Mon, 14 December 2015
When asked what my secret weapon to being a successful editor is, the answer might surprise you: It's yoga.
As editors we are tasked with the responsibility of not only being good at our craft but also collaborating with producers and directors in a professional, positive and energetic manner, no matter what creative challenges are thrown our way. Psychologically managing egos and larger-than-life personalities is often more than half our job!
In this episode I have a conversation with Ally Hamilton, an author and Santa Monica-based yoga instructor who streams online yoga classes all over the world. Our conversation is about how yoga can help anyone develop more creative focus and manage difficult situations and personalities, in our out of the edit suite.
Without yoga as a staple activity in my life I would not be able to survive the pressures of being an editor every day. You'll be surprised to find it's much easier to get the physical and mental benefits of yoga than you may think. No pretzel stretches necessary. Promise.
Our show sponsors:
- My secret weapon to a successful career
- Ally’s new book: Open Randomly
- Ally’s background on how she opened her own yoga studio and started streaming yoga videos
- Ally’s big social media discovery
- How yoga helped Ally through her own life crises
- How Ally’s website became a successful blog with over 200,000 readers
- Why Ally decided to write a book and where her ideas came from
- The community that is formed in the virtual world (Facebook, Twitter, Email, etc)
- Yoga as a tool for self-improvement, enlightenment and BETTER EDITING
- “How you do anything is how you do everything”
- Ask: what is the relationship you have with yourself?
- When you strengthen your “inner-cheerleader” on your mat, you strengthen that same voice in your life
- If you are miserable, you will take your misery with you wherever you go, whether in your edit suite or a vacation in Bali
- Figure out how to leave a situation where you are being mistreated
- Tune in and listen to what your body needs! You only get one!
- Do you want to let the negativity (people mistreat me, my producer is rude, bad things always happen to me) rule your life or do you want to begin to create a new perspective rooted in positivity, compassion and forgiveness? Yoga can help.
- How yoga can help you hone your focus on what you’re doing and be more present with your producers and directors
- How to create positive energy in your edit suite
- How to listen to your body and emotions to create more positive reactions to adversity
- Practicing yoga will help you get rid of that internal critic. We have enough people doing that to us, we don’t need to do it to ourselves!
- Yoga is life on your mat
- Yoga exercises your biceps, your core, AND your emotional well-being
- Yogis Anonymous is available worldwide for people at all levels of their practice!
- Start your yoga practice with only five minutes of stretching!
Ally Hamilton is a Santa Monica-based yoga teacher, writer and life coach, who streams online yoga classes all over the world. She's the co-creator of YogisAnonymous.com, which has been featured in The New York Times, Yoga Journal, Self Magazine, Shape Magazine and The Wall Street Journal. She's a regular contributor for The Huffington Post, a wellness expert at mindbodygreen, and writes an almost-daily blog at http://blog.yogisanonymous.com. She's the mama of two amazing kids and one energetic Labradoodle. She’s very excited about her first book, “Open Randomly: Fortune Cookies for the Soul”, now available on Amazon.com, and her next book, “Yoga’s Healing Power: Looking Inward for Change, Growth and Peace” due from Llewellyn Worldwide in 2016.
Wed, 9 December 2015
Film school or no film school is a hotly debated topic in the world of filmmaking and a topic I discuss at length in this episode with Eddie Hamilton, editor of such Hollywood tentpole films as Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, X-Men First Class, Kingsman: The Secret Service and Kickass. After working his way up from a runner to editor in only 6 months at a post production facility specializing in sports journalism, he spent the next twenty years of his career working on independent films until his big break when he became an "overnight success."
Eddie is incredibly passionate about the work that he does. In this episode we talk about how Eddie keeps his mind and body sharp. We cover a wide range of topics including his path to success, why film school may not be the best option, his habits and routines as well as how working in the US is different than working overseas. See below for more information.
Our show sponsors:
- Eddie on his “overnight” success story
- Eddie’s background and how his love of film began at seven-years-old
- How to recover from rejection
- His first job in post and how he moved up from a runner to editor in only six months!
