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Confessions of a Post Production Supervisor

There’s humor in filmmaking. To wit …

What’s the difference between a DP and God? God doesn’t think he’s a DP.

Why is thunder after lightning? Even God has to wait for sound.

How many grips does it take to change a light bulb? “Not my department”

How do you know if a filmmaker is at a party? Don’t worry, he’ll tell you.

But if you don’t hire a post-production supervisor to manage the most critical aspect of your film – it’s completion? Well, that’s not funny …

“Post-Production Supervisor are too often an afterthought or totally overlooked,” says Indie Film Hustle maestro Alex Ferrari in a serious tone. “But failure to engage one – the right one – and your film will suffer. And everyone will notice.”

Can you get along without a Post Production Supervisor? “Sure, as long as you’re fluent in every aspect of post – from final edit mix and assembly and color correction to visual effects and deliverables,” Alex shrugs. “But odds are your name isn’t Robert Rodriguez.”

And Alex Ferrari should know. Although he’s an award-winning director, Alex has spent a good portion of his two decades in the film industry off the set … and in the miasma known as Post.

As a filmmaker myself, who coincidentally engaged Alex’s Numb Robot production house to handle post, my main goal was to make a good film and hopefully make money. I achieved the first one because of a great script, crew, post production supervisor and team. At the end of the day my wife didn’t murder me or file for divorce (yet) because I did out what I set to do – and hopefully, the film will set me up for other opportunities. So, without further ado, here’s Alex’s insights for you:

1)  What does a Post Production Supervisor do, and why do I need him?

(Alex refrains from slapping me and, with much restraint, proceeds to answer the question…)

ALEX: The Post Production Supervisor is responsible for the workflow for your film. Once you get to picture lock, they ensure a smooth process and align the right resources so everything moves smoothly and cohesively. Just as your editor syncs the right clips and scenes, so to does the Post Production Supervisor synch the final assembly with sound and music, then adds visual effects and color correction and organizes everything – labeling files, splitting tracks – to satisfy distribution deliverable requests.

This person is not only essential in Post, but if you bring them in during pre-production they can help by looking at the script and assisting the Line Producer in creating a more accurate budget for the film. I mean, normally Line Producers do the budget; yeah, I get that. But most Line Producers stick in a number without knowing the true cost – or even a cheaper or alternative way to do something. If you’re on a tight budget, getting the Post Production Supervisor involved early can help assure an efficient production and avoid those back-breaking “fix it in post” expenses down the road.

2) Okay, so I contact the Post Production Supervisor once I lock picture, right?

(Alex takes a deep breath, balls his fists and speaks slowly …)

ALEX: Most people wait until then – but that’s not what a filmmaker should do. At the very least, a filmmaker – particularly a newbie – should hire a Post Production Supervisor, like myself, for a few hours of consulting to review the script and make recommendations about how to save money and stretch resources in the planning stages. 98% of people don’t do that – but only 2% of the population are highly intelligent so go figure.

But the right answer about when to engage a Post Production Supervisor is when the money is in place. That’s when you should build your core team, which should include your entertainment lawyer, producer, director, DP, line producer, and post-production supervisor. Or if you have some money and need to build a budget and smart workflow, that’s when you might want to start thinking about your Post-Production Supervisor.

3) What types of Post Production Supervisor are there, and where do I find one?

(Alex relaxes, as evidently, I’ve hit on a good question. Either that or he likes the word “Supe”…)

ALEX: There are basically two types: Type 1 is the afore-mentioned Robert Rodriguez type that can do almost everything. They’re hard to find. Type 2 is more of a general contractor who knows what needs to be done and gets the right people to do it. Kind of like a director who builds a crew to execute his vision. There’s also a Type 3, which is a production house – but they can be more expensive, may not specialize in every aspect of post-production and, if they are large and your budget is small, probably won’t give you the level of attention a direct-hire would.

As for where to find one, there are a few ways:

  • Do a Google search
  • Look on IMDB for films similar to yours
  • Visit your state’s film office online and search for post-producer supervisors in their production handbook
  • Or, when you are interviewing line producers, ask who they recommend

But here’s the important thing – find someone who is comfortable and experienced working on your budget level. There are phenomenal Post-Production Supervisors on blockbusters, but they won’t know how to cut corners or manage the tight parameters of micro-budget movies.

4) How much should a filmmaker budget for a Post-Production Supervisor?

ALEX: It varies on how well prepared or inept the filmmaker is because there are invariably complications in post-production. But a good range is 15-20% of your budget, which might seem like a lot until you realize a good chunk of your film’s life is spent in post-production and it is the most important time in terms of delivering a final, polished and professional product.

5) How much time should a film be in post?

ALEX: See the first sentence in the answer above – it depends on how well the filmmaker has their act together in delivering the picture lock. And is it really the final picture lock – I can’t tell you how many films I’ve worked on where a mistake is discovered and BANG! – it’s a do-over. Even adding a frame can knock the whole process out of synch and cause costs to mount.

6) You’re serious … a frame?

ALEX: Absolutely, even one frame – not a scene, mind you – can cost a lot of money because now the entire timing is off. You have to look at it like a train leaving the station and heading toward its final destination. To stop the train and return it to the original station because something was not right, and then to start the journey all over again – well, imagine the cost and delay.

Put this in bold: Once a picture is locked, all dollars go to post production. It has to stay locked.

7) Okay, so at picture lock (in bold) what should be delivered to a Post-Production Supervisor?

ALEX: The filmmaker (or editor) should deliver a QuickTime reference file (with time code and shot reference), the EDL (“Edit Decision List”), and any raw footage on a hard drive. Then the “Supe” rebuilds the film in an online suite and sends out the mix for sound, music and color correction.  Some Post-Production Supervisors can do color correction and visual effects themselves, but usually, you want a specialist to do the sound mix and music score. Sound is the most important thing in a movie – people might forgive bad picture, but bad sound? That’s a death knell.

8) Wait a minute – visual effects? Why would I need visual effects for a low budget film?

ALEX: If you plan to get your film broadcast or even on platforms that require E&O (“Errors & Omissions”) insurance, there’s a chance you’ll need to blur out logos, license plates, faces, etc. Maybe not, but it happens more than you might think. Other films might not want to deal with the insurance hassles if guns are used – so visual effects would insert flares for realistic rubber guns. That’s just one example.

9) How long should the process take?

(At this point Alex asks me how long my film was in post-production, we both roll our eyes, and banish the thought.)

ALEX: Ideally, if all the stars are aligned, a Post-Production Supervisor should be able to hand off deliverables within 6 weeks or so. That’s how long THIS IS MEG took. But often you’re waiting for someone – like music. I’m always waiting on the music. Or even visual effects, depending on how much work is involved. If it’s taking more than two months then there’s a problem. But unless you up against a deadline to submit for Sundance, take the time to get your film right. I’ve even had to re-edit some films in post, then re-assemble, and get the music and sound synched. Color correction is also critical – it’s the makeover your film needs to make it attractive to everyone who lays eyes on it.

10) What are the things a filmmaker should have “in the can” for festivals and distributors?

ALEX: A QuickTime master and compressed Vimeo link, Blu-ray (5.1 and stereo), and a DVD for screeners (not to screen at a festival!) – if a festival is screening DVDs, run away. You might also consider burning into the bottom of the DVD screeners “for screening purposes only”. Also, a Vimeo Plus or Vimeo Pro membership is essential to upload your QuickTime master, compressed master, and teaser/trailer.

11) Lastly, any “horror stories” you’d like to share?

ALEX: Too many brother. Filmmaking is an inexact science and it’s the human element that makes it frustrating and fantastic. Here’s a quick one purely as an example of how inexperience and ego can get in the way. I was working on a (hypothetical) film with two well-known stars and a first-time director.

Let’s call him “FTD”. So FTD thought he was Steven Spielberg and he hired a DP who thought he was Roger Deakins. So FTD and DP shot on 3 different cameras; none of them calibrated, one with a dead pixel and the piece de resistance? The third had a dirty lens … for the entire movie. And oh yeah, attitude the entire way – everything was someone else’s fault. Basically what they delivered had to be re-edited. A ton of work, at a pretty high cost. In the end, it did get distribution because it was (mostly) saved in post-production and because of the name recognition of the two stars. But that train left the station and came back several times!

Also check out this podcast episode: How a Post-Production Supervisor Can Save Your Butt! It could save you a ton of cash!

Thank you Alex. See you in Post!

If you need help with understanding post-production workflow or need to consult a professional post supervisor click here.

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IFH 323: Creating Emotional Storytelling in the Edit w/ Sven Pape

Right-click here to download the MP3

Today on the show we Sven Pape. Sven is an A.C.E. Award-nominated editor who cut for James Cameron, Mark Weber, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and James Franco. We get into the weeds on editing, storytelling, the business of editing and much more. Oh, did I mention Sven worked with James Cameron for three years? We definitely go into that. Sven Pape’s YouTube Channel This Guys Edit is an awesome resource for filmmakers and editors alike.

You might have heard the saying:

‘Great editing is invisible.’ While that may be true I aim to shed a little light onto the craft. I’m not saying that I have achieved greatness or ever will. This channel is simply about helping you (and me) become more aware of the creative power of editing and to celebrate the “invisible performers in the editing room”.

Enjoy my conversation with Sven Pape.

Alex Ferrari 1:54
Now guys, today on the show, we have Sven Pape. From this guy edits, he has a very, very, very popular YouTube channel. And he is a master editor doing amazing work, not only editing himself and doing netflix documentaries, and Netflix shows and just a list of movies that he's done over the course of his career. But he's also sharing his wisdom and his experience with his community in the community of filmmakers looking to be better editors and I love Love, love his work. It's a very unique YouTube channel and is grown insanely. So I wanted to get him on the show to talk editing the top cutting, and to get these two grizzled, battle hardened editors together and just talk shop. So if you want to learn more about the process of editing, the creative process of editing, as well as the business of being an editor in today's world, this episode is for you. It is one of my favorite episodes. And we did talk a bunch we get into it deep. So without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Sven Pape. I'd like to welcome to the show Sven Pape, how you doing brother?

Sven Pape 3:09
Very well. How are you Alex?

Alex Ferrari 3:10
Good. Good. Good, man. I really appreciate you coming on the show. I am a big fan of what you do on YouTube. And you've turned editing into a cool thing.

Sven Pape 3:22
Trying, I'm trying.

Alex Ferrari 3:23
You know from an old editor

Sven Pape 3:24
It's a struggle

Alex Ferrari 3:25
Went from one old editor, a salty dog to another one man. It's just like, it's not easy making editing cool. And you've done it with your YouTube channel with is which is this guy edits, which we'll talk about a little bit but we're gonna get into and so I'm warning everybody listening right now. You've got to salty dog editors who've been in the business for quite some time been editing for many, many years. We are going to get into it. We might we might we might venture off into the weeds. But stay with us. We'll come back. There might be some tech talk along the way. But we will try to keep it in there. We'll drop some knowledge bombs on you guys as we move forward. So first and foremost, how did you get into the business?

Sven Pape 4:06
I started falling in love with film, so little kid going to the theaters. And just just wanting to be a filmmaker. It really happened when I actually I'm originally from Germany. But I moved to South Africa when I was in my teenage years like 15 and so I was the new kid in school didn't have any friends. So I went to the movies. And that's where then realize okay, this is a calling I need to I need to what I'm feeling right now in the theater. I want to be part of creating something like this and then actually specifically the movie Dead Poets Society, sort of the one so that made me like, Okay, I gotta I gotta go on this journey. So that's how it started. I did a couple of internships in South Africa work for an ad agency immediately went to the film department in Cape Town. Worked assistant for producer for While there and then I knew I was gonna do filming, I ended up studying at the University of arts in Berlin. They didn't really have a film program, there was commercials. And I actually once I graduated, I build an agency with two or the partners. And within a year, I knew this isn't for me. And they they bought me out. I went to America, I ended up studying at the American Film Institute.

Alex Ferrari 5:26
Not a bad Not a bad school, sir.

Sven Pape 5:28
Yeah, I got lucky got in that. I didn't study editing. I studied producing. Then like that either. graduated, I bought myself a Mac, and the first Final Cut that came out final cut one

Alex Ferrari 5:42
You were a final cut one I didn't jump on until like two point something is when I first saw it.

Sven Pape 5:48
Yeah, no, I was. I was right there. did a project in indie project where I helped a friend I did like a live webcast of the behind the scenes as he was making the film in Pennsylvania. And then the second gig that I got was basically a paid gig, where I worked for James Cameron's company to do a webcast of his next film project, and doing all that important. Okay.

Alex Ferrari 6:14
So let's let's, let's pause for a second. Yeah. Did you say Jimmy Cameron?

Sven Pape 6:18
Yes.

Alex Ferrari 6:19
Okay, so James, what did so what movie was it? And what did you do and what you want, like you were on the set with James Cameron while he was shooting stuff.

Sven Pape 6:27
I was on the Russian research vessel going out to the Titanic, and did a like live webcast as he was going down to the ship and taking like 3d imagery inside of the ship. That was the 3d documentary called ghosts of the abyss. Yeah, I. So I went through that journey, I thought he was going to throw me off the boat, because I was the guy sticking a camera into his face while he's trying to figure out what his movies about, survive them on the phone, and then eventually became an editor as well. And the other three editors on ghosts are the best. And that was my first credit as an editor.

Alex Ferrari 7:11
That's not a bad first credit, my friend.

Sven Pape 7:14
Yeah, it was cool. And let's get started can only go down from there. Right? I did enjoy that journey was three and a half years.

Alex Ferrari 7:21
Oh my gosh. And did you what was the one what's the biggest lesson you learned from Mr. Cameron?

Sven Pape 7:29
To have confidence, I would say so I really admired that. He takes your word for what it is and not for what you've done in the past, or what your reputation is. So I was able to really show some stuff and immediately get sort of that feeling. Oh, he's he's responding to it. Like we're having a creative conversation about something he doesn't matter that I'm just a guy out of film school. I don't know anything. And so that really gave me competence just for the rest of my career.

Alex Ferrari 8:03
Well, yeah, I mean, if you if you ever to survive James Cameron for three and a half years at the beginning of your career, I think you're pretty good for the first three weeks were really rough like I I might have would have broken there and then would have been it but you held on you hold on. No. I've had a few people on the show who worked with Cameron, like Russell carpenter and and and a couple of the directors who that worked with him and I anytime I hear James him like, I need to hear the stories like what is it like you were in a very unique time in his in his career because he was still doing the Jacques Cousteau thing? He was still going out there doing that stuff. This is before Titanic, right? Or is it that? No, this is after Titanic before avatar. So there was that this period of like, eight years where he was just basically, Jacques Cousteau. Yeah, going out. And

Sven Pape 8:52
I met Michel Cousteau. And they were working on various projects that they were trying to set up for TV stations, and I kept some of those sizzles during that time.

Alex Ferrari 9:02
That's awesome, man. That's awesome. Like, that's, that's a great story. And we just got started. Now talk to me about this guy edits, because, you know, I, my, my fingers are in, you know, on the pulse. Hopefully, I tried to be on the pulse of everything going on in the film world, on YouTube and on Instagram, and social media and all that kind of stuff. And you came across my path. I was like, well, this is interesting. I just haven't This is This is nice. I love the branding. I love what you were doing. I loved your voice because it was a unique kind of not like like literally your voice but like your your voice of what you were trying to do. I was like, wow, this is actually good. And he knows what he's talking about, which is always a lovely thing to see. You turn on a YouTube channel. So how did they even come to be?

Sven Pape 9:48
Well, there's various factors. I mean, I already had this affinity towards new media anyway, because I did a broadcast before YouTube existed. I wish I would have Like getting back to YouTube much faster than I did. But it really, it really started with my daughter, who at the time was in elementary, and she had a YouTube channel, doing my little pony. And it took off. She was like one of the top 10 MLP YouTubers,

Alex Ferrari 10:17
What's the number? What's an MLP? MLP is my little pony Sorry, sorry, like loop so we're not we're not down. We're not down with the lingo, the little pony lingo Sorry, I know that's a whole, like my daughter's love Little Pony too, but that I heard that My Little Pony world it's it's kind of like Lego or Star Wars. It's like its own language,

Sven Pape 10:36
Its a subculture completely, like MLP movies out there that are just going gangbusters and you never hear about them. But then theaters and people show up. So that's when I realized, Oh, this is like this, now I understand what the potential of new media is. And so then I started experimenting, I did a YouTube channel just about my gardening of chickens, that kind of stuff, a couple of videos that like, immediately had like 100,000 views. So I'm like, Oh, I can make money with it. And this is the chicken videos, chicken video. That's awesome. So then I'm like, Okay, I gotta take this more seriously. And at the time, I was doing a feature. That's the third collaboration with director Michael Weber. Our first one was a Sundance Film called the end of love. And this was the third time working together. And I just pitched this idea to him and say, let's take this editing process online, and have people like, growing audience already on this journey of finding this film. And then by the time the film comes out, we'll probably already have some form of following who knows what's going to happen is I already do that catalog a couple of episodes, don't release them yet. Just show me what's happening. I did that he was shooting in Philadelphia. I showed him three episodes. And he's like, this is amazing. I'm learning something here. You have carte blanche, a couple of scenes we shouldn't be showing, but just do whatever you want. And go crazy. That's how the channel started by doing just like watch me edit sessions. And it's, it had sort of a niche audience at a time. Yeah. It's like, we weren't a couple of blogs, like no film, school. And so and it kind of was like 20,000 views was like a really good video. Yeah. And then the film finish, we release it. And then Okay, what am I going to? What am I going to do with the channel now? And I noticed this trend of the video essay. So I'm like, Okay, let's make it more about, like, what are some of these lessons, the bigger lessons about creative storytelling, there was like I, I noticed there was a lack of creative storytelling, it was all about software, and what's the best key keystroke to get somewhere. And I'm actually not really technical at all. Like, if you were going to get technical, I'm going to just pretty fast. I really use the tool just to tell the story. And I drove it pretty hard. But I never spent the time to like really dig in and understand what's the most efficient way to cut, I just I learned by just telling the story. So that was my angle on it. It's just to focus on characters, emotions, and story. And in a way that sort of then took it to the next level. I did videos like, what's the one thing that can immediately improve your editing and it's basically always tell a story and just showing how very like some, there are a lot of editors out there, but they're very few that really understand the concept of storytelling that like six things that are pointed out. In a video like that, I think it has like 300,000 views. And once I understood, okay, this is where I can, like make editing more accessible to just filmmakers, not just editors, to maybe even people that just love watching movies. That's when, when the channel took off, I did a video on Dunkirk that has 500,000 views. Yeah. And it's all just about editing. I'm like, I'm just looking at the scenes and I'm like taking the scenes apart.

Alex Ferrari 14:17
People and people want to watch that. Of course,

Sven Pape 14:19
People want to watch it.

Alex Ferrari 14:20
It's insane how you got over 200,000 followers on your YouTube channel and growing daily and growing pretty exponentially too. I remember when I first saw you You were under 100,000. So it's been growing fairly quickly as well.

Sven Pape 14:35
Yeah, it's definitely that's that's YouTube. It's like it's growing exponentially. Once you have a couple of milestone evergreen videos that work. The YouTube algorithm just keeps sharing them. And there's value there that just lets the value exists even if you don't see the video for a year. Once it's released, it's it's still there still something entertaining. Something to be gleaned from it. Yeah. Without without question.

Alex Ferrari 15:03
And do you find that and I always love asking you that there's this, you know, you came in at a time, where I mean, if you don't mind me asking how old are you? Oh, I'm 47. Right. So you're actually a little older than I am. So you you would, you would have seen this going going in, were, when I was coming up. And when you were coming up, we, you know, it was avid, like you had to get, you had to jump on an avid and, and jumping on an avid was extremely expensive, you had to go to a big post house, you had to, you couldn't practice, like practicing, you had to jump in early morning or after work or, you know, work out some sort of deal where you could get time in the suite. Now, I mean, literally, you can edit on your iPhone. But back then it took a long time to do. And in the the budgets for for editors, excuse me, the salaries for editors used to be a lot harder because it was just less of us doing this work. But then Final Cut showed up this rough Ian, that was called the final cut. And I kept hearing Final Cut, come up and come up with my market where I was editing. And I'm like, but I'm an avid or they're like, Oh, we just got a Final Cut system. And I'm like, wait, just check this out. And when I checked it out, I was like, holy crap, this is amazing. And how much is it and I can build my own system. It was because of Final Cut that was able to open up my first post house. Because I and it was so funny. I had my neighbor had bought a $70,000 avid and I had spent, I think eight to 10,000 just to build out my whole suite. Yeah. And I was paid off within a couple months before. And he was like paying payments, like I was out a mortgage payment. And he's like, I actually took on Final Cut. I'm like, yeah, you should have because no one cares, it's business. But my question is, I'm going off the rails here. My question is, the wonderful thing about Final Cut is that it opened the door to everybody to become an editor. The horrible thing about Final Cut is that it opened the door for everyone to become an editor. So then all of a sudden, what was once a market where you can get paid a salary that you can live off of. Now you're hustling against kids who have no idea what to do, and they might know how to operate the system, but they might not know how to tell a story. And trying to explain that to a producer is very difficult. What's your take on that?

Sven Pape 17:16
Well, first of all, I mean, Final Cut is the gateway drug that get me my jobs. I mean, I made most of my money on avid, right? But I couldn't I didn't, I didn't study editing, I had to learn avid on the job, I was already an editor on goals of the best not knowing the avid all that well, and taking a course at movie Ola. Yeah, that's what I did. But I wouldn't have had this career without Final Cut. So I'm saying I don't care if it's if the masses have access, I think it's a good thing. Oh, it is and, and it will self regulate immediately. Yes, you will have a producer who might be inexperienced say oh, I have this editor is going to charge me 20 bucks an hour. Now if this editor is going to charge me 50 bucks an hour, I'm gonna go with a guy who charges 20 bucks an hour, and then go through that experience. And most of the time, the guy that values his time, 20 bucks an hour. It's not worth his time, or her time. And so you just gotta you got to go through that process with every producer, the ones that know, understand, okay, I'm not paying you to run a piece of software, I'm paying you to solve my problems, to make sure that the film that I shot that has problems, you're protecting me and you're making sure this is the best that can be and that is so much more valuable. That means I need to spend less time in the editing Bay going through that painful process of making something work. And I can trust that you can make this work. And I think that will never change. So I think it's good, more people can have a go at it. And so that will mean that more great people will come out of this.

Alex Ferrari 19:04
And that's happened in every aspect of our business, whether it be cameras, you know, MP, you know, DPS all of a sudden now because I own a red, I'm a dp. It's kind of like, Oh, just because I own my own editing system. I'm an editor, I own my own DaVinci. Now I'm a colorist, they have no idea how to do it. Just because you could afford the Porsche doesn't mean you know how to drive it.

Sven Pape 19:22
Yeah. And the only way that you will learn is by doing it. So if you have cheap tools, and you can mess up a lot. You'll get there eventually,if you have the drive,

Alex Ferrari 19:33
Absolutely no question. Now, you've obviously worked a lot with editors and seeing new editors work. What are three mistakes that all new editors make? Are you referring to a video that I have no idea what you're talking about, sir.

Sven Pape 19:50
Okay, well in that video, the mistake number one is they don't look at the footage before they start editing. So that would be the first thing like see everything that you have, and start selecting, I think selecting is more important than the actual putting it together. If you have a system where you know, okay, these are the great moments, this is how I felt when I saw it the very first time. And I'm going to make sure I won't forget about this in terms of building select reels or marking it writing it down whatever your system is, you need to make sure you remember how you feel the first time that you see the footage, and see it all before you start editing. So you're not stuck, you're not editing yourself into a corner, you've seen a little bit, you're like have a hunch, you start cutting away, and now you're stuck there. And you're not, you're not telling the best possible story that's out there. So that's number one. Number two is this very specific, the lack of using j and l cuts. So really understanding what a j cat is and how it helps to make that cat invisible and make it flow in a way that it feels natural, like just a head turn so that the jacket is where the audio comes before the video of somebody already starts talking before we cut to them. And you don't have to use that all the time. But when you use it correctly, you can make a scene just blow it smooth, smooth it all out. And the last one is to not have a workflow or not test the workflow. So just going through spending an hour before you start cutting your next short or feature and just going from taking the footage into the system, figuring out how you're going to organize it, figuring out cutting a little test scene outputting that and giving that to whatever the end product is whether you go to DaVinci and a DCP, or whatever it is, just do a test run of the entire workflow chain before you commit to it because it's ever changing. Every time I start a new feature. There's a new cameras a new software upgrade as a new compression. So I cannot keep up with what's happening. Technically, I need to use what's the best technology at the moment that it's available, and I need to learn it right away through this test.

Alex Ferrari 22:10
Yeah, I was I was uh, one of the questions I was gonna ask you, can you please discuss the importance of understanding post production workflow, I've been yelling and screaming from the top of the mountaintop. how ridiculously important it is for filmmakers to understand workflow. And a lot of times editors say, Oh, I can I can do I'm a post supervisor, I can, I can run through this whole workflow for you and but from camera, to edit, to color to final deliverable. And then not to mention audio as well getting those audio files out, bringing it back in and putting it all together, what an online editor is versus a creative editor. And that whole process. It's not complicated. But you've got to go through it. Because if not, you will, you could, I mean, I literally remember a film, I'll never forget this room. It was a wrestling film, when the red Remember, the red showed up. And the workflow was challenging, to say the least. And then there's this poor kid who had shot like a $250,000 feature. Had, it's been in his hard drive for about a year and a half, because he could not find anyone who could understand how to get the workflow, right. And I he came to me because he heard I was one of the red guys that can handle the workflow. And I looked them I'm like, it's gonna cost this much dude. I mean, I can't scan. Like I almost got to recut this from scratch, like the match cut it, you know, by eye because they didn't even have time code on their damn reference file that they I mean, it's just ridiculous that he's, and I finally came up, but it took them two and a half years. Why? Because they didn't test workflow.

Sven Pape 23:43
I have funny stories, I actually turned on a movie because I looked at the red dailies. I'm like, This just looks awful. I didn't understand that originally. And who shot this, this is terrible,

Alex Ferrari 23:57
Terrible. It's all bland.

Sven Pape 24:00
I'm not editing any of this. It took me a while to Oh, maybe this thing like a lot or whatever. It's like I talked about workflow. But once I've done the test, I don't understand any of it. Like I just need to know it's working. The sound mixer at the end is happy. And then I just leave it up to the post supervisor or the assistant but we need to make sure we we try it out before it goes. I just did a documentary on Premiere and was the first time cutting on premiere. And I came in late so the workflow was set we could lower the film at the end. And then they tried to get to Pro Tools and two weeks to figure this stuff out. Because nobody had and Stan was isn't very expensive delivery on that end.

Alex Ferrari 24:51
Oh yes. I've got like I have I'm sure you have horror stories as well as I do. And we could talk for hours about horror. We should do a whole episode of editing. horror stories with Sven and Alex. I mean, we could just talk for days. And the funny thing is, is not just only independent films that I've, I've been on like, multimillion dollar jobs, that they didn't do this simple workflow test, and it costs them just 10s of 1000s of dollars, or if not 100, even one even costs over $100,000, because of the time, because we haven't even talked about VFX, and how to import and prep the effects and get those out to the plates, get the plates out to the VFX. Guys, and have them come back in and how that gets incorporated and all that. It's, it's mind blowing? Now, um, are there any tips that you have to the directors listening it out there in the audience, on how to properly work with an editor? Because there is a, there's a way to do it. And there's not a way to do it, and to how to become a partner with that person. And he's your creative he or she is your creative partner in this because you're essentially as the editor rewriting the movie, whether it's the last draft of the film?

Sven Pape 26:07
Well, I have a preferred way. But I'm not saying this is what the director should do. The director needs to do what works for her. Sometimes it does mean that he or she sits next to me and watches every cat that I make. So it's my preferred way.

Alex Ferrari 26:24
It's a fun. That's fun, isn't it?

