My first big screw-up as a video editor

My first big screw up as a video editor

It’s October 2009. I’d been at my first job out of college for a couple weeks. My post production experience consisted of a handful of school projects. And Avid Media Composer? The software was still completely foreign to me. I had been using it a bit and reading the manual since starting my job but still didn’t understand why NOTHING MOVED WHEN I CLICKED IT ON THE TIMELINE! All that FCP7 training for nothing…

There are a couple things you should know about where I was working. First, we created training videos for a specific industry. Second, we were a non-profit. That means we kept as much as we could in-house. When we didn’t have to hire out for a professional voiceover (VO) artist we used one of our people. And third, we captured our VO into Avid Media Composer through a mixer into an Adrenaline.

So there I am. It’s 8:30am and I’m in “Avid 5” (my glorified closet) running an XLR cable from our sound booth (another glorified closest). The senior editor asked me to record a script with our VO person while she was off that day so she could start on it first thing when she got back. She ran me through the drill the day before. Plug XRL cable into the mixer. Turn on phantom power. Turn off speakers. Plug in headphones. Open Avid. Open VO bin. Ctlr+7 to open the Capture Tool (I was on a PC back then). Name the clip. Pull up faders. Mic check. Okay, I can hear the VO person. The levels on the mixer are lighting up. Hit record. Check for blinking red light in the Capture Tool. Wow…I did it!

Fast forward some two hours and 50 pages of script later.

Our VO person finishes the last line. I stop the capture. The master clip appears in the VO bin. I quickly save the bin and take a deep breath in relief. I wrap up the cable and put away the “Quiet Please” signs. I grab my second cup of coffee and settle back into my edit bay.

I double-click the master clip of the recording session to start editing out the bad takes. I press the spacebar to play the clip and silence…

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