Episode 027: Hope in the Time of Corona
We have been thinking about our fellow editors from around the world in this unique time.
In this episode we hear from our past guests and editors down south from ACE about how life is for them. We hope these messages bring you hope in these uncertain times.
Thank you to the editors who contributed to this episode:
Cathy Gulkin, CCE,
Kevin Tent, ACE,
Nicole Ratcliffe, CCE,
Justin Lachance, CCE,
Liza Cardinale, ACE,
Paul Day, CCE
Mike Munn, CCE,
Daria Ellerman, CCE,
Zack Arnold, ACE,
Stephen Philipson, CCE,
Jesse Averna, ACE,
Lesley MacKay Hunter,
Stephen Rivkin, ACE,
Michèle Hozer, CCE,
Ron Sanders, CCE,
Jillian Moul, ACE, D.
Gillian Truster, CCE,
Paul Winestock, CCE,
The Editor’s Cut – Episode 027 – “Hope in the Time of Corona”
Hi, and welcome to The Editor’s Cut. I’ve been thinking about my fellow editors around the world in this unique time. Some still have work where others have been at a standstill for a couple months. I wanted to hear how everyone is doing and what’s helping them get through. So I reached out to our past guests and editors down south from ACE to share how life is for them. For myself work has slowed right down, but life in Edmonton Alberta is still busy. My four year old daughter is home with me. She’s here right now.
And my husband and I are both working from home. I have two dogs and two cats and five fish. Mondays now consist of pretending with my daughter–
–extra long dog walks and lots of baking. I’ve also been attending the many Zoom events the CCE and other organizations are hosting. In some ways I feel more connected with friends and family, as we’ve been taking the time to call each other and check in. The app, Marco Polo has been a savior as it feels like I’m talking with friends all day long. There are definitely low days and days where I have all the energy in the world but I just ride the wave. I know we will be okay. And for now I will settle into this new world.
Let’s go for a walk.
I hope these messages bring you hope in these uncertain times.
Hi fellow editors, Cathy Gulkin here in Toronto. The centre of the universe is awfully quiet these days. But as a homebody, I don’t mind all that much. I think many of us editors are pretty happy living quiet lives. We’re the ones who prefer to work by ourselves in our own spaces whenever given the choice. So it’s kind of nice that there’s no other option now.
The director can’t come in and sit over our shoulders and frame fuck. I for one, find that liberating. I continue to do all of the things I’ve always done to protect my physical and mental health while working in the edit suite. Take lots of breaks and go for brisk walks. Now wearing a mask and social distancing. But since the streets are mostly deserted, it’s not that difficult. I’m also counseling the director I’m currently working with about how I think we can complete the project using tools like Zoom and Skype, to do pickup interviews, because this doc was supposed to follow three young people during their last year of high school, and our Act Four–graduation–has pretty much been canceled. Finding a new act four is a challenge. What I’ve said to the director is, if he can’t fix it, feature it. We’re living in an historic moment. And so are the subjects in our documentary. I think that capturing their current experience through online interviews in their own vlogs is going to make a very interesting film. I know things are much harder for editors working on fiction, where all production has stopped, and for those who are waiting to begin projects that would have been shooting this spring. My current gig ends in June, and if Cruz can’t go out this spring and summer, I won’t be working either come September when I’ll be eager to get back into the edit suite. But I’ve been through the boom and bust cycle in our industry before, and there were no government income programs to help us out then. I just saw my savings dwindle, went into some debt, and then things recovered and so did my financial situation.
This too, shall pass. Stay strong and safe colleagues.
Hello, friends and fellow editors, north of the border. It’s Kevin Tent reporting from down here in Los Angeles. I hope you are all healthy and well. You may be familiar with me and some of my early work on classics such as, Salt: The Hidden Threat, Cholesterol: What Can You Do? And one of my personal favorites, Teenagers: How to Get and Keep a Job. It’s such a mind blowing and difficult time for all we humans right now. And the film business has taken a huge hit, especially on the production side, which of course affects us on the post side.
Yet as grim as it sometimes seems. I am optimistic that once it’s deemed safe, there will be a big demand for content and productions will be back up. It might not be overnight, but I have faith in the ingenuity, the versatility and the creativity of the people in our business. They’re amazing. So things will get better. It might take a while, but they will.
In the meantime I am extremely grateful that my family and I are safe and healthy. I’ve been proud of the people of Los Angeles and California. For the most part, they have taken the situation seriously and are following safety protocols. And although our numbers are climbing, they seem relatively manageable and not as bad as they could have been for a state of our size and population. Personally, what’s helped me a lot in dealing with the pandemic has been exercising regularly, and meditating. About four years ago, you may remember we had an election down here, and the day after I realized I had to do something to deal with how I was feeling.
So I bought an app called Headspace and started, and it’s been a godsend. I moved down to different forms of meditation, tried different things and different apps, but I highly recommend some sort of mindfulness practice. All editors could use it pandemic or not. So make sure you get out and exercise if you can, treat yourself well physically and mentally. And when things get tough, cut yourself some slack. You will, and we will get through this. Wishing you all the best from south of the border. Stay safe, stay strong, stay sane and hug your loved ones. Your friend and colleague Kevin Tent.