Sven Pape 26:26
Yeah. I mean, my preferred way is that, and this might not happen on the first go around, you might need to work on a couple of projects with a director. But my preferred way is that the director goes off gives me the footage, we have a very broad discussion about what the film is about what's, what's the intent, what's the vision, what's the point of view. And I'll keep that in mind. I'll read the script, I throw the script out, and I start cutting the scene. And then when whenever I see problems, when I feel like oh, I need to shape the performance, I need to punch up the script, I need to pull back on maybe some stuff that's very obvious that's overwritten, I need to remove this, I'd like to already in that first pass, give it my best shot, and really tell the story the way that I see it and pitch it back to the director. And then my position shifts, once that first cut is done, where sort of I have my editors cut, then I become the listener. And it's all about figuring out what the director wants, and helping him or her to get there. But having said that, that's really that's a, that's a shortened process, where it's really important for the director to be part of this process of finding the film. So sometimes you actually have to show everything that was shot, put in every line, put everything out there so that the director can see or this might not be working, as I thought it would be to shortchange that process can sometimes delay things, but you have to go back. So I'm cutting a feature right now, first time director, first time we're collaborating on it. Luckily, he was able to have somebody cut the feature exactly the way that was done in script while he was shooting. And then we looked at this cut together. And then we could have a, like, within two days, we could figure out how we're going to restructure the film and how we're going to like change certain things like this is there's a certain setup that just doesn't work in my point of view, and the director agreed, and we need to get around it, we need to set it up differently. And so when I get to cap this now, I can immediately take more liberty. And I mean, I love to immediately go in there and try and fix things in the end. So you you would agree that you should do an assemble cut of like literally what the script says, first, you should do it. If you're working with a director for the first time and you're really finding that relationship. You can, you can cut some corners if you already have goodwill and trust built in. And like with Mark Webber, we've worked on three films together at this point. He doesn't even need to see certain things were made certain choices he made. He just wants to see what would like what if it's working on the screen right now. That's all he needs to know. And then we do go back into detail at certain things where it feels like oh, this, there was something else here or this isn't quite working for me. Let's go back and dig in. But at the beginning, yes, absolutely. Show the process, show the assembly cut with everything in it

Alex Ferrari 29:37
Do you and this is a little old editor trick and I'm curious if you've ever done it, that you actually will purposefully make a bad cut or a bad edit, to leave in that mistake. So then the producer or the director goes, Oh, you need to change that just so they have a feeling that they have now done something As opposed to them going after something that you really feel passionate about. Now, that's more like in commercials and music videos. I've done that a lot too. But sometimes features out like even in color. When I color grade, sometimes I'll just like, Oh, I didn't thank you for it. I didn't even know I did that. Sorry. Just it's a it's a psychological trick. But it gives them a feeling like, I have to say something because I'm the director. I'm the producer, you could denied to say it at all, if you if that will hurt your income stream at all, sir. No, I haven't done it in a while. But you got it. You have done it. I

Sven Pape 30:32
have done it. I've used this strategy. And it backfired several times. What happens suddenly it stays in the film. Oh,

Alex Ferrari 30:41
you got to move. But you have to make it so bad that even the craziest producer will never

Sven Pape 30:46
see. Yeah, nice. You can never predict what people go down. It's it's very hard. But I do. I do show certain things where if you're like, well, this is going to change. Like, this is not going to stay this way. But we need to keep it in right now. We need to get there. Gotcha. Now to do that.

Alex Ferrari 31:08
A safe politically correct answer, sir. I appreciate that. Now, what is? What is it about editing that you love the most?

Sven Pape 31:19
It helps me find the story. So I have a hard time understanding story when I just write it or read it. It's the footage that speaks to me. So it's for me, these are the building blocks that I can use to find a story. And so the most exciting thing for me is that most of the time, the story is quite different from what the original intent is. So I tend to always go for Oh, this is I have this inclination here. Let's go after this. And because some of the most exciting stuff happens, when you're discovering it, it's not because you wrote it that way. I mean, it happens too. But you have to be really, really good as a writer to create moments that are just like fresh, unbelievably insightful and surprising. Oftentimes, as an audio, the audio is pretty smart, I can't figure out what you're trying to do here. So you need to, you need to hide it a little bit more in the editing, or you need to find things that just sort of happened on their own. Like I was just talking to somebody about, I don't know if this is PC, but on the movie whiplash, JK made a mistake line reading where he he flubbed a line. And they ended up using it in the film. And it's about the pig that so he refused to do the line again, he wouldn't want it to be in the film, apparently, I don't know. But the director just loved it. And then they sort of snuck it in from from another take into that one. And so that's the kind of stuff that you can come up with. It just happened. That's, that's exciting. To me. That's what I love about editing.

Alex Ferrari 33:13
Yeah, cuz there is things in the editing process when like that aren't on the paper that earned on the day of the shoot. Like you just kind of find the magic like this one thing happens. And like that perfect example, one line, that was a throwaway, all of a sudden becomes the thing I always love. And this is just me, when you're editing a head turn, or you're editing the arm movement between cuts, so it kind of makes it a little bit of a smoother cut. Yeah, when you nail it, this is just something to so every This is now that we're in the weeds here. This is something that only editors would really understand is when you two completely different takes to two pletely different angles, but it looks seamless. Yeah, there's not there's such a satisfaction with

Sven Pape 33:57
this nice cutting on the action as a nice little tool to make edit seem invisible. But I just recently learned from an interview by Walter merge that he doesn't do that necessarily. He actually completes the action in one take. And then he cuts and he said he does that because he feels like if you're cutting on the action, it actually doesn't complete the thought or the intent of the actor and it felt felt feels better to him many times to to have somebody like sit down and not cutting on the actual slit, but have him land and then cut and I thought that's a really interesting take that he has I have to watch for that more and see if if maybe once in a while. It doesn't make sense for

Alex Ferrari 34:49
it also. Then, yeah, I guess it also depends on the kind of movie it is like if it's an action movie, I think at cutting on action works a lot better than if it's if It's cold. Was it? What did that movie a Cold Mountain? The one he did. But yeah, if it's called mountain that not as much when you're in a cabin somewhere, but if you're doing bad boys three, I think you're gonna probably want to cut if you're doing a Michael Bay film, you're cutting on the action. I don't know when you're cutting into Michael vevo. Have you ever done a video on Michael Bay's editing style?

Sven Pape 35:20
I taught a lesson on chaos cinema in, in college about Michael Bay. So yeah, maybe that's, that should be a good video, but there's not going to be much love for his editing.

Alex Ferrari 35:32
You know what, okay, and we could I want to talk about this for a second because I because i, you and I are both you know, you know, students of cinema, we watched cinema and scene styles and come come and go. And Michael Bay does get a pretty horrible rap. He is known as like, you know, you don't want to be that guy. But with that said, with that said, I personally think he's a genius in the sense that you might disagree with his films, you know, and the way he does it and all that stuff. But if movies change action movies changed from the moment that bad boys in the rock were made. Yeah, those are the two movies that changed all action movies, like Tony Jones, by the way, they're all go bad boys and are the rock is still probably arguably my favorite of his films. I do love Armageddon. But that's just me. This is a split in my space in my heart for Armageddon. I know it's ridiculous, but I still do love it. But after bad boys and the rock, it changed the way action movies were shot, it changed the way and everybody pretty much was trying to chase the dragon with him, they would have kept trying to chase his his style. And you could see that with Peter Berg's movies and, and so many other food, Claus films, and they all kind of he set the standard, kind of like what Tony Scott did with Top Gun. And it kind of you could go all the way back to Tony Scott and Top Gun that kind of changed the game too, because there wasn't anything before Top Gun that even remotely look like that, you know. So, in the editing has a lot to do with that, like how he cuts out why they cut. It's not your standard story, structure editing, he, he's all about the spectacle. He's all about that the motion, the emotion, as opposed to the context is like, if you watch I was watching bad boys too. And that whole sequence in the highway when the cars are falling on top of them. And you have no idea. There's no reference point of where you are in the movie. But it works really confused. But it works for whatever reason. Normally, you would like to have this at the establishing shots that the audience understands what's going on. All of a sudden, you see you see a tire, you see a car, you see a face, you see a gun? It's and I guess we just kind of connected? What's your feeling on that?

Sven Pape 37:48
Well, I mean, I think there's a difference between the rock and like a transformer moving on where I just don't know where I don't know why I'm looking at this person. I don't know if they are looking at each other. Right? Right, what he just said. Anybody can hear just utterly confused. And it's just sort of them that the action just like rolls over me. And I feel like I'm not as engaged as when I watched madmax. Right. Like the eye tracing is just perfect. Oh man from every cut, I know exactly who the villain is where the motion is going from where to where. And it's more efficient that way as well. I think Mad Max has actually cut way faster than any transformer movie. But it still works because somebody has an eye exactly on where where's the the audience looking at each frame. And when we make the cat that we make sure that the eyes are still in that same spot of the frame. And they don't have to reorient themselves. They don't have to figure out like the one ad where we are in in the, in the scene. One of these things that you have to do in Transformers if you want to figure out what's going on.

Alex Ferrari 39:04
But if you study like if you go if you watch Transformers one, and then you watch the last transformers, oh my god, it's like night and day like changing it. He's gotten. I feel he's gotten a little bit more drunk on his power. So he had to go in he just does what because every time you put something out, it just makes a billion dollars and he doesn't care. But I think Have

Sven Pape 39:26
you seen how many editors he has? Oh, he goes through like wife was six editors working on this movie at the same time. They're just throwing stuff on the timeline. And so by the time they're done, they have no like it to me it feels like they don't even there's no nothing that they can like, hold on to in terms of plan. Office. It's just and There's no no ownership in there. Which I mean, just from watching one video where I see him talking to his editors, and they're all on notepads trying to figure out what the hell he's gonna do with a seat now, after he watched it, I think

Alex Ferrari 40:17
I saw that video too. And I was watching it till I was like, Jesus, this is insane. It isn't. It's insane. This is his process, though. But like, but that but I think Mad Max is a perfect example of a movie that is extremely chaotic. And extremely quiz. You got visuals coming at you at a mile a minute. Yeah, but for whatever reason, it's not as exhausting. as, like, I stopped watching the Transformers film, like, I think I stopped at three. I was like, I can't even I can't even watch this. I just can't. Because it's, it's just exhausting. Visually exhausting. Like, I can only imagine trying to watch it in the theater, you would just be like, Oh, if you just be too much. But Mad Max, man. I mean, I mean,

Sven Pape 41:02
the reason is Margaret Sixto who kept the film, right. She I mean, she is the wife of the director, which George Miller I think, and, and they just, he trusts her to do the right thing. And she has a sensitivity towards action. That is the I don't see any other editor that were able, it would have been able to cut this movie this way. Because she really, really, she went through the entire footage, it took her three months to just go through the footage, select everything for a lot of cameras. And just, I mean, they manipulated every shot, there's, there's hardly any shot that's running it through 24 frames a second, I know they've sped up, they speed up speed up, they slow mo, if they feel like it's lacking, they do something to make sure it holds up. And the eye tracking is perfect. The center framing and the entire movement throughout the film, like from the beginning to the end, the way that the action moves at the beginning, from left to right. At some point, they turn around, and they go right to left, and then they go right again, especially basically three movements in this film in terms of the action. And this is all by design. This is a director who has a vision who storyboarded this whole thing through an editor that just completely is on board is a strong collaborator that can just support this vision 100%.

Alex Ferrari 42:31
And as directors, you know, a lot of directors like myself, I edit my own work. I've had I've had the occasion to work with editors on projects, rarely, but it happens. And I always find it being so refreshing to work with someone I can collaborate with. Because it's enemy's exhausting. It's an exhausting process. It's a very time consuming process. It's exhausting. And I it's hard as a director to be, you know, I can I can I'm too invested. So sometimes over the years, I've gotten better at this, but like, but it took me six hours to shoot that shot, I can't I have to leave it in. And the editors like I don't care if it took you six months, it doesn't work out. You know, and that's kind of what you need sometimes. So all for all those, you know, Director editors out there,

Sven Pape 43:16
sometimes it helps if you have to work fast. I mean, I saw your film, I didn't realize that you spend only that little time cutting it and that you also edit it yourself. And it's tight. It works.

Alex Ferrari 43:29
That means a lot coming from your he's anybody where he's talking about on the corner of ego and desire guys, as he got he got a sneak preview. Nice, we're gonna say coming out. And I'm in the middle of signing a deal right now going back and forth with my attorneys. And if I do get it with this distribution deal, I'll go theatrical, so it's gonna be really fun. It's gonna be a small theatrical run, which I'm really super excited about.

Sven Pape 43:51
Well, thank you for showing it to me, but it feels like I mean, it didn't feel like you needed another two, three months of editing and re editing to figure this movie out. And sometimes that you're on a deadline, that's the greatest thing that can happen to you. That's what I love about YouTube is like, I want to make a video within a week. So whatever happens happens, and sometimes they turn out great just because I couldn't really think about it that much. It's all instinct.

Alex Ferrari 44:18
Yeah, it's all it's and I think also because, you know, you and I have been editing for so many years. It is it's it's subconscious at this point. It is something that we have all this experience. And we have all these tools that we put in our toolbox over the years as an editor that you just flow and it's just kind of like, you know, a painter painting or a musician playing the guitar, we just kind of riff and we just kind of see things like okay, this goes here, this goes there that see. And that takes time. That takes a lot of time to develop that. And that's why when I told him like yeah, cut that in about 10 days and you know, had a trailer done like it because I just didn't have and that wasn't a deadline. I just, I was done. I was like okay, you know, it's done, and I It didn't, I didn't just cut it one take that was a rough cut, then I had people come in, then I had some things Chuck cut out. But I had an assemble cut, if you could believe it, I actually had to cut out seven minutes out of the whole movie, because it was just fat. I had to just trim it down to tighten things up, and it worked. But that means a lot coming from you. That definitely means a lot. So I appreciate it. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Sven Pape 45:34
And that goes back to what I was saying before, like, I like to give it my best shot the first time around, because I know this, like what you're saying it's all instinct, like, I don't want to, I don't want to slow down for the instinct and just gonna make it like everything that was shot and the original plan, I want to already take advantage of this instinct and immediately make it work. And so hopefully the director is open to this idea. With the cavea, we can go back and try anything but that first go around, really trust your editor, if you feel like it's a good one, to just go at it and be ruthless.

Alex Ferrari 46:14
I think a lot of times too, as editors, we second guess get second guess ourselves a lot. It's part of that kind of comes with the territory. But so many times in my career, it's always the first the first instinct cut is the one that works. And I would spend an hour recording it. And at the end of that hour, you're like son of a bitch. It was perfect the way it was, and I had

Sven Pape 46:34
to go back. Usually the first cat is pretty good. It's like 85%, right, and then it goes down, like you're trying to fix it to get it up to that 90 95%, which is really hard. So it goes down to 60/75, it's getting worse and worse. And at some point, it's going to come back up and you're going to get there eventually. But it's going to be just a valley of misery for a long time before you get it even back up to where it was originally.

Alex Ferrari 47:02
I think it depending on the kind of story you're trying to tell the kind of film it is, especially when you're editing a lot of it. I love going on instinct now. Because I feel I feel safe and comfortable in my own instincts at this point. And in my own experience. So when I I go, I actually rather not think tremendously heavily about it. If it works, it works. If it doesn't, well, we work it but just to kind of flow off that instinct. Again, it takes time to build. I think it's the it's the best. And with my films that I've done recently, it's exactly how I cut them really quickly, faster than I should have probably but I but they just rolled because I was like the ttttt. And I don't know if you've had the experience I'm sure you have when you're directing something. And then you you know the footage already, you've already got the selects almost in your head, where you could just like okay, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, and even move so quickly. It's a very interesting experience directing and editing, especially if you've been an editor for a long time. And you start off as an editor.

Sven Pape 47:59
Yeah. Yeah, it's not easy. I mean, I've done it twice. It certainly took me longer to edit a film that I directed myself. Now it's up for doing it in 10 days.

Alex Ferrari 48:11
Now, I want to ask you something about branding. Yeah. Because you've done a great job of branding yourself as an editor you've built like this whole thing with this guy edits and, and a podcast and everything. So as just on a, I know you have, you're basically an online business right now, your side hustle, if you will, of this guy edits everything, but then you still edit. And that's also a revenue stream, you're still that's your career, that's your income, which kind of feeds the other thing. Yeah. But on a just a point of view like this, if I, as a director, were looking for an editor, and I happen to type in editor and I'm like, look at that, look what he's doing. You have built yourself up as an authority in this space, where you might be the best editor in the world, you might not be that good. But at the end of the day, the assumption or the image of the brand that you've created, says that you know what you're doing. And I also get a feeling about who you are as a as a person as a potential collaborator. That's such an amazing thing. And I have not seen much of it for editors. I've seen it for directors, I've seen it for writers, even a cinematographers, but I don't see it often with editor. So I really want to talk to you about the power of branding, the importance of branding yourself as a post production professional, if that's like all the editors out there who just want to be editors to brand themselves and how important and what any tips you can give.

Sven Pape 49:35
Yeah, so branding, I think is so important, especially now with the competition be what it is. I'm not saying everybody needs to have a YouTube channel. I need to make a business a side hustle a lot of the branding part, but I think it's important for editors to understand that they are not just somebody that is an artist, collaborator, but they actually stand for something, a brand is a promise of an experience. And you need to portray that to your client, your director, what that experience is going to be like. You need to stand for something you will always be listening, you will never refuse to make a note to, to do a note, you will always be open to try something you will be on time, whatever these values are, is what needs to be part of how you talk about your work. So that you can get to those clients that really value that and are willing to pay you rate. And that you that keep coming back so that you have a career where you can make a living and you can leverage up, you can go from one project, and then take these opportunities where you can move up to maybe from cutting television to feature whatever wherever you are, from wedding, to corporate, from corporate to TV, there will always be these opportunities if you make this experience, amazing for the client, like I want the client to go through this cutting a project with me and then turn around and hire me for the next project until every one of their producer friends what an amazing editor I have, if they don't have a job for me that these people start calling me. So that's what branding is all about.

Alex Ferrari 51:26
And in today's world, you've got us thinking you got to you got to rise above all of this other competition and by branding yourself. You definitely can and you've done a fantastic job of it, sir. So my next feature my call you, sir. interested, it's gonna be interesting. What are you gonna do next? Now, and I always like asking editors this, what is the craziest thing that's ever happened in an edit suite that you've been a part of? Because I have my story, which I'll tell you, but I want to I want to hear yours first. Okay, I was cutting an independent, see how quickly he went? Do you see how quickly he went to that audience?

Sven Pape 52:05
It was probably like one or 2am right directly as James Franco. You walk up right there.

Alex Ferrari 52:12
That's all you need to do. Okay.

Sven Pape 52:15
He was out at night. He wasn't drinking or anything. He said pretty pretty straight shooter comes in. Part of his entourage is Lindsey lowen. She walks in and just sits down on the floor next to me like right at the monitor. Everybody's in the back on the couch watching the scene. She just sits right there. And just like gazes on the screen and says nothing. And I'm like, Okay, this is, this is how this is me. This is my life. Go ahead. I'm gonna be covering tonight. And then yeah, we spent like a good two, three hours. And she was just looking at it, just looking at highs. And I don't know if it's the craziest. But that was pretty

Alex Ferrari 52:58
well, that's, that's pretty insane minds is I was actually editing a commercial at in Miami. And I had clients and I had agency and I had the client. So I had both in the room. And in the middle of the cut, like so because and we you know, commercials you take it could take I've seen commercials takes three or four months to be cut back in the day. So it just spends money, money, money, you know, back when the budgets were around. And midway through our edit on the on the commercial, commercial campaign, the agency got fired. Hmm. So, but they still got to finish this thing. So now you can sense the animosity in the room. And as an editor, you're just Switzerland, man, you're just I'm just I'm not getting involved. I don't know anything. So then a cut comes. And now you know, it's not about the Edit. It's about something else in the room. And I was in my late 20s I think your early 30s. And all of a sudden, they're like, Alex, what do you think of that cut? I'm like, I don't know, it could work this way. But what do you think of this idea of like, I don't know, it could it could work that way too. So I'm just completely Switzerland. And then they start going at each other. Like they start yelling at each other behind me and I'm just I'm like this, I'm like, I don't see anything. I'm just on my avid I'm just cutting and all of a sudden fists are thrown and they start fighting behind me. I was like, holy cow like literally got on the floor. They start punching each other. I'm like, I'm pulling one guy off the bed. I'm like, I didn't have that. No, I'm like, Are you kidding me? It was it was an intense day. But no to everybody listening. If you're the editor in a situation like that, do not take sides ever take sides. So I'm I'm imagining to like when you got a director and a producer. That must be difficult, like if you got a big powerful producer and a big powerful director and they both want two different things. What do you do? That's a question. I'm gonna ask you that. What do you do? Have you got James Cameron with a chain cameo we sat with James Cameron, obviously. But if you've got I mean, that's just I mean, there's, there's, you know, he's he's James Cameron. But if you've got like a powerful producer, and you've been spending a lot of time with the director, and you've kind of befriend the director, because you're spending 10 hours a day with them for months at a time. What do you do? What's the choice do you make? It's kind of like Sophie's Choice a lot of times because the producers the when the higher jus more likely, and might be able to get you more work later. Is this your I don't know, what are the politics in that in your opinion?

Sven Pape 55:31
Well, I think there are two, two options. One is I will always side with a director. And I'll make that clear. Or I'll just I'll point out Look, if you want my opinion, I'm going to I'm here to support the director. And so I might go that route. I mean, it's really important that that relationship between the director and editor is not in question, I need the director to trust me that I have his back. So that's priority number one. And that sometimes means the person that is cutting the check, I need to figure out a way how to make sure the producer understands what my role is. That that's one but it does help to sometimes be like Zen about it and try not to take a stand.

Alex Ferrari 56:20
It's rough. It's rough.

Sven Pape 56:21
Yeah. I do have a I do have a James Cameron story. Yeah. And it paid off as many of those as you want, sir, continue to stand up for something because I don't even remember what the exact specifics were. But something was wrong. He's like, somebody screwed up. This is not where who thought about this idealistic idea to do it this way, like, shoot it this way, or whatever. No, it was me. So I was like, nobody's silent room. And I'm like, just in the spur of the moment. I like, I wasn't me, I take full responsibility in like, he was about to explode. And just the fact that I actually came up and came clean, he, it immediately changed. He's like, well, we're gonna change this. And he like, became calm. So it also sort of taught me at the moment, it's okay sometimes to screw up. If you own it, you can actually get some some brownie points for just being courageous to, to actually admit it. My friend courageous is not the word to use

Alex Ferrari 57:19
when you're just coming out of film school and you're standing up to the camera and going I did it. Sorry. That's generally when I promise you that he probably respected you a hell of a lot more after that. Yeah, it felt like okay, he there's a little bit of Okay, what are some backbone here? Yeah, I can work with it. Now. So Okay, any other James Cameron stories? Because I just love hearing James Cameron source? None that you can say publicly? Fair enough. Fair enough? No, I mean, when you're when you're dealing, and I mean, God, it's such a weird. It's such a weird place to be when you're an editor that sometimes you're at the you're at the service of, of working with the director, sometimes as an editor, you feel so passionate about a cut, or you feel so passionate about something you're doing, and you disagree wholeheartedly with the director, where in your mind, you're going, he's gonna ruin it, or she's gonna ruin this. Yeah. And that's a balance. That's hard. And it's not just editors, it's every core member that deals with a director. How do you deal How do you come to grips with that? Because I know you want to, you know, be there of service to the director. And I tell you what I do, I always I always offer to pay the bill twice. That's what I always ask my saying, I'm like, Okay, I'll offer to pay the check twice. I'll go look, I really liked this kind of thing the way she goes, but this is a noble Look, listen to it just is that no, no, I think we're gonna go this way. Okay. And that's because at that point, I just can't, I can't fight anymore. And early in my career, I would style would just be sticking harder. But as you got older, just like, you know what, that's just not my movie. I gotta just be here at the service of the director. So what do you what do you say?

Sven Pape 58:58
Yeah, I think so too. I mean, I'm more passionate about actually showing my idea, as opposed to having my idea be the idea that ends up being in the film, as long as, as I was able to make my case, that's most of the time. That's really all I need to satisfy my ego. But sometimes you do feel like, Oh, this, like this is really crucial. This is a moment that's going to break the film. And what I tried to do is there a lot of little battles that I won't fight, where I'll give the director, whatever they want, just to build up goodwill, build up goodwill, give them everything they want, even if I think this is not going to make the film any better. This is not going to have a big impact films are very, they have a duality. They either work or they don't the scene either works or doesn't. And once once I feel like it's working, just add all that to it, make it whatever their specific reasons that I don't have to understand And then take that goodwill. And every once in a while, go to the bank and say, Okay, now I would like to withdraw some of that and say, Okay, this is the moment. You've seen me work with you all the way. But I think right now here, this is, this is an important point, when you should really think about where whether we're going to go this way addicting, this is what's going to happen, what you're risking, and then see if the director will trust me at that point to say, Okay, I'm just going to, I'm just going to buy into this because you said, so that happens every once in a while, sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes they like reconsider, they feel really strongly about it. And that's all I can do at that point. Sometimes you just have to let it go. Because you could be wrong, too.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:47
Yeah, I know. Absolutely. I've remember early, early in my career, where I would literally just, I would pout, I would go out, and I would just be like, throw a little bit of a hissy fit. I'm like, fine, I'll just edit this for you. And I'll watch what and I wouldn't call that angry editing. So just like, just boom, boom, boom, here play, and then you would slam the spacebar to play. And then we just play it and then, but the worst part about that situation is that if it worked, it's so hard to come back from that, like, did that once or twice I was like, You know what? Just keep quiet, do what they want. Because you look like an absolute ass when they look at you like it works, doesn't it? And you're like, damn it, it does work. God. That's a young editors vibe. That's a very young editor who does that? I hope if there's older writers who still do that, that's another issue.

Sven Pape 1:01:34
Well, at least you're on fire. And when you're on fire, you do most of the times I'm pretty good editing.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:39
That's true. I mean, yeah, when you heat it up, you just like, are you just that energy flows through it. Now, I'm gonna ask you a few questions, ask all of my guests. What would you What advice would you give a filmmaker or an editor specifically, advice you would give them that they want to break into the business today.

Sven Pape 1:02:00
Always be editing. So if you if you're looking for jobs, you need to be working on projects, there's always something that you could be doing other than sending out resumes and sending out emails and trying to talk to people, you need to be working on projects, find a friend, find something on Craigslist, that you can keep honing your skill, you're going to grow much, much faster

Alex Ferrari 1:02:22
that way? And do you advise people buying their own systems? Or getting a system that they can at least work on by themselves?

Sven Pape 1:02:30
I won't. I mean, if they have the means, I would definitely say have you? I mean, you should? Why would you not be editing? Why would you not be cutting on your phone? If that's the only thing you can you have? But this editing software's for free, you probably want to have a computer if you if you're working in the business.

Alex Ferrari 1:02:49
As a business. Yeah, you should probably have a computer.

Sven Pape 1:02:52
But if you can afford you can be cutting on an iPhone. There's great software out there. I think it's called Luma. Fusion, and you could be cutting, cutting on that isn't so 20 bucks,

Alex Ferrari 1:03:04
or even DaVinci Resolve is free. Yeah. And I don't know if they have a phone out. They don't have a phone app, but it is a free app on a Mac or PC. It's an excellent system. Now, can you tell me what book had the biggest impact on your life or career?

Sven Pape 1:03:23
I mean, I always say my favorite film book is in the blink of an eye, no watermarks, but a great book. But the book that probably had the biggest impact is one that nobody's read. It's called sky walking.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:36
Ohh yeah. I read I love Skywalker. It was a great book.

Sven Pape 1:03:40
By Dale Pollack, I believe, and he was the one that motivated me to try and go to film school here in America. And he ended up actually being a teacher at ASI for me, so he's, he's been a great mentor.

Alex Ferrari 1:03:54
That's a good book, everybody. Now what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn whether in the film business or in life?

Sven Pape 1:04:03
Really embrace rejection? Like failing? is the greatest way to grow? I used to just waste so much time failing and then just being paralyzed instead of failing and then say, okay, what's next? That's that probably cost me 10 years.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:22
Oh, my friend cost me many years like that, too. It's no because I always tell people I say preach this from the top of the mountain as well like fail and fail often because it's the best teacher you're gonna have. And you don't learn from winning. You just don't don't learn from winning you learn from failing and you can't let it paralyze you and it paralyzes you that's your ego going like that if you're trying to process it, it's it's like oh, my poor little ego is hurt like Nah, man, you just gotta keep going. And and everyone who's ever made it in this world, in the our business or in general, but like, let's just keep our business. They all failed. You know, the Terminator. Let's stay On camera and the Terminator came out of one of Canada's biggest failures. Parana to the spawning. Yeah, you know, and and and that's you know and Spielberg had failures like look at 1941 for God's sakes and then he did that film thing called Raiders of the Lost Ark, you know, so it all kind of it all works out at the end. Now, the most difficult question of all three of your favorite films of all time?

Sven Pape 1:05:26
Oh, that's an easy one. The big blue look around blue Prince Prince of Tides by Barbra Streisand and real winner by Alfred Hitchcock, a very eclectic group my friend very eclectic. Yeah, one is visual one is drama and one assistance.

Alex Ferrari 1:05:47
Oh man, well, rear window is a masterpiece. I did enjoy Princess Bride Princess Bride with us and also a good movie by the Prince of Tides. But first time in the show's history, big blue is the big blue right? It's the Big Blue Yeah, the big blue I absolutely love what an amazing from those during my video store days. So I remember it very very clearly. And that's when I was kind of introduced. I think to know Luke vasana was introduced by La Femme Nikita but then I went back to look at his other what other work he did subway as well, I think Yeah, yeah, subway and a couple other movies around subway. Yeah, that was called subway. Yeah, I was about the London Underground or something like that. Yeah, yeah. And but everybody listening you've got to go find the Big Blue it has a young genre No. in it who is absolutely brilliant based on a true story. What What I miss Look, I miss Luke's I miss Luke

Sven Pape 1:06:43
What was in the film that he recently did?

Alex Ferrari 1:06:46
Yeah, that's it the battle is something of the stars or whatever that sci fi movie.

Sven Pape 1:06:50
I thought he was back like the first 10 minutes. I'm like, Oh, this is

Alex Ferrari 1:06:53
This fifth element again. We're back with the fifth element. And then it just... Leon and Leon I mean,

Sven Pape 1:07:02
Yeah, can you know the Big Blue you should see on the big screen though. It's

Alex Ferrari 1:07:09
Good luck. But yeah, big blue. If you're gonna watch this on films, alright, I'm gonna just geek out on besar for a second. I'm gonna go big blue the Femme Nikita Leon and Fifth Element I think in that that's a good cross. That's a good cross and what was the one he did the black and white one with about the guardian angel that was beautiful too. I love that movie. It was came out like a few like a while ago No, you're not talking about Joan of Arc No, no, no, it's a blue Joan of Arc black and white movie called I think something Angel and it was a lupus on film is all shot in black and white with this beautiful supermodel is the angel you see now you have to go look for this film. And there's like this little French dude who's like you know he's an ugly little dude and he's got like horrible life and this beautiful supermodel literal angel comes in to guide him through his lap Oh it's so it takes place in Paris Of course and

Sven Pape 1:08:05
Is it like a take on when vendors movie or not?

