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Category: Update

Some brief thoughts on creating creative work

There several dozen half-written and probably twice as many fully-written but never published blog posts scattered across my computer, laptop, Google Drive and various Moleskins. They contain thoughts I’ve had on many post production-related topics that I’ve worked countless hours on. And they’re just sitting there in digital purgatory.

“It’s not good enough.”

“Someone could say that you don’t mention ______ method/shortcut/etc.”

“You aren’t really an expert. Who are you to give advice?”

I could think of endless reasons not to ship each one of them.

Today I was watching some random YouTube video from this guy another YouTube guy I routinely watch recommended. His production quality was low. He knew it. But he said something that struck a nerve with me.

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I Got A New Job!

It’s been awhile since I’ve truly written something for EVF. Actually it’s been awhile since I’ve written much of anything. My writing muscle was burnt out after letting my former daily blog expire and disappear into a digital black hole back in August. Two years of writing and publishing everyday…

Fast forward a quarter of a year later and I’m starting to get the itch again. But where do I write? I’ve always felt that with what I publish on EVF I need to be very calculated and stick to the facts and provide “expert-level” insights at all times. Well, even though I believe myself to be a more-than-successful editor and video professional, I can’t always provide that A+, top-of-the-line content with the tiny amount of time I can commit to EVF.

With that being said, I’m just going to let the words keep on flowing and write a bit about editing and life.

BTW I’m free writing right now. It can be a lot of fun and almost meditative at times. You should try it out if you ever get in a creative funk. Please excuse any typos or poor grammar because I’m just churning out the words.

Recently I took a new full-time position. I haven’t really broadcasted this anywhere. Nick and I recorded a podcast episode the other day where I talked about it some. It hasn’t published yet but should be episode 82. I’m absolutely positive I won’t remember to come back to this post and link it. 🙂

My new position is part editor (let’s call this ~70% of my responsibilities), producer (~20%) and project manager (~10%). Full-time freelancing is officially done. For now. I loved my time freelancing. Loved it. Even the stressful times when I couldn’t guarantee more than a few hundred dollars of work on a given week. I can absolutely see myself going back to that lifestyle too.

This position though was too good to pass up. I enjoy the content, my coworkers and my day-to-day work. Plus the paid time off. Uhhh I’ve missed the paid time off so much. I’m only 8 years into this career. It feels like though that I could always go back to freelancing. And vice versa. Yes, it sucks losing out on some gigs. Last week I had to turn down two projects. My network will take some sort of hit. As a professional though I think we should always be working on and building our networks. I recorded this fantastic Command+Edit episode with my friend and fellow editor Rhonda Thain if you want to hear me talk more about it.

I still have a couple small projects I’m working on on the side. And a couple pet projects I want to take on. The experience of running my own company, getting an LLC, doing my bookkeeping each week, having a real accountant, cold emailing, warm calling, invoicing and just overall doing many, many uncomfortable things have made me a better editor, professional and person.

Remember, I’m still free writing here so I know I’m about to lurch into a new topic like an unexpected jumpcut.

The software I’m using now is relatively the same. I’m in Premiere probably 60% of the time. Media Composer 30% of the time. And After Effects and Photoshop round out the rest. I’m rocking Premiere 2017 on most projects with the hopes that no one accidently updates to 2018 forcing me to update as well. And MC is on version 8.5.2. It’s a little behind and I miss some of the cool new features I’ve been seeing but it definitely still gets the job done.

Okay last topic before cutting myself off.

Next month I’m headed out to Los Angeles for the first time! Crazy, right?! How have I never been? I’m pumped. I know I mentioned it in a somewhat recent Video Editor’s Digest but again for anyone out there I’m thinking of doing a small happy hour. Seriously small. Like 4-6 of us max. If you want to join shoot me a message.

Thank you for indulging me and letting me get some stuff off my chest. If like this kind of post — more chatty, less instructional — let me know. Or let me know if you hate it and I should stick to basic little video tutorials like this one which somehow has 100,000+ views. Wut?