Hey everyone, Nicole Ratcliffe from Vancouver here. I hope you’re all doing well and staying safe. Like many of you, I lost my job around mid March when all of this happened, and it seemed like the entire industry around the world shut down. So now that I’m home, I have all this time. Time to get things done that have been on my to do list for what seems like years. And also, to finally catch up on all those TV shows and movies that I keep telling everyone I’m going to watch.
A few other things I’ve been doing is I’ve taken up knitting in the last year. And I’m really enjoying that. I finally have gotten over the stress of it, and now I’m enjoying it. I’m working on a big knitting project right now. My biggest project so far, it’s a large six color shawl. I’ll send you all pictures when it’s done. I’ve been reading a lot, getting through quite a few books, enjoying that. And luckily the weather has been quite nice here in Vancouver over the last couple months.
So, I’ve been spending a lot of time outside in the yard, getting it cleaned up from the winter and getting my greenhouse ready to start planting what will be my own food, really looking forward to that. I’ve been keeping in touch with my film family here in Vancouver, and some people in Los Angeles online via either Zoom or Houseparty. And it’s been really great just to keep in touch with people, see what they’re doing to keep busy and just talk about what’s going on right now and how people are feeling about it.
I find that everyone is being incredibly supportive, but having fun online with those people as well has been really, really great. I recommend Houseparty, if you haven’t tried it. Anyway, as I said, I hope you’re all doing well. I’m thinking of you all. And I hope that we all get back to work sooner rather than later, but in the safest way possible. Take good care.
What’s up guys. This is Justin Lachance and this is my impression of every Tech/gaming podcast intro on the planet. [beep] Oh no. Okay. All right. [beep] At the beginning of this pandemic, there was a meme going around that editors would send each other. I’m sure you all saw it. It spread faster than COVID. If somehow you haven’t seen it. It had two pictures of an editor at his computer. And under the first picture, there was a caption that said, “A video editor.” The caption under the second picture said, “A video editor in quarantine.” Both pictures were identical. I admit, I thought it was funny because at the time I was about to start working on a small series with an insane turnaround schedule. I thought, yeah, that’s totally it. I’ll be working from home and we’ll be able to get it done before things get really bad. This was on March 11th. As the news became darker and darker by the hour, I realized this was going to change a lot of things about our industry.
The production was put on hold as the country closed up shop. I found out that because Quebec Spring Break happened just before shutdown, some people on the set of my series had contracted the virus while on vacation and spread it to a lot of the cast and crew without knowing. I thought about the meme and was like, well, I guess being a post-production loner is a good thing now? I don’t know. Days went by and I talked to the Post Super, the director, my agent, the producers of future projects. And we all didn’t know what to say to each other. We’d say, we’ll give it a couple of weeks and see what’s up; in the meantime, take care of yourself. Weeks went by. I started doing things around the house. I painted my fence, planted my seedlings. I tried to take my mind off the fact that there was a global pandemic happening out there. And on top of that, I wasn’t editing. A month went by, two. Today is May 11th. And there’s talk of some production starting back up in July, but that’s a big maybe.
I got to admit, it’s pretty brutal–to have a full year of exciting projects blow up like that is rough. But then I think about that meme. I look at it from a completely different angle now. Before I’d see the brutally honest hilarity of our job, I’d be like, “Yeah, I willingly spent my days alone in a room while being lost in a very specific train of thought sometimes to the point of madness.” It was funny, but like so true.
Now I look at that meme and see the hundreds of people behind the editor that aren’t pictured. The conversations with the directors, the producers, the other editors I’ve worked with. All the fun we’ve had, the hilarious sleep-deprived laugh-a-thons, the creative eurekas. And I mean, I’m not kidding myself, there were some pretty frustrating times too. But it takes a literal army to make a film or show. And the hard part about this current moment in time is that we are more alone now than when we’re in our edit suites. But, one good thing about right now is that these people are free to talk cause, well, what else are they going to do besides making banana bread?
I’ve been able to have Skype virtual beers with old colleagues, call friends, text with people I haven’t talked to in ages because we now have time. I’m learning more about the people I work with because we’re talking about our lives, telling our stories about how we’re dealing with this stuff. It’s kind of awesome. It’s definitely not perfect, but I’m appreciating this time to rekindle the human side of this industry. And I got to say groups like the CCE and Les Treize are helping make that happen. Also, I’m re-watching Community on Netflix and hopefully laughing myself to July. Until then, take care.
Hello. This is Liza Cardinale ACE, reporting from Los Angeles, California, where the birds are chirping, the sun is shining and the cameras are not rolling. I wrapped up the second season of Dead to Me, the day our Safer At Home home orders began. We had to cancel our farewell Margaritas at Don Cuco’s in Burbank because sharing chips and salsa is on hold down here along with most social interactions.
I miss my friends. I miss getting on airplanes and I miss dropping my four year old daughter Izzy off at school. Her education and exercise needs are far better met by trained professionals. I fear I fall short as her substitute preschool teacher, but mostly we have fun. Izzy is thrilled to have me home giving her heaps of attention. I feel like I’m making up for lost time stuck in edit bays. We craft with glitter, act out stories with her dolls and do fizzling science experiments.