- His big break: working with Matthew Vaughn
- Editing with VHS recorders
- The benefits of a background in film theory
- Is grad school worth the time and money?
- A day in the life of Eddie Hamilton
- His focus on diet and exercise while working
- The sacrifices necessary to succeed in this industry
- His process for cutting scenes
- The meals and snacks he chooses throughout the day...chocolate included
- How easy it can be to get some exercise into your day -- you don’t need to do it all!
- Good eating habits at work
- Standing vs. sitting
- How what you eat can affect your work for the day
- “To be the best you have to be in good physical shape and good mental shape”
- The differences between working in the US versus other countries
- If you want to succeed more than everyone else, you will succeed!
Mon, 30 November 2015
Walter Murch is a legend in the film editing world, having edited such recent films as Tomorrowland, Cold Mountain, and The English Patient, as well as some of the most historic and legendary films of all time including Apocalypse Now and The Godfather III. He is also the author (or subject) of several of the most influential texts ever written on the art and science of film editing including 'In the Blink of an Eye,' 'The Conversations,' and my personal favorite editing book of all time, 'Behind the Seen.'
To put it simply, without Walter Murch there would be no Fitness In Post. It was a single picture of Walter standing at his workstation that inspired my personal development journey almost ten years ago. In this episode we discuss a wide range of topics about how he has maintained his health and longevity and survived over 5 decades in the film industry.
You can't survive 50 years in post-production working on some of the biggest films of all time without knowing how to take care of yourself, and Walter talks all about his daily routines, how he prepares for upcoming projects, and many other topics listed below.
This is episode is a MUST LISTEN for anyone hoping to have a long-lasting and successful career as an editor.
Our show sponsors:
- My first encounter with Walter and the impact his books had on my career
- Walter’s approach to health and wellness while working long hours
- Walter’s process for getting his brain and body ready for the next job
- The importance of capturing ideas (and how to capture them)
- How timing the script can help you really inhabit a story
- Walk as much as possible!
- The history of Walter's standing workstation
- The science behind standing and moving during your day
- How taking a lunch break is actually MORE productive
- Tools you can use to help with the ergonomics of standing
- The proper food to fuel your body
- The best way to approach sleep
- “The CIA uses sleep deprivation as torture. Let’s not torture ourselves.”
- How the industry has changed in the last forty years--from film to digital
- What it means to be an editor in today’s world with today’s technology
- The differences between working in documentary versus scripted
- Walter’s thoughts on being “below the line”
- Rebounding from working a long job, aka recovering from “hiatus flu”
Essential tools for a standing workstation:
Tue, 24 November 2015
Making the transition from assistant to editor is never an easy one. There isn't a roadmap that everyone can follow, everyone's path is different. In today's episode I chat with Minority Report editor Tyler Cook about the steps we believe are important for assistants to follow if they want to sit in the editor's chair someday. This conversation applies to scripted, documentary, reality, marketing, you name it. This is not about technology, it's about what it takes to get noticed.
Although he’s relatively young, Tyler's success did not happen overnight. Tyler worked hard as a college student at the North Carolina School of the Arts, a small conservatory for the arts at the University of North Carolina, then transitioned to assisting on indie features and eventually made his way to scripted television.
I spoke with Tyler about his career path and how he was able to move through the ranks of intern, assistant editor and editor so quickly. Not only does he talk about essential skills an assistant editor needs to make it as an editor, but also how important it is to have a positive work ethic.
Our show sponsor:
- Tyler’s background and starting as an assistant editor on indie features
- Essentials skills and ways to demonstrate your passion and dedication
- Tyler’s career trajectory and how he was bumped up on Vampire Diaries
- No excuses! Work hard and do your job well
- How you can demonstrate your passion for the work in your own way
- Take care of the small stuff
- Ask lots of questions and get clarification when you don’t understand something
- You need to pay attention when doing dailies...and everything else! Pay attention to details!
