It’s weird. I don’t remember becoming “the old guy”, but when someone recently asked me how long I’ve been an editor, it hit me. I’ve been editing professionally for 37 years. The key to longevity in any job is “adapt or die.” In my first 13 years as a linear editor, I worked on no fewer than eight different editing programs. But since 1994, there’s only been one system that has put food on my table and a roof over my head. Avid. I’ve learned other NLE’s, but I’ve never worked a professional job other than Avid.
ALT Homicide, an American true crime television series. Courtesy of Jupiter Entertainment.
I started in broadcast news, but most of my career has been editing documentary television. Although I’ve learned from many people over the years, the best piece of advice I ever got came from my first college documentary class. The professor’s advice? “Watch 60 Minutes. Do what they do.” It was true then, it’s true today. The other advice that served me well is “Always ask questions.” Asking is easy, but getting answers was sometimes difficult.
The advent of social media has changed that. If you spend any amount of time on industry related Facebook groups such as The Avid Editors of Facebook, Post Chat, or Ask an Editor, my name may be familiar to you. I am very active there, as well as in other online groups such as the Avid Forums, The Avid L-2 and Twitter. These groups are a tremendous resource for trouble shooting, problem solving, tips, tricks and just learning about what everyone is doing in post-production. I’ve had many sessions saved from disaster by the knowledge of fellow group members. I’ve posted questions at 3 a.m. as my system was melting down and gotten a response within 10 minutes on how to fix it. It may be the middle of the night in the USA, but someone in Germany is already starting their workday. Just yesterday, as a sipped my morning coffee, I was able to help a fellow editor in Tunisia work through his problem.
So, I am a big proponent of social networking. That’s why I’m excited about the new Avid Link. It is the long-awaited update to Avid Application Manager, and it combines the functions of AppMan (in a much-improved way) with a social media component that gives post production professionals another way to network with colleagues around the world. In addition to messaging like a traditional forum, Avid Link allows me to post a profile, search other’s profiles to find talent, read the latest articles on the Avid website, update my product subscriptions and purchase new products and plug-ins all within the Link interface.
I’ve been on the Public Beta for about a month, and so far, I’m impressed with what I’ve tried out. There are some things that still need attention, but overall I feel that Avid Link is going to be a welcome addition to the Avid family. I look forward to its full launch.