Before the pandemic, I had no idea how much entertainment you could get from a bag of baking soda. But my slow simple life will soon come to an end. I’ve been hired to cut a show called Social Distance that will comment on our current situation while shooting under extreme restrictions. I’m sad to leave Izzy’s playroom, but we’ll strive to bring her joy of spontaneous, messy, sparkly creation into my own.
Hi, I’m Daria Ellerman and I’m a picture editor from British Columbia. Like lots of you, the idea of working hard and then stopping is not unusual. On March 13th, I was at the end of a much needed break with a project booked for the end of March. And within a week we received an email shelving the project indefinitely. By that time I’d already realized the implications of the pandemic on the film industry. And I thought it might be possible I wouldn’t work again this year.
I think having been a freelancer, my entire career has been a huge help. I’ve weathered three economic slowdowns, changes of technology and delivery systems and the cancellation of really great shows we’d all hoped would run for eight seasons. I’m doing as I’ve always done between projects, get more exercise, do those forgotten things around the house, renew friendships and binge watch shows or watch movies I missed seeing.
Granted it is different now, coffee and lunch dates are out the window and email FaceTime and Zoom calls are the way we’re keeping in touch. Staring out the window and drinking coffee is an acceptable way to spend half an hour during pandemic. I text with some editor pals about how much we’re eating. I talked to girlfriends about being with your partner 24/7. About a month into my isolation, I started fretting about work.
What I did was reach out to my agent and to post producers that I’m close with. All of them got back to me quickly, and they were glad to talk about life in isolation and then work. Let’s face it, we really need to talk to work colleagues about work, to really talk about the inside baseball of it. My agent talked about the demand that will be there once production can begin. My post producers talked about how easily we in post could create environments that were safe and how we could even work from home if we had to. These conversations made me feel positive about the future. One thing that I’ve really enjoyed are doing webinars. I love seeing my colleagues talk about what they do and it makes me feel part of a community. Editing, directing, and a class in modern art have inspired and transported me. Many editors are introverts by nature. We don’t mind being on our own, and we’re able to easily get lost in our work. In the absence of work, we need to find projects to channel our decision making skills into.
So, while sorting my son’s childhood Lego collection and listening to Anna Maria Tremonti interview Catherine O’Hara isn’t editing, it does appeal to my visual organization side while making me feel part of a community. Hang in there. We will all be back in a little dark room soon.
Hello, fellow editors and post-production professionals in Canada and all around the world. Zach Arnold here, editor of Cobra Kai, as well as the creator of The Optimize Yourself Program and Podcast. No different than you, my world has also been turned upside down over the last couple of months, and I’m stuck at home with nowhere to go. As a self proclaimed extreme introvert, I have been practicing social distancing pretty much as an Olympic sport since about 2005.
So to be honest, things haven’t really changed for me that much. But in other ways, everything has changed. My family is home all the time, and both my wife and I have become homeschoolers, which definitely makes it harder to do that deep creative work that I love to do so much. And without any editing projects to look forward to in the near future, there is of course, fear of the unknown. What’s coming next? Is there going to be work again?
But if there’s one lesson that I hope to take away from this experience, a lesson that all of us can take from this experience, it’s that realizing there is very little that all of us actually have control over in the world and the best place that we can focus our attention, is on the things that we can control, like how we spend our time, what we can do to prepare for when there are jobs for us again. And most importantly, the kind of people that we want to be at home with our families and our loved ones.
Know that whatever you’re going through right now, you are not alone. Even if you live alone, and you haven’t seen another person for two months, you are not alone. There are literally billions of people experiencing the same anxiety, stress, and uncertainty as you. And we are all going to get through this together. Take care of yourself, forgive yourself for the days that you would much rather watch TV than get something done, and do your best to stay connected to the most important people that are in your life, even if that happens to be through video chat. Stay safe, healthy, and sane, and be well.
Hey everyone, Steve Philipson here from Toronto, Canada. I hope you’re all safe and finding ways of staying healthy and happy. It’s mid May here in Toronto, and we’re still on partial lockdown. While some restrictions are starting to ease, it looks like the film industry will be mostly shut down for a while. Like many of you out there, I’m anxious to get back to work both for financial and spiritual reasons. But since there’s not a whole lot I can do about it, I’m trying to use this time as a sabbatical or a chance to refresh and recharge.
I started working on some writing projects. I’m working with the Canadian Cinema Editors Association, to help get some online events going. I’m getting in shape, spending lots of time with the family, and like everyone I’m baking tons of bread. Anyways. I’m really trying to see this time as a gift. And I hope you can too. Now I know it’s hard not to worry about the future, but I can’t help thinking things are going to work out.
I mean, the fact is people need stories more than ever. And since we’re storytellers, I’m really hoping it’s only a matter of time before we’re back in the editing room or a suitably equipped home office. In the meantime, I hope you can find ways of staying strong and using this little sabbatical as a chance to challenge yourself as best you can. Learn a new skill or tackle a project you’ve been meaning to do, but don’t forget.
