Every year people think of ways to improve their personal lives during the New Year. However, your professional life can often use a bit of fine tuning as well. For those working in post production, below are a few resolutions to keep in mind as you pursue new projects and grow in your craft.
5. Get better at soliciting quality feedback
If you work in post-production as an editor or even a supervisor, you're familiar with the suffering that is a review and approval cycle. This isn't unique to video post production, but it's likely one of the more excruciating feedback loops regardless of industry. If you're not trying to decipher cryptic notes, you're making one change only to make the same change right back on a cut when someone else weighs in.
In 2017, strive to be proactive in the review process. Prior to giving over a cut for review, get a sense of what your client likes ahead of time. Show them commercials or scenes and ask them what they prefer (fast cuts, slow and lingering...etc) This will give you an idea of their taste. Additionally, when handing over a cut you can anticipate some issues and even defend some decisions (i.e. we didn't have an overhead of shot of x so decided to use this shot to compensate), hopefully eliminating some back and forth.
You can also invest in a better platform to control feedback. Email is likely still a fave among your highups, but entice them to work within the confines of a controlled system which can organize cuts and condense notes.
In 2017, you should be able to reduce feedback loops by at least one cycle.
4. Take client criticism with a grain of salt
2017 is the year to "respectfully disagree". Video editing is a subjective medium on many levels. Although you should always strive for self-improvement and never rest on your last piece of work, you shouldn't let a bad piece of feedback get you down or lead you to question your ability. Although pleasing the client is priority, don't be afraid to defend some of your decisions and back it up with evidence and data if you have it.
3. Collaborate with your team more effectively
Although editors have the reputation of being lone wolves, many do work in teams. They share raw footage, give peer feedback, and even pass off projects to each other. In 2017, focus on painfree collaboration. To make things more seamless, consider working within productivity apps like slack to handle communication and using internal video management tools to host raw footage for sharing.
2. Make your career a priority
The career trajectory for an editor is uncertain. You can be an assistant for the totality of your career or rise through the ranks of management and oversee the post-production of blockbuster movies. The difference between these paths aren't just blind luck or fate... planning has a lot to do with it. These plans can include:
- Networking with leaders in post production and technology at events like TechHops
- Learning amongst peers at the yearly editor's retreat
- Improving your skills through online classes
- Doing more side projects and getting them noticed
But don't let 2017 pass you by as you stay in the same position. There are more opportunities than ever to make your mark and carve out your path to success.
1. Create an updated reel
Speaking of career highlights, update your reel! I repeat, update it. Now if you can. If your coolest piece of work was 25 years ago, it's time to let it go. Focus on your current work and make it look great. Additionally, get a professional site for your reel. Don't use a drop box link or a youtube page as your primary reel. Invest in a custom portfolio site and put a personal touch on it. This will help you send out your "resume" as you work toward your future goals in post production.
These are just a few things we think would be great resolutions for the average post professional. Let us know what your personal goals are in the comment section.