning editors!

BONUS ROUND! Saturday

I had to call HMRC this morning due to an error on a payslip. Not a rare occurrence in this industry when you flit from job to job as it can be hard to keep track yourself of what work you’ve done and what you’ve earnt. Fortunately it was resolved in under 12 minutes! Also updating my CV (again) and rejoining a talent base website that has just reopened after rebuilding.

My Week in TV WC 17/10/16

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Oct 252016
 

Monday

Today was fun in a number of ways. I was given another small edit task at end of day which the editor seemed pleased with. During the day I also finally managed to find contact information for someone at a company who makes a few programmes I really enjoy and want to be a part of. I contacted and got a reply but it was just the usual ‘thanks, we’ll keep you on record.’ Better than nothing I guess.

Tuesday

This afternoon the monotony of trawling rig footage for GVs was interrupted by my being asked to cut a next time tease by the finishing editor – yay! This was, in his words, something he wanted to be mine so I would cut it, go to him for notes and then work on those notes. The final version, cut by me, will make it to air! This is kinda exciting!

Wednesday

The thought that I have some editing to do today makes me want to get up in the morning. Spent up to lunch cutting the first draft and the time just flew by (the finishing editor later likened the edit suite to the TARDIS in that time just flies by*). After lunch worked to the notes creating 4 work in progress versions before the editor was ready to show the producer. They have a viewing tomorrow so will show it then.

Thursday

Today GV pulling seems even more mundane after a day of editing. Also getting a little more anxious about my lack of work for next week. I’m not so worried as I know I can survive a while without work and I plan to head to my parents for a few days if I end up with nothing for Monday, but I don’t want to think about how long I can stretch my funds for.

Friday

Today is the last day on my current contract. I still have nothing lined up. Little bit worried, but not too much. I feel like now would be a great time to do jury service, something I’d really like to do one day – sounds fascinating (on a side note I’ve just started getting into the Serial podcast. Late, I know but then I argue that most media is fairly timeless). And then, as if by magic, the production co-ordinator came to me not long before lunch asking if I was free next week! They have extended me a week and asked to pencil me through ‘til Christmas! We’ll discuss more next week she says. Yay!

BONUS ROUND! Saturday

Felt like working on a new version of my website. Just a few design changes, add a little content here and there, nothing too major really as I haven’t enough work to back it up – no showreel, etc. It’s not necessarily going to do anything towards my career at this stage, but it feels productive. My main problem is I spent one semester at Uni learning basic HTML and CSS and that was back in 2009. Times have a changed, my website hasn’t much.

*Sshh Dr Who fans, I know that doesn’t quite stack up, but you get the drift.

My Week in TV WC 10/10/16

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Oct 222016
 

Monday

As this is the 4th week of my aforementioned 5 week contract I asked the production manager if they were likely to be extending my contract. This happens often enough in the industry where anything from a few weeks to a few hours before you are due to finish the production manager or co-ordinator may come and ask if you are available to stay in for a bit longer. I took the initiative to ask as I’d like to stay on but need to secure more work. The PM said he was unsure due to budget but would get back to me as soon as possible. I decided to start having a little look as I didn’t want to end up with nothing to do. I received a job alert for an assembly editor on a new Obs doc that sounded exciting but it starts a week too early for me. I may well contact them just in case on the advice of a colleague. At the very least it would give them my name and CV for next time.

Tuesday

Today’s work was little different to before and I worked a little on my plan for getting a new job. I have a few sources and contact I go to when looking for my next job. A lot of stuff is word of mouth. I am part of a couple of whatsapp groups where fellow assistants and editors will occasionally ask if anyone is free for a job they know of and frequently enough I will get an email or call from a PM I have worked with before asking my availability. Also I will get speculative calls or emails from people who have been given my name by an editor or PM or other who I have worked with – this is where my name comes in quite handy.

When I have emailed those I have worked with before to let them know I am free I then have several other  sources for jobs. I am a member of both Talent Manager and Production Base, both of which have regularly updated postings for jobs you can apply to within their pages. I am finding that Talent Manager seems to have more in the field I want to work in but that could just be a current trend rather than an overall rule. I also check out the Unit List which, being run by a production manager in their free time, is less up to date but will usually have a good batch of jobs as well as being a great source for help and advice. Something else I have recently started checking more is Facebook groups. Originally I felt that Facebook was a pretty unprofessional way to advertise and apply for work but actually it rather suits the industry. Again there are a few of groups I am subscribed to with a varying amount of jobs and available workers being posted, you have to wade through the mire to find jobs that are suited to you but nevertheless there are some good ones on there.