That’s it from me. Til next time…

– Josh

The Office Life — Command+Edit Podcast Episode 78

 

Hey there!

Nick and I are back together for a conversation about the differences, pros, cons, productivity levels, emotions, etc. between editing from a conventional office and your home office.

We also catch up and recap my recent trip up to Toronto to visit Nick and meet him IRL for the first time. Hope you enjoy!

If you enjoyed this conversation and want to stay in touch whenever I come out with a new post / podcast / video / newsletter / etc. you can go here to signup. No spam. Ever. Just the good stuff 🙂

– Josh

May 2017 | EVF Recap

I took this picture of my dog the other day. It appears though that she stole my phone and took a selfie. I swear the world would be a better place if dogs could use phones and we could text our dogs while we were out of the home.

It was the last day in month of May in the year two thousand and seventeen. Alone in a cold edit bay on a warm sunny afternoon an editor watches a blue bar slowly move from left to right inside of a gray box. 47 minutes remaining. He thinks to himself, “I’ve been wanting to write on my business’ blog for weeks but haven’t found the time or self-awareness to actually do it. Maybe now’s a good time to try.”

And here we are. If I haven’t lost you yet I’d like to take the next thousand or so words to talk about what’s been going on with EVF, the podcast and my freelance editing work.

The online comedy show I’ve been working on for the past several months recently launched! The only editing left to do is a small change in one of the later episodes and the creation of some more marketing material for them. This project is so. darn. close. to being done.

Let’s have some #realtalk for a moment. I’ve been so close to this project that I find it really difficult to share it with the world. All I see is imperfections, shots I wanted reshot and lines of dialogue I want changed. But deep down I know it’s pretty darn good and about as good as I was ever going to get it based on the constraints I was working under. Warning: the comedy show is definitely PG13. Here’s their website where you can watch the first two episodes. (yes, I’m still terrified to share my work. I believe most editors get the same way too)

Here’s some more #realtalk. I screwed up my 2016 taxes. I thought I had nailed it back on April 15th. However I met with an accountant to talk about 2017 and while going through 2016 he found two fairly significant screw-ups. And they’re probably going to cost me a couple thousand dollars. Whoops. But we’re sorting it out and it’s better to get it done right than risk getting dinged later down the road. Needless-to-say I’m disappointed. It’s a learning experience that I’ll grow from though.

I was meeting with the accountant because I’m getting an LLC for my freelance business (which EVF will eventually reside under) and I wanted to see how my accounting would work with my new business. That’s when we discovered my mistakes in 2016. Anyway, back to the LLC. Getting an LLC is something I’ve been putting off. Why? It’s completely foreign to me. I hate things like legal paperwork (but who doesn’t?). As my freelance business matures I need to protect myself, “legitimize” myself and set it up in a way it can continue to grow. BTW, if you’re interested in the process for setting up an LLC let me know as I’m considering writing about my experience with it.

Oh, May marked the 1-year anniversary of going fully freelance. Woo!

Enough freelance. Let’s talk about the podcast.

This month’s episodes:

  • Command+Edit Episode 72: Nick and I interview Niel Guilarte of the All Things Post podcast about his documentary The Messengers that he directed and edited.
  • Command+Edit Episode 73: I interview David Colantuoni of Avid to discuss Media Composer | First
  • Command+Edit Episode 74: Nick interviews Mae Manning about unique journey from bartender to successful editor

We currently have two interviews booked for June. One is with an editing educator about their time teaching editing overseas and the other is with a screenwriter.

