New editing policies

Dude. I just saw the “final cut” of a music video I worked on, which let’s just say I will not be adding to my portfolio.

NEW RULES (mostly for unpaid projects):

  1. listen to the song before agreeing to edit a music video. Editing a song  you wouldn’t normally listen to is painful.
  2. do not edit work which will be re-edited afterwards. I just finished a music video, at one point working 26 hours on a week where I was also working my 40-hour-a-week day job.
    • When I was done, the DP got to it and put some stupid shit in the beginning, basically because it looked pretty. If he had asked me to do it, I could have at least sync’d it to the music
    • the DP also added a bunch of crossfades which make my cuts look messy and no longer sync to beats in the music. This is fucking bullshit. Now I look like a sloppy editor!
    • Many of my cuts are replaced with alternate clips, for what I can only assume are aesthetic decisions.  I have no idea.  I have the feeling they happened at the last minute, but at this point it was out of my hands.  The result is now my emphases on close-ups of the singer MOUTHING THE WORDS PERFECTLY IN SYNC THANK YOU are now gone!

What’s jacked is I complained to the director about these issues when I saw the new cut.  I even offered to cut it back to the more precise version.  The director said no, this is the way I want it.  He did, however, give me the option of removing my name from the video.  But this is a free gig.  So now I’ve put in something like 40 hours for no money, and now no credit.  That is lame.  I supposedly can’t even use it for my portfolio, since my cut is not the “official” cut.

Now what’s especially jacked is people warned me in advance against working with this DP for exactly these reasons.  Some of the local filmmakers I really respect actually refuse to work with him. I could deal with his attitude, but if it means he also messes with my work, that’s where I have to draw the line.  It’s not really personal, it’s self-preservation.

This is like when I directed a flailing short project with a producer everyone told me was insane. Her director had quit in preproduction. I figured it was just him being flaky. How bad could crazy producer be?

That turned out to be a major mistake.  A couple people on the crew ended up thinking I was not fun to work with because of that shoot.  The producer, whose name you will note I am not mentioning, slagged me to all her friends.  I ended up working with all of them later on other projects and made friends, even the crazy producer, but she is still crazy and I obviously won’t be working with her again.

I’m used to dealing with borderline personalities, so I guess I don’t really take people too seriously when they tell me to not work with certain people. Maybe I should listen up.

Then again maybe I should still rely on my personal judgement and experience.  I’m still building my network of filmmakers; I can’t really afford to decide not to work with people based on hearsay.  And most of the especially dysfunctional film crews end up self-destructing before the work is finished, so it’s not like there is much I’ve worked on out there that really, really sucks.