Another thing I tried this time around was a bit of research mixed in with some looking under rocks. The Grierson awards nominations came up on my feed this week and I took a look through it partly to see how much I had seen or known about, partly to see if anyone I know or have indeed worked with has been nominated (yes!) but also to find out which companies were making the programmes I like to see if I could apply to them directly. I would go to the company website, have a look at the staff they featured, look at the contacting them page and, in cases where they exist, go to their jobs page. Many of these companies use Talent Manager as a way of sourcing freelancers and provide a link to join their network. Others use a similar web database that is currently undergoing a change to a new website which I am keeping an eye on to update myself on. A lot of companies also have a head of talent or similar. These people are usually responsible for holding a network of freelancers across all roles from which they can provide their productions with crew. Many of them will state they use one of the above systems but I took it upon myself to find out their email address to send them my CV directly. In this way I found several PMs and Heads of Talent who all got back to me in some way or another saying thanks, we’ll keep you on record, and have you added yourself to our database.

Wednesday

Today I was told that my contract won’t be extended for budget reasons. A shame but it’s happened before and I was almost expecting it. I had a nice chat with the production manager who said he will pass my name around and keep me on record – there is hope that the programme will run again next year and I will be on their list to contact.

Due to looking for a new job it is time to update my CV, not a lot to add but always best to get it right up to date before passing it around. I replaced the old version available from my website but decided not to spend the night working on updating the site itself as it is less important and I could be there for hours. I need sleep more.

Thursday

This morning I had a good chat with one of the lead editors about my decisions. I’d worked with him before and on this project he had used me well for shot replacements and such to the extent where I cut a few shots to fill a hole and they made it into the final cut. He reassured me that a decision I had made before starting had been a good one despite it meaning my work outlook is now less secure. I started applying for jobs in earnest, mostly emailing contacts I already have and finding more to email speculatively using the above methods.

Friday

I’ve received a few replies from people I haven’t contacted before, sadly they were all along the lines of sorry we don’t have anything but we’ll keep you on file. In better news it means that I have found the right people at their respective companies and that I now have them as contacts for the future. It’s quite an anxious time constantly checking my phone for responses that seem all too infrequent but I am enjoying how much I can do just from my phone. Technology these days eh?
Everyone finished early to have a few drinks on production. I chatted to a couple of people but found myself unable to talk freely to most of the team as I hadn’t interacted with them before now. One of the downsides to joining a project part way through and only for a short time is you don’t feel such a part of the team. An inevitable shame.

My Week in TV WC 03/10/16

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Oct 152016
 

I thought it might be fun to start a weekly blog about working in TV. Whilst I can’t promise it will be up to date hopefully it might make me blog a little more… Lets see.

Monday

Today was just a simple nose to the grind kind of day. Currently I am working on 24 Hours in A&E for the Garden Productions on a 5 week contract. My job is to trawl through all the rig footage looking for nonspecific GVs to be used as cover, transition, or punctuation shots. It is a little like scrolling through days of CCTV looking for nothing much rather than actual events.

Tuesday

Same as Monday really. There is another guy doing the same as me who worked on previous series’. He is an interesting person to talk to, not least because of his spanish origins but also his inquisitive nature, and we have a lot of conversations bourne of the content we are working on. I also started to panic a little at Wednesday’s schedule.

Wednesday

Today I was on a half work day as I had agreed to go back to my school for a careers evening and give advice to students thinking about getting into TV. Before I left London I met a former colleague for lunch and a catch up. Her job is more managerial but still in TV. She had some interesting thoughts on how she can improve the way her team works but mostly we reminisced and talked of festivals and family.

On the train to Leicester I gathered my thoughts and notes to create a single reference page in a notebook to aid me at the careers evening. I arrived early to check out my old media department and discovered it has gone from good to amazing. When I was about 14 I was shown the single ‘edit suite’ at our school which was filled with the normal crap you would find in an old BBC CTA along with a couple of knackered PowerMac G4s running Final Cut Pro – there I fell in love with the idea of editing. Here I could be technical and creative, the latter of which had mostly evaded me due to an inability to draw and only a modicum of musical ability. When I visited today I was amazed to find they now had 2 (much tidier) suites, each with 4 Final Cut Pro machines also running Adobe Creative Suite as well as two teachers and two classrooms (when I had only one of each) both with numerous more computers all running Adobe Creative Suite. The standard of work had always been extremely high but now the volume of excellence is immense. I am so pleased to see this especially as I had been worried about its future as the original head of department, whose personal project the media school had been, retired as I left.

