Editor vs Director

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GalinMcMahon

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Editor vs Director

PostTue Sep 29, 2020 6:04 pm

Looking for some general editing advice. This pertains to unpaid editing gigs, not to a professional situation.

I've done a couple projects recently as an editor where I asked the director from the get-go what he is looking for in terms of pacing, look, etc. Both times I've gotten "Just go with what you think." So no creative input. Fine. I'll do what I think looks good. Keep in mind that these are both really green directors and the footage is just okay at best. I've had to be super creative just to get it to look somewhat passable, never mind doing what I think should be done.

Both times the directors have come back, after the edit, and made the requests that I asked for on day 1. "I would like it to present more like a play" or "Why not use this shot (which I didn't use because it was junk" or "I want to go for a Parks and Rec look." Again, AFTER the edit.

I don't want to get a rep as a difficult editor but I also don't want to waste time with these novice shoots re-doing all of my work. What is a safe middle ground? Should I stand my ground as an unpaid editor and say that this is my product? Should I bend over and put my name on an inferior product to appease lower level filmmakers in the hopes that they will get better and bring me on board a better project? What do I dooooo????
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Marc Wielage

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Re: Editor vs Director

PostSun Oct 04, 2020 10:57 pm

GalinMcMahon wrote:I don't want to get a rep as a difficult editor but I also don't want to waste time with these novice shoots re-doing all of my work. What is a safe middle ground? Should I stand my ground as an unpaid editor and say that this is my product? Should I bend over and put my name on an inferior product to appease lower level filmmakers in the hopes that they will get better and bring me on board a better project? What do I dooooo????

Do 1 minute or 1 scene as a "sample," and ask for specifics. Is the pacing right? Are the angles the right choices? Did I choose the right takes? Do you need to emphasize one thing over the other? Is the tone of the piece correct? That way, it's just 1 minute (or one scene) and it would suck your time away.

If the scene works, you can use it in the final. If it doesn't, then it's only one day's work and you can make a decision whether to move on or to stay and adjust. Sadly, it's true that there are directors who "don't know what they like until they see it."
marc wielage, csi • VP/color & workflow • chroma | hollywood
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GalinMcMahon

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  • Joined: Sun Sep 29, 2019 10:14 pm
  • Real Name: Galin McMahon

Re: Editor vs Director

PostThu Oct 29, 2020 6:06 pm

Good idea! Thanks for the advice.
Windows 10
i7+-8750 @2.20GHz
32GB optane RAM
8GB Geforce 1070
500GB NvME main - 1TB Evo 860 SSD scratch
Resolve 16 Studio

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