We may not know when or how the industry will recover, but we do know that the world needs stories desperately and it needs people like us to help tell them well. So sit tight, stay safe, and I look forward to seeing your work soon in whatever form it takes.
Hello, fellow editors. My name is Jesse Averna. I’m from down south in LA. First off, I want to say, sorry for what you’re going through. This sucks. You deserve better. I think it’s good to admit that. This isn’t some opportunity you’ve bumped into. It’s a crisis. So first and foremost, I hope you are surviving it with your loved ones. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose the time that we’re in, but here’s the good news: we will survive.
I know this is likely the worst patch you’ve been through in maybe your whole life, but humans have been through worse and made it through. You’re here today because someone in your family is a survivor and you will be too. Something that helps me right now: when I can, I make sure to go outside at night and look up at the stars. Since LA skies are so clear at the moment, we have a decent view. I try to think about my place in the universe and in the history of time.
There’s something comforting to me about being reminded how small all of this really is. How brief it is on a cosmic scale, a blink on a piece of dust. I’m in no way trying to trivialize this situation. It’s absolutely awful. But it does help me to zoom out as far as I can sometimes. Anyways, please know that you were loved. And that you’re thought about, even if people don’t reach out as much as they should. Everyone’s wrestling with this in their own way.
I hope too, that you’ve cracked the working from home routine. I’m not there quite yet. And please keep going, keep surviving, look for the positive and the helpers. I’m honored to talk to you all. And I hope that we do get to meet in person when all this is over. Bye.
Hey everyone. My name is Jonathan L, and I’m an editor in Toronto. I just wanted to say, I hope you’re hanging in there. I hope we’re staying safe. I hope you’re staying healthy, these days can get hard. I’ve gotten better at homeschooling my three kids, and I started off the lockdown and I’m failing grade one math. So, I hope you’re doing better than me, if you have young children.
When Ontario shut down, I lost work. So, if you are like me without work, hang in there. The sunnier days on the horizon, I hope you’ve gotten some sort of creative projects that you’re working on. There’s some great resources out there online for anything you want to learn. There’s also a good thing to be said about learning a new craft. I’ve taken the time to try editing with Premiere Pro. I’ve taken the time to try and get into DaVinci grading software, the software’s free, and you can actually learn the fundamentals about it, which is always good.
But for those of you who just want to chill out, one thing that I’ve learned about all of this, is that we’re all running our own race and we’re all dealing with this in different ways. So, if being super productive and super organized and having a plan and tackling it every day is a way that you can deal with this time. Then that’s great. But if you just need to crash on the couch, watch some TV, watch movies or play video games. Then that is totally cool too.
In times like these, I try and draw inspiration from the place I’ve always found inspiration and that’s the movies. I’ll play the clip, it is something that has always inspired me. And it’s from Lord of the Rings. Frodo basically says, “I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.” Which I think we can all sympathize with. Let’s just say the ring is COVID-19.
[film clip audio]
I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.
So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you.
[wnd film clip audio]
So, I choose to use that and try and be positive about it. Stay safe, stay healthy, keep cutting, be creative. And I’ll see you on the other side of this.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
Hi there, it’s Leslie MacKay Hunter.
And Paul Hunter.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
We’re asked to speak about what it’s like editing with the whole COVID-19 situation going on. We’re fortunate in the fact that animation is one of the areas that has continued going on.
Probably if anything is also expanding and picking up speed.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
I happened to be in the middle of a contract when this whole thing went down and I have to say a huge shout out to the IT team, to not only figure out how 400 people were going to work from home, but short of ripping the TV down off the wall, literally sent every element of my studio to me. So, I have a full suite that I’m used to in the studio is all at home and I’m working from home. Thankfully, I’ve been working with this director for several months now and he and I have kind of got an idea of what we’re going for.
So, I was in a unique position that I was between gigs when the whole lockdown happened. So, I had decided that I probably would not be able to find any work. All of a sudden I get a call and it looks like I now will be having a gig as well, because there’s a need for new content. And animation is the only part that can create anything new right now. So, I’m going to be in a unique situation where I’m going to be working with a director that I have never worked with before at a studio that I’ve never worked with before. And I’m going to have to figure out how to communicate and build a relationship while starting this project remotely.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
From a personal level, we’re both very thankful to have a fairly young puppy who has joined our family within the last few months. So she of course requires quite a bit of attention. So, we are getting out for walks with her. We’re trying to make sure we get some physical activity exercise in on a daily basis.
Also working for a home. There is some pros.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
For instance, when I’m having a really busy day, I am very fortunate in the fact my lunch is usually delivered to me.
Con, if you’re the second editor of the couple who gets a gig after the first one has taken over the nice office, you get delegated to setting up your suite in the basement laundry room.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
Pro, we have a four legged stress reliever who likes to sometimes poke her head in and try her paw at editing.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
Con is she’s the hit of our studio. And nobody wants to talk to me on Zoom anymore. Pro you are able to relax the dress code even more so than normal.
