There comes a time to not just embrace adulthood by paying your bills on time but to look the part. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with fashion. I have been through many embarrassing phases, but for the most part I’ve always return to jeans, t-shirt and sandals.
The wake up call
I woke up with the bright idea to take my passport photo. I looked in the mirror and thought I looked good enough. When I paid the newly trained Walgreens photo taker, I prayed the photo would be something to be proud of as I traveled the international boarders. When I opened my photo I was horrified at how gross my hair, make-up and for some reason how my neck came out. I couldn’t understand what was happening, is this my new reality? I use to take such great photos!
The next day I booked a hair appointment and bought a fashion book at my favorite store, anthropology.
Sick of jeans!
I’ve been wearing jeans everyday since I turned 25. Working in production, I have to move things around, which means bending down a lot. (The low waisted jeans was a horrible trend that I’m grateful phased out.) I’ve always dressed to work with a just in case I gotta bend down outfit, leaving me with limited options. One day getting ready for work I looked though my closet for a skirt and leggings.
Walking around the office I wasn’t sure if I was wearing the right outfit for my position. “What if my co workers sees me as incapable of being a boss became I’m dress like a girl.”
Alice Von Hildebrand writes the importance of femininity in the world in her book A man and woman: a divine invention. The world is in need of our heart in the work place. I don’t need to ignore my femininity in order to become successful.
With that in mind, I changed the way I was thinking about dressing at work. Love, style, life taught me I can dress like a woman, be comfortable and be modest all at the same time.
Alice Von Hildebrand says mystery makes a woman even more beautiful.
(More on that book later.)
Reaction to good fashion
Reading Love, Style, Life was fun, it made me feel cool and most of all possible I could be fashionable like a Parisian. The most liberating information was to find clothing that you look good in and not fall into fashion trends. I admit I was following a fashion trend that kept making me look fat in photos!
With my new empowers knowledge I went to the mall and bought some new clothes. I studied the photos of author Garance Doré make up, watched YouTube for how to’s.
Store people were complementing me, one cashier even said, “you look so well put together.” My fiancé took me out on a date the moment I changed out of my yoga pants and into my new cute outfit, haha, and my coworkers were noticed my efforts – and I work with men who notice nothing! “Hey you colored your hair.” -They all felt proud for noticing. Suddenly I was walking with confidence and a new found glory. I even had the confidence to talk in front of people at our staff meeting.
Its nice to put it effort in appearance, and to learn how to do so. For some girls, (like my sister Sarah) they always seems to look good, but for a woman of comfort like myself, it takes a bad passport photo to get my attention.
It’s fun to look good, now I think I’m ready for my new passport photo.
Here is my test shot after I read the chapter. “How to take a good photo.”
Its summer time and I haven’t blog in a few weeks. Life at work has been busy and this week I’ve been on vacation. I usually would take this opportunity to travel overseas but I am suffering from the student loan crises of my generation. Of course I am working hard to overcome but its requiring sacrifice that has left me discouraged. I ran away to central California for a small time out. The interesting thing is I’m learning a lot about life here. I’m on my own, renting a room and have too much free time that I found myself eating dinner at the local park. No one should ever stay in an apartment for too long. Too easy to lose your mind
The past few weeks I’ve been in a Netflix coma completing The Office. I have been a fan from the start, and nine years later watching the last season made me realize why I enjoyed it so much. I find it funny because I totally relate to adults trying to figure life out. Doubting their journey, doubting their decisions, fearing the unknown, staying with the familiar. The Office captures American Culture from the 2000’s perfectly. The recession, the dreams and reality of adulthood. I imagine the writers behind these shows struggling with the same things their characters did. Who knew it would end with such a profound thought. “It all seems so arbitrary, I applied for a job at this company because they were hiring I took a desk in the back because it was empty, but no matter how you get there or where you end up human beings have this miraculous gift to make that place home.” Cred, The Office.
Before my trip I was asking myself a question:
Is life random or is there a master design plan? My common sense brain says random but when I look back at my life, its as if it was designed. At those moment of feeling lost, I know I can trust in Him with my journey and when I’m 80 years old looking back, I can share my life story as a beautiful tail, and transform every challenge into the victory that changed my destiny.
As an editor by nature, I am learning its okay to not have everything figured out, some how the story always comes together by stepping back to reflect and paying attention to the small details.
There’s a lot of beautiful in ordinary things. – Pam, The Office
I’m on the verge of becoming a self help junkie. But fear not. I promised myself the next book I read will either be about production or a biography.
During the Christmas holidays I found myself lazy, fat and exhausted from the previous months of work, life and goals setting. I came across this book, You are a Badass by Jen Sincero. Such a shocking title for this little Christian girl, but this slap to the face title caught my attention.