The careers evening took place in the sports hall where I had a small desk in the corner of a room that was full of big displays and numerous professionals from all walks of life. As mentioned before I had been a little apprehensive both because most alumni of my school are in banking, law, medicine, the forces or other similar professions and I felt a little small in comparison, and also because I wasn’t all too sure what I was going to say. I ended up with a queue of students and parents, many of whom I’m sure I didn’t get the chance to speak to but those I did seemed very happy with what I had to say. Most of my notes were disregarded as I just didn’t have the time to get through it all and I ended up having to talk at such a rate of knots I fear most of my words were forgotten shortly after I said them.

But I think I did a good job of giving them advice. My reason for being there was to do better than I had received. When I was doing my GCSEs we had a careers guy come round for one to one sessions who was useless to me. I had by this time set my heart on editing and when I told him he looked thoughtful and said “Tricky one that. Very difficult industry to get into. My advice would be think of a backup plan in case it doesn’t work out.” His advice sucked. I like to think I did better. I felt pretty awesome about it all afterwards but also pretty knackered.

Thursday

Thursday was basically the same as the beginning of week but for the fact that in the morning I picked up a pen and tablet to play with – all editors like a new toy. Mine was something I had considered before plenty of times but never felt the need to commit. Earlier last week I had been feeling a little ache in my hand from all the scrolling and decided it was high time to invest. I’m quite pleased with it. Now all I need is a carry case to keep it nice and shiny.

Friday

Friday was no different. Still using the pen and tablet. On a bit of a comedown so went straight home after work – odd for a Friday.

Awesome People

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Oct 222015
 

Today is my last ever shift with my team mate at The Farm. For two years Ally and I have been working together entertaining each other at work whilst also being the ‘Dreem Teem’ who are, if I do say so myself, awesome at our job.

The Dreem Teem

Toby & Ally, the Dreem Teem

We have become great friends, always making each other laugh, always trying to find new ways to have fun, always able to work together to get through a massive stack of work, fix an enormous and difficult issue, or just lark about when there is little work on. We’ve laughed so hard we’ve cried, we’ve stressed so hard we’ve cried, we’ve had days where we look at each other come handover time and said “pub?” both for celebration and for commiseration purposes. In short, the reason why I have loved my job so much is almost entirely down to our friendship. No matter how enjoyable or depressing the work you do is if you have friendships with those you work with you will enjoy your work so much more.

She isn’t the only one either; there are plenty of people with whom I work who are great fun to be around – many of my good friends are people I have worked with, forging great relationships through our shared experience of hellish clients, fantastic programmes, and days with too much to do, not enough machines to do it on. I look forward to creating more great friendships as I embark on a freelance career working closer with productions to produce fantastic programming – who knows, one day I may have the pleasure of working with you!

So here’s to the awesome people of TV! Long may you continue to perpetuate awesomeness via the medium of video!

All Coming Up Millhouse

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Sep 172015
 

I did it! I have a new job! And you know that bit I wrote in my last blog about only going for the right project? Well – wait, I’m getting ahead of myself.

So about that domino analogy I’d been using since about January this year. I am pleased (and mildly astonished) to announce that it worked! I came to a decision a couple of weekends ago to stop hanging around and to push that last domino. I had been waiting on the possibility of some financial help, just to keep me going in case I didn’t get enough work to keep me going over the winter, but then something in me just clicked and I decided I could wait no longer – I would just have to hope for a long contract. I sent out my CV to a number of people whose details I’d been given by an assistant who is just getting his first editing gigs, and also to a few people I know and a few I don’t. Within a few days I had a ‘chat’ booked (it’s never just a chat but they never call it an interview either) and within 2 weeks I had a new job. I hate to sound like the privileged person I am but it all seemed too easy. As with my first job I guess there was a degree of luck in the timing but I also look back and realise that I’ve been placing dominos a lot longer than I thought; in that all my previous experience makes me a great person for this job.

And in terms of the right project to start me off in the world of freelance this couldn’t really be any better. I will be assisting on the next series of 999: What’s Your Emergency for Blast Films, a company with a whole swathe of brilliant documentaries that I love and on a series that will keep me busy until spring next year. To say I am excited about this job is a bit of a misnomer – every so often I get a twinge of joy just thinking about it. I know it’s going to be a lot of hard work, many long hours – it will probably get stressful at times, but I also know that as well as being a great project to work on it is also the last major step before becoming a full editor. Of course that is still a while off but the assistant I spoke to for advice has gone from his first assisting job to editing in 3 years. This is just the beginning of the next stage in my career. I almost can’t wait, although one of the things that has been especially pleasing about this new job is the amount of time between being offered the job and the start date. It meant that I had plenty of time to tell everyone – specifically my boss.