Alex Ferrari 1:08:08
I'm not sure I'm not sure I might it might be a little bit but it's kind of like it's almost kind of like it's a wonderful life kind of okay but not as Frank Capri it's like if Luke person would make it's a wonderful song a little like wings of desire yes a little bit but not as look as wonderful that they kind of fall in love. This is a little a little bit different, a little bit more, a little bit more violent. Because it's Luke, but it's a great film too as well. Now where can people find you and the amazing work that you're doing Sven?

Sven Pape 1:08:42
On YouTube you can search for thisguyedits.com that will take you to the channel or you can did I say .com? That's the website thisguyedits.com. Yeah, that's there. It's all the same handle Twitter this guy out it's there's a Facebook group which I really enjoy because we actually get into like, discussing some of the topics we deal with. So people can give me feedback we can like crowdsource some of the research that kind of stuff. So Facebook group this guy edits.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:11
And the funny thing is after you came up with the brand this guy edits I've noticed that this audio guy shows up and this other guy shows up and this other thing so I was like oh send started something now all of a sudden like all these other brands are popping up like well I'm this guy audio records and this guy production designs in this like all these things have popped up afterwards. But you were the originator sir. Nice. Nice. Thank you so much for dropping some amazing knowledge bombs on the tribe today brother so I appreciate it man.

Sven Pape 1:09:41
Absolutely Take care.

Alex Ferrari 1:09:44
I want to thanks Sven for coming on the show and dropping those major editing knowledge bombs on the tribe today. So and thank you so much for taking the time. I truly truly appreciate it. If you guys want to check out Stan his work, his YouTube channel have all the links on The show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/323. If you haven't already, please leave a review for the show at filmmakingpodcast.com on iTunes, it really, really helps to show out a lot. I truly appreciate it guys. And guys also want to thank you all for all the tribe members who have purchased my book shooting for the mob. It has now made it a best seller on Amazon. I am so humbled and grateful for it, the reviews keep coming in. If you have not left a review on Amazon, please just go to shootingforthemob.com and leave a review on Amazon that is super, super important to me. And it really helps this book get out to as many filmmakers and everybody else in the world and really, really would help me out a lot. So thank you guys again, for all the support. I truly, truly appreciate it. I am working on some cool stuff for the tribe. Some pretty epic things that can't keep you know, I gotta keep it under the belt right now, but some very, very cool stuff. So keep an eye out and an ear out for that. And that's the end of another episode of the indie film hustle podcast. As always keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 279: How to Self Distribute Your Niche Indie Film with Brad Olsen

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Today’s guest is returning champion Brad Olsen, director of the documentary Off the Tracks. This time we discuss his misadventure in distribution. After meeting over 40 traditional distributors Brad decided the best path for his film was self-distribution. I’ve always said that self-distribution is not for everyone but with Off the Tracks it makes perfect sense.

We discuss how he got the word out of his film, got in the press that was in his niche and how he engaged with the audience he was trying to reach. We talk numbers, successes, and failures. It’s a pretty eye-opening interview. So if you are thinking of self-distributing your indie film take a listen to this episode first.

Enjoy my conversation with Brad Olsen.

Alex Ferrari 0:07
So today on the show, we welcome back Brad Olsen, the writer, director of the hit documentary about Final Cut Pro X off the tracks. Now the reason I'm bringing them back is we just had him on last episode to talk about how he made the movie and about Final Cut Pro and all that stuff. But today's episode is strictly about his misadventures in distribution, and how he was able to self distribute this film, and how he was able to focus his very niche movie and reach his niche audience and how he's been able to do it. We talk numbers, we talk marketing strategies, how we got the movie out there, and so much more. So this is a really interesting conversation. And he learned a lot of lessons along the way, including talking to 40 distributors, and why he decided not to go with a traditional distributor. And like I've said before, traditional distribution has its place without question. Self distribution is not for everybody. It's not for every film, but it made sense for this film because of its nature. So sit back and enjoy my conversation with Brad Olsen. I'd like to welcome back to the show. Brad Olsen, man. Thank you for coming back, brother.

Brad Olsen 3:03
Yeah, it's great to be here one week later.

Alex Ferrari 3:07
One week later, for the audience, it might be a little bit different. But yeah, no, I wanted to have you back. Because we we had a deep conversation about Final Cut Pro X and all things editing. Last time we spoke and there was a huge chunk of your story that we just couldn't get to, which was self distribution and how you got it out into the world. So first question is, what kind of distribution plan? Did you even think about when you start off the tracks? Or did you even think about distribution?

Brad Olsen 3:37
That's a great question. So initially, when I had the idea, I actually, you know, I, in my head, I was envisioning everything from a simple just throw, throw something, store some episodes up on Vimeo for free. To what if I, you know, got this up on iTunes and everything else? So I wasn't really sure I wanted, I really wanted to figure out what the quality of the content and the demand of the of what this content would be, before I necessarily locked myself into a plan. In fact, actually, I was having a conversation last week with somebody in New York, who, who was talking about how he's looking at everything I've done to promote my movie, and he's like, wow, you just had it all figured out. And I'm like, actually, I've kind of been feeling my way, step by step. Right. This wasn't, this wasn't something that was like a total masterplan from the front. Although I did imagine a lot of things and I kind of, I kind of thought, okay, if I want to get here, like, let's reverse engineer what I need to do today. So the ultimate pie in the sky dream was Let's get it on iTunes. Let's get it maybe on Netflix, which hasn't happened yet. But let's, let's see where we can get it. And if I'm going to do that, what do I have to do today to get it there? And you know, if it doesn't, if it turns out there isn't the demand or I don't get the Quality I want from it that I think there's some at least some interesting little. Again, throughout the interviews or episodes, little episodes on Vimeo was kind of my fallback plan. Okay, so that was what was in my head at the time when I very, very first started.

Alex Ferrari 5:13
So you just kind of thinking, you actually were you had no idea. Honestly.

Brad Olsen 5:18
I didn't know. I didn't know what it would do. I just knew that I had to start. And I tried to point my ship in the direction that would hopefully land. It's like Columbus trying to discover the New World, you know?

Alex Ferrari 5:31
So then, so after you, obviously have associated itself with Columbus. No. So at what point did you say, Okay, this is going to be a feature film. And I'm going to try to sell it and try to, you know, get it out there in the world as a documentary feature.

Brad Olsen 5:51
So I had already shot interviews at the Final Cut Pro 10 creative summit, which is an annual event that's held in Cupertino, Apple headquarters. And I'd shot like 20 interviews there, I went to LA and shot some more interviews. At that point, I was like, still kind of leaning towards the, I'll make like 615 minute episodes, and they'll go up on Vimeo route. And then, one day as I was posting about it on a Facebook group, a guy named Noah kavner, who runs an organization called FCP works, reached out and said, Hey, have you interviewed anybody from Apple for your documentary? And I'm like, I hadn't met a couple people at the creative summit. But I said, No, I haven't. Like they can't go on record is like, Well, what about Randy, and he was referring to Randy, you, billows. And Randy, you billows is the guy I think I mentioned on the last episode that invented premiere, and Final Cut in the 90s. And then went on to do like aperture and iMovie and Final Cut Pro 10. And Randy had retired in 2015. So actually, he's somebody that could be in the documentary because he wouldn't have to get permission from Apple to be in it. But he's also a guy that travels the world constantly. And I don't know him. And I didn't really know anybody who could put me in contact with him. However, here's the funny part of that story is in this Facebook group. Randy's actually a member of it is like this secret Final Cut group. And he's a member of that group. He's never posted, to my knowledge, anything in this group at all. But I have the option to tag him. And I thought, well, let's just let's just see what happened. So I said, I don't know. I don't know how to get ahold of Randy. And then, and I tagged him I'm like, but I'm would would love to interview him. Well, he messages back, not that like minutes later, he messages back and gives me his email. And I was just blown away. And that's when I went to interview him. And I realized that okay, this is no longer just the final cut communities story about Final Cut Pro 10. We've got the man in the film, this probably has some value. Let's run a Kickstarter and see where that takes us.

Alex Ferrari 8:20
Okay, so yeah. And I'll translate this for the audience. So basically, you were doing market research, when you didn't even know you were doing market research. But pretty much to the point where like, well, now you're very cautious and conservative on the way that you went through this process. No, because most filmmakers are just like, screw it. Let's do it. Let's cash out. Let's get a mortgage on the house. Let's do this. And just roll the dice. But you were very methodical and conservative in the way that you were kind of rolling this out. And you're like, Okay, well, I think we have something. Let's try to do a Kickstarter to see you wanted to test the waters of your of your niche audience. And this is obviously a very niche film. It's a niche of a niche of a niche. And it's not a large audience, but yet it is a large. It's not a large audience compared to the like the rest of the world. But

Brad Olsen 9:12
It's a it's a it's a small audience, but they're spread out globally, which is interesting.

Alex Ferrari 9:18
We'll talk about that in a little bit. All right, so now your Kickstarter campaign.

Brad Olsen 9:22
Yeah. So no Academy who had was the one who suggested I interviewed people at Apple here. He also lives in San Francisco. So does Randy. So he went with me to the interview. And he was actually the one who pitched the Kickstarter and said, I'm willing to help you out with this. So because he's in he'd actually i'd shown Randy the first opening 15 minutes of the film as I had it at that point, which is kind of a hard part of the film, I think for him to watch because it is just all about the lousy rollout rollout of the product, but Randy was gracious and he was, you know, didn't say didn't rip up the release form. There. Noah saw that and he's like, I think you've you've got some quality here I think you got something of value. So let's let's run a Kickstarter and see what where it goes. Again, you talked about being conservative, I was actually even conservative with the Kickstarter, I, I decided to reach out to two people who are like software trainers and plugin developers and podcasters and, and things that were in the final cut community that kind of that made their living based off of people buying Final Cut Pro 10 related stuff. And I committed them, you know, to like, put in $1,000 each. Some of them put in some more, like motion. VFX was a huge supporter of it.

Alex Ferrari 10:47
You were getting sponsors for this, or

Brad Olsen 10:49
I was getting sponsors before saying, Hey, we're thinking about doing a Kickstarter, if we did a Kickstarter, would you be willing to put in 1000 or $2,000. And, and based off of that, we're like, okay, we definitely got nine or 10 people willing to throw in money. Let's ask for $10,000 we know we can make it

Alex Ferrari 11:09
We literally have 10,000 sitting waiting, let's just open up a Kickstarter for 10,000 or

Brad Olsen 11:14
10,000. And, and I also was thinking, you know, I've shot almost everything I'm editing this myself, sure, you know, maybe some money to get a score, pay a lawyer or something. I don't know, like, let's just,

Alex Ferrari 11:28
You were doing it more for market research than you were for the money.

Brad Olsen 11:31
Yeah, and and it's like this was more about raising awareness that there is a Final Cut Pro 10 documentary The other thing that we did previously to launching the Kickstarter, and this was again, kind of know as marketing brain at work, and him kind of guiding me was, let's do a trailer. So, so I put out a trailer. And I like on Facebook got like 30,000 views, and got 200 something shares, and then got like 20,000 views on YouTube. And then and then we got all these like Final Cut and Mack blog sites writing about it. And saying there's gonna be this documentary is gonna be documentary. So that kind of all was the preamble to Okay, now let's do the Kickstarter. So when we did the Kickstarter, the first day now I mentioned that I had some people like lined up. And of course, there's not like written contracts, or, in fact out, but just got that feel. And, and we made the $10,000 in a day. And actually, most of that money did not come from my sponsors, which that surprised me really was like, Wow, so the trailer was effective. And once the Kickstarter, like, Hey, we have a Kickstarter now, you know, I'd already kind of warmed up everyone up and primed them. And then we can add some more sponsors kind of came on board, but we actually doubled that and got the $20,000 by a weekend. And then by the end of it, we were at $26,000. And that was really overwhelming for me, because it kind of showed that hey, this little thing that you've been doing, you know, basically started out with maxing out a business credit card. That's all there was, you know, a couple grand or whatever shirt in the bank. Now Now there's, there's obviously some people that are willing that want to see this. But the other thing that comes along with that is the the terror of Oh my Hell, I have to actually make this movie. Like I have to really do this because now I've got like 200 people that are sitting there saying, hey, when's the movie coming out? Hey, when are we gonna get?

Alex Ferrari 13:46
And how much? How much did you finally raise? $26,000 You know what, man $26,000 for a movie about Final Cut Pro X is not bad at all.

Brad Olsen 13:56
No. And I thought if there's if there's this many people that are willing to put in this much money now, then we you know, we can this is something that we can get out there on platforms and sell. I'm not expecting to make you know, tons of money off of it. But I think the last episode I talked to you when you said Well, I made a movie about this. And I'm like, Well, you know, final cuts, kind of has a message that I'm passionate about and want to get out there and I want to get my own name out there. So there was lots of motivations for me to want to do this not just make a bunch of money. But you know, I The fun thing about self distribution and doing this process is also just seeing can it be done? Can you make a low budget movie? And you know, proving to myself Is it possible to make make this kind of a thing that that I could repeat and do again and maybe do a little bit bigger next time?

Alex Ferrari 14:50
Well, I mean, your story so far is a perfect candidate for for self distribution. Like if you would have reached out to as a consultant, I would have said, Absolutely yes. Because it makes the most sense in the world. And you were in a very similar place than I was with my first feature, this is mag where I was walking in, in the black, like I, the movie, I was, I was already shooting the movie when I started my crowdfunding campaign. And by the time, you know, we didn't, we didn't even make that much money. We made I think, 15 or $16,000. And I was like, Well, great, now we can, you know, get real big sound design done and all this other stuff. But I was in the black. So the moment I released it, I was already in the positive, so you have nothing to lose. And that's, that's the best place to be obviously, if you can't be,

Brad Olsen 15:46
Right, no, with any product, um, houses didn't sell my car, nothing crazy, you know?

Alex Ferrari 15:50
Correct. It's always it's a perfect candidate for the film. And because it's such a niche audience, and it's, it's a niche audience, but you tapped into the larger niche, which is Mac, Mac, the Mac world. Yeah. And the Mac followers, and those because those guys are crazy. And that's a large, I'm one of them. I drank the Kool Aid A long time ago. But, but that or that part, that kind of fan base for Mac is a huge sub genre or subculture. And out of those there was, you know, a smaller culture, they even cared about Final Cut Pro, but that is still a good a good market to tap into now. So now you have the movie, you're going to go out to distribute it. How did you choose the platforms that you did?

Brad Olsen 16:35
Well, actually, I'm going to back up a little bit, because you mentioned like the the plan, from there kind of evolved to Should we try to see, like, I'm still testing the water. You want to believe me? You still don't believe? Yeah, well, I wanted I wanted to self distribute. But I also wanted to, I wanted to see if there was some magical partnership, or distributor out there that got this movie and thought that they could, you know, sell it. And I wasn't I didn't want to take any deals that were definitely no deals that were going to be like you have to pay money up front or stupid things like that. But I was curious, because I'd never been down this road of distribution, if there was somebody so we actually started reaching out to a lot of distributed distribution companies. That should be amazing.

Alex Ferrari 17:25
Tell me, tell me what they tell me. Tell me what they said. Oh, please. Please tell me what they said. When you call up and say, Hey, I have a documentary about Final Cut Pro X. And I want to hear the crickets on the other line. I want to hear what they said, sir.

Brad Olsen 17:41
Well, here's the funny thing. Most people never replied. Not surprising. The ones that did, yes. said, hey, you've got a great documentary. It does not fit our catalog. Okay. It does. We don't know how to sell this. Okay, I got really, in fact, actually, well, well, so that I kind of was going through that for a few months ago. Just trying to figure out if there was but yeah, they definitely didn't get it. And I that did not surprise me. Well, again, feeling my way I just wanted to see. I was curious. Would somebody offer me 10,000 $15,000 or $30,000 for the movie? Would they have one you know then and I felt like mostly I just wanted help with the the legal clearance stuff and the end the whole getting it out on different platforms? I'm not looking for like, definitely no, no, I have no ambition to do any sort of theatrical distribution right broadcasting didn't make any sense to me. But you know I wanted to get it on there I'd never done it and and I didn't approach it's not like all the distributors I approach were like big time distributors. But yeah, they're definitely. I mean, it's funny because actually, one of the distributors I never heard back from these guys, but they distributed a movie about Compaq in the 80s and you know, that's like super niche and no one cares about it. So I watched it and it was similar to mine

Alex Ferrari 19:18
I actually saw that I saw that documentary actually one of those

Brad Olsen 19:21
I like it, but I'm just saying it's kind of it's you know, and then what's funny about the documentary is they have to constantly like compared to Apple, which I'm like if they made this documentary in the 90s they wouldn't even breathe a word about viral but there may be a little bit about Apple but right is mostly because the time it was made. So anyway, I I tried to reach out to a lot of those people. But the crazy thing that happened, actually this year is around namb is right before I will I decided okay, I promised my Kickstarter backers and advanced download of the movie. So I put it up on THX I'd been running pre sales on VHS and as a way to kind of keep the Kickstarter thing going, you know, like generating a little bit more money. And, and then I will, I was going to release it to just them. And according to the documentation, there was a way to kind of release your movie to people before making it available for sale. But then, when I actually went to click those buttons, it didn't work. And I had to make the movie available for sale in order to send it to my Kickstarter backers. Sure. And so I'm like, I'm gonna be real quiet about this, I'm just gonna post a thing on Kickstarter, just a private message, or update and, and I'll just send it to them. Well, they started sharing it with me immediately, hey, it's up, it's for sale. Like I did no publicity and that like, and it was for sale for like, a day or so. And we were like, raking in hundreds of dollars, you know, nothing glamorous, but still, like, I think we ended up there was like, on sale for one week, and we made like, $3,000 in that or maybe was like 20 $500 in that week. Okay. And, and without me like, announcing it officially on Facebook, or sending out a newsletter, or just to my 200 Kickstarter backers that were like, excited about it. And during that time, that's when after, like, a couple months, one distributor distributor in particular, all of a sudden was like, hey, wait, wait, wait. I really want to help you guys sell, like distribute this movie. And I have this plan and whatever. But in order for us to talk, you got to stop sales. No. And I was like, absolutely, you literally have to stop sales. I was like, this is just a talk worse? Well, because he had a relationship with a bigger company. And he and he was so excited. He was a sales rep. He's actually theatrical distributor that works with other distributors to get things out on other platforms and whatnot. So he we told them that we'll we're not interested in theatrical. So he's like, that's cool. I've got a relationship with this company, actually a pretty big company that I was like, he's like, I'm really good friends with this guy there. And I'm like, Okay, um, I spun it a little bit. Because I realized that the thing that worried me the most is, if I stopped sales, are the people who already bought it, are they going to not be able to have access anymore? Well, it turns out on VHS, you can you can stop sales, and they still have access. So that was relief. I was actually I have actually a couple producing partners on this. I'm being very candid with you. By the way.

Alex Ferrari 22:48
If no one else is listening, it's fine.

Brad Olsen 22:51
But we were actually kind of in panic mode at the time, because it was like, how do we say this? Without being like, without this looking like a big disaster? Like, we don't know what the heck we're doing, and which we kind of didn't. And, and it actually worked really well. We did a little blog post we spent it is Hey, good news. We're we have a distribution deal in the works. And but in order to do that, we have to stop sales on this platform. But don't worry, you still have access to this you. We made everybody who bought it. And the Kickstarter, people feel very special. And actually, even in the again, actually going back to this conversation with a guy in New York. He was like, I was one of the guys who got it in March. Like he felt really special.

Alex Ferrari 23:36
No, those are called the super fans. Those are super fans. Yeah, there's there's fans, and then there's like early adopters, and those kind of people, those are the ones you want because they're the ones who are going to spread the word. And that's exactly what happened.

Brad Olsen 23:50
So we kind of we kind of we pulled it, you know, and then and then we waited and I was at nav when we finally heard back that they you know, said what everybody else said they're like, well, now we're gonna pass like, a really good job so ridiculous. And I'm like, Well, thanks a lot for giving me like, heart palpitations and stuff.

Alex Ferrari 24:10
So now Yeah, so back on on Vimeo

Brad Olsen 24:13
So well. At that point. We were talking to my Corton with the Los Angeles creative pro user group, about doing a Los Angeles premiere. So and that was going to be like Originally, I wanted that a little sooner, but he had people lined up, he had my back manager coming and other people lined up for his meetings. So we were going to we were having that set up in June. And I also decided this would be a good time to maybe take care of some clearance stuff that I maybe hadn't done up to that point. One of those things being like I talked to a lawyer and everything has everything had passed the initial kind of science fair use test. Yeah, this sniff tests. But there was one clip in particular, he was like, Ah, you know, why don't I was using the clip from the Conan show? Yeah. And, and arguably, it could be fair use, but I didn't have somebody in the documentary saying, you know, Conan even made fun of it or something if I had somebody who had actually said, like, had set up the clip, Uh huh. And then shown it that can count from my understanding getting not a lawyer, but my understanding was, that could count as fair use. But I didn't have that I just had the quote unquote. So he said, Why don't you just reach out to the people at Conan? And I'm sure they, you know, they won't really care, whatever. I don't know why he said that, but kind of bad advice.

Alex Ferrari 25:50
Never ask for forgiveness, not for permission.

Brad Olsen 25:53
Right. Right. So but but it's true. I found like some I found the Conan press releases. And I found a PR guy for Conan. And so I emailed them, and I told them a little about what I was doing. And he forwarded it directly to Jordan szalinski, who's the associate producer on the show, and if you ever watched Conan, yeah, you know who he is. He's definitely comes off as a weirdo and a lot of sketches. And I was like, holy crap, this George Lansky, and he's, and he's, like, fill out this form. So I fill it out. And he was pretty cool. But he was like, like he when he got back to me. And this was kind of holding me up a little bit. Just like getting it out on sale and everything. And then he finally got back to me. And he said, Well, it looks like you want, you know, in perpetuity, which is, unfortunately, our most expensive license. But if you think he's the geek broadcast world, I'm like, Dude, this is a documentary that's going to be out there. I can't like cut the segment out later. I mean, I guess it kind of could have but um, so I don't know any other way to do it. He was he said, if you just want to do for festivals, and whatever, we can license the clip for $500. And then with the understanding that once you get your full distribution in place, that, you know, you'll pay the full amount which he quoted me as $12,000 for like 14 or 15 seconds of Conan. Christ. Well, okay. And here's, here's the funny thing. I talked to a buddy of mine who works in documentaries, and he's made documentaries for like, discovery in a&e and things like in and things like that. And he said, and Smithsonian and he's like, okay, Brad, Walter Cronkite costs half that much. Freaking Cronkite data is like, it is not worth it. Not only did I not have the money, but it just was not worth paying that much for the quote unquote, lose the lose the 15 seconds of the film.

Alex Ferrari 27:51
I would agree with you. Yeah. So I would agree with him too. I just that doesn't make a whole lot of financial sense.

Brad Olsen 27:58
And he's like, even if you had $100,000 set aside for just licensing, this clip wouldn't be worth it. Now, of course, I could go the route of trying to do the clearance thing, but it just it seemed easier to just lose 15 seconds. Got it. Got it. So so I had that done. Right. Then I was like, Okay, let's get this thing for sale. Now. We've, this was the last thing in question. We've, you know, we've got everything else cleared. So let's just let's just get this show on the road. So there was about a month, June, I did the LA showing. And actually, we invited Rob ash to that showing, but he couldn't make it. He had to go home and watch some kids or something. I really wish he could have made it because we actually at that point has still had the code and clip in there. And then I and then I just once I heard back, which was after that screen, Rex thing was right before. That's when I started kind of prepping this July 24 release. Yeah. 24th. And that was VHS, and back on VHS. And then I wanted to like show that I had been doing something in this time period. So I also had gotten some, I think had been working on some captions in the meantime, like cheer sharing language such as Amazon, which, if you My understanding is if you go through an aggregator you can release some more territories on Amazon, but if you don't, you can still release through the US, US and UK. That's it right. And actually, Germany isn't on there.

Alex Ferrari 29:31
It was it wasn't sure if it's there anymore. You might have gotten in Germany, but they don't allow it anymore. I don't think I was just talking to those guys think Germany and Japan. Were the other two. Yeah,

Brad Olsen 29:41
Japan was kind of weird because you had to burn in the subtitles from what I was reading. Anyway, this is all this nerdy stuff. But the fact is, I could get it without paying for an aggregator at this point. I could get it on Amazon. I had also at the same time, been waiting to hear back from an aggregator. I'd submitted stuff to an aggregator for iTunes. But they hadn't assigned me a sales rep. And so I finally in July, like after a month of waiting to hear back, I wrote in their support, and I said, Hey, what's the deal? Where's my sales? rep, I want to get this show on the road. So I didn't have the iTunes stuff set up, set up in time. But by that point, people were like, emailing me daily. And messaging. Where's the movie? When can I see the movie? So, got it. I didn't want to lose that momentum. And that excitement.

Alex Ferrari 30:31
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. And then you really see you have a theatrical Oh, that you had a screening in LA, you've put it back out on VHS, and then the money starts coming back in. Are you starting to get attention again?

Brad Olsen 30:50
Yeah, so that's like, the that week, the last week of July On va checks I think we made we made about $3,000. Most of it being that kind of the launch day. And of course, I timed that with some articles and things as well coming out on different blogging sites a premium v lb five FCP, co we're just a no film school. We're all sites that were writing about it. To drive sales, and I was trying to get coupon codes out there. It was kind of crazy, because I put a bunch of coupon codes out and hardly anybody, like really shared them. And then even when they were shared, most people weren't using them. But I was like, okay, more money for me. As part of my whole, like, this will be good for, you know, marketing and whatnot. Specifically the bonus feature edition, which was like, which was basically the package I delivered to my Kickstarter backers at a stretch goal, like we'll do extended interviews and stuff and, and so that was because the Kickstarter thing was $25. I left that at $25 $25. But then I had a $5 off coupon for it. So anyway, you

Alex Ferrari 32:07
By the way, you're doing all this by yourself at this point.

Brad Olsen 32:11
Pretty much. I guess I have a couple people that were helping me with like Facebook ads and helping me with some logistical stuff. But you know, when you're seeing most of the posts are written by me and most the, you know, trying to like, in fact, actually the other boring thing I've spent way too much time and I still have to spend more time is like formatting captions and language.

Alex Ferrari 32:31
Fantastic. Which now you could just go to rev calm and do much

Brad Olsen 32:36
I have the transcript and have the translations and stuff. But yeah, Rev. Rev is

Alex Ferrari 32:40
So much easier. Yeah. Dude, dude, it's me for other languages. I think it's three bucks a minute. Just Are you kidding me? That's $20 a minute before?

Brad Olsen 32:52
Well, yeah. And I actually had somebody in Japan, of course, you did reach out to me. And he's like, hey, and he'd gotten the movie back in March. And he's like, I love your movie so much. I've been spending I've been translating it to Japanese. here's the here's the SRT.

Alex Ferrari 33:11
There are, there are there are wonderful human beings on the planet who do things like that? Yeah, fans, man. It's true. It's true. I get stuff like that people do stuff like that. Sometimes for stuff that I do. I was like, wow, God bless, man. That's awesome. Now you were talking a little bit about social media. So how did you? What How did you find where the where your niche audience was? How did you kind of attack and your marketing plans is now you already got the movie out? You already are selling it? And now how did you kind of come up with this marketing plan, a social media marketing plan? And what platforms did you use and so on?

Brad Olsen 33:46
Well, I'm kind of lame in that I'm not an I need to get on other platforms. But I'm not like on Instagram or Twitter. I have fans that are on there that share stuff on there for me, but I don't have an official thing there. Most of what I'm doing is on Facebook. The nice thing though, is because in the years leading up to making this film, I was already part of the Edit communities and the final cut communities and the apple communities on Facebook, and I'm an active member of those I already had.

Alex Ferrari 34:21
You already built in that. Because a lot of times, a lot of people, a lot of times I always tell people when they're going to try to go after an audience you go into where those audiences live. And you'll become part of that audience by hosting and providing value. You've already done that. So you already knew where this audience was living.

Brad Olsen 34:37
Yep. And they were already kind of aware of me and I and and what I was doing, and they've been following the making of process, you know, and I've been updating people on that. And I think that's a good thing, too, is Yeah, sometimes I feel a little guilty of that. I'm sort of just settling, try to sell stuff on there, but at the same time, this is information that they're all interested in writing Now you're providing value. Exactly. And, you know, I'm also always chiming in and helping people out with their editing questions and stuff as well. So it was, you know, it was like you said it was providing some value. And people are definitely always really excited when something when I mentioned some news, or whatever of, Hey, I'm on this podcast, or Hey, and then you got this thing.

Alex Ferrari 35:25
And you were saying that you worked on Facebook ads, the G, did you spend a lot of money? Or did you spend some money on Facebook ads trying to get the word out?