Con. I still can’t have boxer Tuesdays.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
We recognize how fortunate we are and we’re staying safe. And I encourage all of you to do what you need to, to just keep your head on straight during this time. Because it’s a weird time. It just really is. So take the time, do what you need to, have a giggle every so often and stay safe.
Take care guys.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
We’ll see you soon.
Leslie MacKay Hunter:
My name is Steve Rivkin and I’m in Los Angeles working on the Avatar Sequels. At a time when the majority of our industry is out of work. Our editorial team is very fortunate to still have a job. In March, our production crew was scheduled to head to New Zealand for the next leg of our live action shooting schedule on the films. A contingent of our editorial department was scheduled to go, myself included, when the national emergency was declared in the US.
The trip was postponed and we went into lockdown like everyone else. The Avatar projects are unique in the sense that a huge percentage of the films are virtual production based on the performance capture of our actors, which wrapped some time ago. We have the ability to play back those captured performances and create shots for the films without the actors present on the stage. Now their virtual characters will be driven by the actors’ captured performances.
Currently, during the lockdown, we are unable to access the virtual stages at Manhattan beach studios to create those camera shots. But fortunately, we have a backlog of scenes to continue to work on remotely from home, and shots and coverage are still being created through alternative methods. Our entire crew of editors and assistants have been equipped with specially-formatted laptops, monitors, and an encrypted password protected path for us to access from home, the Avids and media that are secured in the cutting rooms at the studio.
We are conducting online meetings reviews with editors, assistants, VFX effects supervisors and digital artists. All working from home. The pandemic has forced us to test workflows that I believe will have a lasting impact on our industry and the future of how we work. I think when we get on the other side of this worldwide crisis, a lot of what we’re doing may stick and more and more editors will be working from home in the future. In the meantime, stay well, hopefully we will all be able to safely get back to work soon.
Hi, my name is Pauline Decroix. Salut, mon nom c’est Pauline Decroix, I’m going to share with you what kind of change I faced during this quarantine time. Je vais vous parler un petit peu qu’est-ce qui a changé pour moi dans cette période de quarantaine. Pour moi, de n’ai plus une station de montage à la maison, mais deux. Pourquoi, parce que ma station de montage est sur Mac, et je travaillais sur une série de télé qui était sur PC, alors la production m’a gentiment ramené l’ordinateur de production à la maison. Donc maintenant je travaille sur deux stations différents à la maison. So, what has changed is that I have not only one editing station at home, but two now. My regular one is a Mac and the second one is a PC. I was working before all of that happened on a TV series that was working on a PC platform. So now I’m working on a PC platform from home, thanks to the production company who bought the production computer at home.
What is exciting for me during this special period, I’m fortunate enough to be part of two other projects. Two short docs, working on those, I find myself that I take more time than usual to work on them. And the time allowed me to be more creative, to find more ways to improve my cuts. So, I think I’m going to remember that in the future when we are forced to meet our deadlines. Just to remember that when we give time to creativity, it’s a win-win for the project and for ourselves. Donc, ce que je trouve qui est géniale en ce moment c’est que je prends plus de temps pour travailler sur mes projets. Pas sur la série de télé sur laquelle je travaille à ce moment, mais sur les deux autres courts métrages documentaires sur lesquelles j’ai la chance de travailler. En faite, je prends plus le temps de la réflection. Et du coup ça m’aide à être plus créative et je crois en faite j’essayerais de faire repenser mes productrices, producteurs, réalisatrices, réalisateurs que c’est important de donner du temps à la créativité parce que le projet au finale, sera que plus gagnant. Voilà ça c’est ma petite contribution aujourd’hui. Stay strong colleagues, restez forts collègues. Stay healthy, restons en santé. And we are going to go through that together – et on va passer à travers tout ceci, tous ensemble. So, see you on the other side. On se revoit de l’autre côté. See you on the other side. Bye. À bientôt. Take care.
Hi there, my name’s Scott Parker and I’m a documentary editor in Edmonton, Alberta. I usually work out of producers’ studios and sometimes I rent my own temporary space if I’ve got a lot of different jobs on the go. The rest of the time I work from home. I was pretty lucky that I had a plan to move out of my temporary office on March 15th. Just about the time the COVID shutdown happened. So, now I’m working out of my little basement suite where I also live.
One of my biggest and most rewarding projects has been postponed for a while. I don’t think it will get canceled outright, but if it does, things are going to get pretty tricky. I’ve been spending my time learning new things on Udemy and I’ve taken some social media courses with Hootsuite. I do more and more social media work now. So, learning new skills is good. That’s always good. Even though I’m pretty solitary by nature, being solitary all the time is getting tiring.
I can feel it sort of wearing me down, and I feel stuck. And right now I feel like this is going to be going on forever. But I am lucky because my friends and family are doing fine and I don’t know anybody who’s been sick with COVID. It’s never been easy for us freelancers to make a living in this business. And the whole COVID shutdown has made it that much harder. But it’s going to be over and we’re going to get back to it.
So let’s try and stay sharp and look after each other. And when it’s time we’ll get back at it. We’ll make commercials and music videos and documentary films, and will curse system crashes and client changes and ridiculous deadlines and I look forward to all of that and I wish you all the best of luck.