This is one of those books that I’m not sure if I should share, because it can be a little new-agey, but Jen Sincero shared some amazing concepts on moving pass self doubt and walking in faith. I enjoyed the challandge of finding scriptures to go along with some principles. This book taught me how to put faith into action, and not just saying, “God is in control” but to see that God wants me to playing a role in creating my destiny, seeing things hope for, the evidences of things not see. (Heb 11:1)
Every chapter help me realize my thoughts where effecting my reality and letting go of false beliefs. Things I grew up believing that weren’t true, where still haunting me, I can never live in a house like that. I saw myself still as a child, I’m just a little Mexican girl, was effecting my work and confidence. The chapter on meditation reminded me of the scriptures,
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. (Psalms 19:14)
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is nodal, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable, if anything is excellent or praise worthy think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 4:8)
It also brought to light one of my largest fear, it encouraged me to thank my fears for trying to product me and to speak truth to it and encourage myself.
Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)
Quotes – Jen Sincero
Our greatest fears are the greatest waste of time
…it’s much scarier in your mind than it is in reality.
We’ve made fear being a habit.
It touched on making decisions, which for me I would wait things out.
Being so afraid that if they pick one thing, they’ll miss out on another, so they either choose to do nothing or try to do everything, which are both excellent ways to miss out on all of it. They basically decide to never decide because they don’t want to make the wrong decision…
Deciding is freedom. Indecision is torture.
Indecision is one of the most popular tricks for staying stuck within the boundaries of what’s safe and familiar.
I was encouraged to create a vision board, searching for what I really want in life was a bit exciting. As I was putting my board together everything seem possible.
Your beliefs hold the key to your financial success
Most of the time its not a lack of experience that holds us back but rather the lack of determination…
What you choose to focus on becomes your reality.
Yeah.. I’m done self doubting.
I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. (Philippians 4:13)
Everything you do along your journey contributes to where you’re going. Jen Sincero
I recently worked on a freelance project for a friend who lives in Hong Kong. Tony started his own film production company a few years ago and since then has worked with many non-profits around the world. He invited me to assistant with subtitles and color grade his latest documentary and to cut the trailer together.
We just completed the project and I asked him for an interview to discuss the different things he learned and to give some insight on being a freelance filmmaker.
When I was in college we were encouraged to find a place to intern. We we’re told this was our ticket in the door. My first interview for an internship felt more like a job interview which made me hope it would offer to pay me in the future. The new employee wanted me to start right away.
When I arrived at the place I was a little disappointed as the office building was old and run down. They say not to judge a book by its cover but I was judging this place, from the empty parking lot, to the smell of the hallways. I asked myself, “Is this where I want to work?” When the employer was two hours late, I finally was let into their office space. He had me start on logo designs right away. During the day I over heard conversations of the owners marriage problems, and slow business issues. I went home with a dead end feeling, since I was working for free and the internship wasn’t what I expected. The second day I showed up, the owners was no where to be found. They told me where to get the key and to keep working on those logos. This internship was a dead end. I figured if the owners didn’t want to be there, neither do I. I left the office that night and wrote a note that I was thankful for the opportunity but it’s not going to work out.
1. Be honest with yourself. Allowing yourself to be honest will help you discover what you like by seeing what you don’t like.
2. Work for a place that you find interesting and values you as a person. Doing research before on the place and job will give you a better idea on what to expect.
3. Be a good listener to your surroundings. Are the people around you happy? Do those who work there enjoy their job?
4. If you have a feeling the internship isn’t what you want to do, say something sooner and respectfully. Be careful not to burn a bridge that you might cross in the future. Letting the place of business know you are leaving instead of just disappearing shows courage and respect.
When I told my college councilor the internship didn’t work out she pulled me aside. “This just came in the morning and I think you’ll like it but you have to get your information to me today.” When I looked at the letter head I saw the Warner Brothers logo. I ran to my desk and filled out the application. Later that week I got a call, the interview would be in Burbank.
At the interview I realized they were looking for a team mate who would fit in with them. She didn’t seem to care about what school I went to, she wanted to see how well I would fit in with the team. The team was full of laid back thirty something creatives that were extremely different from one another. Everyone seemed friendly and excited to be working there. If I got this internship I would be driving an hour everyday to work not to mention morning traffic.
When I learned I got the internship I was so excited and getting paid for my time there was a big plus. I couldn’t wait to start working as a graphic designer. It was there that I learned how much work goes into a career. I had no life for the next six month. I was either in the office helping everyone out or on the 101 freeway trying to get home. Overall, the experience working at Warner Brothers was amazing. I knew it was God’s favor on my life because getting a job at a big production place like Warner Brothers is nearly impossible. I was excited when they asked if I wanted to extend my internship five more months.
It was neat to eat lunch on the lot where the cast of ER would be walking around in their scrubs. I was able to watch episodes of their newest shows before the season even came out. I was assisting and helping the office by doing the small office task for them as well as have creative freedom to solve problems on my own.
