I need this ASAP

AE by day. Sometimes at night.
Living the dream one render at a time.


I got a plethora of amazing responses from editors from all parts of the globe (and some from post assistants and AEs) about doing their own graphics, sound mixing, and VFX, etc. 

Turns out: Editors end up doing a lot of the work, even function as their own AEs (and found out, there aren’t many AEs in other parts of the world! Sorry, Holland and other places). 

I’d asked this question because job listings for AEs kept popping up with “must know v, w, x, y, z [just list the whole alphabet, actually] softwares and be comfortable color correcting, sound mixing, onlining, and creating graphics,” but then listing a horribly low rate. YES, low rates keep popping up, but NO I’m not going to get into that because we’ve beaten that horse dead time and time again. 

Getting all these responses from editors [sidenote: I will replying back to you all, promise!] put into perspective a few things:

1) People assume editors (and AEs) have to know EVERYTHING, which, personally, I think is near impossible and unfair to ask of ONE PERSON. And before anyone starts ranting about “Knowing more makes you more marketable, blah blah blah,” trust me, I get that. I know how to use multiple editing platforms and am pretty proficient with Adobe stuff (thanks, college graphics job!). I know these things because I want to learn them AND because I do think they make me more marketable in my field. HOWEVER, I also know other people work their arses off to specialize in making title graphics for movies and trailers (those people are wicked talented), sound mixing like a boss, and color correcting like DaVinci [post joke!]. What irks me is that it’s expected of people from people who have NO IDEA how post actually works (I’ve actually had some producers admit this to me, shockingly). 

2) Knowing all of these tasks steals other people’s jobs! Actually had an editor email me from Singapore saying s/he does the work, but said s/he didn’t like doing it because it’s affecting the job market of those who specialize in graphics/sound mixing/color correcting. It’s similar to outsourcing…but not..? 

It’s no wonder the VFX guys were protesting back when “Life of Pi” came out, but it’s happening a lot these days in our industry primarily in post: higher-ups wanting the champagne life on a beer budget. And the crazy thing is, it wouldn’t really be tolerated outside of our industry! No one would hire construction workers under the conditions that they know how to also design blueprints, wire the structure, and interior decorate the building for the wage of a construction worker! IT WOULDN’T HAPPEN! 

I admire the editors who handle everything from start to finish. THAT’S CRAZY! 

(Not really sure this post makes sense…bottom line: I appreciate all the editors who shared their stories with me. I feel your pain. High five an AE today and know we’re in this Hell together, lol). 

TO THE EDITORS: Need input (please…)

Out of curiosity, and because it keeps coming up on the Interwebz, how many of you editors out there do, or are expected to do, your own graphics, coloring, and sound mixing (i.e. things that would usually go out to people whose jobs specialize in such things)? 

It’s come up a lot how those sort of tasks have been delegated to AEs and I’m just curious whether this is shared with the editors or not.

Shoot me an email at renderplease@gmail.com or send a Tweet to @renderplease 


Anonymous asked: Do you think AEs should be called something different? AE isn't a proper title anymore. Maybe Post Technicians? And have degrees of the job? Like green ones are only allowed to capture and export until they prove they can do that correctly? Then syncing and grouping? Then online assisting? Etc. I think it would lend more clout to the job than all AEs lumped in together. Most companies see no difference between a newbie and a veteran. Perhaps this would make it more legit in pay and respect.

The title “Assistant Editor” is negligible these days (much as what other people sometimes consider us to be, unfortunately) as the work we do has changed sooooo much from what it was ages ago (thanks, technology). 

If we used Post Technicians, hell, we may as well be part of the IT department (which we kind of are anyway). 

As for degrees of the job, your viewpoint kinds of emphasizes the attitude people have towards us anyway, especially amongst other AEs. It’s an “I’m better than you” kind of attitude, which, I admit I’ve been guilty of, but is just as bad. 

It’s such a complicated situation of getting new AEs into the mix while still getting the work done. Why other people can’t wrap their heads around this still baffles me. You don’t become a good AE right off the bat, A LOT of our skills are learned on the job, more than any other job I feel, and there isn’t really a way around that. Yeah, you can take Moviola classes and read about different codecs and workflows, but until you’re in the middle of the $&%!storm having to use those skills, you can’t really BE an AE.

And trust, me, companies DO see the difference between a newbie and a veteran AE, they’re just stubborn as hell to avoid it in the first place in favor of “saving money” (newsflash, you waste more time AND MONEY this way). 

I don’t think changing the name would change our pay or garner more respect. Until we change the ATTITUDE towards AEs, it kind of doesn’t matter.