Hello Sarah and people of the editor’s cut who are listening to this podcast. I think it’s great that you’re taking the time to hear from everybody, so I’ll just keep it brief for myself. This is Jane MacRae. I am a film and television editor living and working in Toronto, Canada. For the last eight weeks or so–however long it’s been, I’ve completely lost track–I’ve been self isolating at home with my husband, a middle school teacher who’s been doing classes from home, and my dog who is mostly incredibly thrilled to have us around so much.
As a freelancer, I am pretty used to uncertainty in my life. I’ve had many periods of time where I’ve not worked for many weeks at a time, sometimes willingly, often unwillingly. So for me, taking this time has not been, I think as stressful as it has been for people in other industries. I am also fortunate that no one around me has been affected directly by the virus. Members of my family who were working are still working and people are healthy, so that’s great.
Here in Toronto, most of the editors that I know I think are not working. So, I feel very fortunate that I actually have been working quite a bit during this period. I had a job at the beginning of the quarantine on a show that had been shot already, so I edited that for a while. Then I had some time off and I’ve just recently started on a new show that’s being produced by a Canadian production company that’s being shot entirely with actors in their homes in lockdown.
I’ve only worked on it for a few days so far, but we have some really, really great cast members, young people who are filming using cell phones at their homes and interacting via Zoom and being directed via Zoom by the director and showrunner. So, I’m pretty excited about the show. I think it should be pretty fun when it all comes together and it’s definitely something that is going to feel unique and very particularly of this time, which I think is important, to kind of remember how we all felt and what we were all going through during this period.
My big hope obviously is that things will ease up, that we’ll be able to start going out seeing our friends and family and also that the industry here in Toronto and in Canada and around the world will get up and operating again. Here we’re very, very reliant on a lot of service productions coming in from the United States and it’s going to be really challenging to see what’s going to happen in the future if travel restrictions continue and just generally if people are feeling nervous about traveling and they might not want to come up here to shoot films or television shows.
So I’m not really sure what’s going to happen, and I just have to take it day by day and keep my fingers crossed that we’re going to be okay. In the meantime, I’ve also been working with the rest of the board of the Canadian Cinema Editors to try and connect people during this time when everyone’s stuck at home. The board has been amazing and worked so hard to put together a lot of online events, creating virtual socials, online masterclasses and talks. We even did a couple of Netflix parties just trying to find ways to get our post-production community to connect and talk with each other and not feel so alone.
I’m really, really proud of all the work that all of our board members, who are all volunteer, are doing during this time. And Sarah, I want to thank you particularly for your work on the Editor’s Cut and taking the time to bring in all these messages from around the world. I hope that everyone is healthy, that everyone remains hopeful and that we can all go back to the business of being creative and being excited about what we’re making as soon as possible. Good luck to everyone and wishing you the best. Thanks.
Hi, this is Ron Sanders from Toronto and I’m in quarantine like everyone else. So, I’m staying home and trying to keep myself amused and a bit sane. FaceTime and Zoom are helping us to keep in touch with family and friends, but after that it’s a long day. I read and listen to music. I play guitar some. I grew a beard and I shaved part of my head. What makes my day more specific is the time I spend playing with my computer.
I have Avid media composer, DaVinci Resolve and Final Cut Pro 10. But I don’t have as much picture media. Few things I have managed to discover though: Media Composer’s new interface accomplishes very little. DaVinci Resolve I just don’t like and Final Cut Pro is pretty much useless for me. Big fail. I also have Garage band and Logic Pro, and a large library of samples and loops. I’m getting into funk drumming. 2020 will be the year of COVID-19, social distancing, and political tap dancing by our various leaders. It will also be the year of all of us doing the best we could. Stay home. Stay well.
Hello, this is Jillian Moul. I’m a documentary editor and ACE member in Los Angeles, California. I’ve been working from home since late last year, so my routine has been much the same since our shelter in place. One difference is that my director, producers, and I collaborate on Zoom meetings. And even though I’m a bit of an introvert, and love to work alone with the footage and the story, when we do collaborate, I prefer to do that in person, which of course isn’t happening right now.
I find virtual meetings to be limiting and strangely exhausting. I’ve rarely gone out since early March. Safety has been a priority, especially since I have asthma, but as cautious as I’ve been, I woke up one day with symptoms that seemed like COVID-19. I got tested two days later and the results came back four days later. Negative. I was relieved, but our tests aren’t very accurate. There are many reports about false negative or false positive results. My symptoms would get better for a couple of days. Then get worse and better back and forth until five weeks later and they’re all but gone. I’ll get an antibody test, but I’ll wait for the Roche test since that one is highly accurate. There are still a lot of questions. What we do know is that our world has changed. Lucky for us in post that technology is such that we can work from home. I hope that you’ll be well and employed in the months ahead. I look forward to the time when my colleagues and I can once again share our stories in person.
