Give a brief description of what you do in your job.
I am an assistant editor for film and TV in Los Angeles, CA. It’s a freelance job (like most jobs in the industry) so I work on one film or tv show until it is finished, then I find another film or show to work on. I usually only have one editor who I assist, though sometimes an AE works for two or three editors on one job. When we start a job, I usually go to the office a few days before my editor and set up the room and the editing system the way my editor prefers. For my daily work, it’s my job to receive all of the footage that was shot the previous day and check against paperwork that we have received everything. I also check that there are no problems with how the footage looks or sounds. Then, I organize the footage in the editing program the way my editor likes it. I cut sound effects and music into scenes that my editor has cut. Sometimes, I cut entire scenes or recaps. I also keep track of all of the visual effects. I do a lot of communicating with music, sound, and visual effects departments to make sure they have everything they need and we have everything we need. Basically, I do anything my editor needs to help them do their job. I wear a lot of hats and do a lot of different things, depending on the day.
What has given you the greatest joy in your work? What has been the hardest?
I really love collaborating with other people to make a finished product that other people will enjoy. Every person on a film or tv show is extremely important in order to keep things running smoothly and finish the show. There is definitely a spirit of teamwork that makes this job a lot of fun. The hours can be difficult. Depending on the show, I may work long hours and a lot of weekends, so I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my family. Making movies and tv takes a lot of time and effort and can be draining, so everyone who works in this industry has to really love their job. You also have to really like the people you work with, because most of the time you spend more time with them than you do with your family.
What is one thing you’d like others to know about your job?
A lot of people assume that an editor or assistant editor take the footage that is shot and simply stick it together. It’s actually much more complicated than that. Editors and assistant editors make subjective creative choices – which angle, which performance, etc. (and when and how to use them) – in order to best tell the story. They can create emotion and manipulate the audience with the choices they make. It’s a very creative process.
How have you experienced Christ’s presence in your job?
I’ve experienced Christ’s presence through the people I work with. I work with so many different people from all different backgrounds and with a lot of different knowledge about many different things. I also am very fortunate to have a great community of friends who are AE’s and editors. We all believe in each other and help each other. It’s a great support system that I am really lucky to have.
This job is very humbling. It’s very difficult to plan months ahead in my life, because I often don’t know if I will be employed or not. It’s also nerve-wracking to apply for work often, and sometimes get turned down for jobs that I really want. It’s necessary to ask others for help and rely on other people in order to find work. It’s not always in your control. I am constantly thinking of the lilies of the field.