#post #edit #postchat pro tip: As an editor, possibly the greatest separator between “pro” and “not pro” is how you deal with notes. A thread: (1/
If you are hired to edit content (scripted, reality, doc, trailers, promos... anything), you will be given notes by the “stakes holders” (producers/directors, but I've been given notes by PA's, accountants, lawyers, writers, spouses, friends, strangers, security guards...). (2/
(For the uninitiated, “notes” are changes/revisions that the people paying you to edit want to see in their program). (3/
The most important thing for an editor to remember about notes is this: It's Not Personal. If you are given a note that IS personal, you will know immediately, and that is your signal to exit that project/relationship as soon as is practical. (4/
Learning how to not take notes personally is hard, and I've seen it derail more than a few promising editing careers. For me, it took more than a few years to accept feedback with a constructive, “non ego” mind. (5/
But the thing to remember is this: Any creative process is highly iterative. There is NO film, show, trailer, promo, etc. that is aired/published as v1 or v2. None. Most shows/reels/promos/trailers I've cut have gone at least v4, v5 at shortest, sometimes into v12, v13. (6/
In 2013, I edited a trailer for a doc film. I can tell you that my first cut of it was fucking awesome. I worked very hard, and poured every bit of experience, intuition and love I had into it. And, there was feedback (“I'd like to try a slightly different direction...”). (7/
And this brings me to a hard earned lesson: Don't respond to notes immediately (if possible). If via email, read several times, calm down, and have a good think... several hours is good (if you have that luxury). If via phone or in person, listen carefully, take good notes. (8/
Let them finish. Once the notes are given, read them back and make sure you understand everything very clearly. Ask questions to help clarify anything you don't understand. (9/
I once asked a very wise and experienced editor, “do you ever push back on notes?”, and they responded “I will push back... once.” I agree, and think it's perfectly acceptable to push back *respectfully* and *constructively*. (10/
Ask questions to try to dial in what the producer is looking for. This is a creative process, and ideally the people who hired you have done so because of your creative problem-solving abilities. (11/
And there will be times that notes/feedback don't immediately fix problems in the film. But, again, this is a highly iterative process, and sometimes you have to explore different possibilities before you hit on the best solution to a scene/show/film. (12/
You must be open to this process. If you are, and approach this work with a “non-ego” mind, magical things can happen. (13/
In short, if you want a long career as an editor, you will need to take critiques of your work in a constructive, non-ego way. This is critical, not only for the work, but also for your mental health. Trust the process. It will make the work better. Really. (14/
So, that documentary trailer? I did a v2 of it according to the producer's notes, changing the structure of the thing... After viewing the v2, the producer said “Ah, I think you were right about this and this”, but some of his changes were very effective and insightful... (15/
... and made the piece better. We wrapped it at v5. The film itself won an Oscar, and the trailer also won an award at a film festival. Trust the process, and trust your collaborators. Be patient. Get out of your ego. Wonderful things can happen! (16/16)

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