MPSE Wavelength

Spring 2020

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M OT I O N P I CTU R E S O U N D E D I TO R S I 35 of necessity, budget, or by choice. This has become a natural part of our professional workflow, in isolation but still in community. The current type of isolation can give us an opportunity not only to reflect on our own self and what is really important but also embrace a caring and sensitivity to others and the bottom line; as my grandmother Ida, used to say, "…the most important thing we have is our health." Since our working remotely may be with us for some time to come, it allows for greater insight of what it means to collaborate in a very personal way. While this seems contradictory, there is something I've found to be unique about it. Much of our work in post production has for many years been at the expense of quality time with our families and friends and time to build relationships. Ironically, the lockdown and working remotely may in some ways improve our quality of life and even at-home relationships. For some, loss of connection requires reaching out through resources such as Zoom galleries. I have started this with some colleagues and find that we connect now even more. 5. PL: You wrote the book on music editing: Music Editing for Film and Television: The Art and the Process. Would you care to speak a little on how that project came to pass? SS: Thank you for asking. A while back, a friend loaned me a book by Milton Lustig, Music Editing for Motion Pictures, written in 1980 and it seemed to me it was a good time to open up the professional craft of music editing, incorporating current technologies and workflows specifically using Pro Tools and yet maintain those behind-the- scenes essential professional skills of the work. I wrote what I imagined to be an introduction to the book, essentially off the top of my head and submitted for review with the Focal press's film acquisitions editor. After reviewing my application, they declined. Then after a few months I noticed in the trades the name of the acquisitions editor for the same publisher but dealing with music. I reached out to her and she suggested I send it to the editor overseeing the film publications. Laughing to myself and relaying to her that that gentleman declined, she re- considered. I sent my application, now including a full chapter for review and she returned with multiple positive replies. After signing a contract, it took close to two years to write. The book has done well. 6. PL: Lastly, I know you have a strong commitment to education. Would you care to speak a little about your endeavors in that area and also about the steps one would take if they are interested in getting into this field? SS: I believe that diversification is often in the best interest for our careers in these creative arts. In addition to teaching Pro Tools and becoming an ACI, I developed a brick-and-mortar music editing class that I taught at UCLA Extension, Musicians Institute, and Video Symphony. I found there is great satisfaction and joy in sharing our craft and experiences with students and young professionals entering the field. I know anyone who has been in this work a long time have many unique stories and experiences and others learn from their sharing, both their challenges and successes. This is the kind of learning, through mentoring or informal sharing that speaks at a depth so important for insight into these careers. My endeavors into education also created opportunities to be on many panels, do workshops, and presentations about music editing. Along the way, many students of post production and composers I have taught often ask the question, "How do I get into the field of music editing?" As anybody would tell you, there is not one clear path and as with any creative and technically specific career, there are many angles that can lead toward the goal. Learning the technology is only a small part of the successful career puzzle. One must learn the language of post production. Critical to post production and music are the interpersonal relationships you build. I have worked on many projects and different work environments over the years, and found that trust is a key part of those relationships and success. The Hollywood industry and others are built around trust. There is so much fear of failure around investments in films, television, and other media, everyone including the assistant, editor, and directors need to feel they can trust you. With this in mind, your work ethic, technical skills, and people skills are most important. Moving forward, I encourage students to jump in with both feet, learn as much as possible, meet as many people as possible, be enthusiastic, but not arrogant and be open to wherever their journey will take them. Those relationships are also essential for thriving in the field. Whether it is mentoring the next generation, covering for a colleague, reaching out for advice or supporting one another when work is slow, our nurturing of relationships is key to a meaningful career in the field. PL: Some great thoughts… Thank you, Steven! "While most music editors come from a composer or musician background, a successful music editor can supersede that training and tap into their musical and film sensibilities."

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