In Command+Edit Episode 73 (above) I chatted with Avid about their upcoming Media Composer | First release. MC | First is basically a free, lite version of Media Composer. It sounds perfect for anyone interested in learning Media Composer but might not be ready to pull the trigger on a year-long subscription without first getting to know Media Composer a bit better (because let’s face it, Media Composer is a tough software to learn). I’m [highly] considering taking a dive deep into MC | First and creating some training material around it. However it depends on if there’s enough demand. If you’re remotely interested in MC | First and using resources (guides, courses, tutorials, blog posts, etc.) that I create to help you learn it, I’d really like to hear from you. All you have to do is reply to this email.

Here on the EVF website you may have noticed I switched themes! However in the process I accidentally deleted my homepage. Oops. I don’t mind because I wanted to overhaul it anyway. I’ll be doing some other minor updates around the site while I continue the painful process of switching hosting companies as well. All I want to do is create videos and write helpful things on the internet and it feels like there’s always a thousand other obstacles standing in the way!

Anyway, thank you so, so much for reading. Please give me a shout if there’s anything you’re struggling with and you think I could help or if you just want to chat post or baseball or dogs or travel or anything. 🙂

Cheers,
Josh

April Update for EVF

It’s been awhile since I’ve just sat down and written. I’m through with my third cup of bad Keurig coffee, this export from Media Composer has another 20 minutes and a blank page is in front of me so why not give this a shot?

I’ve been “gone” from Edit Video Faster officially since February 12th. Since then I:
  1. Turned 30 years old,
  2. Went to Spring Training,
  3. Recorded a handful of fantastic Cmd+Edit podcasts,
  4. Started a practice of learning a new language (Vietnamese) and
  5. Been working my tail off seemingly 25 hours a day with freelance work.

Life just has. not. stopped. I’m sure you can relate.

#Freelancelife has been ever-consuming. I try to squeeze in an hour here and there. Go out for happy hour or dinner with friends then head to my iMac when I get back to make a quick revision and let something export overnight. This isn’t me complaining or whining. Quite the opposite. It’s kinda fun in a weird way.

Over the past 2ish months I’ve started a handful of small projects and, more importantly, two really big projects. The first large project is a massive training course in the healthcare field. Approximately 80-100 1-minute videos. Phew… FWIW I’m working in Premiere. This was my call and it’s odd to say that I choose Premiere over Media Composer. Why? Let’s admit it. Premiere still handles mixed media a lot better than MC, or at least it’s easier to get it in the NLE so you can begin cutting right away. My client is sending me all sorts of images, GIFs, .mpeg2s, .mp4s, .mp3s, etc. Everything is a different size or frame rate. Premiere just lets me edit. ::ducks under desks::

For this project I have to deliver a handful of videos each week. I’m maybe 25-30% done at the time of this writing.

The other big project is a comedy show! Which I don’t know how much I can talk about! So I’m just going to say that I have six episodes to cut along with all the marketing material. Currently one and a half episodes have been cut and we want to launch in early May. ?

In the coming weeks I’ll also be working on getting an LLC for my freelance business (which EVF will probably ultimately rest under). That’ll be an adventure in itself; or at least I’ve convinced myself that it will be. I’m thinking of writing a post on my process of getting an LLC. Would something like that interest you to read?

The next several weeks are going to be how the previous weeks were. Jam-packed with freelance work and life. Which is fun and interesting and TBH thrills me to be in the middle of. I just wish I had more hours in the day to commit to my other projects like this one or new projects I want to pursue. I’m attempting to figure it out though, as we all are.

I’m still unsure if or when I’ll be back with any regularly scheduled content here on EVF but I’m always here for you if you need anything.

– Josh

Stepping Away from Edit Video Faster

As I write this it’s 4:39am. I’ve been up since 4:00am fighting heartburn. Is it from dinner? Is it from last night’s whiskey? Is it because I’m turning 30 tomorrow and this is what getting older feels like?

I’ve been attempting to write this post for months but haven’t been able to find the words. I can’t think of a better time than the present to try though.

