Media Production Mentoring

Free online film school designed with beginning filmmakers in mind.


Am I An Editor?

There has been some discussion over on Studio Daily about issues surrounding the accessibility of editing software to the masses and the discrepancy between professional editors and kids who edit. Very interesting stuff. And a little disconcerting.

I have never done an "Offline Edit" before, and don't know if I ever will. With digital technology moving the way it is, by the time I get into big productions, that whole process may be a thing of the past. Thus, I've never done an "Online" either. No EDLs for me, though I understand the concept.

While I label my tapes, bins, folders, clips, and whatnot, I rarely shoot from a fully developed script, and so have no number systems such as "12A-CU" or anything of that nature to utilize. Also, my log and capture workflow tends to be rather linear--capture the tape, cut it up in a timeline, name the subclips, convert to individual clips to work with--so I have abandoned much of the "old way" of logging.

Is that bad?

It may be if I worked with more editors, other professionals with their systems in place, or ever needed to send an EDL to someone. But since I work on most of my projects alone (true, I'll never become a "big dog" like that), and I pass on my labeling practices to my mentees, I have yet to run into a problem with my labeling system.

So, would I be a great hire for a studio or post house?

Probably not. At least, not at the moment.

But, as many people have noted in the comments that the way to learn these steps is to work in a post house and learn it on the job. So, since I'm a fast learner, and have no problems implementing the workflows of others, I could quickly and easily be "Onlining" relatively quickly.

So, am I an editor, or just a slowly aging "FCP Kid"?

Since I started with Premiere and only switched to Final Cut when I worked my poor $700 editing machine into the ground in college, I'm definitely not just a "Final Cut Kid". But I am certainly still learning a ton about editing every day on the job.

On the other hand, I plan to keep that up for the rest of my life. I will never know it all.

So, yes, I am an editor: It's how I make my living, it's a passion of mine, I love helping others learn this art, and I'm good at it.

I still have a lot to learn, and I am a long way from mastering many aspects of it, but hopefully that is the attitude of all professionals. May I never reach a place where I feel like I "have arrived" and can stop learning. There is always room for improvement.

...or maybe I'm just too much of a "young editor" to have reached that point.


~Luke Holzmann
Your Media Production Mentor


Shane Ross said...

Hey Luke...found your blog!

You are an editor. I guess what Scott and I and others are trying to make is that when it comes to broadcast work, or other domain that requires strict standards, many of "you" (sorry) aren't prepared for what is required. Now you might realize that you aren't, but there are many people who edit a few short films, cut together family video or movie footage they ripped from DVD, or they might even have done a couple of event videos and they are then approached to edit a commercial for a local company, or asked to edit something that will air on TV. This editor is not prepared for this at all, for they don't have the basic skill set and knowledge required to deliver a broadcast master.

I edit has been a LONG time since I worked on a film. So to dump me into a feature film where the negative will be cut would put me in WAY over my head...I don't know the second thing about cutting film (I know a little, so I feel I have the first thing down).

SO really, it is knowing your limits. Knowing that you don't have the knowledge required to do a certain task, and not mis-representing the fact that you do have that skill set.

There are many degrees of editors.

Luke Holzmann said...


Thanks so much for commenting! I really look up to you and am honored you "stopped by" [smile].

You guys are absolutely right. Great point about film as well. There is so much to learn/know/stay on top of that any time you step into a new field (or even project, sometimes) there is a learning curve.

I couldn't have said it better: "It is knowing your limits... and not mis-representing the fact that you do have that skill set." Absolutely.

Thanks again for the thought-provoking insights.