- Storytelling through your sound work
- How vital sound work can be for those watching your cut
- Let your intentions be known, but make sure you do the job you are hired to do
- Do the extra work and go the extra mile to demonstrate your skills and dedication
- Take initiative -- ask your editor if you can shadow him/her (once you’re done with your work)
- How to conduct yourself in the room with directors and producers
- How editors can help train their assistants in a productive and safe way
- Taking care of yourself can make all the difference when you’re trying to make it to the next level
Mon, 19 October 2015
In this episode I do a deep dive with my assistant Natalie Boschan into every vital step of our editorial workflow at Empire from day one until delivery of a locked episode. We discuss in detail the systems we've developed to become a more efficient and productive team over the years. Although we use Avid at Empire, the organizational systems and templates we've created can be applied to any NLE workflow in scripted, reality, documentary, or otherwise.
Our show sponsor:
Topics of Conversation:
- How we set up our projects before every new episode
- How to spend more of your time being creative
- The foundation of being efficient - media management and organization!
- Why folder structure in your NLE is important
- How to eliminate errors like working on the wrong sequence, version etc.
- Why you should build an elements project
- Ritualizing behaviors and time management
- Google Drive and why it’s so easy to use in a post workflow, especially if you want to go paperless
- How Trello can REVOLUTIONIZE your workflow for scripted and documentary
- Eliminating human error with checklists in Trello
- How making templates can eliminate “brain drain” and “time sucks”
- Mistakes happen--make sure you don’t make the same mistake twice!
- Build the checklist that works for you
- Organizing email with Trello
- How being organized and efficient will help you get more jobs!
Sun, 4 October 2015
Jeff Greenberg is a master trainer that travels worldwide teaching editors how to become NLE ninjas and he drops knowledge bombs like nobody's business. He is an author, educator, consultant, and Zen film geek. If you are not familiar with Jeff's work, you need to get familiar with him if you hope to become a top level post-production professional.
In today's episode we discuss how to train yourself to get into the creative zone when you need to as opposed to waiting for that moment to happen organically. We discuss the role of sleep, how to minimize outside distractions, how to organize your thoughts, and plenty of other ways to train yourself to focus when you need it the most.
I have also provided a bonus document that outlines five simple ways you can minimize distractions to maximize focus while on the job.
Our show sponsor:
Topics of Conversation:
- How Jeff and I met at Adobe Premiere Pro World Conference in 2014 and how meeting him has inspired me to continue building Fitness In Post
- Jeff's background working in post-production and how he's gained 50 pounds over the years because of living a more sedentary lifestyle
- The most common challenges for new editors and assistants and how they can be overcome
- My experience working as my own assistant editor without a mentor and the importance of having a mentor
- How the number one way to achieve your goals is to establish your "why"
- In this industry it is a badge of honor to see who can get the most done with the least amount of sleep and why this is an idiotic way to live your life
- How sleep deprivation destroyed my memory and ability to complete simple tasks
- You are not a "night person" even though you may think so
- The basic supplements that neither Jeff nor I ever skip in the morning
- How to overcome inertia and build momentum with your health
- Using Evernote to manage information. Keep everything out of our brain so you make more space for creative thought.
- Using the GTD method to conserve brain energy and organize your life
- Using the Pomodoro technique to maximize creative energy throughout the day and get yourself in the zone on demand
- The black holes of e-mail and social media and how to manage e-mail newsletters
Sun, 27 September 2015
Going paperless in post-production is a task I assumed was impossible no less than a year ago. With the endless amount of script pages, notes, camera reports and the like, I assumed there was no way to rid my life of paper. In the last year, however, I have solved this dilemma and gone paperless. It's real, and it's fantastic.
In this episode I have a conversation with Asian Efficiency expert Zack Sexton about how to go paperless as well as how to manage documents with Evernote and Google Drive. Moreover we geek out on my favorite productivity tool on the planet Trello.
If you'd like to learn more about how I use these tools to save tons of precious time every day, I have written a helpful document to walk you through my daily use of Evernote, Google Drive, and Trello in a busy post-production environment.