Brad Olsen 35:32
So, um, you know, most of the early stuff has been very viral and shared very well, which was just awesome. I didn't have to spend money. Once we had on sale, we started we've been we've been testing the waters with the Facebook ads stuff, I think in the next month or so. We're going to double down and have more targeted ads. I've got clips lined up, like short video clips from the documentary that I'm gonna start rolling out because video always says better. And I'm paying, obviously for for some ad stuff. So and there's there's a whole back end of building an audience on Facebook, some of it is a little bit creepy To be frank. But that's how Facebook makes its money. And that's how we target people.

Alex Ferrari 36:17
It is kind of creepy. I'll tell you, it's insane how detailed they can get.

Brad Olsen 36:21
Well, you Okay, here's an example of something, again, being very candid. But you can take and I'm not selling anybody's personal information? Of course not that clear. Yes. But you can take an email list. And because those people are on Facebook, you can you can build what they call a look alike audience, it's really easy to do. So I'm not like targeting the people that bought the movie, but it's basically saying, what are their likes and interest for the people that already like your Facebook page? And how do we target people that are like that, that have similar interests, like, and so that's the funny thing, when people think it's cute and fun to like, share their likes and interests on Facebook, or join certain groups or whatever. I'm like, you know, that's fun for you. But this is all data mining for these companies, which is a whole nother rabbit hole benefits. It can it can be working to your advantage. If you're an independent filmmaker, and you're trying to find more people that might be interested in what you're doing. Because you can pay Facebook, to target people in certain regions. Like my case, like, okay, New York, LA, San Francisco, there's probably clusters of people,

Alex Ferrari 37:30
Expensive to market to those people too, isn't it?

Brad Olsen 37:33
Yeah. Yeah. So I mean, but like you said that the nice thing about having a niche niche of just editors is I think it's a lot, you can narrow down a lot of those interests and things

Alex Ferrari 37:47
Very much. Now, how big of a part was the international audience for your film?

Brad Olsen 37:53
So yeah, when you look at when I look at my hits on the website, which is like, actually, the last week has been about 200 views a day. And, and then when you look at purchases of the movie, it's somewhere between 60 to 70%, are not domestic hits and sales. That's amazing. It's It is like, the craziest countries from all over the planet that wow. And you know, I saw a little bit of that when I ran the Kickstarter, and I was having to like mail packages to Israel and Spain and Australia and other places. But, but since the movie has been on sale, it's just been crazy. You know, Europe is obviously a big one. But even Asian countries and other places that I would not have expected hits in the Middle East and in Africa that I'm like, I don't even know how they know about this other than these are people who aren't they have. They're on Facebook, they have Final Cut. And any of the same thing can be said the number one final cut group was actually started by a friend and neighbor of mine, Braden stores, and it's got about 30,000, the final cut pro 10 editors group has over 30,000 people on it. And you can look at that and see is a very international group of people who were using and of course, it is because you know, the the number reported earlier this year, for total installs a Final Cut Pro 10 was 2.5 million. That was I shouldn't say installs. That's actually they they say the term seats, which was explained to me as actual purchases of the app.

Alex Ferrari 39:38
So just probably installed in many more places.

Brad Olsen 39:41
Yes, like you can buy a copy of Final Cut Pro 10. And the license agreement says you can put it on as many Mac's as you own or if you're at a business or school, then you have to have a license per machine because it's a multi user machine, you know, but that being said, there's no actual Physical mechanism to stop you from signing in on your Apple ID and putting it on 100 computers. Sure. So who knows how many people actually use Final Cut, or in what ways they use Final Cut, I'm very interested to know that, because we know they're not using Final Cut Pro 10 very much in Hollywood, per se, but there's this whole global audience of people that are using it for all sorts of things, which I think speaks to the democratization of our craft.

Alex Ferrari 40:27
Without without without question. So yeah, it's it's interesting how it cuz I have listeners from in countries that I'm like, how are you? How did you hear about me? How did you? What do you know, but they don't even speak English there. How are you listening to me, like, I don't understand. But I'm very grateful. And I have, it is interesting that this is a global thing. And you have to look at it as a global thing. Because filmmakers, a lot of times, they just concentrate on the US, they just concentrate on on America as the biggest market. And it is the biggest, but it's not as big as the rest of the world in many ways, specifically, depending on your movie, and, and I think you you unwittingly started seeing that by doing your movie and by using a platform like VHS, which is owned by Vimeo, anybody internationally could buy their, like iTunes, you have to go to territories and Amazon, you have to go to territories.

Brad Olsen 41:27
But with and I was told by the aggregator, you know, it's like to change the, to open up the metadata or whatever is like a $200 base fee. And for each additional language, which I have to do a new poster for. And a description for translated in addition to the subtitles, is another 150 bucks. So if you're trying to get five or six languages, like that adds up really fast. And that's actually the next thing I'm going to be doing on iTunes, but it's like this cost.

Alex Ferrari 41:59
So you are on iTunes, now

Brad Olsen 42:00
I am on iTunes yet. So as bout a month ago, little less than a month ago, we finally once the once I got a sales rep assigned from this aggregator, then the ball really started rolling fast on getting everything prepped for iTunes, there was a lot of learning that I had to do. And honestly, I should have followed your advice. I've gone with distributor. I did not go as distributor distributor initially, and that was only because I was looking at Apple's website, they have under compressor, which is how you make an iTunes Store package. They had like a list of four aggregators that they recommended there. And then and then I also had been, I'd made friends with somebody who was on the iTunes team, but now is moved over, they actually reached out to me at nav and said, hey, let's I work. I work at Apple for iTunes, I want to help you, you know, get your movie up here. Now granted, I probably shouldn't say too much about that, because it wasn't like sponsoring me or whatever. But anyway, he did introduce himself and he he still referred me I went through the regular channels. I want to make that very clear. Yes, he referred me to a list of aggregators. And and on that list of where these, you know, I found some of the same ones. So I ended up picking an aggregator. And anyway, it was just it was the the front end on their website looked very, very clean and upfront, here's the costs. But spray, the back end was kind of a nightmare. And if you'd done it before, now that I've done it, I could go through it easy. But I think this is the interesting thing that speaks to complicated systems is the people who build them. And then the people who use them, just kind of get used to it and don't recognize how bad it is. until somebody who's never done it before it comes in and says oh my gosh, this is like a total nightmare. I just want to get my movie up and compare it to VHS where I'm this is kind of where I was going with all this VHS. I want to add a new language. No problem. I just tack on the subtitles. I can switch them out at any time. Yeah, yeah, it's great. It's great that way, it's gives me full control and I'm not paying anybody to click buttons, I can click myself or is going through an aggregator. Well, they're the ones with the iTunes Connect account account and and I can't, you know have access to any of that. So I have to send them stuff then they have to QC it then they send it back and it's just this whole long joke of a process but I knew I had to get there because I have lots of people writing in and saying well let me know when it's on iTunes.

Alex Ferrari 44:58
Yes, you know, I know look, you made a movie. Got a final cut about an Apple product? for god sakes, you got to be on iTunes. Exactly. It is no, no question about it. No, picking the right aggregator for your needs is extremely important. And it could be as costly as picking the wrong distributor. If you're not careful now has now finally as the as the money is a movie made money is in profit.

Brad Olsen 45:22
Yeah, I mean, I didn't spend very much to make it like so. Are you retiring?

Alex Ferrari 45:27
Are you retiring to the French Riviera off this move?

Brad Olsen 45:29
No, no, no, no, no. So I'm on VH. x. We are close to grossing $10,000. That's awesome. on Amazon, which I haven't done a lot of push to Amazon, mostly because their profit share is not great. And I haven't I haven't unlocked prime yet. I will probably my prime eventually. But yeah, keep it off there till then. Yeah, yeah. But, but it's, I think my half of it is this. So this is kind of the net of it is around like six or $700 is all okay. And then iTunes is actually checked the other day, and it's humming along? Well, it's been up there for about a month, and it's made about two grand.

Alex Ferrari 46:14
Hey, man, that's awesome.

Brad Olsen 46:17
So you know, we're, I, you know, I think the sales keep coming, which is nice. So that and

Alex Ferrari 46:23
It's gonna keep coming in. Because there's I promise you there is not going to be a competition, a competitive film coming out, like the other documentary about, you're not gonna have that problem, like you are the only one in your category. And you are the only person ever to make a movie in that category. So I think you're good for a while. And this movie will probably continue to generate money for you. For for at least the next handful of years. if not longer, depending on how you might have to update it. Eventually, you have to do a sequel to it. Which brings me to my next question. Are you planning a series of documentaries on editing software? Like the avid dock? premiere? DaVinci Resolve doc? Well, and then of course, the Sony Vegas doc. Don't forget that one.

Brad Olsen 47:13
Yeah, we've got we've actually got a great name picked out maybe you and I can co produce this one. It's called back on track. DaVinci Resolve

Alex Ferrari 47:23
Nice. That would be awesome. Back on Track the sequel. Right. That's, that's awesome. That, you know,

Brad Olsen 47:35
I think I think what's interesting, and I kind of wish I'd found an angle. There's so many things to try to pack into dosha into my Doc, but but I actually do think that in a lot of ways, the final cut pro 10 story has a lot of parallels to the avid in the 90s story versus, you know, film based editing because film editors Oh, you said I'm not editing on a computer. That's a toy. And what did they say about Final Cut Pro 10. I'm not editing on that it's a toy. So it's, it's really interesting to to see the parallels there.

Alex Ferrari 48:13
I might be there might be a place for the avid documentary.

Brad Olsen 48:16
There might you know it might be I feel less inspired by avid just because in the last 20 years, I feel like they've just totally stagnated. And yes, the whole film industry has accepted the fact that and they're comfortable with the fact that avid really isn't moving the ball forward in any significant way.

Alex Ferrari 48:33
They just all they do is patch the holes in the ship. No, no, no, no, and I'm not trying to be a dick about it. But it's the truth like I because I've worked with come, you know, worked with avid and I've worked with, you know, studios that work with avid and having to deal with that workflow. And I literally, like I walk into the edit suite, and they're like, they're on Macs that are like 10 years old, because they're the only ones that are completely stable with the software. And that's the only thing so everything is super slow. It can't really run really well. And it's just like annoying as all hell and I know they're more advanced, you know, systems out there, but these are the ones that they were renting. And I feel like every single time there was a problem which was daily, the average guy would come in and like literally just patch a hole in the ship that obviously have leaks and it will drown it will drown eventually it will go under eventually but it there just

Brad Olsen 49:30
Ithat the irony though people like avid it's so stable, so solid. Well, you're paying Yeah, if you're paying hundreds of 1000s of dollars for avid support every year. Yeah, guess you guess it'll be reliable in that sense.

Alex Ferrari 49:43
Or you could download DaVinci Resolve or Final Cut Pro X. I mean,

Brad Olsen 49:46
Yeah, why not do something a little that's that's also reliable but doesn't demand the full attention support, like like you were talking about.

Alex Ferrari 49:56
It's like, it's like buying a really bad car. And then you have have to pay for a mechanic or for a mechanic to live in the back House of your home to make sure the car is running perfectly all the time. And it breaks down daily. So the dude's always working, but the car mechanics fees are another 100,000 plus the car, and they're like, wow, that car is really stable. Sure. You're paying 100 grand for the dude that live in your back? Oh, man, yeah, it this, this whole conversation is gone off off the tracks.

Brad Olsen 50:31
We've got it. We've got off that we've we've we can't help ourselves. We just keep getting back in. I mean, it is something I've been asked like, what about like the Adobe Premiere story and whatnot. And like, it's just for me? I was I'm very passionate about Final Cut Pro 10 Sure, sure. Sure, sure. I'm not so passionate about the other systems. And that's not even about Final Cut Pro 10 per se. I'm just passionate about the idea that a person with no connections with very few resources can go out and make a movie like anything that is gonna empower that and enable that. So you know, you 2003 for me, it was the dv x 100

Alex Ferrari 51:10
No 100 Acer 100. Yeah, the 108 police let's let's keep it straight. Don't forget, there wasn't 100 v. I was about to say there was a B but there was like only weirdos bought the B. Honestly, it was about the A everyone had. I don't want to hear about the B, it was about the A we have gone so off the tracks. everyone listening thought this was a

Brad Olsen 51:34
But it is about like now like I was just shooting 4k 24 frames a second footage of my I just had a kid the other day. We were talking about this before the show. So I had my second daughter earlier this week, and I'm shooting some 4k video on my iPhone that honestly, like is really really good quality

Alex Ferrari 51:57
Just like mom used to do. But definitely Yeah.

Brad Olsen 52:01
So to me, it's like, well, what's You know, there's, there's no more excuses. And that. So I see Final Cut Pro 10 fitting into that, that world. And that's actually when I'm more passionate about Final Cut Pro 10 could be could go away and something else could come about and or in and then there's other tools that could come around, then that's where I'm going to be anywhere that is is going to get rid of the gatekeepers that is going to allow me to connect to my audience or connect to an audience directly. And for us to just have a good time and not be told you can't do it. You know, because that's what I was told when I was a kid growing up. This all goes down to like childhood psychology and drama, which was I wanted to make movies because I saw my heroes George Lucas and Steven Spielberg making movies. And I was told you will never get to do that. So stop dreaming about it. Oh, yeah. Well, I'll show you along that the way you know, we saw all these innovations and things come about so when people react negatively to the message that oh filmmaking has, you know, gotten easier, it's more accessible, it's more powerful. And they're like, No, no, no, no, no, let's keep everything the way it is. And let's keep people out. I'm very, you know,

Alex Ferrari 53:23
That's avid basically is what you're saying?

Brad Olsen 53:24
Yeah, it's 35 millimeter film even though I think 35 million films beautiful. It's a it's a system that requires so much support and resources and resources and money that it represents to me this you know, it's the adult it's the teacher, it's the parent, it's whoever telling 12 year old me Stop dreaming stop, you know at attending

Alex Ferrari 53:49
Bradman I thank you for being raw and honest about your entire distribution process with off the tracks. It was a fascinating story to listen to. You are very candid, and I hope it does help somebody out there listening in whatever country you're listening in. That Hope it helps you guys figure out what's the best path for for you. But Brad, thank you so much for being so honest and forthright with your journey, sir. And of course, thank you for allowing off the tracks to be part of IFH TV.

Brad Olsen 54:24
Yeah, I'm excited. I'm excited to see what the tribe thinks of of my movie, hopefully. Hopefully they're positive.

Alex Ferrari 54:32
I think they'll be I think there'll be okay. But and you know, and the same

Brad Olsen 54:37
Feeling feelings. I know that.

Alex Ferrari 54:39
Well, the bottom line is it same thing that you were saying about the gatekeepers and stuff like that. I mean, I'm a dude that's opening up a streaming service, you know, aimed at the audience that I love the most, which are filmmakers, screenwriters, creators, artists. And, you know, I I'm not spending millions of dollars to do it. And I'm able to go out there and do it because of the tools because of the things that are out there to be able to make these things happen. And and you just did a story about one of those tools that really did help a lot of people tell their story. So thanks again, man for being on the show and no more. You're not allowed on for at least 100 episodes. No more conversations with Brad, this is enough to he's more than now, if you come back with an avid movie. You're you're first in line.

Brad Olsen 55:28
We're back on track.

Alex Ferrari 55:29
We're back are back on track with the victories. Oh, that's such a call back with a whole black magic. I think we can make this happen.

Brad Olsen 55:38
I think so.

Alex Ferrari 55:39
Thanks again, Brad.

Brad Olsen 55:41
Yep, thank you, Alex.

Alex Ferrari 55:43
I want to thank Brad for coming back on the show and revealing and being honest and raw about his distribution misadventures on getting the film out there. But if you guys are interested in seeing the film, don't forget it is on indie film hustle TV, it is a great documentary. If you're into editing, post production, or just want to know how Apple royally screwed up one of their product releases to watch that happen live, it is quite fascinating. So definitely check that out. I will put links to everything we discussed in the show notes at indiefilmhustle.com/279. And if you haven't already, please head over to filmmakingpodcast.com. And leave us a good review. It really, really helps to show out a lot and helps us get this information out to more and more filmmakers. So it would be greatly greatly appreciated. And that's it for another episode of the indie film hustle podcast. I hope you guys are doing well. In this holiday season. You got to keep hustling. No matter what guys got to keep pushing, keep writing, keep learning as much as you can. And also, by the way, thank you so much for all the kind remarks of Episode 277, which I revealed my daily routine and has inspired a bunch of you guys out there to wake up at 4:30 in the morning. So do it guys. Keep hustling. And, as always keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 278: Final Cut Pro X SUCKS…Or Does It? with Brad Olsen

Right-click here to download the MP3

Today’s guest is Brad Olsen, director of the documentary Off the Tracks. If you don’t know the story about the major debacle that was the release of Apple’s Final Cut Pro X get ready to jump into the deep end of editing lore.

In 2011 Apple ended Final Cut Pro as we knew it and started over with a brand new video editing application: Final Cut Pro X. The disruption from this change is still being felt by the film, television, and video industries to this day. With misinformation running amok, Off The Tracks aims to clear the air once and for all. Industry insiders discuss Apple’s controversial decision to redesign the video editing application Final Cut Pro.

This documentary explores why the release of Final Cut Pro X upset video editors and how the software is being used today. Off the Tracks features exclusive interviews with the creative professionals who use the software and the developers who created it. Why did Apple make Final Cut Pro X?

I love this documentary about Final Cut Pro X so much I had to have it on Indie Film Hustle TV. Brad not only loved the idea but he also agreed to jump on the show to discuss why he decided to make a doc about a piece of editing software. He’s laughing all the way to the bank.

Enjoy my conversation with Brad Olsen.

Alex Ferrari 0:13
Now today's show is about Final Cut Pro X. That's exactly what it sounds like. We're going to talk about a new documentary called off the tracks by a wonderful filmmaker by the name of Brad Olsen, who is a lover of Final Cut Pro X and we go into the deep weeds on why he made this movie. And we'll give you a little bit of a preview of the of the interview, which is one Final Cut Pro, which is what I used to edit on all the time, back in the day before it jumped from Final Cut Pro seven to Final Cut Pro X one a jump to x it was the worst launch for any product Apple has ever done without question. And people are still pissed off about it to this day. And that happened in 2011, I think. And Brad wanted to kind of shine a light on Final Cut Pro X because it has grown a lot since that initial release. And we're going to talk about editing, we're going to be talking about going into the deep words of creative editing, technical editing, what Final Cut Pro does for you, and of course his amazing documentary, which is available on indie film hustle TV. If you want to watch it, the trailer will be in the show notes and I'll leave all that information at the end of the episode. But without any further ado, please enjoy my conversation with Brad Olsen. I like to welcome the show Brad Olsen man. Thanks for being on the show, brother.

Brad Olsen 4:25
Oh man. It's a pleasure to be here. And I'm excited.

Alex Ferrari 4:28
Yeah, man. I know you. You're jet lagged and you've had a lot of traveling issues. So I appreciate you being here.

Brad Olsen 4:35
Yeah, I just showed the movie. In New York frameio Luma forge and lion iron sponsored this event. And it was really cool to actually see my name on a marquee in downtown New York.

Alex Ferrari 4:49
That was pretty cool, man. But we'll get it Yeah, we're gonna get into the movie. We're definitely gonna get into movie but first, how did you get into this crazy business?

Brad Olsen 4:59
How did I get In the crazy business well, you know, it actually probably started back in the 90s when my grandpa wanted to get a new video camera. So he gave us his old half functioning video camera. And my brother was doing school projects. And at the same time, I was watching, like, behind the scenes of Star Wars and Indiana Jones and stuff like that. And so this idea came into my head that, you know, people actually make movies, which is something as I talk to people, there's this revelation, like, it's not just something obvious that people make these things that we're watching.

Alex Ferrari 5:38
Especially, and especially back then, like, yeah, in the night, and now it's a lot more of a common, you know, I mean, look, there's people who like their goal in life is to be influencers, so and have YouTube channels like that's, that's a career path. Now, back then you couldn't even think about filmmakers? What?

Brad Olsen 6:00
Yeah, so I was like, a 10 year old who's too thought maybe I could make movies and everybody said, No, well, that's like getting drafted in the NBA or something.

Alex Ferrari 6:12
That's actually good. Yeah, it was it was a rarity. If you could even try to break in back then.

Brad Olsen 6:19
So yeah, I just made and then I started making short films with my friends. So mostly spoofs. I like to say, you know how Robert Rodriguez is like everybody has What is it? 20 bad films. And then I think I had like 100 films.

Alex Ferrari 6:34
But you got to get them out. You got to get them out.

Brad Olsen 6:36
Yeah. And then I made one that made sense. It was the first one that made sense to people who weren't me, my friends that worked on it. And it was still really weird. But that was when I was 18. So it took me a long time to kind of like figure out storytelling and figure out how to communicate my ideas to people. But through that whole period, it was just a lot of fun to pick up a camera and make stuff up. And we didn't even really have scripts at the time. You're just like, what are we shooting today? I don't know. Let's that's it.

Alex Ferrari 7:11
That's a recipe. That's a recipe for a fantastic film.

Brad Olsen 7:17
Yeah, I yeah, I don't think many people would sit through a lot of the nonsense that we made during that period. But through that, I always kind of had a serious attitude about it. I didn't like the term amateur. And I didn't like, you know, people saying, uh, you know, someday you'll get better. It was just, I mean, I did have the attitude. Every time I made another film, this one's so much better than the last film and, and I was always trying to push myself, but I just, I took it seriously, even though I knew what we were making was total nonsense.

Alex Ferrari 7:47
Well, that's the way you have to take it. I mean, even Roger Corman took it very seriously. And a lot of the films he was making, you know, you know, was nonsense, and you know, straight, you know, straight to exploit days of exploitative world. So you have to do that I had, I heard a great analogy is like when you're becoming an artist, in order to find your voice. And to get all that bad stuff out, it's kind of like turning on an old faucet. And that faucet, it's just that gunk, that black water that comes out, and it's just just constantly there, and you got to let it run for a little while. And you guys just got to get it all out. And then slowly, but surely, it starts getting clear and clear and clear. And then every once in a while, if you take a drink, there still might be a little bit of dirt in there, but it's getting cleaner and cleaner and cleaner to the point where it becomes good. Yeah, and that's very similar to I think getting those 20 features, or 20 Films out of you that are bad.

Brad Olsen 8:44
Or 100 Well, they were short films, but yeah, I'm not and you know, like through that process, when I was 16, I was able to do an internship, my my brother found like someone a neighbor who worked at a video production company. And so they were doing like infomercials and things and so that's when I first got my hands on like avid, and before that we were using a hacked version of premiere that kept crashing on a really clunky PC blaming Hello premier crashing back. Oh, yeah, the version for like, barely usable.

Alex Ferrari 9:19
Did you ever edit Did you ever edit with like the video cube or media 100 or montage?

Brad Olsen 9:25
No, not none of those systems. I mean, before premiere it or even sometimes well even even if I could edit on premiere. So what we would do is just hook up the camcorder to the VCR and like you know do like the cam quarter audio is going through the white RCA plug and the music is going through the red RCA plug. That's how we were able to like put music and sound effects. And then and then if you wanted to add multiple sound effects and things then you'd have to go VCR to VCR. So by the time we were done like adding music and sound effects And trying to like randomly line those up by hitting play and record at the right time. And like cut out parts, right? It was like, you know that like just like a, I don't know, it looked really blurry and staticky, you could hardly see what the image was. But that, you know, that's that was a lot of fun trying to figure out how to you put stuff on there. And then, of course, premiere made that possible. But we had this issue where the capture card was made by i omega made a cap, oh, i omega buzz. And it was, and it was like 320 by 240 resolution, most of the time, it would at least drop six to eight frames, and the audio would get out of sync, obviously. And when we hit play in Premiere, because it was like an M JPEG codec, it just went black. So I actually had to look at the film frames, like I do the thumbnails in Premiere and zoom in on them to try to find where to cut. And then I'd have to export the movie. And and actually it would it play in the media player because that would crash. So you could you could right click on the properties of the video file, and there was a preview window and you could hit play on that. And through the iomega buzz card, it would go back out to the TV and VCR, and I could record it back on the VHS tape. Does any of that make any sense?

Alex Ferrari 11:28
For me? It does. I'm sure everyone listening is going What the hell are they talking about?

Brad Olsen 11:33
So he was gonna say, here's an interesting thing I learned when I was studying film history, when they before they invented editing like flatbed decks or you know, when they when they actually had the reel to reel and they would cut and splice film like any of the flatbed editing systems. And before sound, they would actually shoot rolls of film. And then they had women come in because they thought this is kind of like sewing. And they'd have like rooms full of women. And they would be looking at the film frames and then figuring out where to cut. And then they would load it up into the projector and watch what they had done. And then make notes and go and pull it back out. And I feel like in a weird way, I had to do the exact same thing because I couldn't really play it in Premiere, I had to render it out, which took forever. Watch it. And then Oh, we got to make that change and get back in. Yep. So it's like the digital fight. But

Alex Ferrari 12:27
Yeah, so let me let me make a disclaimer to everyone listening. Brad is an editor and put that in Brad, Brad is an editor. And we are going to go deep into some geek stuff in this show. So we're going to talk a lot about editing, we're going to talk a lot about super geeky editing stuff. So if you want to learn about this, then continue listening. But we're gonna go hard on this because it's two editors talking. I've had other editors on the show before, it generally goes off the tracks, no pun intended. Because we just get editors just talking about editing stuff, as he's already. Already I'm already off. Anyone is Brad has already gone off the tracks. I love it. This is great. So speaking of off the tracks, you know, the reason I wanted to bring you on is because you directed this insanely awesome documentary called off the tracks, which is and I'm sure you did this for the money. Obviously, obviously, the demographic is straight up cash grab.

Brad Olsen 13:38
Without clever, every mom and every kid wants to see this movie,

Alex Ferrari 13:42
obviously is this and talking dog movies. The film is called off the tracks in the movie is about the colossal failure of the launch of Final Cut Pro X, which was the the next generation after the much beloved Final Cut Pro seven. And it's a documentary that starts off like that, but then kind of goes into where Final Cut x is in today and everything. So I have to ask you the question, why the hell did you make a documentary about Final Cut Pro X, like in your mind, I want to I just want to literally just I want to get in there a little bit and go, you know, would be a really good use of my time. Let me try to make a documentary about a piece of software. That may be 100,000 people on the planet Really? What do you think? 100,000 people I'm generous. I'm scripture. I'm trying to make you feel better. No, but seriously, how did this How did this come around? Because I'm so glad you did it by the way, because I'm one of those 100,000 but what what how did what was the genesis of this project?

Brad Olsen 14:56
You know, it's it's weird, but I had multiple kinds of reasons. of why I wanted to go down this path and why I thought it was a good idea. Simply put, I, actually before Final Cut Pro 10 came out, I thought that I was thinking about the direction that editing software should go. And I was seeing what Apple was actually doing with iMovie when they rewrote it in 2008. Yep. And they made a new iMovie. And that actually was a little bit of a mini is kind of like, warning to what was gonna happen. For Final Cut Pro.

Alex Ferrari 15:31
It was a shot. It was just shot across the bow, sir.

Brad Olsen 15:34
Yeah. And, and you know, if you're paying attention, but I was like, look with where we're going with technology. There's some, there's some innovations and things that need to happen. Probably because, you know, did you notice like in the, from 2000 to 2010, there was this huge explosion with digital cinema, of course, our cameras were changing and codecs we were using, and we suddenly are getting to 4k and raw and all this stuff. Meanwhile, the editing systems weren't changing very much. No, I mean, they we were getting HD and whatnot. But you know, Final Cut. Seven was like you can it can support h 264. It couldn't really do six for now. So I was seeing that the software was having problems. So so I thought this is going to happen. So when Final Cut 10 came out in 2011. Aside from it being a little lacking and feature, lacking it features is the main thing. Aside from that, like the I thought this is the foundation that the next generation of editing software needs to be built on. So I, I believed in it. When

Alex Ferrari 16:41
So you're the one so you're that I was the one you're the one I heard about it. Well, before we before we go into that,

Brad Olsen 16:47
Well, I was gonna say this. Yeah, you asked the question of why why did you make this document? Yeah, so let's fast forward a little bit, I, I thought, at that time, that maybe I can position myself to be part of this kind of next generation. And, and be kind of ahead of the curve. And, and so, as years went by, and I edited feature films on Final Cut Pro 10. You know, I, the opinions weren't changing, it was kind of like everybody just turned off, and they stopped paying attention to what's happening. And I felt like I was the only person using the software. And it was getting upgrades regularly and getting better and better and better. And finally, in about 2014 2015 ish, there was a Final Cut 10 community that was really starting to rally around the software. And when I started getting more involved in that community, and I saw that they were all telling the same story about the horrible lunch, but look at where it is at today. And nobody knows how awesome it is. That's when I had this idea of you know, this is a story. There's a story arc here about the resistance to technological change. And and why do we you know, why we like this whole kind of like, tools and storytellers and all these really interesting themes. And that's when I thought this would be a fun little documentary, and I could maybe position myself and get my name out there. By making this among, among the professional editing community, I could become a little more well known and get more opportunities from there. So it wasn't, it definitely wasn't like, I'm gonna make tons of money off of this, it was I'm gonna make a name for myself and, and hopefully get some more opportunities to, you know, do more filmmaking awesome projects.

