Getting back into video editing

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alex matson
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Getting back into video editing

Post by alex matson » Fri Feb 08, 2008 12:47 pm

From 1990 to 97, I worked as a video editor for a large photo retail business. I studied video in 1984 in school. Back then I was working with 1/2" and Hi8 tape - obviously times have changed. Lately I've been thinking about seeking employment in the field again. It seems to me there are some parallels to audio work. There are occasional ads in Craigslist for people seeking employees or interns. There are schools that offer classes in multimedia. And of course I could upgrade my Mac, get Final Cut Pro and a camera and learn by doing.

Here's a sample CL ad:
Video Professional and Editor
Internship Possibility
20-30 hours/week

An educational media company seeks a video professional or intern (20-30 hours/week) to help produce a series of educational, commercial, and web-based videos. We need an individual who can be involved in all aspects of production. You should have experience with both production (lighting, sound, and camera work), and with post-production (Final Cut Pro). Knowledge of blue-screen work will also be helpful.

The job will be varied and demanding. On Monday you will be setting lights and filming a client at a mental hospital. On Tuesday you will be doing grunt work, parsing tape. On Wednesday, you will be color correcting and sweetening the sound track on an African film.
In short, we are seeking a flexible generalist who has both technical expertise and a strong aesthetic sense. The position will require occasional travel around the country.

We are a small company with reliable funding and enormous growth potential Salary will be negotiable and based on experience. We will begin interviewing immediately.
* * *

My questions:

What do you think of the idea of paying for an hour of someone's time who owns one of these businesses to get advice on what they would recommend as far as educating myself?

I'm thinking about getting a refurbed Mac Pro and Final Cut Express - about $2500 total. I'm guessing that even with a camera, there will be all sorts of peripheral gear to buy before I'd be ready to go...which makes me want to find a forum or other source for learning about this. Anyone have a suggestion?

Lynda.com has a program where for $25/mo you can access a variety of educational materials about virtually any computer program. Anyone ever use this site?

Thanks!

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Post by mangoose » Fri Feb 08, 2008 2:35 pm

i work 30 hours a week as a video editor for a multimedia company. the parallels to music are there, but it really depends on the software that your employer is into. Final Cut and Adobe Premiere are fairly similar, but do require a little more learning coming from a DAW than say, Sony Vegas.

You don't need a super fast new mac pro to do video editing either btw. Final cut express will work great on a macbook even, or an old g5 power mac. But yes, you will learn the most by simply getting your hands dirty with personal projects. It's not all that hard really once you get the hang of it. the toughest part of using a computer to make music or videos is the conceptualization and the need to "get off yer butt and do shit."

etc...

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ballpein
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Post by ballpein » Fri Feb 08, 2008 4:51 pm

beware those craigslist ads. I worked as a freelance videographer and editor for about 10 years, up until around 2006. Internships are great if you're going to be working for a pro who will teach you something, but someone who is looking for one person to "set lights, shoot, edit, color correct, etc." a) is not a pro and b) has absolutely no respect for the skills involved in those various trades. I'll bet you a case of beer that the poster of that ad is some schlock who knocks out third rate corporate videos and is just out to exploit film school grads for cheap labour. There are no shortage of those types of people in the industry these days. You won't learn anything from them, you won't be respected, and you won't be working on satisfying projects.

There is plenty of money in video production - especially in corporate / educational video - so anybody looking for an "intern" really wants an indentured slave. I would refuse to intern for any production company unless they're producing docs or low budget indie stuff you think is of artistic value; or there is a lead editor / post producer you think you stand to learn a lot from.

On the other hand, if you're quick at learning software, you can BS your way into one of those positions fairly easily, with no worries that the person who hires you is going to realize you don't know what you're talking about - because neither does he.

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I'm Painting Again
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Post by I'm Painting Again » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:47 am

ballpein wrote:beware those craigslist ads. I worked as a freelance videographer and editor for about 10 years, up until around 2006. Internships are great if you're going to be working for a pro who will teach you something, but someone who is looking for one person to "set lights, shoot, edit, color correct, etc." a) is not a pro and b) has absolutely no respect for the skills involved in those various trades.
It is true that not working as an apprentice isn't ideal..but if you are motivated and lucky enough to land a job where you actually have to produce decent work the chances of learning tons are very good..it's not rocket science..

and some of the best jobs in the industry involve one guy doing everything..like in local, state and federal government video production and even in freelance shoot-everything self employed type situations..
Last edited by I'm Painting Again on Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:54 am, edited 1 time in total.

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I'm Painting Again
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Re: Getting back into video editing

Post by I'm Painting Again » Sat Feb 16, 2008 12:52 am

alex matson wrote:
My questions:

What do you think of the idea of paying for an hour of someone's time who owns one of these businesses to get advice on what they would recommend as far as educating myself?

I'm thinking about getting a refurbed Mac Pro and Final Cut Express - about $2500 total. I'm guessing that even with a camera, there will be all sorts of peripheral gear to buy before I'd be ready to go...which makes me want to find a forum or other source for learning about this. Anyone have a suggestion?

Lynda.com has a program where for $25/mo you can access a variety of educational materials about virtually any computer program. Anyone ever use this site?

Thanks!
the only way to learn is to do it..a lot..

this place look like they are hoping they can find someone to produce results by trying out "interns"..so if you can't produce results fast they are probably going to just hire you for the odd job and treat you as you are worth..little..

no skills = no cash

skills = cash money & possibly a fun creative job with good people..

it's up to you to check it out, learn skills, and all of the work it takes to make it in a job like that..

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Post by Johnny B » Mon Feb 18, 2008 8:50 am

If you can run a DAW, you can run video editing software. What's more important is that you have editing skills. If you had the skills on the older equipment, you can transfer them to the new way of doing things. Since you have experience video editing already and in using DAW software, you should understand the underlying principles of both and it shouldn't take you long to get up to speed.

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