BURBANK, CA - AlphaDogs Post celebrated the 12th Annual Pre-NAB Editors' Lounge with a panel discussion on the latest trends in post production and what to expect at this year's NAB in Las Vegas. Topics ranged from editing systems to High Dynamic Range, 4K and how to stay healthy and fit in a demanding profession that requires most of your time be spent behind a computer. Moderated by journalist, Debra Kaufman, panelists included: Zack Arnold (editor and founder, Fitness In Post), Terence Curren (editor/colorist and founder, AlphaDogs Post), Carsten Kurpanek (editor), Bernie Laramie (producer), and Mark Raudonis (SVP of Post Production, Bunim/Murray Productions).
The evening began with a snapshot of where the industry stands regarding NLE systems. While it was agreed that Avid still primarily rules Hollywood, Adobe's Premiere Pro has become a solid contender with Creative Cloud users estimated to hit 6 million by the end of 2015. Remote editing via the cloud is becoming more of a reality, but is still far from becoming the industry standard. While all the panelists have worked remotely at one time or another, there were mixed opinions on how this will impact the future of film and television editor's careers.
The reckless battle between television manufacturers continues to show little regard for the industry with no standards currently being enforced. A petition is circulating via the Internet to try and stop motion interpolation from being the default setting on new televisions with the goal of keeping content in its original form as it was meant to be seen. https://www.change.org/p/hdtv-manufacturers-please-stop-making-smooth-motion-the-default-setting-on-all-hdtvs
High Dynamic Range may however, prove to be a positive game changer with newly manufactured televisions since this technology is aimed at improving picture quality rather than changing it, as is the case with motion interpolation.
Virtual reality has also made a comeback from when it was first introduced in the 1980's, but not likely going to replace film or television. It was agreed that this medium is good for live events, medical, scientific and real estate media, but not as an effective tool for storytelling as there are too many distracting variables within the virtual reality world.
The later part of the evening focused on the personal side of editing and in taking care of the most important tool an editor owns-his or her own self. While the landscape of breaking into the business has changed somewhat since the "Black Swan" class action lawsuit that has driven many companies to stop offering non-paid internships for fear of lawsuits, the basics remain the same. Be passionate about your work and the rest will follow. Learning to be a go-getter who doesn't carry around a sense of entitlement and who's willing to go the extra mile will propel editors further in the business than time spent in the chair only doing what is expected, while presuming they will get a promotion. The more opportunities one can create, the more likely they are to land a job. There are also alternatives to internships such as finding a part-time paid position in the industry, or by taking advantage of the Television Academy Foundation's internship program. http://www.emmys.com/internship The fear of not getting ahead in one's editing career can lead to accepting low-paying jobs or projects expecting too many hours in too little time. The panelists agreed that to avoid being taken advantage of, an editor might need the strength to turn down a job or leave a bad situation.
Zack Arnold offered invaluable advice and ways to stay healthy while working in challenging environments with his Fitness In Post program. Working in a sedentary environment, eating poorly and not being active is a lethal combination and can be as deadly as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day.
Scientific research has shown that being sedentary for 6 to 8 hours a day are shortening people's telomeres (aka, genes) thus leading to chronic disease, premature aging and shorter lifespans. It is possible to stay fit and healthy in the post-production and entertainment business by making a few simple changes. Building a gym in your edit suite, investing in a standing desk, doing stretch breaks every 45 minutes and cooking your own lunch instead of going out to eat were just a few of the suggestions on how to improve your work environment and stay improve your health. Beyond the obvious benefit of living longer, staying in shape helps optimize work performance, thus accelerating the career path of the film and television editor.
The evening wrapped with a Q&A session with questions taken from the live audience and from the live stream via Twitter. Topics included whether it's possible to make the move from reality to feature editing and how editors might help assistants stand up to executives who push for unpaid overtime by playing the role of senior advocate.