Alex Ferrari 18:39
So that makes absolute sense. It's it's absolutely a great marketing plan, you're using the film almost as a loss leader, to get you more work more notoriety, and to position yourself as a thought leader in this space, make pretty much pretty much and it's and it's working. I think so I think it has worked. You know, you're on the show. So that helps. You know, you got on the show. So that makes because I would have never in the middle. If you wouldn't have made this movie, I would have never reached out to you we wouldn't have in whenever contacted. So the movie has created multiple contacts for you throughout the industry. So that's amazing. And that's something that a lot of filmmakers need to think about when they're making their movies. It's not always just about being rich and famous. If you go after such a niche, and this is the niches of a niche, niche film I've ever heard of like it's so deep niche, it's, it's wonderful.

Brad Olsen 19:37
Well, we had that screening in New York on Tuesday, this week earlier this week and Emory wells who's the you know, the Founder President of frame i O. CEO, free bio said, this is probably the only documentary and probably will be the only documentary made about editing software ever.

Alex Ferrari 20:00
Can you imagine like the avid documentary, or the premier documentary, no one would care. Even us, I would never watch an avid documentary. Like I'd be like, if I'm on a plane, and I'm locked in, it's anything else. But what I find fascinating about off the tracks is that the community behind FCP behind Final Cut Pro was such a, it was a massive game changer. And I want to explain to people who haven't listened or haven't, you know, use Final Cut Pro, or didn't understand the power of what it did. When Final Cut Pro, I would say I'm gonna say when Final Cut Pro like three hit, it started to become taken a little bit more seriously. And with every, every new version, I started to grow and grow and grow to the point where it became a serious professional editing system. And I was an avid editor when I started out, because I was the only thing I could that was the only thing that's gonna where you can get jobs and all that. Then when I wanted to open up my own shop, you know, I call a bag and I haven't like that's $150,000 I'm like, go screw yourself. And I saw this final cut thing taken off around me and I'm like, Well, I can buy a system for under 10 grand, you know, within it wasn't because the final code was all the other stuff that you needed back then scuzzy drives and everything to, to run SD. And, and there was an emotional attachment to this piece of software, where I've rarely seen it in other pieces of software. And I think that's why your movie has an audience that people are really, really interested in. Would you agree?

Brad Olsen 21:38
Yeah, there's a huge passion for the original Final Cut Pro. And I feel like this new community file and some of them are people who stuck with the platform, but the Final Cut Pro 10 current community is also extremely passionate, and feels like we have this secret weapon, you know, and I think the original Final Cut Pro was that in like 2003, you know, through 2006 ish before it really started. Feeling like more of a mainstream tool. It was like the end and you know, people were in the mid 2000s, I think, I think in 2003, if you said hey, I'm editing on Final Cut Pro, you get, like, kind of weird looks. And with Final Cut Pro 10. Today, you can get some weird books.

Alex Ferrari 22:28
Listen, and talk into a post production supervisor like myself who deliver films all the time. And when someone says, which rarely happens, but when someone said, What did you edit? I'm like, oh, Final Cut x. I'm like, Oh, God. Oh, God, I'm never gonna get this into color. This is not gonna work well. And, and arguably, it hasn't. Back in the day because they were using, you know, older versions of final, Final Cut Pro X. But first, let's go back a little bit before we get into the deep geek. Why do you think the launch of Final Cut Pro X was such a disaster? I mean, I remember even watching. I was watching Conan O'Brien. Yeah. And Conan O'Brien did a whole piece on it. While his all his editors. Basically, were just so pissed off that they did a segment on why the editors, he's like, I don't know what's going on. But my editors are very upset. Apparently, there's this piece of software that's changed. And life is ended as we know it. I'd like them to, like literally I first time I've ever seen.

Brad Olsen 23:36
I mean, you've got Bloomberg and fortune and like I've been looking it up as research for the documentary. I don't know anybody who didn't publish a story about how that that launch was. It was everywhere. And I think a lot of people that's the only thing they really know about Final Cut Pro 10 is this, this horrible rollout and and it's to the point that I've talked to film students who's who said, when they've shown them I'm using Final Cut Pro 10. And they said, hey, my professor says Apple doesn't make that anymore.

Alex Ferrari 24:10
People are like, oh, Apple's making iPhones. They just they abandoned everybody.

Brad Olsen 24:15
Yeah, yeah, they abandon everybody. So I mean, let's circle back to that initial question. Why was that launch so horrible? I'm going to start with the fact that you know, right when Apple was taking off in the pro video space, you know, they had shake, and they had Final Cut Studio come out, and everything. Right around that time. There was a couple other things happening one, the OS Mac OS went to 64 bit, but the studio applications like Final Cut Pro did not go to 64 bit shake, they reduce the Platt price and announced that they were no longer going to continue making it past shake for so they the VFX industry was all using Shaykh, Lord of the Rings, King Kong, you know you name it was composited with shake, Apple buys it, releases some updates, and then says, You know what, we don't care about this market, we're killing this product,

Alex Ferrari 25:13
Which was I mean, shake was an amazing piece of software. Yes, so good. I mean, everyone used it, and Apple, literally bought it and then just shoved it into the end it killed it killed it. And I think that's what people were afraid of with Final Cut Pro X,

Brad Olsen 25:30
Yeah, and then Final Cut Pro six, and then seven, seven, especially was not much of an upgrade from six, and even reduce the price and it was very underwhelming. Apple also pulled from nav. And they said, we're no longer going to be doing you're only doing Apple, our own Apple events, we're not going to be on the show floor. So I think there was already some things that made professionals question whether or not Apple was going to continue supporting them. And so and so that it was all lined up. And so basically everything hinged on 2011. What's this new thing? There were rumors circulating around Steve Jobs, even emailed someone back saying the next release is going to be awesome, which is in my documentary. And, and so people like there's this anticipation, are they do they love us? Are they going to do something amazing? Are they going to roll shake into motion? Are they get a you know, give us full color and Final Cut Pro? And those were the expectations and and the expectations weren't changing the editing paradigm. In fact, I think the expectations is what we have with resolve 15 Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 26:45
Exactly.

Brad Olsen 26:46
That's what people wanted in 2011. But instead, Apple did what I predicted they were going to do, which was build an editing platform with new ways of interacting with your footage, like with skimming and film strips, and, and a magnetic timeline, which I didn't fully realize until I saw what they'd done. But I knew that something like that was coming. But everybody else that's not where they were looking. And that's not what they wanted. And listen, resolve 15, in a lot of ways was exactly what I would have loved in 2008 2009. Like, where my head was better. But then I saw some of these new ideas and I move Yeah, but okay, they're gonna, they're gonna make a huge shift here. So that expectations were that, and then they, they do this demo, and I think the demo was just such a whirlwind, and so hard for people to wrap their minds around. That, you know, there was a lot of negative reactions The next day, and and then it was just kind of this waiting. Well, let's wait and see what this is gonna be. But I think everyone was scared. I was reading just a couple of weeks ago. They were they were talking about the recession. And they were interviewing Warren Buffett and an article. And Warren Buffett said something I feel like is directly applicable to this final cut 10 launch. Which was when, when it comes to gaining people's confidence, that's a slow process that happens one person at a time. But when it comes to fear, that's something that happens to everyone all at once. And, and I think that people were afraid because and this is the other component, because if you're running a business, if your livelihood depends on a piece of software and a company, and I mean everything it was it was Apple hardware, and was Apple software and and you had and you were selling clients on the fact that you had these HD workflows and, and everything was going to be delivered on time. And then Apple stopped supporting trainers. They stopped supporting trainers, they they they dropped the final cut seven support completely. And they said this is the new thing. Oh, don't forget.

Alex Ferrari 29:11
And don't forget, you can't go back to Final Cut seven projects. So don't forget

Brad Olsen 29:14
You can't open Final Cut seven projects. That was actually the shock for me because I came home on the day Final Cut Pro 10 came out was June 21 2011. I coincidentally had a 2015 or sorry 2011 2015. That'd be great. No, I had a I had my 2011 MacBook Pro 15 inch and with Thunderbolt and I saw in the App Store Final Cut Pro. And then I was like cool and I was downloading it and in my head. I'm like what if what if it has everything and I can open my old projects and I never have to install Final Cut Studio. Well, I opened it up and I tried to open up a Final Cut seven project and it doesn't recognize it. And I was like well wait, what and that's when I googled and saw everyone losing their mind. losing their minds. And I was like, and I and kind of panic set into me, what am I gonna do like what I hate? Even even though I believed in the software, what if everyone's so mad that Apple just stops making this? And where do I go. And so, you know, people felt the band and I, I just kept my eye on what they were doing while everyone else stopped. And actually over the next six months, they did do things like XML and multi cam and a lot of and addressed a lot of the concerns that people had. But by that point, still, there's this other company who was doing some really great marketing called Adobe. And they were already like, taking the abandoned trainers and the third party suppliers and vendors and people and kind of coddling them and saying it's okay, we're here for you. And even though in 2011, premiere also had a lot of limitations and missing features. It was a familiar paradigm. And Adobe started beefing up premiere, so that by 2012, when I when I say Final Cut became usable. premiere was also usable, but premiere was familiar, and everyone had stopped paying attention. So there's there's a lot happening there. You know, there's competition from other vendors. And there's Apple just not reading their user base. Right. And, and thinking that they were going to just be excited by the new thing, like it was the new iPhone, you know,

Alex Ferrari 31:34
Right, right. I think they I think they got a little too cocky. And they thought we're Apple, we're just gonna tell them what the deal is. Yeah. And that's fine with AP, I guess with with like, it doesn't always work. Like people are still pissed off about the towers, like the towers went away, you know, the MacBook, the back pros went away, and they gave us the trash cans. Because I have a trash can. But I would like to have, you know, I'd love to be able to put a card in it. So I hear that they're working on something new. We'll see what happens. But, but it doesn't work all the time. And I think that's what happened with Final Cut Pro X was when I saw it. I opened it up. I was like, well, this sucks. And I'm like, Well, I get and I just said I just hunker down. I'm like, I'm staying on Final Cut seven. I stayed on Final Cut seven till 2015. Wow. Yeah, yeah, I was on it. And I did not I all my projects were on it. And I was still delivering so many movies would come in. And rarely would get a premiere project, especially indie movies, because Final Cut seven was so entrenched. So I would get those movies that come in and I would be able to work with it. And then I would export out to color and to App first of all to Apple color, but then I started going to resolve then then resolve started piquing my interest because I got to a point where I'm like, I can't, I can't work anymore. Like h two six fours and these larger files and I just couldn't work anymore. Final Cut Pro X was not even in my radar. After I left I abandoned it. I was like, Oh, you guys gonna abandon me? Well, I'm gonna abandoned you. Just screw you, man. And I was like, I'm out. And there was this beautiful new girl Her name was DaVinci Resolve.

Brad Olsen 33:21
Yeah. And well, and and coincidentally, some of the people that work on resolve. Were in those original classic Final Cut Pro days working on Final Cut Pro. So they you had some friends there?

Alex Ferrari 33:34
Wait, no, exactly. Because like when I already learned Da Vinci for color. But then editing was kind of like, Oh, it's like this edit tab. It was very I couldn't use it. But then at 12 five came out and holy cow, you can edit now. And then I edited my first feature on it. And then I did shows on it. I'm like, Oh my god, I could do everything here. And that just like it all just started to work. So now resolve is become my main thing. But I am intrigued with Final Cut Pro X because it's just another tool. If I have another tool in my toolbox, why wouldn't I use it?

Brad Olsen 34:07
Yeah, and I and I got resolve. I mean, I was doing the light and free versions for a while. And then they had it's for sale on the App Store for 499 when it was 1000 bucks, you know, so I'm like, I'm gonna buy it because resolve had by that point just become such a Swiss Army knife. I don't know what it can't do. I don't think there's anything it can't do that now.

Alex Ferrari 34:29
Yeah, that was 50 they could do literally anything you want it to do if you know

Brad Olsen 34:35
i mean where I where I kind of switched over and I did take the time to learn 10 and I love the performance and everything. There. They're just little things that resolve can do to fill in the holes of you know, like, for example, just making dailies for an avid editor, something I've done to resolve or making a DCP is something I've used resolve for or I don't know just lots of little little stuff. But I, I enjoy it. But I but the editing experience for Final Cut 10 is something I did convert over to. And it's something I can't really like, go back from going back to tracks for me is is very painful now because it just feels so much slower to me,

Alex Ferrari 35:20
Which was what feels slower to you?

Brad Olsen 35:22
Tracks like editing on tracks feels slower to me than using the magnetic timeline

Alex Ferrari 35:26
You're speaking in the devil's tongue, sir, I have no idea what you mean with this magnetic timeline? What are you on an iPhone editing? I can't work, click. I'm an old school. No, no, no, I'm joking. But I'm actually curious. I don't have the time. Right now. They're learning other pieces of software. But it's something that I will probably bring into my workflow at one point or another, as it continues to grow, but I still like my timeline stuff. And it's weird how editors, we are creatures of habit. We do not like change as a general statement, like, if I tell an avid editor that he's got a cut on Final Cut. It's like, it's like, they'll just like crack a bottle over the bar. And like, let's go. Like, I'm not kidding. Like, it's, you're right? Yes. Am I wrong? Am I wrong? Tell me tell an editor that he has to work with another piece of software, and they will lose their collective shit.

Brad Olsen 36:21
I'm wonderful. And well, part of it is, especially I feel like with with the older paradigms, you know, with with track based editing, and avid, and then Final Cut, and so on. It took a lot of effort in the first place to to master those tools and to learn all the hotkeys. And to get and you start getting in this ninja mode where you feel like you can do anything with it. And you know, like I'm walking these tracks, and I'm patching this and I'm moving this around and you're hitting all the hotkeys and you just feel like a wizard because you know, you've got this idea in your head of I want to cut from this shot to that shot to this other shot. And, and I want these sound effects and whatever, and you just you just start manipulating it, and you just feel like you're playing that instrument and you become proficient at it. And all of a sudden, you know, with something like 10 it gets it's like it's like everyone learns, learns the QWERTY keyboard layout. And with 10, they're like, and we just, this is a more efficient keyboard, but we've moved everything around and it works like this. And if you've never worked in us anything quite like that, but nothing tough. That's a tough sell. And And the irony is that if you take somebody who's never learned any editing system, and you teach them Final Cut Pro 10, they're going to learn it a lot faster than somebody who's never edited. But if you've been if you've taken that time to master an application, like avid, the final cut pro 10 is is just a tool. It's another plan. It's totally bizarre.

Alex Ferrari 38:01
But but also Don't you agree that was the Apple did not ease anyone into this, like there was no easing into this new paradigm? It's not like, you know, hey, we are we just turned on the camera for the first time in 1900. And then the next step is 4k. Like there was no, no time to just ease people into this, this new idea, which I don't disagree with by any stretch. I think it might be where we need to go. It might be another option or the toolset. But man, Apple just just,

Brad Olsen 38:38
You know, it's it's this whole thing of it goes back to that iPhone type of launch. They were very secretive about what they were doing. They were having apple. Yeah, they were they were having internal conversations for years. And there were debates. Why are there Why is why there's some people that are working with resolve or working on resolve that were on the final cut pro team. Well, there obviously there were disagreements at Apple about what they should do. And so they had to reconcile this internally, but they didn't like realize that hey, if this is such a dramatic thing internally, then why that is definitely going to be even bigger deal to everybody else. But they just kind of treated it like here's this new shiny thing. And it's amazing and look awake and do and everybody's like, I don't I don't get it. What?

Alex Ferrari 39:28
So So now you're making this documentary and you're going down this road, you're contacting people and it's a very small community. So when people start hearing about this, what is the reaction when you call people up like Michael up and go, Hey, I'm going to do an interview with you about what a disaster Final Cut Pro X was when I get launched? What was the reactions you guys when you got?

Brad Olsen 39:51
Well, the first person I approached actually was Sam Messman who was working a lot with this company called FCP works at Time. And then now he's all on board. He's the CEO, the co founder, president of Luma. Forge. And he's and his whole thing is pushing Final Cut workflows. I saw him as the guy who was plugged into everybody who was promoting Final Cut Pro 10. New Sam. And so that was kind of my first contact to introduce myself. And then AB. I emailed him afterwards, I told him about this idea. He said, that sounds cool. I said, Can we start contacting people? Like, would you would you make introductions for me? And he said, Well, go off and you know, write a write some more outlines, do this do that he would like say, make up make a little trailer, just like steal footage from the internet, make a little trailer. So he'd give me a little things to do for about three months. And he says, when it's real, I'll reach out to everyone. And that kind of bugged me because I'm like, when it's real, what do you mean? It's like,

Alex Ferrari 40:52
Yeah, I get what he's saying. I completely understand what you're saying.

Brad Olsen 40:55
Yeah. But I just was like, eager to just start introducing people finally he was, you know, three months had gone by any any made a very smart suggestion, which was, Hey, why don't you plan on coming to this Final Cut Pro 10 creative summit, which is like an annual thing they've been doing for the last few years. Since 2015, this was 2016 was talking to Sam, but now it's been a few years they've been doing this. And he's like, pretty much everybody on your list of people you want to interview is going to be there. And, and then when you thought you'd mentioned, Michael, I'm assuming you mean Michael cioni. Well, around the same time, I had put together this little teaser trailer thing, and I'd found clips of Michael cioni talking about Final Cut Pro 10. Because he actually was one in 2011. He was like, Guys, calm down. This is their right? This is the future of editing. And everyone's like, yeah, Michael, you're insane. Right, so I found all these clips and I and all I asked Michael cioni for is, do you think it'd be okay, if I use these clips of you in my documentary? Would you be cool with that? And he said, Yeah, I give you my permission to do that. But I really am passionate about this subject. And I really like you to come out and interview me. And I was like, heck, yeah. Go do that. So so I had these creative seven interviews lined up here. Sam reached out to them. And everybody that I wanted to talk to there was like, absolutely. The sounds awesome.

Alex Ferrari 42:22
Of course, you rallied the geeks.

Brad Olsen 42:25
Yeah, well, and the other thing to keep in mind is a lot of the people I wanted to interview are like, either software trainers or plugin developers for Final Cut Pro 10. So if they can tell the story of Final Cut Pro 10 and advocate why they like it, it just brings more sales to them. You know, so they're all passionate about it. And they also have a business interest in supporting it. That's that's part of it. Obviously, some of the people editors and people I interviewed just are passionate about the software and they've had a lot of them had that like they hated it at first In fact, Mike Matt store who was an assistant editor on focus, and now is a editor at Warner Brothers animation. He he tweeted that this is utterly Final Cut Pro 10 is utterly unusable. And he was really pissed about it. But then focus came across as a job that he could work on and and he started looking into it and figuring it out and actually made it work for a feature film. That was $100 million feature film star starring Will Smith.

Alex Ferrari 43:27
I was I thought it was that the movie I was like, we just have to focus on like, it can't be the Will Smith movie. It is that was edited and Final Cut x.

Brad Olsen 43:35
It was the first major motion picture edit in Final Cut Pro 10.

Alex Ferrari 43:38
Wow, that's pretty. That's pretty cool. How many other movies at one of the movies

Brad Olsen 43:44
And have it well, the same filmmakers had whiskey Tango Foxtrot. geostorm was originally cut on Final Cut 10. But then, the studio did a test screening and they didn't like the film. So they took it away. My understanding is they took it away from Dean Devlin and they who actually used use Final Cut Pro 10 on the show leverage. Yeah, that I know. Yeah. And yeah, and geostorm was taken back over by the studio. So I assume they re cut it on avid. There's a lot of independent films, there's a lot of foreign films, especially that have been cut on Final Cut Pro 10. One is called the Unknown Soldier, which was actually the biggest movie in 2017. In Finland, the highest grossing of their in their box office. And it was, you know, it was kind of intense. So there's the it's, it's actually in Europe. There's a lot of there's like a lot of people over there that are kind of secretly using Final Cut Pro 10. And in Hollywood, it's like they just all went back to avid and double down on avid, and that's for the most part, but focus was a movie where the filmmakers were like, let's let's do this and you actually think about it. They had to start doing that in 2013. Which is very, very Early in Final Cut only as a couple years old, and everyone on the internet said, there's no way this could be used on a major motion picture. But that team figured it out. And they did it. And not only did they do it, they actually found that they saved money and time by using Final Cut Pro 10.

Alex Ferrari 45:19
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. Interesting, interesting. Now, when now you're making this documentary, I'm assuming Apple gets wind of this. I'm assuming and Apple is known for being very kind and gentle to people, especially when they're talking about products of theirs. So for everyone listening, I'm being facetious. Of course not Apple is, is not that nice when it comes to this stuff. So what happened when Apple heard about this?

Brad Olsen 45:56
Uh, you know, the interesting thing is, there are there's lots of different people working on Final Cut Pro 10. And I first had the pleasure of meeting a few of them when I went to the creative summit while I was filming it. And so so some of the, like designers and engineers, who I won't like call out, but they there's a lot of curiosity and excitement. And you know, it was but at the same time, like, Oh, I don't know if I can live through that, can we just move past it? And, and then from the marketing side, the people who are in charge of marketing, there was a lot of apprehension, of course, and worry and anxiety, what is this guy going to do? And are we gonna have to like, sue him? Probably. He's got I don't know if that if they thought that But

Alex Ferrari 46:47
Definitely, but there's nothing nervous. But there's all No, honestly, they can't do anything.

Brad Olsen 46:51
I mean, no, it's it's, you know, it's a documentary documentary in its fair use. And absolutely, you can state your opinion. So, uh, so yeah, they, but they, you know, I was, I was trying to reach out and reassure them that this would be good for them. But they didn't necessarily believe me. And, again, this is not I should make this very clear. It's not sponsored, it's not endorsed. And that was the biggest thing is they do not want to, you know, they don't want to, like, give me any money for this, or whatever they want this to be totally independent thing, which I appreciate. Because that's a question people ask us.

Alex Ferrari 47:29
Like, how much of this?

Brad Olsen 47:31
Yeah, did Apple Pay for this apple? Buy it? No, not at all. It's very independent of that. But I, the end result, I will say, again, without calling out specific people and communications. Now, I think they're happy with it, because it is a pause. It's a pause. In the end, it's a positive message. And it's stuff that it talks about, with what they got wrong, especially with the initial release. Not only is it fair, and I think honest, it's, you need a story, you know, you're gonna it's part of the story. And it's what people who have been ignoring Final Cut Pro 10 need to have acknowledged, you know, this is, and that's what I think differentiates this from just like a puff piece or an ad is, right, is that, you know, we address this, these concerns head on, in a way that Apple marketing could never do. Right? Right. But it's, it's the, it's absolutely the thing that the marketing that they need, you know, in order for people to kind of take another look. So I was passionate enough to like, go down that path and do that and do it independent of Apple, and do it without their permission. And without them even questioning, you know, and worrying about what I was doing. I think I can't confirm any of that. Because it's mostly just how I it's this what I read from the interactions I've had with certain people at events, that's something that people probably don't realize is Apple, even though they're not like always having their own big booth, they don't have their own big booths. And maybe and these events, they're actually there. So if you know where to look for them, and you know who they are like, you can go up and talk to them. But then you have these very, like, one sided conversations where they don't answer any questions, but they may ask you a question.

Alex Ferrari 49:27
Yes, Apple is very, very quiet. They keep everything close to the to the to the to the breast without question. Now, I have a one question for you, man. Why are people in our industry, so emotional about a piece of software? It's a tool I mean, you don't see plumbers losing their mind over the plunger they use. Like, am I wrong? Like you don't see a carpenter like, you know about, you know, so passionate about the hammer that they use. You know,

Brad Olsen 49:58
I would I would say like Any buddy who works with tools is going to be they're going to take a lot of consideration what tools they're using, right? But they probably are not going to lose their mind. You know, if a new power sock comes out or something that might differently, they might learn it, you know?

Alex Ferrari 50:18
Yeah, there is no documentary about the new power saw horrible launch of the power saw the Black and Decker did. And then, and then another company came in with their power saw and took over the market because of the hot does a horrible launch. The other one was, like it doesn't, you know,

Brad Olsen 50:33
And they're not following. It's not like they're like, what's the next version of this tool? Right, the new hammer gonna be.

Alex Ferrari 50:40
But I mean, it's fair to be that way about software, but it's software. I mean, we're, it's apples and oranges, even though hammer is different than an editing system. But at the end of the day, it's still a tool. So why are we as creators? So? So, so passionate about it,

Brad Olsen 50:57
Right! Like, it's the new version of 10 comes out? Why were people just kind of like, yeah, whatever, I'm just gonna go back to avid like, casually, they were, they're so upset, there's so much I've seen, you know, in releasing the trailer and stuff I've seen like just pure hate spew from people. Why International Trade Me. I can't believe them. They owed me and they didn't deliver. I think it's because remove that removing the tools. Like just filmmaking in general, you have to have such a drive and passion to succeed and get anywhere and film because it's so it's, so it's getting easier now. But it's still so hard to tell a story. With film, you know, it's it's all our, you know, takes dedication, but film requires money, and collaborators and like every kind of art and craft that you can think of goes into it. So I think it's, you know, starts because we're just passionate about telling stories through this medium. And then that gets tied into the tools that enable us to do that. So the original Final Cut Pro especially, was something that was the beginning of the democratization of tools. And, and so suddenly, you know, me as a high school kid, I could get my hands on it, and put it on my own computer. And I could make things happen with it. And so the tools that have this, there's an emotional, sentimental component to it. What's even what's still bizarre to me, though, is people with editing software, are I feel like even more passionate about that, then people are with cameras. And that's saying a lot, because you know, people are passionate about cameras. But if a new 8k, you know, 20 stop, you know, whatever Blackmagic raw camera or comes out, like, people are like, Oh, the new thing, they'll jump, they'll jump for it. And maybe that's why 10 wasn't as shocking for me because I was also a camera guy. So like, I was seeing that happen in the camera world. And I think I mentioned that earlier. And, and not in the editing world. And I was wanting that for the editing world. But every but yeah, editors just didn't want to so I don't know, I think it's that kind of emotional bond with, this is the thing that enables me to do the thing I like. And and it also took a lot of energy and dedication to master it. And so too, for a company to say, you know that that was something that Apple didn't do is they didn't have the memorial service for seven. Right?

Alex Ferrari 53:43
Because you would never think that you would lead a memorial service for a piece of software. But for the users for me, I that's the logical person speaking. Yeah, for the final cut editor in me, I agree with you. 110%.

Brad Olsen 54:00
Yeah, if they'd had some sort of, like, we know you love this, this is the amazing things, we've we've been on this amazing journey together. We hope you come on this next leg of the journey with us. We're gonna you know, we're gonna continue to support Final Cut seven for the next year. And but that was just something Apple felt like if they, if they had this, you know, the counter argument to that is, if you got this new thing coming out, and you continue supporting the old thing and letting people know you're going to get rid of it. Well, there's almost create some sort of false hope of, well, maybe they're just experimenting with this new thing. And if we all say the new thing is terrible, then we get to keep the old thing alive.

Alex Ferrari 54:42
It's a fascinating it's a fascinating conversation

Brad Olsen 54:44
But it's a kind of a conundrum right? You know, that like how do you deal with it and then because Apple wasn't able to come come out, you know, going back to this whole secretive thing. They weren't able to come out and and ask people questions and talk to people open About this big transition, they weren't able to kind of do the market research to figure out well, how people how are they going to react? I mean, I know that you know, some people be pissed, but I don't think, you know, Randy, you billows expected that Conan O'Brien was gonna mock his baby. Right? Horrible. We can't even imagine how that felt and the users, you know, here's another element to you mentioned the internet. I think the internet also changes things. This is kind of interesting comparison. But just like, think about if the last Jedi had come out 20 years ago, or 10 years ago, do you think I mean, and whatever opinions you might have about the last Jedi aside, do you think that the the anger and hatred and all the YouTube videos that I've seen uploaded about how terrible Ryan Johnson is and how horrible this movie is? I don't think that the hate for it would have been as strong in a pre social media era.

Alex Ferrari 56:04
I mean, look, the prequels survived. Can you imagine if the prequels comment came out now?

Brad Olsen 56:09
Yeah, in generally in the media, even though people kind of said, Our Jar Jar sucks the next episode, too, you know, so to everyone's like, at high hopes. And the initial reaction was, Oh, it was better than Phantom Menace. And then Revenge of the Sith in general, people were like, Oh, yeah, it's like the best one of these three movies. And some people even said, it's second to Empire. And of course, that's not really, but I'm just saying, that was what was being written. Sure. But that's not necessarily the truth. But it was because, you know, the naysayers couldn't bond together as easily as they can on social media. Yeah, of course, since her last Jedi gets like, slammed and, you know, I have my own complaints with it. But the level that it gets slammed, I'm like, whoa. And I think the same can be said for something like Final Cut Pro 10. Coming out, is you and you know, this is another interesting thing is you're making software for storytellers, and people who know how to communicate really, really well. And now they have a platform on social media, to be able to communicate thoughts to everyone right and bond together. So it's like this perfect storm of, you know, don't piss off, like they pissed off a group of people that you know, have the skills to fight have the skills to fight back. Exactly. It's not a huge if you think about it in the the population of the world. I mean, there's not that many professional film and television editors.

Alex Ferrari 57:41
No, there isn't. There's, they're not that many, but they are powerful. Yeah, very dense. And then I'm excited to say that off the tracks is available on ifH. TV, which is extremely exciting. So thank you for bringing it to the tribes of the tribe can see it, and experience what we went through all those years ago, and I will be giving Final Cut Pro X try in the future when I have a second to breathe, and try to learn a new piece of software. But I'm interested in it sounds a very interesting piece of of software now that you know, I always like to be the rebel. I've always been outside the box and outside the party, as they say. So I seems like Final Cut x is definitely far out there. Because I think resolve is out there your resolve is outside the box. But like, Final Cut Pro X is outside of resolves box.