I tweeted the other day that one of the hardest things for me was breaking the news to my boss. I am quite an experienced and, I like to think, valued member of the team in which I work. I know and they know that anything they can throw at me I can probably handle, but I also know that for various reasons my boss is on the lookout for experienced edit assistants (apply now!) and to lose me now wouldn’t be great news. So when I was told that my start date would be over a month away I was really pleased – I could give advance warning of my notice giving them more time to find my replacement. But something that has been even more gratifying is how everyone at work has responded. Pretty much everyone who has spoken to me about it has said that they are sad that I am leaving and yet really pleased for me as they can see it is a great opportunity. My boss’s actual words were “well fuck you very much but I’m happy for you; it’s a great job.” I left my meeting with her feeling on top of the world and it’s a feeling that has stayed with me for a while.

Often when change happens it affects more than just one thing. In addition to the adventure a new job has to offer I also have a new girlfriend. I won’t bore you with the sad act, “I’ve been single for years”, story of a lonely guy, just suffice to say I am looking forward to learning more about her and about me and sharing my time with someone else. Going out with her was something I have also working on for a little while and to succeed in both endeavours has been a real blessing. I honestly don’t know how I have managed it.

Okay, enough of the smugness. I’ll shut up until I have something more interesting to say. Probably around the 23rd-26th October when I finish at the Farm and start at Blast!

Looking For A New Job

 About Toby  Comments Off on Looking For A New Job
Aug 142015
 

Apparently I’m looking for a new job, but for some reason it doesn’t feel like it. It’s not always on my mind, I don’t spend hours each day trawling the relevant websites and listings, and I haven’t sent out my CV once. In short I’m not being particularly active about it. But I’m definitely doing it.

A little background for you: I am an edit assistant at a large post house in Soho working on a variety of projects as a cog in the machine. My aim is to become an offline editor on factual and documentary programmes by way of gaining freelance assistant editor work and ‘getting noticed’ that way. I’m very experienced in the data processing, technical, troubleshooting side of post production and I’d like to improve my creative storytelling side, but I’m not in a rush. I like my current job; I love the people I work with, enjoy the projects I work on, like the people I work for and I have a fairly good wage, so there’s nothing pushing me to leave unlike many of my friends who have taken that leap. Because of that I’ve decided to take my time, not be rushed, and therefore minimise the risks. People I’ve met know my domino analogy: I’m piece by piece setting up dominoes – fixing up my website for a start, learning things, making contacts – so that when the time is right I should be able to push the first domino and everything will just fall into place. A lovely fantasy I guess but it’s something to work towards.

What I do need to be wary of is that it doesn’t become an excuse for being slow. I know I need to move on in order to progress, I guess I just have a fear of change, a fear of failure (not finding enough work to be financially viable), and a fear of getting stuck doing something I don’t like. I am not looking to be doing the same job as now but on a freelance basis – it isn’t all about the money. I want to be doing something different; I want to be working more on a specific programme than on many, making sync pulls, groups, basic assemblies and so on, learning the craft of documentary storytelling so I can go on to help create programmes such as 24 Hours in A&E, the Educating… series, and Attenborough-esque documentaries.

Whilst literally finishing that last sentence I got a message asking if I was free for an edit next Monday! An ex colleague had recommended me! Sadly I’m busy, but the thought of it put butterflies in my stomach and made me feel excited. I think that is the feeling I am waiting for. When I get that again and am able to say yes, even for an assistant role, then I will feel like this is actually happening. But this just reiterates my point; I am only going to move for the right job, assisting on a single programme, preferably of the factual or documentary variety. Otherwise moving jobs at this stage is largely pointless.

I’ve had this feeling before; when I received my A level results and went to Uni it didn’t really hit me until the spring when I was walking across campus and I looked around me at all the other students going to their lectures as I went to one of mine – suddenly I smiled and felt a warmth of happiness flow over me, when I got my first job in TV for Maverick TV I wasn’t excited about it until I was already there, when I moved to London it took a while for me to click that I had made it to ‘The Big Smoke’, but in hindsight all of these things were big steps that I felt really good about, just maybe not when I thought I would. I guess i’m just a bit emotionally delayed.