Q3 2022

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AN EARLY CAREER IN AEROSPACE REACHED A HIGHER ALTITUDE IN EDITING UP AND AWAY Noel A. Guerra. P H O T O : C O U R T E S Y N O E L A . G U E R R A By Noel A. Guerra A s a c h i l d , I w a s o v e r w h e l m e d with shyness and often isolated. I found comfort in the intricate- ly woven worlds within literature, music, and television. Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Queen, Van Halen, Norman Lear, and Gene Roddenberry were some of my earliest influences. "Star Trek" was a particular fa- vorite of mine because of my fascination with aerospace. I recall frequent trips to Moffett Federal Airfield in Northern Cali- fornia to watch the Blue Angels when they came to town. After high school, a family friend got me an interview at the aerospace giant McDonnell Douglas, and I jumped at the opportunity. It was the best of two worlds, combining my love for aerospace with a job with great benefits. Rather than abandon college, I carried a full load of classes and my full-time job. Eventually, it became too much, so I left school to focus on a career in aerospace. Unfortunately, the industry be- came unstable and I was swept away during a round of cutbacks. With no direction or college degree, a close friend who knew my love for television and music suggested I go back to school for radio/television. I re-enrolled; however, this time my approach to school was as serious as working a job, an outlook I devel- oped during my career in aerospace. I was focused and determined, traits I picked up from my mother, Sandy. One day, the owner of a production company gave a presentation at my college and offered to interview some of us in the Radio/TV program for a PA position at his company. During my interview I talked… a lot…perhaps too much. I was excited and hopeful at potentially taking my first step at reinventing myself professionally and doing so in a creative field. I got the job. This job would be an important first step with a "real world" professional education. The staff was comprised of several highly experienced on-air radio deejays from whom I was determined to learn everything I could. I learned how to record and edit VO sessions and music for broadcast using the Roland DM-80 system, and how to edit picture on ¾ inch tape using the Grass Valley editing system. Because it was a smaller company, I was able to work both in the field and post. I also worked live television events as a camera assistant. Editing, however, became my focus and I was excited with this new way to express myself creatively. In 1995, I was given an opportunity to record sound on an EPK with Eddie and Alex Van Halen. It can be disappointing to meet one's heroes, but not in this case. They were incredibly kind; a highlight was speaking with Eddie about music and guitars. Meet- ing a childhood hero, someone who had worked so hard in their profession, inspired me to become "something more" and to have loftier professional goals and work hard to achieve them. This was a pivotal moment for me. Knowing the importance of expanding my relatively small circle of employers — I begged (literally) a college friend for a job in Hollywood and landed at Unitel Video as an Avid Technician. This would be the literal definition of "fake it until you make it." Working for many years with A/B roll editing systems, I was blown away with the new – at least, new to me -- technology. I worked day and night to become knowl- edgeable with Media Composer 6.5 (AVR 77 using 9 gig RMAGS) and the Lightworks editing software. As my knowledge grew, 20 C I N E M O N T A G E U N I O N M A D E SEE PAGE 52

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