Brad Olsen 58:40
Yeah, it's it's a totally different paradigm. And I think, I think people can watch the film and kind of see, what was the thinking behind the magnetic timeline? Why Why did they go for this paradigm? And, and why is it Why did Apple kind of broaden the market? And and, you know, it's it's an interesting thing to look at. They made the software easier for new users. And, and made it simpler in some ways, but then people assume that it's also not capable and deep, but as we mentioned, you know, it has been used on some feature films and improved itself. So the film goes, I'll let the film kind of speak for itself in that but there's that we definitely go into a lot of the thinking behind what the the the act explaining that Apple didn't do is in the movie.

Alex Ferrari 59:33
You're doing Apple shops. Are you doing God's work, sir? You're doing God's work in the editing world, sir. Thank you. Yeah. Now I'm going to ask you a few questions. I asked all of my guests. What advice would you give a filmmaker wanting to break into the business today?

Brad Olsen 59:48
There's nothing really stopping you from going out learning storytelling we talked about at the beginning of this my own experience, you know, using VHS and highlight tapes and everything. Looking like garbage and sounding like garbage and but now, you don't have those technical limitations you if you got a smartphone that can shoot HD or 4k video, you're way ahead of where I was at. And, and you can share that with everybody and you can get feedback. So just do it like find a story, whatever it is shoot some short videos, share it with people learn and grow. There's there's really nothing stopping you from from starting, there's no, you don't have to buy the $150,000 avid, you know, just do

Alex Ferrari 1:00:34
Horrible. And just just just, I can't I can't stand avid sorry. It's passionate as I am about Final Cut, I am equally as passionate about hating avid on many, many levels as a person who has to deal with their workflow coming out also as a person who, who looked to them for like, Hey guys, I am on your, on your side, I want to open a business around your software. And they said screw you, you little little peon. And I said Really? Okay. And that's where we are today. But anyway, that's on a side note. I just ramble. I apologize. Anytime I get passionate anytime I get to tabash a habit I do. But anyway.

Brad Olsen 1:01:22
Definitely, they definitely not position themselves for the independent content creator, filmmaker, I think beginning

Alex Ferrari 1:01:29
I will not be now either. Are you kidding me? No, I've never get an independent film with an avid. But I honestly do think that, that company, if they don't change which they are as entrenched in their way of doing things, as any company I've ever seen, if they don't change to the reality of where this business is going, they will go under, because their entire business model is based around the studio system around

Brad Olsen 1:01:56
Well, here's something that shouldn't, I don't know if it's a secret or not. But I've heard from multiple people that before 10 came out, like in a hypothetical world, if Final Cut Pro eight had come out. That would have been it for avid that would have they would have been done. They were so close to going out of business, really 2010 and 2011. The thing that kept them alive, is that professional market who is leaving in mass to go to Final Cut Pro, being scared about 10 and coming back to avid. And that's what's kept them on life support. And I don't know how they stay in business, actually. So I think you're right, I think

Alex Ferrari 1:02:39
It's all it's all it's all studio based stuff because they have a mentality and older mentality where the like the studio system is the only game in town. But the thing is that what Apple figured out, and what resolve figured out is making very expensive gadgets that only a handful of people can buy is a dangerous business model, which is exactly why when resolving Blackmagic bought Da Vinci which used to be a million dollars sweet. They said no, this doesn't make any sense to us, we are going to now give it away

Brad Olsen 1:03:17
And you know, it's working definitely for resolve and for Final Cut, because it is so approachable for users. And it's also a very cost effective tool or, you know, doesn't cost very much at all. It actually they've actually sold like around 3 million copies of the software now. So that's like you could add up all the other professional enrollees. And they don't do they there's not they haven't sold half that. I mean, it's really amazing. And I was just flying back from New York and one of the guys that was talking to the airport, and it's like, oh, what were you here for? Actually, we were on the shuttle right to the airport. And he's somebody who was out for a conference for his church organization. And he's like, oh, Final Cut Pro 10 Oh, yeah, I have that I use it once a week to make these videos for my church. That's a totally he doesn't consider himself a filmmaker at all right but he's using a he needs a professional video tool. And that's a market that Apple saw his broader market that Yeah, you're right I've it's completely ignore not only the independent filmmaker, but just your regular youtuber content creator. Just somebody needs to make a video for the church. There's so videos being used in so many ways now. And I guess this ties back into if you're just starting out, you the tools are in your hand, you know to get started and get going and it doesn't cost nearly as much you know, the crisis keep coming down on the quality keeps coming going up. So just do it.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:50
Um, now what book had the biggest impact in your life or career?

Brad Olsen 1:04:56
Just one?

Alex Ferrari 1:04:58
Just one. That's all you're allowed to say.

Brad Olsen 1:05:02
Man, tough to narrow down to one. But I feel like in recent history, there's so many making up books and things, but I won't go off on all those. I really liked the book creativity Inc, the Ed catmull wrote such a beautiful book. I mean, I know that they're ideals that even Pixar doesn't live up to all the time as given the recent history with john Lasseter. Yeah, yes, it makes me It breaks my heart. But the principles and the stuff that Ed catmull talks about in that book, I, I believe we're true. And I think the filmmaking world would be a better place if, if everybody could like strive for that level of collaboration and openness and honesty in the process. That's what it needs. It doesn't need pissing contests. It doesn't need, you know, people like I just don't like the top down management that you especially see in studio systems. I love the open collaboration, and then independent films. You know, that has to happen. The director can't think, Hey, I'm better than everybody here.

Alex Ferrari 1:06:11
No, I'm

Brad Olsen 1:06:12
The artists obviously, you have never, never get they'll never get any work done. You know, you've definitely got a you definitely got to listen and creativity Inc. Just give some fantastic ideas of how to brainstorm and work together and, and strive for just great storytelling. That's inspirational for me,

Alex Ferrari 1:06:33
I would I obviously would not spend time on an independent film set. Because the directors I've met. I'm joking, I know you have I know you have. But I don't know what magical world, we're all of them. Everyone's all collaborative. And the director doesn't think he knows everything he or she knows everything. There's been both I've seen both but

Brad Olsen 1:06:56
But you know, it kills the film. I feel like when when somebody just hits that ego and arrogance. And you know, it's tough, because in order to get started in a film, you have to have confidence. But you can't have so much confidence that it becomes

Alex Ferrari 1:07:13
There's a fine balancer. Now, what is the lesson that took you the longest to learn while either in the film business or in life?

Brad Olsen 1:07:21
Lesson that well, maybe just what I just said,

Alex Ferrari 1:07:24
Don't let your confidence turn into arrogance. Got it?

Brad Olsen 1:07:28
That that's, you know, I'm speaking from my own, like, yeah, learning to listen to people and learning to it was, especially as an editor, where you, you figure out that is interesting, because editing is in a way a dark art. And so literally do all these things that the director and producers don't realize you're doing to structure the story. And so you get it. But then there's a little bit of pride associated with that. And if when they want you to change things, and you feel like you've kind of mastered what's your your craft, for me that that at first, that was kind of a hard thing to like, learn but but now, and actually, this ties in to Final Cut Pro 10. Final Cut Pro 10. Because I've embraced this kind of magnetic timeline and way of working, I feel a lot more comfortable making changes on the fly, and just trying things. Whereas before, because I was managing tracks and turning them on and off. And I had these sound effects lined up and these music cues and these titles. I couldn't manage that. But but it would take a few steps to make sure that things didn't get knocked out of sync. And as a result, when I was working with producers, and clients, and they were asking me to make changes, I would get into a whole discussion of whether or not we should actually do that change. And this was this isn't, by the way, not so much in the rough cut period. This is like we've been working on this for a while. And all of a sudden, they're like, I just want to try this shot here. And you're like, Okay, if I put that shot here, I have to do this, this, this, this and this, and then that would lead me into Okay, are you sure you really want to do it? Let's picture in our head. Well, now with 10 in the magnetic timeline, I'm like you want to try it? Okay. And I've had that moment to where they started to. They're like, they started into their counter defense before I start talking. Mm hmm. Because they figure I'm going to say, Well, are you sure you really want to do this? And they're like, well, I really want to do this because did it and I'm like no, no, it's cool watch. And like, Oh yeah, that doesn't work or Yeah, that works, but I'm much more flexible. So that's that's two sided. Like for me, the software has helped me with that. But also, I think even whatever software you're using, you need to be open to suggestions and ideas and trying everything in order to end up with the best quality work

Alex Ferrari 1:10:01
Fair enough to learn and the three favorite films of all time?

Brad Olsen 1:10:06
Ah, three favorite movies of all time it changes depending on what mood I'm in

Alex Ferrari 1:10:14
As everybody's Yes.

Brad Olsen 1:10:15
And and what and what yeah, I mean I would definitely put Okay, I'm just gonna say these three and I know that tomorrow my answer would be totally different an hour from now 15 minutes from now may be different but I think Raiders of Lost Ark Empire Strikes Back and Fellowship of the Ring would be up there all right that good list? Yeah, I have a lot of others dramas Shawshank Redemption is mind whatever. But they like a little carousel they rotate.

Alex Ferrari 1:10:47
Absolutely. And where can people find you in your work?

Brad Olsen 1:10:52
So I think right now offthetracksmovie.com And Fedorapictures.com are the two best places to kind of see what I'm up to and and what I'm doing.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:04
Very cool, man. And again, thank you so much for allowing us IFH TV to host your amazing film and share it with our community. So thanks again, man, I appreciate it. And thank you for geeking out with me and talking editing talk because it's rare that I actually have these kind of ridiculous conversations about software and editing and tracks and magnetic. Magical who has.

Brad Olsen 1:11:30
Well, if you wanted to do a follow up, there's a whole nother side of this about independent film distribution. And because you know, I didn't just add it.

Alex Ferrari 1:11:39
No, no, you did the whole independent documentary and correct. No, exactly. I actually was I did have a question. But it's like we are over an hour in 10 years. And I don't want another for another show. Maybe I just don't i don't want to push my audience too far. I'm like, Look, Alex, we've been talking about Final Cut x for an hour. Can we move it along? No. But thank you so much for that. I appreciate your time.

Brad Olsen 1:12:04
Yeah, absolutely. It was a pleasure to be on there. And I'm excited for everybody in the tribe to see it and hopefully get some perspectives and ideas that they haven't had before. or heard before.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:18
Thanks again, man.

Brad Olsen 1:12:20
Yep, thank you.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:21
I want to thank Brad for coming on the show and just geeking out with me over Final Cut Pro editing software. And just getting in deep into the weeds of the editors mind, which is a very, very scary place if I do say so myself. But thanks again, Brad, I appreciate it. And if you guys want to watch the movie, which if you're interested at all in this kind of stuff, it is an amazing documentary. That's why I went after this documentary forIFH TV, just head over to indiefilmhustle.tv sign up and you'll be able to get access to it. I will be putting the links to the put the trailer on in the show notes and links to everything we discussed in the episode at indiefilmhustle.com/278. And also, as a bonus, the next episode that we're going to have Episode 279 is going to be Brad again. But this time we're going to just talk strictly about his distribution because he's self distributed this film all by himself. And it was an amazing you know, we touched on a little bit in this interview but we want I asked them to come back just to talk about his experience in self distributing a very niche documentary and he's learned a lot and he should he jobs, major knowledge bombs on the tribe and this next interview so keep an eye out on that next week. And if you haven't already, please head over to filmmakingpodcast.com and leave the show a good review, it really helps to show out helps us get more information out to more filmmakers. If we get higher ranked on iTunes. I really do truly appreciate your time and support guys. And as always keep that also going. Keep that dream alive. And I'll talk to you soon.

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IFH 041: How to Craft a Freelance Career with Paddy Bird

The Indie Film Hustle Podcast has been around for five short months. I have not had the same guest twice, until now. Paddy Bird from Inside the Edit. The last time he was on Paddy Bird dropped some major post-production knowledge on the IFH Tribe. I had to have him back.

Just as a refresher, Paddy Bird is one of television’s most prolific and accomplished editors. For the past fifteen years, he has edited dozens of prime-time documentaries, entertainment and reality TV shows for British and American television. He has even worked in war zones, spending time editing news stories on location in Iraq.

He also created Inside the Edit, the world’s best course on creative editing…period. You can get more info on Inside the Edit and listen to our last podcast here: IFH 013: Inside the Edit.

This time around we discuss how to build a career as an editor and a freelancer. Paddy goes into a ton of detail and as always delivers the goods. You may need to listen to this episode more than once. Enjoy my conversation with Paddy Bird!

Right-click here to download the MP3

Alex Ferrari 0:02
So guys, today, I'm bringing back my first repeat guest, Paddy Bird, Paddy Bird from inside the Edit, we had such a great time talking. Last time we did, which is episode number 13, that I had to bring him back. He was he's one of the fan favorites. And everybody that listened to that episode really, really loved Patty and me just kind of sitting down and hashing out to editors just hashing out old school kind of stuff. So it's a really, really cool episode of the checkout. But today's episode, we're going to be talking about what it takes really to become a freelance editor and what he did what I did, and what it really is to do to learn the craft of not just editing, we'll learn the craft of working as an editor, which is a completely different craft than just editing and how you handle clients, how you go out and get work, how you set up demo reels, how you do all that kind of cool stuff. So this episode is editor centric, obviously. But a lot of the things that we talk about can easily translate to other avenues. And other disciplines within the film industry, as far as freelancing is concerned is about getting work is about sustaining yourself as an artist and working. So don't just shut off the podcast because it's like, oh, it's just going to talk about editing for the rest of the hour. No, we're going to talk about editing but think and look beyond that. Because there's a lot of gems inside of this conversation that I wish I would have heard of when I was starting out as a freelancer. So without further ado, here is my interview with the incomparable Patti Byrd. So guys, welcome back to the show, Mr. Paddy Bird from inside the Edit. He is our first and only returning guests so far on the show. So that's how good he was the first time around that I wanted to bring him back and also his his episode is one of the best received and most downloaded episodes that we've ever had on the show. So I wanted to bring Paddy back and talk a little bit now just a warning to everybody who's listening. We are going to geek out hard a little bit hard on Star Wars at the beginning of this episode because when we're recording this the movie had just come out. So Paddy man thanks Welcome back to the show, bro.

Paddy Bird 3:21
Alex, thank you very much for having me again. It's a pleasure the first time and I'm sure it'll be a pleasure this time around. Thank you.

Alex Ferrari 3:28
So um Star Wars, thoughts. editing, how is the editing? How is the editing?

Paddy Bird 3:36
I thought his phenomenon and it was just I have to go and see it again for the ending

Alex Ferrari 3:41
And no, no spoilers, no spoilers,

Paddy Bird 3:43
No spoilers at all. But all I will say is wow I was just blown away. It was worth the wait. I loved it. I really really loved what he did. He took it he took it forward in a really beautiful way there was so many fantastic moments. The set pieces were great the action was fantastic. Just everything about it was just I came out feeling deeply fulfilled.

Alex Ferrari 4:11
As a Star Wars fan. I would agree with you. I completely agree. You walked out like I walked out of it and I was just like well you can yeah why was what I was it was quiet for probably 20 minutes I went with a friend of mine and 20 minutes we just kept like hey let's just go walk to lunch. Let's not talk about it for a minute. And that it was said it let it just let it wash over you. And the thing I loved about the movie The most is that you can tell it's basically a love letter to the franchise. It is so much love. You can sense it coming off the screen that everybody who worked on it was just in love with the there was not one guy walking around like I have a frickin Star Wars movie. Everybody probably from the PA the intern all the way up to JJ. Everybody was A reference of the material and so respectful of the material that he just I think he nailed it out of the park. I wish we could talk details about the story, but we won't. Because it's just too soon. It's too soon.

Paddy Bird 5:14
It's too soon.

Alex Ferrari 5:15
It's the way it is. I was worried, like I was worried to death because I wanted to walk. I hadn't even bought the tickets yet. And and I was like, man, where am I going to go see this? And a buddy of mine who works at Disney. Called me. He's like, hey, do you want to do? Do there's going to have some screenings on the backlog? Do you want to go? I'm like, Yes. Absolutely. When he's like, 10 o'clock on Friday morning, I'm like, pick me up, pick me up at eight so we can make sure we get a good seat. So we did that we went and the one the reason I wanted to do it, it wasn't the biggest screen in the world. It was it was a nice screen. It was perfect, you know, but it wasn't like IMAX or anything. I'm going to go back to see at an IMAX. But it was I knew for a fact that there was not going to be one person talking. There would be no cell phones. And everybody stays it's a la phenomenon. Everyone stays for the credits. Like No one leaves until the LA phenomenon. The 15 minute and credit Yeah, the 15 everyone stays and no one talks it's like it just it's just an LA thing. If you're an industry if you're in an industry screening of some sort somewhere in the world that that that would happen as well. But here it's just everyone stays and and then afterwards I went off I don't know if you saw it or not, but I took some pictures of some stormtroopers that were on the backlot and I wore and I wore my favorite Star Wars t shirt of all time. It says Star Wars number

Paddy Bird 6:33
One you really got in character than you You really did.

Alex Ferrari 6:36
Oh no, no, dude No, I there's just one t shirt dude. I saw people dressed up like full blown I was just like I didn't have a lightsaber or anything. I don't even own a lightsaber yet but it's Christmas it's gonna bring no there might be a Kylo Ren coming in my in my stocking I don't know my wife's gonna talk looking at it. But anyway, so my so I was wearing my T shirt who says number one Star Wars fan but it has a picture of the enterprise on it. Oh brilliant. It's like the most brilliant I literally walked up to the Stormtrooper and as I was walking up to take a picture the guy started pissing himself he's like that shirts amazing so anyway, I just wanted to get that out of the way I wanted to break the tension in the room let's get it out of the way

Paddy Bird 7:24
I had I had the same experience i mean i mean you know if you want to you know if your Star Wars fan you basically have to stay away from the internet until you watch it and I was not prepared to do that right? Oh no, I I have to use like most people on the planet the internet so I was like okay, I'm gonna go watch this first thing Friday at like lunchtime yeah halftime you have you have to do this otherwise you know you're done. Can we talk about it you know in

Alex Ferrari 7:53
and then the second I went online, people started talking about it like and people are trying to be as respectful as possible about spoilers and stuff but

Paddy Bird 8:00
there's always someone there's always someone there's always someone there's always somebody who's gone to the dark side

Alex Ferrari 8:10
you know what I read an article that the internet it literally the Star Wars literally broke the internet.

Paddy Bird 8:17
It was

Alex Ferrari 8:19
dropped the usage of internet dropped worldwide on opening day wow 5% in France like 7% in Germany the US dropped about four or 5% that people just were not going online because they were afraid of what would you know of lose you know getting a spoiler so I when I read that I'm like whole Lee crap man. Like how powerful is that franchise? Like it's the most powerful franchise there is. There's this and now they're gonna know the one thing I want to and then I'll get off the I'll get off the Star Wars boat. But I'm curious to see where and how they can maintain this for the next 10 years. Like we've been starved from Star Wars for 10 years. And arguably since Jedi a lot of people's opinion since Jedi we've been star from Star Wars, but but now they're going to be doing one every year. You know, every year I want to see how they can maintain it

Paddy Bird 9:16
that is that is freaky. I mean, I can't even begin to think of how complicated that is gonna be I mean, obviously, you know, like anything they kept a lot of things open on that at the end and you think Oh, where's this gonna go? Where's that going to go but I know

Alex Ferrari 9:31
it's a continuing saga and in the next next year, there's going to be Rogue One which is an anthology part of the anthology, which is just another story. I think it takes place. How how Princess Leia got the plans for the Death Star. That's the the movie Rogue One. That's the whole so that the group that went and died and did all the stuff to go get it. According to Princess, Princess Leia. That's what that movie is about. And then the next, then the next one will be part eight. And then That's the Han Solo movie. And then part nine.

Paddy Bird 10:02
Man, they got it all figured out. Wow. Well, they're

Alex Ferrari 10:04
taking their dish using the Marvel. Um, they're using the Marvel law. Business paradigm. Yeah, absolutely. And it works. It's been working pretty good.

Paddy Bird 10:14
Why not? Why not? It's worked as you say it's been working pretty good for them. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 10:19
exactly. So I did buy some stock of Disney, I suggest you all do this. It's gonna be they're gonna be doing well for them for many years to come. Anyway, so off Star Wars now now it's off, we're done. I wanted to bring you back Patty to talk a little bit about get into some deeper editing stuff. And I wanted to talk about my experiences and your experiences about about living making a living as an editor, how you started as an editor, some more detailed stuff about demo reels, and things like that. So I'm going to go way, way back. Okay, way back to when you were just a small lad. Coming up, what made you first think that you could even make a living as an editor? Because when you did it, and when I did it, that wasn't like in the popular stream of things.

Paddy Bird 11:09
It wasn't easy. I mean, it really wasn't, you know, I came in at the, you know, the start of nonlinear really the star tool in the mid 90s. And, you know, aphids, an avid, then I mean,

Alex Ferrari 11:24
I was five years old, five years old, it was avid was five years old.

Paddy Bird 11:27
And they were you know, they were 150 grand is for an for an offline, that wasn't the right one. So it was pretty crazy. So I guess I mean, I'd always sort of messed around with films and I've been obsessed with watching movies and stuff like that, and documentaries from a very, very young age. And I did a sort of I did an internship at a magazine when I was about 16. And I learned to use Photoshop and I think it was Quark Express at the time and illustrator work Express quote, yes back Yeah, I guess going back a few years. Yeah. And I just thought well, this is kind of interesting. I don't think I was very good at it. But then a friend of mine said, Oh look, you can edit movies now on on a computer. I was like Oh, that's awesome. So we started a production company and that was affiliated with a charity and we basically just because we were because we were sort of a charity or working for a charity I'm doing sort of corporate videos for charities and stuff like that we managed to get a lot of free time in Edit suites now around Soho which was pretty awesome people would let us in it sort of you know, midnight bottle of wine or something like that right right and said you know you know you just free to work until 7am until the editors come back in so I just I just went crazy on it to be honest you I was just like oh my god this is a whole new world This is amazing. And it was around that time as well that you know, a lot of the you know, the linear editors just sort of they thought avid was a fat This is never gonna last. Right? Right. I can't remember if I if I told this story in the in the last podcast, but I was I was in a went to write I was writing a script. This must have been about 10 years ago, I was writing a script. So a friend of mines got a tiny little flat, an apartment in this old village in Italy, and mountains in the Italian Alps was to go I think if a real solid,

Alex Ferrari 13:52
I think he I think he said he did tell us a story in the last episode

Paddy Bird 13:55
archived. Well, I won't go into any more. But it's what, you know, listened to the previous episode, if you want to hear the end of that story. But it was it was a phenomenal kind of change. And I didn't it hadn't really hit me at that point, how big that change was that, you know, for many, many years, it was being done a certain way. And I just took to it from the age I was I was you know, sort of 1920 and I just went bang, this is really, really cool. And I locked myself away and literally spent a year in the edit suite and was utterly fascinated by the power that you could have over narrative and I didn't know what I was doing. I had no classical training at all and go to film school. I didn't even go to university. I was just piecing stuff together and going wow. And we had all these clients coming in. And I would do anything I would I would you know, I'd edit through the night on an actor's show for you know, buy me a pizza and you know, I'll work for food because I was gaining that. You know, that whole you know, I need it. I recognize from a very young age I need 1000s of hours of experience to get my speed up to get my creative speed up so I knew pretty early on that I was in a unique position and but of course it's all changed now it's completely changed you can buy you know you get free software software for free software you can do it on your iPad you know it's it's it's a kind of crazy thing that that's happened within the country and it's awesome i mean i you know, with all my tutorials and inside the Edit I don't I'm not confined to the edit suite anymore I spend most of my time with my laptop I've got MacBook Air yeah drive and I was just like you know, I spent 1520 years editing in Edit facilities in Soho in London or in the BBC or something now I just sort of go Where do I want to edit today? And I just go to Starbucks right? I'll go to Starbucks or go to an art gallery or look at some art for an hour get inspired or a museum go and see some some old stuff and then I'll just sit and you know, make a tutorial or you know, edit something edit a promo or something like that. It's amazing. It's phenomenal. What's happened I thought I was lucky 20 years ago, but you know, people coming into the industry now. And it's just it's so amazing it's I'm blown away by all just all of it completely and utterly mobile and you're just free to create in the most amazing way. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 16:28
I mean, it's I'll tell you my quick story of when I started out I it's it's similar to your story, believe it or not, I was a I was a tape dubber in a in a commercial house and they had an avid next door to the dub dub station. So I was like you know what, let me just jump in there and start learning I literally just went in I took the avid course I got certified I took the avid certified certification course just like the two day weekend or something like that just to get it going. And I had to drive and this is like my uphill and snow barefoot story but I drove an hour a day to this to this job both ways our there our back and I would go early morning because that's the only time I could get in before the editors got in and I would stay late nights and this is something you could do when you're young and don't have a family and things like that so I and I did that for almost a year until finally I decided you know what I'm going to go off and and and make a living as an editor and it's just good stuff crazy stuff that you do when you're young like you know you now you'd like analyze stuff and like what's gonna be you know, how can I make money what's going to be my overhead before I was like, let's just go off and do it but the funniest thing Do you remember what was the first thing you ever edited was like professionally like you got paid to be an editor

Paddy Bird 17:47
Yeah, I do actually it was a daytime weight loss program and I walked into the This was the first time I was a freelancer and and I got back up pat i was getting paid to do three days tidying up it was like a half hour show it was like two o'clock in the afternoon it's for people people who want to lose weight and they put people on you know a diet and exercise and stuff like that. I've never

Alex Ferrari 18:15
heard of this this concept how's that work? I'm joking.

Paddy Bird 18:23
And I remember walking in because I had no training and I walked in and you know met the director and I was just like really? Like you know, I was really anxious and doing something Oh yeah. Great to meet you. You know the agency says so many great things about you. And I was like, Okay, I don't know what they're going to say that sounds because I haven't edited anything yet. Okay. Anything This is going to be interesting as you went okay, so let me just say about the project the the cutaways are in there and I was sitting there going Hmm I wonder what colorway is a phone a friend of mine have no idea what this is this she's using all this terminology stuff you know I just sort of worked out in my own head didn't really have a name for anything and yeah, it was it was it was pretty crazy I didn't know the software that well and then

Alex Ferrari 19:17
that's always dangerous man. Oh god that was scary.

Paddy Bird 19:20
It's dangerous she came in to go Can we put this title up and can you spin it around a bit and stuff like that and I had hidden the avid manual in the toilet and every single time you asked me to do something I didn't know I just said so I'm gonna go to the toilet and I went to the toilet and I okay, so you plot keyframes like that and then you put the title and the key could spin it around on the rotation axis. Okay, great. And they come back out. I went to the toilet about 15 times

Alex Ferrari 19:49
I was like, Oh, my God, this kid has a problem. This case like

Paddy Bird 19:52
Did he go out last night and a party or you know, did eat something that didn't agree with him? It was just but No, I didn't. I didn't know So it was it was a real trial by fire. But that's that's the thing. It's like

Alex Ferrari 20:06
you got you just got tossed in the deep end.

Paddy Bird 20:10
Yeah, and I survived. I was lucky. There were some definitely some hairy moments where I was like, she was like saying, I know what do you think about this? And I was like, Hmm, okay, I don't really know what I'm gonna say here and I just sort of, you know, made something up but she seemed to have believed

Alex Ferrari 20:27
Yeah, I'll tell you that like when I whenever when I was starting out and I was you know, in, in room with client always was nerve racking because if they if they asked for something that you didn't know how to do, or you didn't because if you didn't know the software well enough, you couldn't figure it out like and I was I became a master of BS. So I would like here watch this or do this and like while I tried figuring it, I'm like, hold on a second. I gotta restart the system. So while it's restarting, I'm thinking in my head, something wrong with the iPad let me restart the system and I restarted the system six times the first time I did it, it figured it all out and like sometimes I remember that one of my first gigs I actually edited the whole thing offline and I did not connect the timecode to the tapes. So when I went to batch it, I couldn't like all the work was gone. I had to live we have to do it from scratch. But my first my first project that I remember was and it's it's it's a little bit more fun than weight loss I have to say it was a career I was in Florida and there was a crazy guy who used to wrestle alligators and sharks now man That sounds

Paddy Bird 21:37
like fun

Alex Ferrari 21:38
Oh dude, it was I still haven't I haven't made a VHS of it in my in my closet. That footage this guy would go out and when I say wrestle alligators I'm like oh everyone sees everyone's I don't know everyone because I'm from Florida so I just assume everyone's seen a wrestling alligator match but you know you go into a pit and there's like a tame ish alligator who's like fat and doesn't move and you they kind of like and the guy will run around and jump on him and hold his mouth and all this kind of stuff right? Now that's not what this guy does. This guy would go into the Everglades into the swamp jump into the water No No dude and we're shooting a mini DV alright so it was everything we shot a mini DV should go into the water go into alligator holes.