Over the past two and two thirds years I’ve spent several thousand hours of my life dedicated to Edit Video Faster. Check out this massive archive page I recently build as proof. This site or business, whatever you’d call it, is a very large part of me and who I am. I love it dearly and want to see it grow into something much greater than what it is now. However I’ve reached a point in my life and in my career that the hours I spend on EVF and the many more hours I spend stressing about the never-ending to-do list I’ve created for myself around EVF are not in alignment with where I’m trying to take said life and career.

All the stress around what I want to build and actually building it are taking a toll on me. I feel it every morning when I write out my most important tasks of the day. I feel it all day as I work on and for my freelance business. I feel it every evening when I’m trying to spend time with my wife and dog. I feel it every night lying in bed realizing I didn’t get this or that project moved forward at all today. And it hurts. It hurts so bad and it’s my fault.

Regardless of blame or why, I’m incredibly sorry. I feel that I need to step away, temporarily but indefinitely, from Edit Video Faster to regain the perspective and motivation I need to continue to build EVF into the honest, thorough resource for video editors that I want it to be and that you deserve.

What does that mean? Well, not a whole lot since I can’t seem to finish any project for EVF anyway!! (Just kidding, but a little self-deprecating humor felt needed)

But for real, what does that mean?

Some, but a lot less content. One of my priorities for this break is to take the pressure to create wayyyyyy down. No deadlines. No broken promises. I want to create how I used to create for EVF…organically and about whatever was inspiring me at that time instead of creating based on some arbitrary content schedule I set up for myself months prior. That’s the system I’m currently working under that is not working.

My plan is still to continue to write blog posts, send out newsletters and create video tutorials but when the mood strikes. I don’t want to publish a newsletter because I publish a newsletter every week. I want to publish a newsletter because there’s news that you should know about!

The video editing podcast I co-host, the Command+Edit Podcast, will not be affected. My daily blog, Short On Beer, will not be affected. EVF’s coaching services will still remain running but on a more limited schedule.

There’s a 100-mile long backlog of projects, tasks and to-dos I need to carefully inventory. Taking this time off, whether it’s for a few weeks or a few months, will hopefully allow me the time and perspective to reorganize them in a way that will be the most meaningful for you and in a way that’ll allow me to actually complete them.

At the end of the day (btw, I hate the phrase) I want to be able to create more and better stuff for you, focused around your growth as an editor. The current state of how I’m doing this is not working. If you’re ever in need, have questions or just need someone to talk post (or baseball) with I’ll still and will always be here for you. Just shoot me a message here.

Cheers,
Josh

PS: I’ll still be active on Twitter and Snapchat. Please say hi to me there if you haven’t before!

Straight Up Hard Work

I had to fire up my 11-year-old PowerBook G4 laptop in order to find this picture. Can’t believe that thing still works.

I had just turned 18. I was covered in a cold sweat from the February gymnasium air. I had my red, white and blue wrestling singlet on. My black Nike mesh shorts. My Asics black and white wrestling shoes tied way too tight like always. My headgear laid on the floor next to me as my head laid even lower.

A few minutes before I had lost my second match in the Virginia AA Wrestling Regionals. That meant I was out of the tournament and my four years of varsity wrestling was over. My 119lb body, which was north of 140lbs back in November, that could run 7 miles without being winded suddenly felt worn out.

As I sat on that floor so many emotions and memories ran through me. Anyone who has every knowingly competed in a sport for their final time can relate. When you are that deep into something you feel complete.

The amount of effort I put into wrestling was astronomical. Running literally an uncountable amount of laps in the hallways before practice. Up-downs. Monkey rolls. That stupid circle from Vision Quest where you got up and ran around all the guys laying down then the next guy got up where in my junior year one of the seniors accidently stepped on my ankle which was the only time I ever had to go to the trainer but I sucked it up and wrestled the rest of the season on it even though it was probably severely sprained or worse.

At that moment as I sat on that hard gym floor, my back against the cinder brick wall, I told myself I’d never do something like that to myself again. It felt like I was the most tired 18-year-old on the planet.