Hi everyone. My name is Gillian Truster, and I’m an editor from Toronto. I was working just outside of Vancouver on a TV series when our production shut down because of the virus. I’d only arrived there on March 1st, and was really looking forward to exploring the city since I’d never been to Vancouver before. But within days of my arrival, the news surrounding COVID-19 became progressively more serious. When I told the woman who ran my Airbnb that I was flying home, she said she was so relieved. Knowing I was alone in the city, she had been about to message me to let me know she’d take care of me if I got sick. It’s one of the kindest, most generous things anyone has ever said to me. Since I’ve been back home. I think of this often. It’s a good reminder that while crises can bring out the worst in people, they can also bring out the best. I find myself having a greater appreciation for things I used to take for granted and also having deeper conversations with friends.
Maybe it’s that small talk seems so trivial now in light of the pandemic, or maybe it’s the shared knowledge that we’re all going through some sort of trauma and we’re all listening to each other more. I hope some of that kindness stays long after the pandemic ends. This is a time of great anxiety and uncertainty for all of us, and I find it reassuring to remind myself that this too shall pass. In the meantime, I’m staying connected to family and friends. I think it’s important to check up on them, and nice to be checked up on. Perhaps the world in the new normal will be better than the old normal. I look forward to the day that I can see all your lovely faces again in person. Until then, please stay healthy and safe. Virtual hugs to all.
Hi, ssh listen. It’s the early sounds of spring in Toronto. It’s Paul Winestock and I’ve been asked by the CCE to talk about how the challenging time of the pandemic has affected my days, my time. And of course, I don’t have work right now and I don’t foresee any work too soon and not in the next couple of months. So, I’m just trying to enjoy each day as much as I can giving a bit of purpose with projects. So I’ve been spending time in my garden building a trellis and prepping the garden for the summer season. I do stuff around the house–whatever my meager talents can manage such as painting or little fix ups here and there. And then in the evenings the family gets together and we will do a puzzle or play game, Rummy cubes, Settlers of Catan. We like to attack each other full throttle.
We do some cooking and baking. We’re baking every few nights actually. The carrot cake we learned a lesson that came out raw. The cheesecake brownies were a huge hit. I go down the rabbit hole of YouTube and Spotify and listen to new music and old music. And we’ve been binge watching shows like Bosch and I Unorthodox. And then we’ve gone to older shows like The Wire and re-watching The Wire and Battlestar Galactica, the 2004 version, which was one of our family favorites.
And when we feel like a good silly comedy, we go to HBO, Angie Tribeca, which is like an airplane movie humor, like the movie airplane. It’s great, silly fun. Anyways, I hope everyone is well and healthy, and I look forward to seeing any of you, all of you at an edit facility at a corridor, CCE event sometime in the near future. Thanks for listening.
Hi, this is Sarah Hedar and I’m in Vancouver, BC. Like pretty much everyone else. I’ve been social isolating and although I’m sure the sentiments played out, it hasn’t been a huge stretch for me to spend more time alone given my chosen profession. But despite that, I am looking forward to seeing more friends and family as restrictions ease up and in each phase. And in the meantime, I’ve been catching up on rest and working on some of my own projects and I’ve also been able to take the time to just watch more content and especially trying to see more work from friends and colleagues and peers.
So it’s been pretty great to see the caliber of work that’s out there. And I’ve also been trying to keep track of where our industry is headed in terms of productions resuming, and what that could look like for protocols and budgets and how that’s going to affect post-production. While there’s just so much uncertainty, and just also looking at where I’d like to be when things start to pick up again and if there are any changes to be made there.
I know a lot of people aren’t really getting any time and that things have been really up and down for a lot of folks, and people are just managing a lot. So, wherever anyone is at, I just hope you’re able to find your part and your peace and all this and make it through and I truly wish everyone the best.
Hi, my name’s Mike Munn and I’m a film editor and I live in Peterborough, Ontario. Like most other editors, I’ve been working remotely since the lockdown started in around mid-March and it has obviously a very big downside. There’s nothing like working with people in the same room and interacting in that way, but editing to a degree is conducive to working on your own. And I’m actually looking at this as a learning experience.
I’m trying to look at the upside as a kind of a dry run for doing more of my work remotely in the future because I live in Peterborough and all of my work is out of Toronto. If I can avoid staying in town and commuting into town to work periodically, I’d love to do more of that. I’ve been hesitant in the past just because working out the technical logistics of working at home has always been something I’ve not really looked forward to but I’m being forced to do it now.
So in a way I guess the benefit for me of this whole period is going to be having set myself up at home and learning to work with filmmakers remotely is something perhaps I can do more of in the future. I’m trying to look at the upside of this whole situation and the other thing I would say just in terms of my two-sentence worth with how I keep myself sane and functioning the way I should, for me it’s routine. I’d follow the same routines I would if I was working with other people or going somewhere else to work.
It’s getting up in the morning, getting dressed and isolating myself in the part of the house where my edit suite is and feeling like I’m going to another place and keeping up all the routines I would do when I’m normally editing, which is taking a break periodically and finishing more or less the same time every day. Trying to not work in the evenings too much. For me, that’s always been the way to not burn out or not overdo it. Keep up a regular routine, so anyway, good luck to everyone. This will be over eventually and work will return to normal, so. Okay, bye.