Paddy Bird 22:22
Whoa, no, no, no, no, no

Alex Ferrari 22:25
alligator holes and drag out. Seven footers. Eight footers. I saw him bring out a third teen footer. The man was probably in his late 40s at that time, he was in the most amazing shape I'd ever seen a human being in he or maybe in his early 50s at that point, he had the grip of of a vise but when he shook your hand he was like almost a limp, very limp when he shook your hand Manny and so

Paddy Bird 22:55
this guy sounds like a proper Crocodile Dundee Oh

Alex Ferrari 22:59
no, he is no he was they call them they call them Tarzan of the Everglades and he would go in and you know just kind of go in and do the like pull this guy's out and and then one day he brought me footage by the way I had a ball with this footage like can you imagine that's your first that's your first gig and they're like yeah give it to the kid the kid will edit it and I edited this insane thing and I I brought in music you know copyright music I didn't give a shit It was like if I get mad just brought in whatever music I thought it was cool and people were like this is awesome. So that was on my demo reel which we'll get to demo reels in a second I was on my demo reel for years because people were like what the hell so the best is like one day I'm talking to the camera guy in him because we became good friends because they were brand new to this whole process and I said you know what have been good man like you know all you have is is out of water stuff I got no underwater stuff to cut to so I just only can cut to stuff outside. I have no coverage. wrong thing to say because the next the next day, I hear I get a phone call. It's the guy that gets to the front operators like Alex there's some crazy people calling you that something about the swamp I'm like oh yeah, it's Manny put them through. And I'll go back and Manny and mark the camera man's like, Alex, we're on our way. We just got this amazing footage. We went into this pit inside inside a cave with an alligator and we pulled it out. I'm like yeah, they literally came from the swamp they stunk of alligator his. his fingernails were almost pulled back because they pulled out like a 15 foot alligator out of his den. Oh pull them up onto the unlike the by the way he's never been bitten ever that it never been bitten by anything. It's insane this guy the guy has a way with alligators It was not even funny. So anyway, we go through this whole thing and then later they start jumping on like Tiger sharks and stuff in the flats of the fascinating footage. I still have a ton of it. They they went off to work with the jackass boys. Remember jack? That makes

Paddy Bird 24:57
sense. Yeah, jackass. He

Alex Ferrari 24:59
was he If you've seen jackass lazy dudes yeah if you've seen jackass you've seen Manny if like you've ever seen episodes anytime there's an animal man he's in the background he they became the Paramount hired him as like the official Wrangler. Like they wouldn't allow the boys to do anything without Manny there. So and that was my first experience as an editor. So it was it was a it was downhill from there as they say. So

Paddy Bird 25:23
unbelievable. I mean, it's stories like that i think you know, actually I'm really glad I'm an editor and the camera thing Oh, what's the stuff but I'm not gonna go out and shoot that kind of look, I'll tell you if that sounds crazy.

Alex Ferrari 25:41
I tell you what I've The reason why I became an editor was not because of I was like, basically doing tape dubber and I was playing Doom remember Doom the first person video game back in the day first first version of it and it was like we were Enter We enter we networked a bunch of computers in the office and an after hours a bunch of the geeks of us well stay around say play Doom on over Apple talk. Remember Apple talk we were over we were doing all that and then one day I said to myself you know if I get fired tomorrow or I lose my job I'm going to be pa I don't want a PA I've been I've been a PA I don't want to be a PA so I looked over there I'm like there's an editing system right next to me I want to learn that system and that was literally that was the conversation I had in my own head and then from that moment on I just stayed for like the next eight nine months just building my reel and doing all that stuff so which is an another question I wanted to I wanted to ask you how did you construct your first demo reel because that is a black art in itself especially the first one because you don't have a lot to do you don't have a lot to put on it. It's you know how did you construct your first and I'll tell you how I did mine

Paddy Bird 26:56
well unfortunately I've got a bit of a confession to make and that is real I lied for a good six to 12 months of this freelance career

Alex Ferrari 27:06
I like the highlight for the first two three years so don't feel bad

Paddy Bird 27:08
yeah, I didn't tell the truth for quite a while oh yeah absolutely the only way to go yeah yeah i mean you you know how do you make you know for you know for an agency won't represent you in I don't know it's like in in the States but in in certainly in Europe they won't represent you unless you've got three years of broadcast work and you're like okay, well how do I get three years brokers where we you got to go and get some broadcast work and like okay, well they're not going to give me any work unless I have a CV that you know, supports that so I just basically

Alex Ferrari 27:40
know a CV a CV is what

Paddy Bird 27:43
a demo yeah it's a CV we you know for long form in Europe we don't really have a demo reel of course we just have a CV you know your career is made on on a CV and what you know I had some very good advice I talked about this in the article that I wrote but some very good advice early on was look get into the you know, there's certain flaws within the system and the the flaws are based around the fact that the people who actually put you in front of the directors or the exec producers are not people who are filmmakers their production managers and people like that and so you know, it's a bit like fishing you know, you put you put your bait up and you see you see what you can catch and so I was told that a really good idea would be to go and do some very very low end work in very well respected production companies or production companies that were specifically known for the type of genre which you know, you want to get into my case it was documentary and stuff like that so and entertainment and so I did some sort of you know, sort of crappy you know, minute mood rules and two minute kind of you know, taster stuff that which no one really saw more a little making of for a DVD or something like that. And that was based and then you know, it didn't take long before I was being put forward for jobs by my agent with with my CV and you know, the production manager who's obviously always got you know, 2000 things to do in a day just because oh yeah, yeah, this guy here Oh, he's worked at that production can be bandmember Okay, yeah, we'll put him in jail. Okay, he can go for it. So it was kind of luck I mean, the amount of editors I know who have had no luck has been a real part of their career trajectory that first break you know, that whole it's, it's, you know, someone's ill someone's Miss, read your CV or something like that. It just it's, you know, but obviously at the same time, you've got to be Good at what you're doing and you know opportunity Meads you know whatever the saying is I come in mornings it's you've got to be you've got to be you got to be editing all the time so yeah I was lucky but there's so many so many friends of mine who are at the top of their game as well you know they were very very lucky as well i think it's it's like there's not one way in Oh no, there's multiple ways in

Alex Ferrari 30:32
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Paddy Bird 30:43
You just got to see you know where the cracks in the wall are and just keep on pounding and pounding and pounding but I was always told very early on to get as broad a show reel or mood reel or you know, CV is possible because that really is essential that that's the thing that's going to guarantee you work when there's no work around if you've got multiple genres on your CV so

Alex Ferrari 31:07
well i'll tell you what I mean what I heard from what I'm hearing from you You had an agency and all that that's like Rolls Royce kind of stuff for me I had no there was no thing like that in flow like I like I started my career in Florida so in South Florida so it's not like it was la so there was a very small it's a smaller market it's not a big market at all. There's a big it's a big Latino market so and I speak Spanish so that was one of my ways in actually my first job was doing a car dealership. Lincoln mercury commercial for with a baseball star. And was that through a production company? No, that was great. That was me sending out my reel. That was literally just me sending on my reel, I would just I would go to all the production companies and I sent that my put sent out meaning I have dropped off my VHS or my three quarter inch I had some three quarter inch at the time as well and dropped it off. So because I presented myself in a professional manner and what was on that demo reel is what got me the job and I'll tell you what I got what I did, I I didn't have any any real I had no commercials on and I aimed at commercial that was my that was my demographic was commercial work, because that was the only thing you can make money with in Miami. At the time, it was just commercials, music videos, we're not there yet. And they were much more of a niche thing. Long Form was so out of the word like not even close to where I could even attempt to do and I had no no way into any of that. And not not that there was much work for that promo work if you could get it at certain because there was a lot of networks there at the time, which I got into later. But commercials is where I made my my start. And what I did was and this is where the hustle of indie film hustle comes in. is like you I lied a lot. And I like to call it fake it till you make it. That's a much gentler and nicer way of saying it.

Paddy Bird 33:06
It's a gift for fiction.

Alex Ferrari 33:10
That's actually that's a brilliant brilliant it's a gift for fiction. Yes. So that's brilliant Actually, that's a really really good that's a T shirt. So I was while I was working at this commercial house in the back in like the storage area there was a bunch of raw footage, you know 35 millimeter raw footage on beta tapes. So I would talk to the directors in house I'm like hey, can I read it some of your footage on for my reel and I'll create some new commercials for you maybe repurpose some of this old footage for you make you some new fresh commercials for your reel because I'm young and hip because I mean in all honesty the guys that were being repped by the company they were in their 50s 60s these guys have been doing it forever and they were not getting the old the jobs that the young guys were getting anymore but their footage was cool you know they had some cool footage sometimes so I would go off and you know made a public a lot of public service announcements, a ton of anti drug public service because there was a lot of that footage around so I'm like all right I can and I like I put a nine inch nail because at that point is for you demo reel i didn't i didn't care so I just used whatever music I wanted Nine Inch Nails mixed in with Disney music mixed like it was I actually am going to put up my demo reel on on the site my old original demo I want to see that route it's I'm gonna put it up because it's it's I might put it up with this with this I'm not sure yet because I wanted to do a whole other podcast on demo reels but I'm talking a lot about it now anyway, so I put it so I did that and I created a few spots with that and and I made them look real I grabbed the logos from real organizations and slapped them on pretending that they were real. So wasn't outside the scope. reality that I'm like, oh, he probably he probably worked with this, you know this local Miami coalition against drugs like there's no reason to say I didn't work on that. Now what was the the coup de gras for me was de the company it was working for got a whole bunch of Spanish directors and European directors came in and all of their demo all their raw footage and all of their commercial spots came in. And the stuff coming from Europe was stunning, like Nike quality footage, like insane stuff I'm like, Oh hell yeah. So without anyone knowing I went and I just stole that shit. Excuse My French I literally just grabbed that footage because because the directors were not here. They didn't you know, I they weren't here they weren't in Miami. They were just being wrapped you know, and that would fly them in. So all their footage just showed up. I'm like, oh, I'll take that because I was in charge of it all because I was in the dub room. Awesome lesson and I reap and I built up Nike commercials I built up also I built up like perfume ads and all of these high end and then they were European companies. So it looked like I was huge. Huge in Europe. I'm hearing like yeah, I've been working on that. So if anyone asked I'm like, Yeah, I worked for that company that were to to work with. I like you know, it's like, bah bah, bah Francesco. Yeah, friend, but Bob No, yeah. But Francesca, Francesca forgot her name. She was wonderful. I just worked freelance mostly I don't work with a company. So that way they there was like no way for them to find out. There's literally no way. And that was the real I sent out. I didn't change my demo reel for two years. From the from the moment that first demo reel I sent out, even of work off offer that demo reel I got so much work that I never updated it because I didn't because all the stuff that I was working on was so subpar comparatively to what I already had on my demo reel. Even though that stuff was real, I just kept pushing. And that's where the hustle came. And that's something you can't teach. That's something that just has to come out of you. And that's what I did with that. So that demo reel. just kept selling. And then when I tried to bring that demo reel to LA that's when I got the slap down.

Paddy Bird 37:18
Oh, yeah, I know this directors. Yeah, that was a show you didn't edit this. Yeah,

Alex Ferrari 37:22
that's the that's when that's when I first came to LA and I got my ass handed to me in 2000 I think it was in 2000 2001 when I first showed up, and it just the talent just ate me alive. But that's another story for another day. But

Paddy Bird 37:36
it's a great point that you know, here's the you know, here's the here's the secret that you know is very rarely talked about and that is there's 1000 very talented people standing behind us trying to scale the walls of the industry. Oh yeah. How are you going to differentiate yourself? How are you going to I mean, if you can do that if you can, and you know, I wouldn't say cheat and all that kind of stuff but if you can lie and get there I mean it's editing you know, if you take some footage and you cut it and it's good, that's it if you stolen his footage, and it looks the sequence you've created is awesome. That proves you can cut now you haven't actually got that job and you didn't actually do that specific thing that kind of doesn't matter it's irrelevant really you're just saying look, here's what I can do with this footage. You may be you know, gloss over the fact that you weren't actually the the the editor for specific commercial but you know, there's you know, is more people there's more people studying film and television there are in television and film every year how are we going to how are we going to differentiate ourselves and and go the extra mile it's it's a difficult thing and but I think it's I think it's probably more difficult to do nowadays because of you know, with the kind of stuff to tracking what people actually did and i raggy blah blah blah blah blah but it doesn't mean to say that there's some you know, there's tiny little holes that you can go in and go okay actually you know bang

Alex Ferrari 39:07
well commercial work now you within the commercial niche in that specific my that was my way in music videos you couldn't do that with because you can easily find out but commercials was this gray area that nobody really could figure out like public service announcements huge gray area like no that I mean seriously. So you can get away with things like that even today you could probably get away with certain things but it's a lot harder like you know it's a lot harder to get away with it

Paddy Bird 39:34
it's also got to it's got to do with the fact that the all of these genres don't talk to each other within an industry now that's a really good fact. You know commercials people don't talk to documentary people convention people don't talk to music video people

Alex Ferrari 39:45
there there are TV people or feature people like they it's different. It's different worlds different worlds is chalk

Paddy Bird 39:51
and cheese. They don't and it's it's about exploiting that to the best of your ability and to you know, if you can that One really good way of doing it and say are you know, have come from music videos have come from this and come from that whichever your whichever job you're kind of pitching to, because they're not going to check up and they won't know how to check up. And I think that's, that's a that's a little hole to be exploited and to try and creep through all of these little things they do matter. So yeah, it's it is a it's a great thing that none of these people talk to each other in rows within a short they do.

Alex Ferrari 40:27
Oh, yeah, absolutely. If you're a TV guy, and you try to hustle a TV, another TV guy, forget it, you won't. But if you're a commercial guy trying to get into TV, you can hustle that it's because there is that there is that weakness, like you said, there's a weakness and the defense is there. And you and you might be able to wiggle away in, you know, and I don't want to paint this whole thing as like, Oh, you have to be dishonest, or this or that. And I'm like, Look, this is the realities of our business. It is brutally, it's brutal, man, it's brutal. And it like in the perfect statement you said earlier was like, there's more people studying to be in the business that are actually in the business. So that says volumes about what the business is around the world, not just in the US or in the UK, but around the world.

Paddy Bird 41:14
Every country in the world. It's crazy. And it's like, you know, when I get young people come up to me Sorry, and uh, how do I get my first break and stuff like that, I mean, yes, I do talk about all this kind of stuff. But I also say look, the other major thing is, is the work ethic, you have to be prepared in those first 2345 years to break your back not want to go down the bar at six o'clock, seven o'clock with your buddies, because you know, that first couple of years in is earning no money and they're exploiting me and I'm doing all this work. It's I always looked at it and I got that as well. And I always looked at it as a testing period is like, you know, we have such you know, that the higher echelons in in film and television they have such an abundance of people to choose from, they they want people who only are going to be put their heart and soul into this and kind of forget every single other thing in their life. about this, so it's it's kind of like that, I always thought about it. It's like, if someone says to me, and I've worked 16 hours, and it's midnight, and I've been in there since you know, whatever, seven in the morning and come in, they'd sign up the sequence go great, brilliant. Get my coat on. Go home to bed. And just as I'm leaving the editor, the guy Oh, actually, no, yeah, you know, the three, four hours, I would never quibble I would never be like, because I knew I mean, I would now I'd be like, yo, Yeah, I know. time

Alex Ferrari 42:44
as you as you as you get older, like I don't know, if you if you know the comedian, Wanda Sykes. As you get older, less of a shit Do you give exact like, when you're 80 years old, you'll walk out naked and just go What? Like, you don't you just don't care problem problem is ever, so things you would never do in your 20s you completely don't give a crap about your 30s and your 40s you just laugh at so

Paddy Bird 43:10
I mean, that's the thing you're building that real you're building that should show rule that you're building that CV and it's like, you have to go through that, you know that trial by fire because that's what separates the wheat from the chaff. You know, that's that's, that's what the senior people are looking for. They're like, okay, we're going to test you and we're going to explore you. But if you come through that and that that's the thing, which so many people drop out they're like, you know, oh, god, they're, you know, they're not taking me I'm the next whatever.

Alex Ferrari 43:41
God please.

Paddy Bird 43:42
You can't you just can't do that because the guy okay, fine. We'll just you know, if there's literally got a 500 at CVS, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 43:51
There's 500 people sitting at the door. It's camping out to be it's like fight. It's like Fight Club. Literally, you have to stand outside of Fight Club or to get into the house to fight club. It's exactly what it is like, and they'll come out and they'll berate you and they're like that and like oh you're still here. Only those guys and girls who hang in are able to go through the rough parts can come out the other end it's like Shawshank at that point. You're going through that pile of crap to get out of the other end and it doesn't it does it does it does it does look I like my first internship when I my first internship, but the one that got me my job I worked for four months for free driving commuting an hour every each way every day. no hope of getting paid. And my friends are like why do you keep doing them like what else am I gonna do stay home at least they're I'm learning stuff I'm meeting people I'm and one day when my boss left he quit. Everyone looked around like oh he's been here every day when we give him the job. And I made and I made my $23,000 a year I was so excited.

Paddy Bird 44:52
It's not always apparent what were those breaks are gonna come it's like you know if you just sit there in you know if you sit there at the front You know, waiting for that break, it will come. People do notice this, and that's 90. It's not a, you know, it's not a

Alex Ferrari 45:08
people do notice people do notice. And they might, it might take some time, but people do notice, if I may quote Woody Allen 90% of success is just showing up. And it's true. Like just if you if you're not the most talented person in the world, if you don't have the genetics or the like, if you're going to try to go out for certain like, Look, you've I'm sure you've seen the movie Rudy right.

Paddy Bird 45:33
Rudy, I don't think I have seen the movie to do that.

Alex Ferrari 45:35
Okay, first and foremost, need to stop this conversation need to go and I'm joking. You need to look up Rudy,

Paddy Bird 45:40
let me go on iTunes. Okay, you

Alex Ferrari 45:41
got to look up Rudy. Rudy is a story about this, this, this this, essentially a psychopath. But no, it's about this kid who was obsessed with Notre Dame football, college football here, Notre Dame specifically. And his whole life he wanted to play on Notre Dame. But he was five foot three way he had no athletic skill. And he just did not get just would not give up the dream. He literally when I give up the dream, he did everything he could to get into Notre Dame. So like it took him forever, he didn't have the education, he didn't have the skill, to even the knowledge, like the mind, the intelligence to get in first, you know, he went to like, he did so many things to finally get into Notre Dame. So he got accepted, then he was on the practice squad. And then it took them forever to like to, and I won't ruin the movie for you. But you know, he just kept going. And like, if you're, you'll just tear up watching this was a brilliant, brilliant movie. But that's the thing you have to do. You have to just keep pounding it. And that's an every every discipline in the film industry or any discipline in general. But you just have to, you just have to just show up. And just every day, if you show up to a place, if you're working for free, and you show up to that place, and you do your best job you can every day, like I was I was interviewing Robert forester for the podcast, and he had this amazing He's like, Look, no matter how small the part is, just show up and do the best work you can. No matter how ridiculous the audition is just show up and do the best work you can because you never know who's watching. You never know who's gonna give you that shot. And and only good can come of you doing the best you can. That's and that's the best that's the thing you can do like I'm sure

Paddy Bird 47:29
you awesome advice. It's awesome is it you have to have an iron will I mean that's the thing that people no one gets through. No one's skills, the walls in whatever wherever you're, you know, whichever

Alex Ferrari 47:42
you got to be anti drug, you have to be anti the free and you have

Paddy Bird 47:45
to get you have to have that iron Will you have to say how badly do I want this and the amount of times I've been on my knees exhausted when I'm working with a director who's been a real pain, expletive. And you're just sitting there going, it's going to be worth it. It's going to be worth it. This is good for my real this is this this is this and you get to a point where you go Actually, I can turn down these jobs. But it's like, it's that you need that iron will is no one else is going to come and save you. No one else is going to push you no one else is going to, you know say oh you know you're the creative genius of the generation that those things happen to one or two people in a generation or 20 years. Yeah, there's only so many Tarantino's or prima ballerinas there's a great line and madmen I think it was series four or five and he was saying was a cat remembered something around? I think his wife was his name, the main character his wife, yeah, married and she was she was saying oh, you know, I really want to be a famous actress. And he basically he just said in there's only there's only one or two prima ballerinas per generation and then is that thing it's like, you know, a lot of things within the industry or, you know, within films, they sell the idea of, of this lottery ticket, you'll be discovered and it'll be the lottery. Yeah, but no 99% of the, you know, 99.9999 recurring of all everyone else has just had, you know, real fire in their belly and a real gut determination, a real iron will to drive through no matter what happens, no matter what the obstacles are, and just jump over and go, I'm not going to accept anything else apart from victory. And I've always had that I was like, you know, the amount of times I've just been, I can't handle this, this is too much. I haven't, I haven't slept for three days. We're broadcasting to 15 million people in you know, 36 hours and we've got, you know, hours of work to do. It's just like, you know, and and the directors having a meltdown and showing me it does take it does take that persistence and having that having that kind of you know, No surrenders I think it's probably watched too many martial arts movies in the 80s when I was growing up Bloodsport plus it was no retreat no surrender obviously or Nathan was no retreat no surrender to which is a better movie

Alex Ferrari 50:17
how you could improve on the first one is beyond me but with the ghost of Bruce Lee it's I mean seriously It was such a such a brilliantly bad movie

Paddy Bird 50:29
it was so terrible it was wonderful. One of those things

Alex Ferrari 50:32
it's when when a movie becomes so bad it just the needle kicks over to good Yeah, and there's a special play that's a special thing that only a few a handful of things a handful of movies can do but and this

Paddy Bird 50:44
is when you got six year olds who could spot continuity errors and you haven't made a good film. Yeah, yeah.

Alex Ferrari 50:52
Exactly. Nobody you were saying about iron will like just to explain I've made a live I made a living for God 10 years or more 10 to 12 years or more in the South Florida entertainment business as an editor like that. That's insanity and I only knew how insane it was once I got to LA because once I got to LA I was like oh my god I can't believe I've done what I like you didn't know any better it's kind of like the person who lifts who can lift a car up because they've been lifting a car up since they were five like they don't know any different like that's just what they can do. And it's similar because when I got here I was just like oh my god like this is insane. I couldn't believe that I've been I was able to do what I did at the time I was able like it wasn't like there was a plethora of production and stuff like that going on in South Florida it's just amazing you sit there thinking like and not working in the system I was completely outside the system. I didn't work in agencies I didn't work at networks You know, I've been fired from a couple of my network jobs gloriously fired I always say gloriously fired from my staff my staff my staff jobs This is years ago I mean I'm not this human being anymore but I was so I was so full of myself when I was a kid I mean I was 23 years old and I was making I was making about 80 grand a year in 19 dangerous and they Oh is it and living at home with no overhead and I was making 80 grand a year and I had I was doing infomercials like these long format infomercials weekly weekly infomercials basically and I literally was it was like cut it was like cut and paste number like it was paint by numbers for me like I literally would just cut the whole thing and literally just put dissolves on every cut just like across didn't there was no pacing there was like just because they didn't care they were just that's fine so there was no nothing to do and I had so I was making so much money at the time and this is back in 1990 god this is 9697 This is a couple years after I got out as a freelancer so I'm making this kind of crazy money. I have no overhead my ego is I can't even I cannot ignore her DOM is like small like it was so out of control. It was like I was the highest paid person at the company. I would walk in with like you know flip flops and I like I was just so arrogant It was amazing. so amazingly arrogant like all the guys like all the other guys like hated me I was the only editor so I was the creative so I thought I had to play the creative and the other guys wearing suits and shit like the sales guys

Paddy Bird 53:47
and came in in a beret and a Hawaiian shirt and I'm like come on I'm like and I show up

Alex Ferrari 53:51
at 10 and leave it for because I that's how long it took me to do my job. And then I'm like yeah, I need two days off a month because I really don't want to burn out. Um, no, it's I it was immense. So finally I just they kind of just let me go and I was like Okay, great, it's fine I'll just go off and be a director and commercial director and then I spent a lot of money in my demo reel and it didn't work out that quickly for me and that was life and life actually beat me down which is what I think anytime I see someone who's like that I'm like don't worry

Paddy Bird 54:23
I said amazing the universe's oh it's the greatest teacher every single time oh man you you rise a bit too high with the ego something comes in and goes boom oh actually.

Alex Ferrari 54:37
Actually that's not actually no no we're not gonna let you do that now sorry. And pay Yeah, here's the here's some pain. And oh yeah, dude, I could I can go on and on about that. But that was my first job I got fired from and then I didn't go to another staff job four years later, but and then I was fired promptly for being the highest paid editor again. I was an arrogant that time I was just the highest paid I was I was being paid 40 grand more than anybody else in the entire world. Yeah. And it was because I negotiated that deal with the guy and then a new a new, a new supervisor showed up and looked at the numbers like Who the hell's this guy? And they're like, well, we got to work. We got to work our way out to get get rid of this guy, cuz he's costing us too much money. So it was like,

Paddy Bird 55:22
it was good while it lasted. Oh, it was it was one and then two days later, I

Alex Ferrari 55:25
opened after I got fired two days later opened up my business, opened up my post, my post house. And the rest, as they say, is history. So we've been off, we've been kind of going all great material we've been talking about this is all good stuff. But I'll go back to what we were talking about originally. Now, when you first were starting out. How did you market yourself? Like, how did you get out there? Did you have the agency was the agency? What did it for you?

Paddy Bird 55:50
Well, again, I was very, very lucky. One of the Edit facilities that I used to do nighttime work in just practicing. I've got friendly with one of the assistants, who was there, you know, on the night shift, making tea and getting crumpets, crumpets teas and crowns on whiskey for the the heavy drinking editor's, yes, I we became kind of friends. And you know, we went out, you know, partying and bit and the, and then she just sort of rang me and said, oh, I've got a new job. I'm working on agency. So I'm probably not the best person to talk about because it was all luck. It was like, I just made friends. I mean, that's, if I take anything out of that. It's like, you know, I'm constantly surprised by how quickly people's careers move in this industry. And it's like, you, you know, I've been in, I've been in Edit suites with directors who talked to the person who's bringing their tea and toast in the morning, and they talk to them like crap, and you're like, Dude, that could be in two years time, that could be the exact producer you're working for. Never, ever, ever talk to anyone, and always make friends with everybody, you never know what that person is going to be doing in six months. And this was a prime example.

Alex Ferrari 57:10
Yeah, I completely and totally agree with you, and 100% you never know, you never know. You just don't know. And that's something and I was gonna ask you about networking, and relationships. As far as part of your business, you know, growing up, starting out, it's everything, without relationships without networking. with people, it's,

Paddy Bird 57:32
it's nothing, it's nothing one's gonna sit and sit there with a big golden hand and touch you on the shoulder and go, it's you, you're a genius, we're gonna give you, you know, millions of pounds to do whatever you want, and you're free, you'll get final cotton that it doesn't hurt. Like, you've got to go out there, you've got charm people. You know, be friends with people Chompy build relationships, build discussions about you know, filmmaking and editing. Be humble, yeah, editing, directing, whatever camera, whatever you're going into, and be humble and be passionate and, you know, be willing to work 24 hours a day, but I think, you know, is that it's definitely it's like, you know, creating a network as quickly as possible and as large as possible. And, you know, when, when two people working at the edit, edit facility, or the production company or the broadcast cell, you want to come out for a drink tonight or you want to go we're getting a bunch of us go for coffee or whatever, I would always say yes. And I would always try and charm people and you know, be friendly and stuff like that, because the amount of leads and the amount of Oh, man, I guess what someone's dropped out, I thought of you, you know, based on that conversation we had the other day in that bar, or in that coffee shop, or when we went out for pizza, wherever that that's what it is. It's like, I'll tell you this is a classic thing in in, in editing is like, I remember my early agent told me this. One of my early agents, who gave me so much great advice, he said, Listen, you're going to be locked in a room, this director is going to be locked in a room with you for two months, or a month or six weeks or three months, whatever how long the project is, they you know, they don't care, you're a genius. They're not interested in that whether you think that you're a genius. They would rather work with someone who's average and a really nice person, someone who's a genius and a real pain in the US. And that really sunk in for me it's like okay, I get it. You know, if you're locked in, in a room with someone, a dark room, watching the same thing over and over and over again and making tiny adjustments. If it goes wrong, that's like doing a prison sentence, you know, oh, we've been there not cool. It's not cool. It's like it's really important to to to be as cool person as you can. In anyone. You never know who You're going to meet, you never know what they're going to say. And the other thing about editors, as well as that you're never in the room when decisions are made, you know, you're always out, you're not on the shoot, you're not in the production meetings, you're not in any of these things, which pretty much everyone else in the process is, we are isolated by ourselves. So all we've really got his AR abilities, but secondly, our personality and our charm.

Alex Ferrari 1:00:24
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.

Paddy Bird 1:00:35
And that is really, really important. So, you know, when a bunch of senior producers come in and watch a car, and they're really dismissive, and they don't even look at you, it's not about getting really angry about that. It's about Hey, man, you know, how can I be as cool as possible? Because, as I say, we we are, we are probably the only people who are just by ourselves within the industry. We were not party to all those conversations and all those meetings and all that shooting and production.

