I need this ASAP

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


To all my American comrades: Happy 4th of July! Stay safe, blow $&%! up, eat a ridiculous amount of hot dogs and burgers and S’MORES (not 4th of July without s’mores!). 


So there’s this here article from Gawker (and a few other articles have popped up over the last week or so talking about this, too) discussing working conditions on reality TV shows and general industry craziness that people don’t really like to talk about, CONTROVERSY! 

Figured I’d share it here (and on Facebook and Twitter), because it is something that needs to be discussed and y’all know I like controversy! ;) 

Grim Realities of Reality TV

Anonymous asked: Hi there! Just wanted to let you know that I really appreciate how you aren't afraid to touch upon what may be considered "controversial" issues (eg. the great wage debate) while also keeping it wicked funny. Thank you for sharing your experience/knowledge/pain with the rest of us and please keep it up (no pressure) :)

Well, someone’s gotta take one for the team! ;) Haha! I have no qualms with “controversial” issues (people who know and work with me have witnessed it), as they are things that do need to be talked about. Of course, I never bring things up maliciously or with bad intentions, I just like a good dialogue! 

Thanks for the blog love! :)

viridianvenus asked: I've learned that when it comes to this industry it's often not what you know it's who you know. But what do you do when you don't know anyone? How do you reach out to people without coming across as someone who isn't interested in the person they are reaching out to, only what they could potentially provide for you? I graduated film school almost 11 years ago and never found an industry job and a large part of it is my not knowing how to network.

I will be completely honest and say that I am terrible at networking. Or I guess the better statement is that I don’t put much effort into it as I probably should (and would like to). 

HOWEVER, I have always looked at networking, or just getting to know other people, as this: never approach it with selfish intentions. Meaning, approach a person sincerely and with curiosity. 

For instance, I’ve encountered so many different kinds of editors throughout my career. STORY TIME! So back in college, I used to be pretty nerdy about movie trailers, primarily when it came to trailers juxtaposing quirky song covers with horror trailers. I geeked out over the “Last House on the Left” trailer since it used a piano-female-vocal cover of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child of Mine”. I loved everything about it (movie was ok). Several years later, I found out one of our editors at the trailer company I was working at cut that trailer. I GEEKED OUT, OMG! Which then led to a amazing conversations about horror movies and song covers and editing. The editor is one of the best trailer editors out there (and bonus! one of the most humble, too. Super cool guy) and I remember specifically asking how he (and one other editor who did crazy awesome trailers) did his sound editing. Trailer editors are truly magicians when it comes to sound editing (they do all of it themselves, it just gets mixed out of house), granted, their timelines are a nightmare (ha). He walked me through his entire process of creating a trailer from the ground up and it was such a great learning experience to hear it firsthand from someone who does this day in and day out. Safe to say, I’m nowhere near the path of becoming (or wanting to become) a trailer editor, but just connecting with that editor with the intention to just LEARN about what he does has an impact. 

Another story! So I worked as a PA on “Tree of Life” and had another geektastic moment running into cinematographer, Emannuel Lubezki. Brought him breakfast burritos in the morning, geekily praised how much I love his work, etc. etc. BUT, for lack of actual access to pick his brain apart, I found myself bonding with his steadicam guy, Joerg Widmer, instead. I actually found out Joerg had worked on Amelie and flipped my $&*! (it’s my favorite movie, and my love for Bruno Delbonnel made me geek out even more with Joerg), so I asked questions about what it was like working on that movie and some of the other stuff he did and, because I was interested in cinematography at the time, about camera stuff. Again, I approached him with the intention to just LEARN stuff (and we had conversations in German, as I was taking classes in college at the time. Hilarity ensued). 

Now, I only maintain contact with the trailer editor, but my point is: approach people with the intention to learn about something they have knowledge about WITHOUT the intention of flat out saying, “I NEED A JOB!” a) no one likes desperation and b) it’s unprofessional (and uncool….) and c) that’s a one-sided conversation. 

I admit, this is waaaay more difficult to do if you have ZERO industry contacts, but even then, it’s the age of the Internet! You can find a lot of people (surprisingly) on LinkedIn and reach out to them that way, just telling them you admire their work. If you DO know people in the industry, simply asking people out for coffee or drinks to talk about what they do works wonders, too (I’ve actually done this with a few people). 

Even asking co-workers or friends who know people, “Hey, do you think [insert whoever’s name here] would like to talk with me about what s/he does?” goes a long way. 

Honestly, to me, Networking is just general human interaction (but with job stuff involved). If you’re just sincere about it all, people are more likely to open up to you and help you out. And I’m a huge believer in paying it forward and job karma, so don’t forget to pay it forward if you have the chance!

Anyone else have any networking advice?


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).