Hi, my name is Michèle Hozer. I’m a documentary editor and filmmaker. In 2017, my husband and I bought a property in Prince Edward County. We had spent the previous year working on a documentary for TVO here, and we fell in love with the place. The plan was supposed to be in about five years from now, I’d be able to have a full time studio and production office here. In the meantime, I was going back and forth from Toronto to the County working mainly in the city during the week.
When the pandemic hit, I realized that I can set up shop full time here in the County. I brought my favorite equipment including a standup desk and started cutting here. Okay. There are challenges working here in the County, notably, a really bad internet. But with a little bit of creativity, I’m able to crunch down files small enough to upload them onto Vimeo and Dropbox. My two favorite tools working remotely. It’s great working here in the County. We’re able to go for long walks and we’re near the lake.
So I’m very grateful to be here. The question remains, what’s going to happen to our industry? I know a lot of people whose productions are on hold because of COVID-19. What’s it going to look like next year at this time? I am optimistic though with the little ingenuity. I think we’ll be able to work around it or at least I hope so. Good luck to us all.
Hi Sarah, it’s Paul Day. Thank you so much for allowing me to be part of this extra special podcast. During this crazy time, I know for myself, keeping busy and cooking and reaching out to as many people as I possibly can has really been a help for me. Friends who I’ve missed and thanks to sort of social media and Instagram, Facebook and Zoom and FaceTime, emails. It’s definitely one of those times that reaching out and connecting with your friends in any capacity is the best medicine I think.
For maintaining creativity, I’ve been playing a lot with Photoshop and learning a little bit about After Effects and watching a lot of videos on the making of things and the editing of things and reading books on the editing and being part of the DGC and the Canadian Cinema Editors. I’ve been able to interview some editors and I was interviewed for some things as well. If it’s a small way of reaching out to people who are just starting off in the business or just for the same simple interest of people who are in the business who want to learn more about what we do and sort of peek inside the trials and tribulations of a cutting room or than where they started. And the multiple levels of appreciation for people that you meet along the way. And the understanding that a career doesn’t happen overnight. A career is built over time and hard work and perseverance and it takes an army to build a career. And I wish everyone the best. My career has always been in the sense of giving back as much as I can because I just think people need opportunities. And they want to see that people care about the next generation. And I think that’s important, more prevalent in post-production because we’re always so isolated away.
And to have editors reach out and talk to people and share their experiences is a good thing. And I think everyone should do that. This COVID experience is yet another chapter in people’s lives, in their careers, whether they’re just starting off or whether they’ve been in it for 20, 30, 40 years. It’s definitely a trying time to think of a more frugal way of living, which I guess we should all do anyways. This too will pass. If somebody’s listening to this and they’re feeling down or they’re feeling low, I encourage them to reach out to friends and just say, “Hey, I’m not feeling well today. Do you have 10 minutes or 20 minutes to have a cup of tea and just chat on the phone.”
But there’s also times to just get outside and walk the dog and enjoy the silence. Thinking about I’m taking the dog for a walk, how quiet it is outside. So I kind of relish in that. And just one day at a time, we will all get through this and we will all get to a point where we’ll look back on this and go, “Gee, we survived this.” So anyways again, this is a great idea for a podcast and I hope I’ve contributed something. And again I can’t thank you enough and the board at the Canadian Cinema Editors for the amount of work that you have all put in to entertain and to inform and to build up the prestige and the fascination that people should have with editorial. You guys definitely have been knocking it out of the park. Take care everybody. We’ll see you on the other side of this. Bye.
Hello, Bonjour. My name is Krystal Moss from Edmonton, Alberta and I’m a bilingual editor here and a new mom to a baby girl that was born this past January. While the pandemic has brought certainly unique challenges to motherhood, my day to day hasn’t changed a whole lot during my maternity leave. I’d love to share with you all some sounds from my home in the hopes that it brings you a little bit of joy today. We’ve got some baby girl gurgles [Baby gurgles].
Here I am dusting off my guitar while baby naps. [Guitar strumming.] And with the help of my downstairs neighbor Ben, here is “Wrap Your Troubles In Dreams and Dream Your Troubles Away.” [Music playing] Take care editors. Remember that the sunshine always follows the rain.
A special thank you to all the editors that took time to share with us today. Thank you to Jane MacRae, Jenni McCormick from ACE, Stephen Philipson, CCE and my auntie Heather Urness for helping inspire this episode. I hope you’re all well and safe. Take care.
The episode artwork was designed by Jane MacRae, music provided by Soundstripe. This episode was mixed and mastered by Tony Bao. If you’ve enjoyed this podcast, please rate and review us on Apple podcasts, and tell your friends to tune in. Til next time, I’m your host, Sarah Taylor.
Subscribe Wherever You Get Your Podcasts
What do you want to hear on The Editors Cut?
Please send along any topics you would like us to cover or editors you would love to hear from:
A special thanks goes to
Jenni McCormick from ACE
Stephen Philipson, CCE
Hosted, Produced and Edited by
Episode graphic designed by
Mixed and Mastered by