The more I worked in graphics, the more I saw I really wanted to learn how to edit videos. I knew if I was offered a job, it would be hard to go to school for editing. This was before learning how to edit was so accessible. There was still so much I wanted to do before I settled down with a full time job.
When the creative director asked what I wanted to do after interning, I told her I was going back to school. They threw me a good bye party and said to give them a call when I was done with school. Having such a great internship experience made me thankful I was honest with myself about the first one I had.
5. Figure out your goals and where you want your career to go during the internship. This is the best time to discover what is it you really want to do, what field of specialty would you like to work in. What you enjoy most.
6. Try to be helpful with everyone in the office. Develop new skills that you can brag about on your resume or that can land you a job.
7. Don’t complain. Be grateful for whatever task they give you. The better the attitude the more responsibilities they will give you. I did a coffee run once, and enjoyed the walk to Starbucks.
8. Make a good impression on everyone you meet. Be sure to remember names and shake hands with those you are introduce to. Having confidences goes a long way.
9. If its a non paid internship, make sure you are getting your pay though experience. Make it worth your time and effort. What you put into it, that is what you will get out of it.
10. Act like you belong there, as if you are a full time employee. Take your internship seriously, take advantage of the opportunities it might bring.
Interning at The WB at the start of my career let me know God had my career in His hands. He was leading me I never thought was possible. People doubted I could make a living off being creative, but I knew being creative is what I was born to do.
It’s always cool to meet other editors around the world, even more exciting to see them succeed. I met Harold a few years ago when he left a comment on my blog. Since then I watched his instagram feed fill up with awesome jobs. I couldn’t help but notice and wonder how he got to where he was. When I asked him for an interview he said, “Me? I’m just an editor.” And of course I went into a “we change the world” speech. haha I asked him if he could answer 7 questions.
1. How did you become an editor?
It was definitively not something I planned, but now that I think of it, it wasn’t a surprising choice. My Dad has worked all of his adult life in television stations back in my native Dominican Republic, and me and my brothers basically grew up roaming around where ever he worked. First he was a camera man, and for the better part of the last 25 years, he’s in the control room during live broadcasts. Pretty much I had always been attracted to the idea of working in a TV station, but it wasn’t until my third editing class using Final Cut Pro (First one was cutting 16mm, and the second one was using tape to tape) where I saw it as something attainable. I took an Avid class in my senior year of college, and was lucky enough to land a gig cutting 15 second promos at a station called Metro TV in NYC in the early 2000’s. I guess becoming an Editor wasn’t a crazy achievement, but keeping at it has really been the challenge.
2. What kinda projects do you work on?
I do mostly short form programming: Magazine style shows, Field packages, and lately, News. It’s been a really weird few years trying to figure out what kind of programming I like doing, and in between reality tv, scripted dramas and news programming, I have felt in love with doing small feature pieces for a few of my current employers. I’ve been lucky enough to have been able to jump from one genre to another from project to project…but for the better part of the last few years, I have been doing news/short documentary type of projects.
3. How did you land your current editor position?
I don’t have a position, or a 9-5 job if that’s what you are asking. I freelance for a few networks (ABC, CBS, and FUSE right now) and production houses in New York City…and pretty much, for the better part of the last few years, I have been working non-stop. The current nature of the industry, at least in New York, calls for people to freelance as staff positions are really scarce. I’ve managed to get my name in the roster in a few places and have kept busy that way. It’s fun, in the sense that from one week to the next I could be in one place, and then another. I have learned about myself that I don’t really like a fixed structure when it comes to my professional life, and I have somehow managed to keep things interesting at least in the sense of working for several people.
4. Can you share some editing tricks that you’ve mastered along the way?
I really don’t know of any tricks I could share that haven’t been shared yet somewhere in the internet yet. One thing, though, and I guess I might be the only editor I know who’s really crazy about this: I collect presets for effects on Avid. I have bins, and bins of effects that I have either created, or “borrowed” from places I have worked on. It’s very rare that I start an effect from scratch these days, but rather I would start with a preset and go from there. It has really helped in terms of me being a faster editor in certain situations, but it mostly controls my obsessive compulsive disorder to leak into other parts of my life – as I am always organizing such bins, and tweaking effects with ideas that pop in my head.
5. What type of dedication does it take to complete a successful project?
Lots of focus is the answer. I’ve been in situations where I am the guy cutting a 30 second promo and have over 4 hours of footage, and the director is right there next to me trying to work in as many shots as possible, and literally screaming when I tell him I don’t want certain shot, and he makes me work it in because it took over 20 minutes to get that setup just right on the field. I’ve also been the editor putting a piece on a plane that crashed just an hour before the 6pm broadcast, and we have to make that piece go on air, because that’s the news, and people need to know – and 15 minutes before air, there’s no script, let alone all the elements which are still being fed by our nearest affiliate. Then magically, at 6pm, your piece is done and you are playing it to broadcast straight from your Avid, because there was no time to send it to the server, and you can’t recall how you did it. So, I guess lots of focus is the answer, whatever the occasion…a little bit of sense of humor also helps too.