Our show sponsor:
Topics of Conversation:
- Where to start when going paperless and how to come up with a system
- Using Evernote for scanning papers right into your phone and collecting it in one place
- My personal story of where I started with going paperless and how I got started
- How my assistant and I manage daily paperwork via Google Drive
- How I use Trello to manage all of my notes from directors and producers
- Why you shouldn't completely shun paper like I have
- How to manage projects in a collaborative environment with Trello and why e-mail is the worst task manager on the planet
- Managing project conversations with Slack
- How to stay focused on a specific project by using 'Mindsets' to filter information you don't need at a given time
- How to manage notifications to minimize distractions during work
- How all of these productivity secrets fit into the big picture of optimizing yourself for maximum creativity
Fri, 25 September 2015
The following is a reading of my blog post "How to Overcome Post-Production Burnout" located at www.fitnessinpost.com/burnoutrecovery.
Thank you for listening. Be well
Mon, 21 September 2015
Jim Read is a a highly sought after graphic designer and creative director. He works long hours and also has three children but somehow manages to fit competitive cycling into his already ridiculous schedule. Four years ago Jim lived the same sedentary lifestyle we all struggle to overcome; he was overweight, had bad eating habits, and incorporated little to no activity into his day. Then one Thanksgiving he realized that if something didn’t change in his life, in ten years he would be facing a terrible health crisis.
In this episode Jim and I talk about Jim's journey going from overweight and out of shape to putting his life back together, and then ultimately becoming a competitive cyclist.
Our show sponsor:
Topics of Conversation:
- How Jim manages to make time for THREE different jobs - working as a graphic designer, a father to three children and cycling
- Jim’s story of how he went from sitting behind his desk to spin classes at the YMCA to competitive cycling
- Jim’s simple solution to sticking with a diet and exercise program
- How generating momentum was one of the keys to Jim’s success
- Food addiction is a real problem. We discuss how to manage junk food cravings around the home and office
- Jim gives us some helpful digital tools for anyone who is serious about cycling
- We discuss how time management and efficiency helped Jim fit cycling into his busy schedule
- Sleep is also incredibly important! If you can’t recover with a good night’s rest, you can’t maintain this sort of lifestyle
- How to “gamify” the small tasks in your life so you can become more efficient at doing them
- Working with your limitations not against them
- Jim talks about the dark side of competing at this level--injuries, losing and it’s tough on the mind and body. Make sure you do this safely!
Sun, 13 September 2015
Kenn Bell is a filmmaking everyman: He has directed, edited, produced, been a director of photography, created his own shows....you name it, Ken has experience doing it. His crowning achievement is the immensely popular web series and website The Dog Files.
But our conversation today is not about filmmaking, it's about Ken's lifelong journey of yo-yo dieting and gaining, losing, gaining again, and often losing upwards of 75 to 100 pounds. We discuss the many things he did that didn't work, but more importantly we talk about the strategies he has used to keep the weight off on a more permanent basis, and how the quality of his life has changed drastically because of these changes.
If you want to end deprivation and crash diets and find lifelong changes that last (and that you enjoy), then Ken's story is for you.
Our Show Sponsor:
Topics of Conversation:
- Ken's background as a filmmaker and animal advocate
- How Ken will spend years on a single project, how that has affected his health, and why he decided it was time to focus on his health to be a better filmmaker
- Ken discovering the power of walking and how powerful it can be for losing weight
- How being overweight made it incredibly hard for Ken to shoot docs in the field and how it was a warning sign to make a change
- Ken discovering The 10-Day Detox Diet and deciding to eliminate sugar from his diet
- Ken's strategies for dealing with traveling and conventions
- Ken's experience detoxing from sugar and how it is akin to detoxing from heroine, but how after 5 days he felt like he could take over the world
- How just changing his cooking methods helped Ken effortlessly lose weight
- How Ken starting making 'lifestyle choices' rather than choosing 'diets'
- The specific things Ken did that DIDN'T work (e.g. Weight Watchers)
- Ken's recipe for his morning smoothie that helps him lose weight
- How making an investment in your health now is like a 401k
Ken's Website The Dog Files
Dr. Mark Hyman's 10-Day Detox Diet