Sitting there felt like an eternity when it was probably less than a minute before my dad walked over. He nudged me with his foot. I looked up. “Want some pizza?” he asked.

I bit into my second slice of lukewarm Papa Johns off of the white paper plate we got at the concession stand in the hallway of a high school in Orange, VA. Never again I told myself.

Fast-forward, jump cut, wipe or cross-dissolve your way 12 years into the future. At almost 30 I consider myself successful. I’m college educated. I run a steady self-employed company. I write on multiple websites, podcast, have a fledgling YouTube channel, have the best wife and dog in the world, travel the world on occasion, get to see friends and family whenever I want, have no health concerns and overall a pretty happy guy.

Why does it feel like there’s constantly something missing?

I could be wrong. I could be 100% wrong about this whole thing. But I think I know what’s missing and it’s on that gym floor in the middle of Nowhere, Virginia lying next to my wrestling headgear.

It’s not the wrestling mat. It’s not sprawls or takedown drills or pushups (even though I still do at least 50 a day). It’s that all-in dedication to doing straight up hard work.

No one, at least no one I can imagine, vomits in the hallway trashcan after writing a blog post or recording a podcast. This stuff is still straight up hard work but of another kind.

Anyone can find 15 a day to write a blog post and publish it everyday for a year and a half like I have on my other site. That’s difficult and takes a hell of a lot of dedication. But it’s not like the straight up hard work that went into wrestling.

Anyone can find an hour or two a week to write a newsletter and cut a quick tutorial. It’s scary to put yourself out there to the world like that. But it’s not like the straight up hard work that went into wrestling.

What’s like wrestling is completing this massive list of unfinished projects or projects I haven’t even begun that I stare at everyday.

I haven’t been doing straight up hard work for you and I’m sorry. I can blame those early mornings before school sitting in the sauna at the community center a county over in order to cut weight. I can blame those offseason bleacher runs. I can blame any number of things or memories or the residual pain left in my right shoulder from this one match that took everything out of me but I won 2-1 in overtime, securing a tournament win for my team.

I haven’t been doing straight up hard work for you and I’m sorry.

I have no action plan. I have no idea where to begin. Outside of completing the above massive list of projects I don’t know what straight up hard work for Edit Video Faster even looks like. But I know it’s something that I have to do in order to feel whole, to feel complete again.

I’d love for you to stick around for this journey. If you’re new around here I recommend starting here.

If you have any thoughts to share or old wrestling stories leave them in the comments below or send me a private message here.

– Josh

Written Saturday January 7th, 2017 at 2:10am.

Okay, one more picture. I can’t help myself.

Making the Jump to Freelance

Hey there! In this vlog I talk about making the jump to becoming a freelance video editor. I talk about what’s going through my mind, how scary it is to become a freelancer and why I’m making this leap.

If you’re an editor, freelancer or not, I’d love to get your thoughts on this topic!

If you want to stay in touch and follow my progress make sure you’ve entered your email address here.

And if you ever have a question or just want to talk editing shoot me an email — josh@editvideofaster.com.

– Josh

Catching Up

 

Catching Up

It’s been one of those weeks for me when it feels like the deck is stacked against you. Literally every move you make is countered with one that puts you an extra step backwards. Phew. Since this is the case I’d like to just write about what’s on my mind instead of getting into nitty gritty software details. This gives me a chance to let you into my life a bit and into some of the ideas and goals of Edit Video Faster. Is that cool?

This week I’ve dealt with a hectic shoot (understatement), a serious health issue with a parent, out of town travel for work, and the Internet and TV being down to name a couple things. I’m not looking for a pity party. I know you’ve probably dealt with and regularly deal with worse than this. I’m just giving you context because the last thing on my mind is recording a new tutorial or working on EVF’s upcoming Media Management Fundamentals in Avid Media Composer course.