6. What have you learned from working with others on important jobs?
I’ve learned to get along with people mostly 🙂 – I heard somewhere, that editors are sly politicians and I have taken that to the heart. I also heard that we editors are just like bartenders, and also implement that train of thought in the way I handle myself at work. As far as important jobs…I see every job as important; Being freelance in a city where just about everybody is an editor demands that I do the best I can – or at least try! – every single time.
7. What have you learned about life from peoples editing stories?
That there’s so much going on outside the edit room. I’ve worked crazy hours for the past few years, full months at a time without a day off recently, and work has sort of become my window to the world. Sometimes it’s really crazy what I am watching while I am working on it, and sometimes it’s really beautiful. I really love what I do, and I don’t see it as work…hence working 7 days a week doesn’t bother me. I am slowly, but surely, trying to get out there a little more and trying to take a crack at what most people call a normal life…but like everything I’ve done so far in my life, it’s a slow process.
One of the biggest lesson I’ve learned as an editor is – no pride allowed. It took me sometime to understand this but the more I was confronted with my pride the more I had to see the importance of the sacrifice. I have a job to do and I am useless as an editor if I take things personally.
You see, if someone else is paying me to get a job completed, its my job to do the best I can. When an item is cut or never played I can leave the project saying I tried my best and it just didn’t work out. When I am told to go back to the drawing board, I have to remember what the overall goal is.
Its easy to take your creative work personally, after all you are the creator who is pouring heart and time in to it. But in order to move forward, you have to sacrifice some pride. Gather your skills, knowledge, and your experience and be prepared to make a compromise. Its about the greater purpose of the project.
Sacrificing your pride also helps you get better. If you don’t let it get you down, then you can reflect and see where you can approve. Even if you feel you were right, learn your clients style. You are expected to pour your heart and creativity in to a project and to care about your work but don’t get so attach to your version that it limits you. If you want to be an editor, be prepared to grow as a person. Your videos will benefit from it.
I’ve edited for nine years, so sometimes I forget there is so much for a new editor to learn. I wrote down some of the things I had to learn as a new editor. Some points are my opinion but break the rules at your own risk. 🙂
Tips for New Working Video Editors
Use common sense.
Watch examples, get inspired but don’t completely copy.
Don’t be lazy, fix the shot, color, animation, or re-export.
Keep text within the title safe.
Copy and paste all your text from a word document so it can pick up miss spelled words.
Make text large enough to read.
Say no to RED text. Make it maroon. Red doesn’t process well in video.
Make your text constant if creating lower thirds.
Lower thirds= graphics on the bottom of the screen.
If text is supposed to follow the speaker, have the text appear as they say it, unless instructed otherwise.
Work smart to save time.
Save your work, turn on auto save on final cut and after effects.
Do the ground work, its worth the extra time. (templates, research, shot list,etc)
Learn keyboard short cuts.
Takes notes when learning from someone. It’s ok to ask questions the first time but learn to figure out the answer on your own. Goggle is your best friend and creative cow forms are great too.
Learn the company’s “culture” or style when it comes to language, and delivering information.
Find where your video storage is on the IT network.
You can break the rules when you are giving permission and freedom.
Know and understand your EXPORT settings. Where is the video going to be played?
Understand video compression.
Find which video compression works best for your work and then make it a custom setting. (After Effects)
After Effects, learn how to render your videos correctly. It will save time.
Check your frame dimensions, frame rate, aspect ratio, final file size when video is completed.
Delete old versions of your video/renders that have mistakes on them. 1)They will appear and haunt you, confuse you, and take up file space.
Make the person on screen/company look good.
Edit out: Awkward moments, silences, expressions, mistakes. (Unless you are editing for TMZ)
Be proactive and inventive.
There are 100 ways of doing something but learn the old process first, understand it then fix it.
Don’t be offended when someone is training, teaching, correcting, critiquing you. They are there to help you grow in your skill as well seeing the job is done right.
If you don’t like the video you are creating, start over. Don’t waste time trying to make something work.
Take care of your hand, get a wilcom tablet.
Label your tapes and footage!
Don’ think no one will notice your mistakes, THEY WILL.
Understand NTSC/PAL and other international TV standards.
Work on your audio. Keep levels around (-12 to -16). Soundtrack pro is great for this. You can export your audio mix from FCP to Soundtrack. Don’t make your narration compete with your soundtrack.
Double check your work, review your video more than once.
Don’t think you know everything, expect to learn the rest of your life.
Spend time living real life.
Carry a note book with you to write down video ideas.