Alex Ferrari 1:01:03
No, absolutely. I'll tell you a quick story of once I worked for sky, it was like a sky MTV or something like that. And I was doing promos at promo work, and the production manager calls me up. And she's like, Look, we have a gig for you, the producers a little bit of a pill Do you mind? And I'm like, No, I don't mind that. Like at that point. Again, I was so confident in I had been already editing for four or five years, I was very confident in my abilities. And I'm like, yeah, sure, whatever, man, I'll get along with whoever and, and whatever. So and I'm like, I need the work, sir. So I went and I sat with her, and her name is kita. And she came in like a, like a, like a, like a bull in a china shop. And I literally just whatever she said, I'd be like, yeah, that's fine. And I just would just roll with what she had. And then occasionally, she'd send me to do something, I just wouldn't do it. And I'm like, yeah, this is the way I'm gonna do it. And she just didn't know how to handle me. She had no idea. Fast forward, we've become with Trisha, one of my best friends in the world. And she got me jobs, for years to come from, she jumped from company to company to company, she became the head of direct tv promotions. So I got work from her there, she produced one of my short films, she is just like, all of this stuff purely because of that one gal engagement encounter with her, that built that relationship up and that could have gone very wrong. And I wouldn't have had her as that resource years years to come like, even recently, six months ago, you know, so it's,

Paddy Bird 1:02:41
it's amazing. It's amazing. It's like, you know, when you impress and charm someone, and, and you get in on that level, and they like your work. And they like you, you know, people, you know, directors would rather change their brand of cigarettes or football team. Yes. You know, the people never actually do in their whole lifetimes. They will stand by you. And that's really, really important. On it's like, you know, that time when, you know, sorry, I know you've got to meet, you know, your wife or your girlfriend, boyfriend or whatever. But can you can you cancel it because we got to do this work? And it's like, yeah, no worries, you know that that has that money in the bank later on? That really is it? People recognize those type of sacrifices?

Alex Ferrari 1:03:29
Absolutely. It's happened to me a million times.

Paddy Bird 1:03:33
Yeah. But I've got some of the best work I've got out people who were hashey app directors who are not very nice people. Not you know, but you're just cool with them and you're like and you do your best for them. And even though they can be quite obnoxious, not all of them. I'm very glad to say a low percentage of the people I've worked with over the years have been a noxious but it doesn't matter what industry you work in, you're always going to get those type of people because they love your work and you're easy to work with and you you know in you let them know that they're in charge, but also give them options and stuff like this. They'll give you work for years to come. It's just It's amazing. It's I totally agree what you're saying. It's phenomenal.

Alex Ferrari 1:04:15
I mean, look, there's a crew they've been worked has been working with Michael bass and bad boys. And Michael Bay's legendarily a pain in the ass as far as I'm using the word pain in the ass is a very light way of putting it. And same thing with James Cameron. Like, you know, there's there's a group of people that work with James and understand how he works. And he can be a pill and so can Michael Bay without question, but there's people who he can get along with, you know, and it's fascinating. I always find it fascinating sometimes when I was with someone like that had that reputation, who we were cool with and then they throw somebody else in the mix. Just and then I'd be like, oh god, it's like throwing fresh meat to ally and I just sit back and watch it like, man. Don't say that. That's not good. That's not gonna end well for you sir that's not gonna end well for you so um when you first started was first going into the going out as an editor Do you only knew avid right you didn't know anything else

Paddy Bird 1:05:12
there was anything else at the time I mean I think premiere was around but you know Final Cut didn't really come on the scene until

Alex Ferrari 1:05:22
the 90s no no till now excuse me knows now that 2014

Paddy Bird 1:05:26
as of I think version 4.5 they cut Cold Mountain on but it worked

Alex Ferrari 1:05:32
Yeah exactly.

Paddy Bird 1:05:34
It wasn't till version five ready that was sort of

Alex Ferrari 1:05:37
starting to stable Apple yeah starts there.

Paddy Bird 1:05:41
Yeah, it wasn't really I mean it wasn't any good for

Alex Ferrari 1:05:44
my type of now Exactly.

Paddy Bird 1:05:47
It never has been really any any good for what long form I'll go I'll

Alex Ferrari 1:05:50
go back farther and it was it for me it was avid and media 100 Media 100 Yes. Media 100 and I was I edited one thing on media 100 I could I afterwards I couldn't go back. So it's like this is just like you need me to do a dip to color I need to go into Photoshop. I need to make the color who I need to import import the JPEG throw to dissolves on it and now I have a dip to color. I'm like, Are you insane? Like sir like are you in Santa? It's like insane so there was maybe 100 video cube I don't know if you remember video q i remember that was sort of it was there for a minute. It was it was a minute it was a minute it was out for a minute video cube I learned on the montage. I don't know if you even know what the montage is. It was on Windows 311 that's what was in my film school. And it was strictly offline like strictly strictly offline I never learned Lightworks either I've never even seen a light works machine. They do mostly feature work with that.

Paddy Bird 1:06:52
Yeah, yeah it's so feature dramas Yeah, it was specifically made for

Alex Ferrari 1:06:58
for free or for filmmaker yeah it was before avid before avid

Paddy Bird 1:07:01
yeah was able to be known steenbeck since the fly that was

Alex Ferrari 1:07:04
right it was before avid took over that bit but so as a freelancer I think it's very important to us know understand as many today specifically to understand as many editing software's as you can because it opens up your ability to work because you know now I have it now I have a post suite and I'm like I do the way things I want do I want to do them and generally if someone comes in like this is my system this is what I work on and you know if you want to go I call her on da Vinci if you want to call her on scratch well I can't help you like it's not I'm not gonna have a scratch system in here as well. So it is what it is and then people generally have never had anybody walk away because I'm editing on Final Cut or or editing on or doing color and in DaVinci but but as a freelancer like if you're going to place the place to place you got to know premiere you got to know avid you got to know the old Final Cut and the new Final Cut and now Da Vinci's editing system is you know something people are starting to use and what and I think we'll grow into something in the next year or two probably into something more significant than it is now. So I think it's very important for for editors specifically to understand as many different understand Photoshop I mean seriously do you understand you do Do you know Photoshop?

Paddy Bird 1:08:21
I haven't used it in years I mean, yeah, I you know, I

Alex Ferrari 1:08:25
Well, you're at the upper echelon right now so you're at the top of the mountain us guys down here still struggling.

Paddy Bird 1:08:31
We're still I mean I use I use nine buttons on my avid right I use jkl Yep, you know, stop play play reverse mark in mark out insert, overwrite and lift and extract Yep, that's it. I mean, I don't use anything I wouldn't know anything else to be honest you that that's just I think that comes from being in reality TV for the first part of my career. You're not doing a lot of effects you're basically working at 400 miles an hour all the time churning out churning out churning out every two hours they change the tapes or the discs or whatever and they got bang and you got to be cutting an enormous amount of fruit so you're like Bang Bang, bang, all you're doing is and this is what what we what we teach in inside the Edit which is it's all about speed creative speed, you know, learning the software fantastic it really you know, and I totally agree with you, it really why would you limit yourself in the options because you don't know if you're gonna get a phone call tomorrow you meet someone in the corridor, that edit facility and they're gonna say, oh, oh, Ash, can you help us out? Someone's falling out? It's on Premiere are so I don't have to use premiere. You know, why would you limit yourself when you're starting, I mean, you're in the first 234 or five years, your career. It would be crazy not to just put in, you know, you know, a couple of couple of weeks just to learn. I mean, these programs aren't that hard, you know, they're not difficult to learn and they all pretty much with the exception of Final Cut x, they're all the same. You know, the same buttons, that same logic, it's a timeline, it's a couple of layers of video. You know, a couple of layers of audio and you know, moves left to right. It's not brain surgery. So yeah, no, I totally agree that it's, it's essential. But I think, you know, what's more essential is creating is what I call creative speed. Being a fast cutter, being being able to look at, you know, it doesn't matter how fast you push the buttons, what matters is, you know, how fast you can cut this in your head after, after watching this footage, that's where the real speed is, you can actually press the buttons. Head really, really fast. Because the films made in your head, it's not made in, you know, Van golf, always used to say, you know, I dream my painting, and then I paint my dream, you know, it's caught in your head, it's Oh, yeah, if you if you can do that, if you can, if you can exercise those creative muscles in your in your mind. You know, because you've only got a certain amount of time on a project, whether it's a two minute music, video, or corporate film, or commercial, or, you know, 90 minute documentary or drama, you know, you're, if you're fast at cutting, you're squeezing more options into that, two weeks, four weeks, eight weeks, six months, whatever your duration is. So if you're faster climbing, I think that's, that's the thing that's going to turn your film, from a great film to an excellent film is that you can try out more things in that same amount of time. But, but, you know, going back to your initial point, which is I totally agree with today's fast moving environment. And we don't know who we can't, you know, the press has always been, you know, always full of, oh, avid just leading, you know, premiere in the market share or final cuts coming up because, you know, MTV have just bought, you know, 50,000 premieres, we you know, it's nobody knows what's going on. And it's just like, for us down here, you know, actually making the films, it's like, it's so important to know, right, every single one of them really, otherwise, you're potentially canceling yourself out for for working as well, you know, you put that on your show, or you put on the CV. It's so important.

Alex Ferrari 1:12:10
Now the the business that to just one of the points, you say, being fast, being a fast editor, I was known in town as being an extremely fast cutter I could cut very quickly. So as on a business standpoint, that hurt me because at the beginning, I was doing hourly. So I would be cut, I would be done something that would take another editor, maybe eight hours, I'd be done in three or four. And I wasn't I wasn't making as much so I started doing like, I only do day rates. So you know, I will only do a day rate. So I would do I'll give you an eight hour day rate, I don't do hourly anymore. And people back then when there was money flowing in the 90s. Still, all the residuals of residual of the 80s was still flying around, there was some money in the 90s flying around. So that worked out that worked out well for me. So now tell me that so obviously, you are the founder of inside the edit the amazing inside the Edit as far as teaching you the creative process of editing, which there is nothing else on the planet like it and I advise and I always preach it from the top of the mountains, anybody who's interested in editing or storytelling to take the course. And it's not a course really it's a movement it's a religion really, it's it's like the

Paddy Bird 1:13:28
religion come and join this cult though because the

Alex Ferrari 1:13:31
way you shot it, it's like it is so beautifully shot and dark and this downstage with the, with the way you see the light with the honeycomb over you and I'm like, Man, this is like a like a circle religion is like inside the edits the religion. So um, so you should definitely check it out. So for people who don't know about inside the Edit, please tell me a little bit about it.

Paddy Bird 1:13:57
Yeah, sure. I mean, it's, and we

Alex Ferrari 1:14:01
only have an hour left. So please keep me

Paddy Bird 1:14:03
now and I'm joking. Can we can we get an hour and 10? No, I mean, inside there is. It's basically you know, I looked around, and I started looking at film schools, training centers and books at basically everything on the net companies like lynda.com and all these. No one was teaching the craft, no one even if you spent three years at film school, no one was teaching the craft and if people were teaching the craft, they were not a list people, no disrespect, but they would not people who are at the higher echelons of the industry. And the other thing was is that editors learn in isolation. There's no film school that you go to Well, there's no training center or anything like that or book that gives you all of this stuff which each individual editor crazily figures out for themselves, all of these couple of 1000 things which are instinctual Within the creative process, everyone figures it out by themselves. And I just thought that's crazy. We need to do something about that. So I sat down and wrote a million words over three years, 200 tutorials, 20 chapters, and I pulled out my brain, it took me a year to just rewrite and rewrite and rewrite and just summarizing and conceptualizing basically stuff which had never been written down before because editors earning I learned in isolation and this this I checked out all the you know, the perspectives of all the film schools that no one was teaching this stuff no one was teaching the craft and the art form. So I just thought, Okay, this this is something that could be pretty, pretty cool. So I sat down and wrote, you know, essentially the most in depth look at editing the industry has ever seen the war and peace of this the war, the war and peace This is war on peace to write the revenge.

Alex Ferrari 1:16:04
Now, the Electric Boogaloo actually says the electric

Paddy Bird 1:16:10
breakdowns, right? Yes,

Alex Ferrari 1:16:11
it was the candidate a candidate.

Paddy Bird 1:16:16
So, but now, also is it's like what you say as well. It's like I looked at all the other costs, like lead.com, and all these online stuff. So okay, well, we were going to do this in a non run environment, because you can learn anywhere in the world, as long as you got decent internet line. And I just looked at everything else. And it looked like all the other people who were doing it, all the other companies, they looked like it was so corporate, it was not cinematic. And I just sat there and thought Hold on a minute. Exactly what the key demographic is filmmakers, you know, this should be a cinematic experience, it shouldn't be like you're trying to sell vacuum cleaners, you know, this is all this looks terrible. So there's no sizzle, there's no sizzle, as a whole, it's like, yeah, it's like this has to be a cinematic experience. So we spent a lot of time and a lot of money on the look, in every single tutorial is basically shot and cut with all the high end aesthetics of a high end documentary is like, you know, there's 200 documentaries, essentially, some of them 510 minutes long, some of them two hours long, depending on the complexity, and we've broken down the creative process. So we do a whole load of very, you know, interesting techniques and theories that are laid out in really, really, really cool looking graphics. But then we also go into these, these, these features could watch me edit. So we've learned all this stuff, let's go try this out in some footage. So we go into a live environment. But we've also spent a lot of money on animating the interface with the tutorial in avid. to basically do what no one's ever done before, which is making the interface of any editing software doesn't matter what you're using, because we teach the craft, not the buttons. It's another character in the movie. So we've treated the whole process like a movie, a movie, you're watching a movie every single time. So not only do you get all this stuff, which has never been written down before you actually really enjoying the process. But then the other thing as well is that, you know, you know, going back to what we talked about, you know, at the very start, you know, how do you get a real together? How do you get a real because no, you know, it's very hard to get high end footage. It's, you know, no production company in the world has ever released broadcast footage. So we went out and we shot, a feature length documentary, a really, really high end feature length documentary. So you get access, you get all of that footage, and you can use it copyright free. And to you know, this 45 scenes, you get 35 hours to download. And you can cut it in 1000s of different ways. And you track through the course you're basically cutting a primetime level documentary. So you get that you will get all the you know, all the stuff that you get in a pro edit suite like all the interview transcripts, the log notes and the directors, everything you get tons and tons of technical stuff in PDF form. But then we partnered up you also need music so we partnered up with what I always thought was the you know the best music library in TV and film and that's Universal Music, Production Music and you get hundreds of tracks as well which you're free to use, you can build your own reel and you can use it on your Vimeo channel and your YouTube channel. So not only do you get all this unbelievably in depth craft knowledge, which I've never found anywhere, but you get all the everything you need as well footage, music and all that technical information. So it's a complete package. It's the it's the world's first ever complete package for editing. So, you know, we're we're really proud of it, it's taken a lot of work a lot of hours, it's taken three years to build. But you know, we're in we're in over 50 countries, we've got filmmakers in over 50 countries in the world and it's, the response has just been phenomenal. It really, really,

Alex Ferrari 1:20:24
it's been around for what a couple a year now you're in change. Just

Paddy Bird 1:20:27
just yeah, just over a year, just every year. So yeah, it's, it's going really well and we, we, we basically, we're in a kind of TV production schedule, so every week you get a new tutorial 1020 3050 100 minutes long. And yeah, I mean, we've got loads of very, very cool stuff coming up in 2016 2016 is gonna be a big year for us.

Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
So let me ask you a question. Will this ever end like I mean, will this ever end like as far as like Will you continue to just put more and more tutorials on are just gonna eventually go and now you know, everything

Paddy Bird 1:21:05
I mean, it's like, you know, there's, it's we're gonna be doing inside because this is basically what we cover in inside the moment is everything apart from drama. And then we're going to be doing drama.

Alex Ferrari 1:21:18
I'm sure you could do a commercial version of music videos, versions

Paddy Bird 1:21:22
videos. So basically the whole premise is you know, we're going to get guest editors in excuse me, who are at the top of their game to come in and basically do what I have done in in documentary entertainment and kind of use and all the things that I've worked in I cover about six seven different genres so we're going to be getting a list people in with a list footage and coming in it and just getting the absolute you know, you will never get this type of in depth theory, wherever you work in the world, whichever production company whichever broadcast and no one's going to sit down over your shoulder and tell pour out their brains for hours and hours and hours about everything. It's

Alex Ferrari 1:22:01
like it's like it's like being a fly on the wall when Thelma Schumacher is editing with Martin Scorsese something along those lines

Paddy Bird 1:22:08
exactly that's that's the real you know, that's the real the goal for us you know that the whole thing the whole premise was round was based around the fact that there's no a list people teaching editing,

Alex Ferrari 1:22:20
no really no I think it's a few board workshop here their stuff

Paddy Bird 1:22:25
Yeah, but they only come in to do an hour and give some big kind of you know, inspirational speech about you know, when I was in speech when I was in the edit suite with Steven Spielberg blah blah blah blah blah there's no none of them pour out their brains for 20 3050 100 hours of content none of the no one has ever done that not even in film school. Right so that was the goal really that's that's that's the aim to have that kind of in depth and bring in a load of really talented people to help us achieve that so yeah, no it's it's it's a big goal but you know we're working we're working our way towards it to making

Alex Ferrari 1:23:05
this into a brand essentially which is which is amazing you've actually created a brand and you're you're turning it into the one stop shop for editing any any eventually you will have covered every every genre that you can every kind of you know from webisodes to music videos to commercials to high end professionals and and each of their disciplines but you're creating a brand you know a Rolls Royce brand if you will, an apple of you're creating the apple of editing knowledge.

Paddy Bird 1:23:37
Absolutely. Absolutely. And with that, you have to have high quality high end oh yes that takes you have to differentiate yourself differentiate yourself from you know, the Lynda dot coms of the world and all the other kind of you know, you have to put in an enormous amount of time money and effort and creative effort and I'm very lucky to work with some extremely talented effects guys and people like that who made that happen is a high end brand it's like we are the bar is you know, way above yeah yeah it has to be because you know, how do you differentiate yourself in a market you know, you can't just have amazing amazing theory and concepts and stuff like that anymore. You have to you have to go the extra mile and and provide a whole experience I think if you know if the Apple Store is now hold us anything Jesus you're you're part of a lifestyle, a community a life choice, you know, it's a it's an amazingly powerful brand and we've actually taken that concept and tried to do it with inside the Edit. So you, you really get you know, you really get the feeling that you're getting a lot more than what you're paying for. You know,

Alex Ferrari 1:24:54
it's funny enough that you say that like I've actually start creating one of my first courses you know, indie film, hustle. Soil is grown as quickly as it has because because of what I've been I've been trying to put out content like this and I in a similar way with what you've done with inside the Edit not nearly the expansion or the growth of the size of what you guys have done but in my small way I've been trying to put out content that is at a level that no one else is talking about like there's and like this conversation we've just had it there's volumes of great knowledge in there and tips of that you don't hear you know you and I have been around we don't hear this they don't teach this you know how to put together a demo reel like you know really how do you do it you know how do you go out and hustle this or how to hustle that so I'm trying to create that with indie film hustle and I think it's one of the reasons why it's grown so fast and it's starting to gain respect within the niche of independent filmmakers but I'm also

Paddy Bird 1:25:53
respond to quality that's that's the bottom yeah the fact that you've created something which is totally unique and such high quality people are not suckers they're not idiots when I'm when I'm buying products I'm into into that kind of you know I look for the quality above anything else and you know I you know I can I'm I'm flabbergasted by how quickly inside the Edit is grown but I'm also I'm I'm even more flabbergasted by how quickly you know indie film hustle is going but you take you take two minutes have a look at it and the content you like oh yeah well of course it is. It's such high level and it is It's that thing it's like not nobody's teaching this stuff no one's giving you this original content to this level. So no,

Alex Ferrari 1:26:41
It's I'm actually taking I'm taking your template of inside the edit and I'm actually going to create my course my editing course is called inside the editor no I'm joking No no, I'm creating courses on things that are you know that I do well that and one of the specific things the first course I'm going to do is how I was able to do social media and how I've been able to great grow to 20,000 followers on Twitter and Instagram within 90 days and and true fans like real people and how I'm able to focus that and get traffic from that and how to build that relationships up and how not only the techniques to get there but also how to maintain it, how to grow it how to get content, what the content is blah blah blah blah blah. So I'm actually creating that course right now and I'm thinking about how I'm going to be putting it together and then I start looking at inside the editor I'm like okay, well I'm not I'm not crazy I'm not doing 200 tutorials, but that's just mental as you say. And I'm not writing a million words on this subject matter because there are other people talking about this but not at the level I'm doing and definitely not at the level for any I'm going to do two courses one aimed at filmmakers and one aimed at everybody else. And it is I'm using you as a template I'm like okay, I need to I need to hit this quality level on my stuff because that's just I can't just throw up I see a lot of these courses like you were saying like you go to Lynda and you like it Welcome to creative editing 101

Paddy Bird 1:28:15
This is the trim tool

Alex Ferrari 1:28:17
This is the trim tool now i i've been editing local car commercials for 2627 years, not that there's anything wrong with editing car commercials every one I edited car commercials for four months, so I know how it is but not at the highest echelon of the craft let's just put it that way. So it's the sizzle is something I try to teach as much as I can and people don't get that that you need sizzle without in today's world without sizzle even if you have the greatest content if you could have made this content and that sizzle nearly as much and the content would have still been amazing without all the great graphics without all you know the packaging this the cinematic vibe of it you could have gone down to Linda route wrote if you wanted to and and just put out great content and you could still have the exact same scripts the exact same content but not nearly presented in that this beautiful way that you've presented it and and it's an inspiration to me like okay, well if I'm gonna do my stuff I got to take it up a notch I got to you know I can't shoot it on my iPhone Not that there's anything wrong with that but I'm not going to shoot it on my iPhone I'm going to be shooting it on a cinematic camera I'm going to call it great it you know I'm gonna do graphics on it and all this kind of stuff to make it look as cinematic as possible without going stupid the crazy like you did. Because you're crazy. You're absolutely nuts.

Paddy Bird 1:29:42
A little bit not so then there might have been that now. It's done.

Alex Ferrari 1:29:46
I can't even imagine the conversation. I can't even imagine the conversations you had at the beginning of this. Okay, so this is what I want to do. Like I like to the first person, that's the first person you talk to you like Okay, so this is my idea. It's gonna be cool inside the edit and I'm gonna Do this this and this and people are like what are you absolutely mad you know but but you and I both have something that is is fast and I don't know how you feel about it but to be able to create as a creator because you and I both are creators and we're both artists in our own ways to take something that did not exist inside the Edit was in your mind and there was no inside that calm there wasn't even there wasn't even a history of you doing this kind of stuff. It's not like it's something there was no history about it at all. We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show

Paddy Bird 1:30:47
Hyperlink was when I started this internet company I had no idea the whole internet thing just passed me by but right it's like I knew nothing about it but you know everything's in your mind filmmaking is anybody walk out onto the street right now wherever you are in the world everything that's not green or Brown was made right off in someone's mind you know and to bring out from nature is cement you walk on the car, the television the advertising board the scenario is everything Everything Everything Everything is in your mind and that's where I certainly the big battle I've I've been I've been you know fighting for the last year of inside the Edit is fighting against not fighting against books certainly just sort of going Oh, hold on a minute, you know, I don't care that this is 4k or I don't care that this is Scott 64 bit background rendering. I don't care about any of that stuff. Um, you know, as john lennon said, you know, I'm an artist you give me a tuber. I'll get something out of it. You know, like it's the artistic side is deeply underrepresented in today's world. It's all about the technology and this and that and does it have this lens and that and

Alex Ferrari 1:32:02
The gear the gear porn?

Paddy Bird 1:32:05
Oh, yeah, yeah, you know that manual inside out. But it's like, can you tell a story that's that's what, what ever. The whole industry is in deep, deep, deep need of its people who can tell stories. No one cares, whether you've memorized the manual to that stuff, there's 1000 people were 10,000 a million people within the industry can do that. Better than you it's concentrating on being a storyteller and that's what we do in inside the edit and it's concentrating away from all of that all of that that tech techno porn it's just I I'm still flabbergasted by it but

Alex Ferrari 1:32:44
It's it's it's it's definitely a sub niche of a niche of the filmmaking niche without question and what I was saying earlier like the I can only imagine the immense amount of I don't know what the word is but that you've been able to create something from nothing and built this huge community and you're helping people and this is all came I literally out of your head and I love it and I've been able to do that with indie film hustle in my small way that literally there was nothing there was no URL I would I was out of the game doing other things for three years I was still in and out of business you know still ran my post house but I was not in it heavily. And I literally came back out of nowhere and launched indie film hustle and turned it to what it is now and now I get fan mail and I get texts that text but tweets and Facebook messages and emails of people like man thank you for that last podcast it's it's changed you know really changement I had one guy email wonderful feeling Oh my God,

Paddy Bird 1:33:44
That love and knowledge

Alex Ferrari 1:33:47
I started printing out the the emails and at the end the messages so I can have them in a book somewhere. So when I get down, I can just go back and read because there was one one podcast I did with on crowdfunding. And I forgot the person's name. But they emailed they messaged me and they're like, you know, I wasn't even going to continue going down this road. But after I because I just was so disheartened. Like, I can never get my movie made. I can never get it out there. But after I heard this interview with you, and Emily, you guys told me that I showed me that I can do this. And I'm going to go off and you know, do my dream now. And I was like, I was like, Oh my god, like that's so amazing. So it's a high that people don't understand unless you're doing it. And that this is you know that this podcast has turned into the number one podcast in filmmaking on iTunes and that is how many months that's that was in about two and a half months. It took about two and a half months to three months around. To get to the

Paddy Bird 1:34:43
What you're doing is is is 1,000% right, Alex. I mean it's phenomenal. It's just like you've found something and created something again, out of absolutely nothing, which now you're just wanting like oh no, this is phenomenal. I mean, I I mean, I haven't even heard that type of growth before.

Alex Ferrari 1:35:02
Well, it's and it's an Oh and by the way, it's not only in filmmaking I have it in like, if you type in cinematography, I'm right behind the ASC if you if you type in visual effects I'm number one if you type in a film, like there's certain keywords that like all these big keywords, I was like, What? Like, how am I? For a moment I was ahead of the ASC I'm like, I have two podcasts about cinematography, how is this possible but because of the the growth and the strength of the entire brand or the entire show, it kind of overpowers even smaller niches like that. But it's fascinating and it's so humbling honestly it's humbling and 2016 is going to be an insane year I can only imagine if the if I can continue to grow like this like you have like what you've done in a year is insane but if I could continue to grow the way I'm growing in the next year and make my movie that I'm planning to make and go through that whole process it's going to be an interesting interesting journey so

Paddy Bird 1:35:58
Absolutely no doubt that you will Alex I really it's phenomenal what you've achieved in in in four months it's amazing it's another year God imagine we're going to be

Alex Ferrari 1:36:09
I can only imagine where we're going to because it's starting to You know what's funny about our what we do is it snowballs it literally snowballs like the little bit like you know you start like okay, I got 20 followers on Twitter I got 155 I got 100 followers on Twitter and then all of a sudden you like Oh, I got 10,000 and then once you the thing that that people don't understand is when you start gaining momentum in any aspect of your business, whether that be an editing whether that be a filmmaker it starts to grow and it's it starts to become a little easier to grow and faster to grow because

Paddy Bird 1:36:41
More creates more it always has

Alex Ferrari 1:36:42
It's just fascinating to us I was just fascinated to watch that all of a sudden now I'm inundated with interview requests like I have so many people wanting to be on the show and and now I'm like I literally have shows for four months out now. And I'm like you know it's like insanity and I got content coming in like crazy so I've got all this high end content coming out and it's like how you grow it's becomes easier so it's just started it's like they always say is like you know it's easy to Be a Millionaire you just gotta get that first million

Paddy Bird 1:37:14
So they say isn't the first one is the hardest, the next 10 is.

Alex Ferrari 1:37:19
And that's it. Same thing with financing a film like if you got 100 grand, I can get you another 300. But getting that first 100 is a is a bitch. But But I want to thank you man, I wanted to thank you for coming back on the show, I wanted to kind of go into a little bit more detail about the the black arts of not editing, but of being an editor, and actually the survival of being an editor and a thriving of being an editor. And I think we've thrown out a lot of good gems and I just love talking to you. I'm sure I'll have you on the show again soon.

Paddy Bird 1:37:50
It was a pleasure. And it's always nice

Alex Ferrari 1:37:55
And then I'll put a link to And guys, I'll have a link on the show notes for inside the Edit where you'll get a special discount indie film, hustle discount, and I'll have that in the show notes as well. So I'll get you all that information soon. Batman. Thank you so so much for being on the show again, brother. I really appreciate it.

Paddy Bird 1:38:13
Hey, man, absolute pleasure. I really really enjoyed it. And yeah, very best of luck with indie film, hustle. It's gonna be weld. weld, domineering, I'm sure.

Alex Ferrari 1:38:25
May the force be with you, sir.

Paddy Bird 1:38:30
Take care, brother.

Alex Ferrari 1:38:31
Now, I did warn you that we were gonna geek out and we definitely did without question. I hope you guys picked up something from that episode, because there was a lot of wonderful gems in there as well as the last episode that I did with Paddy. It was just too old editing dogs sitting down and talking. But I would have killed a bit in that conversation when I was starting out in my career, whether being an editor or in any kind of part of discipline within the film industry. So I really hope you guys got something out of it because I had a ball I think you know, I think you feel that through the earbuds that you're listening through right now. So thanks again for listening guys. If you want to get the Show Notes for this episode, head over to indiefilmhustle.com/041 and you get all the show notes there. And don't forget to head over to filmmaking podcast calm and leave us an honest review of the show it helps us out dramatically So thank you again so much guys. Oh and a little update, we should be releasing the Twitter hacks how to get 10,000 true fans in 10 weeks course in the next week or so. So I will get keep you guys all informed about that through either my social media, if you're on our list, we're going to be emailing you out about that. And of course if you want to get on our list, just head over to indiefilmhustle.com and sign up because you get a bunch of cool stuff when you sign up. And you get up to you keep updates with what we're doing at indie film hustle and get you a lot of great information. as well, so keep that hustle going. Keep that dream alive and I'll talk to you soon.

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