I’m one of those people who likes to run a million miles an hour in 12 different directions. Last year I decided to try to lower the amount of directions. I got it down to maybe 7 by stopping to coach baseball (which I will do again one day), quitting side projects like a fantasy sports website I was doing with my best friend and almost completely stopping to blog about beer. This allotted more time to focus on the projects I wanted to be focusing on, Edit Video Faster being the main one. Well, somehow I’ve gotten back into old habits and now it feels like I’m running in 15 different directions.

It’s so darn difficult to say no to these endeavours. Each one feels like it’s important but I think in order to save my bleeding bloody I might need to sever a limb in order to save the rest of it. And hopefully that limb will grow back… (too graphic??). Oh, don’t worry. I’d be severing limbs in order to save EVF. I’m not going anywhere! More on this in a minute.

EVF has always been a experiment on if I can help fellow editors get better at their craft while supplementing my income doing it. Each month this site makes around $10-$15 total between Amazon, the Quick Transitions Bin and a couple other penny-making projects. It costs about $20 a month to host it and the shopping cart. I guess I’m failing at the latter objective. However the first goal, helping fellow editors, is going fantastic IMO. I got an email from Zach two weeks ago that I have starred in my inbox. Since then whenever I’m needing some encouragement to work on a tutorial or post or email newsletter at 10:30PM on a Thursday (like right now) I open it up and it gives me that little bit of motivation to keep going. Thank you, Zach.

As a kid my mom always thought I’d become a teacher. Like any stubborn boy I automatically rejected what my mom thought. I didn’t become a teacher in the traditional sense. But somehow between teaching Tae-Kwon-Do in my teens, coaching baseball in my 20s and now mentoring video editors in my late-20s…I gotta admit she might have been right.

Back to the I’m not going anywhere thing. Something I hate is investing time into something/someone and they disappear. This happens all the time on the Internet. I get hooked on a podcast and after 25 episodes they’re gone. I invest hours reading posts by a blogger then they trickle posts out once a quarter (that’s very hypocritical of me because of what I did with my beer blog, whoops). This stuff happens and I get it but it doesn’t make me hate it any less.

June will be two complete years working on EVF. In no way do I feel myself slowing down. In fact, I only see myself and EVF ramping up more and more! This is great news for you. While I used to post 2ish times a month, I’m now at a steady once a week mark. I will miss a week every once in awhile (this week it nearly happened) but for the most part I’m pretty spot on. What I’m getting at is that I’d like you to trust me when I say that Edit Video Faster is not going anywhere and I have plans to build this thing for years. You can invest your time in growing as an editor with me. As I learn and struggle and overcome I’ll pass that insight to you as often and as thorough as I can.

The last sip of my beer is gone. I’m wiped out and need to hit the sack. Thanks for letting me ramble on a bit this week instead of focusing our normal video editing topics. If you liked this kind of post and want me to do them more often let me know in the comments below. If you’re new around here I promise I’ll dive deep into video editing, software tricks and tips and tons of other goodies to make you a better editor very soon. I’d love for you to stick around for it and you can do that by going here.

I’ll see you on Sunday with a new Video Editor’s Digest!

Josh

Quick Update!

Hey!! I hope you had a happy, wonderful and filling Thanksgiving. I just want to send a quick update to you to let you know what I’m up to.

First off, how do you like the Media Composer Keyboard Shortcut Lessons so far? 1-4 are posted and I’m hard at work with Lesson 5.

So here’s the thing. Even though Lesson 5 is probably 85% done you won’t be seeing it or me too much for a couple weeks. Why? Well I’m headed to Japan and South Korea!!

I don’t want to rush finishing up Lesson 5 because it means a lot to me that these lessons are thorough and the best I can make them. I’m targeting December 14th as when Lesson 5 will be out.

Until then 1) you can go listen to my podcast. Nick should be uploading a new episode in a couple days! And 2) you can follow me on Twitter to see some awesome pictures of Japan and South Korea!

Sayōnara!

– Josh