I was sitting at the editor’s lounge sipping a cup coffee trying to keep myself awake after enduring a not-a wink-of sleep one week editing marathon when one of the editors I worked with sat beside me. Mr. Editor has been friendly with me since I started working for this company, if not over friendly. But hey, I tend to like everybody I meet until they piss me off.
” Editor A won’t work with me. I think he is jealous of me.” he declared looking forlorn. ” He asked Mrs. Supervisor to remove me from the project.”
Now us editors get paid by the number of hours we edit a tv show, music videos, documentaries or video presentations. If you are really good at your job and don’t think sleep is important then you’ll earn a lot of money in a short time. If a producer offers you to edit a daily or weekly program as the master editor then you hit the jackpot. No need to worry when the next project is coming along. Plus you get to choose who you work with. Most of us relied either on our skill or charm to get signed up for a job. Some producers feel better working with one editor over another. Efficiency regardless.
So back to Mr. Editor. I knew what he was getting at. I was sleep deprived for one week because I was working on a new tv show launching in two days. It was a daily show. And I was the master editor. I already selected the editors I would be working with and discussed their corresponding editing schedules with Mrs. Supervisor. I knew Mr. Editor wanted me to include him. I also noticed that yes Editor A have some kind of an attitude problem. So I felt sorry for Mr. Editor and I also thought his editing skill was up to par. He might be of help to me. How wrong was I.
The pilot episode of my new daily show was a success when we first aired it on tv. We got the highest tv rating for that day compared to the other tv programs in the same network. The editing was flawless, remarked the Master of Master editors. The producers and the CEOs were ecstatic. But the pressure was escalating for me and my team. We needed to whip up the same amount of effort with less amount of time everyday.
Being an OCD editor (obsessive compulsive disorder) is not a disadvantage but a must. One typo can get you fired. How often did I cringe when I watched my work finally showing on television. My heart palpitated every time. Watching out for a jump cut ( when you don’t cut the video properly and one frame gets in between frames), a bad dissolve or a spelling typo. These kind of errors that I might have neglected to check give me nightmares when finally I am able to sleep. To avoid those I went over each videos as much as I can or as much time allowed me to. For this particular program I designed a uniformed look through out the one hour show. Subtlety and neatness added an elegant touch to this otherwise tacky tv series. I could not emphasize these enough to my co-editors who were working on each fifteen minutes content of the program. The four of them would edit one video each and I would then whisk the whole thing together for the perfect finish. Sounds easy? Most of the time I ended up re-editing all of the videos, embed graphics and if I was really unlucky lay in the musical scoring as well . I would be working until only a minute is left before the show needed to air on tv. I could not even excuse myself to pee. Waiting outside were producers who were ready to be wheeled to a hospital suffering from a heart attack. One almost did. I am talking millions of money flushing down the drain if we don’t get the show on tv on time. The show’s sponsor spots were filled. It takes very little to alienate the advertisers.
Mr. Editor started working with us and decided that he was better than all of us and that his fifteen minute video should stand out. So he peppered the frames with flashy wipes and mtv-ish transitions. Transitions are graphic designs we used to change from one scene to another. Sometimes if he was in a generous mood he’ll put color tints on scenes regardless if it was appropriate but just because, hey man, it’s cool. Rad. High five.
Needless to say my blood pressure skyrocketed every time I would receive his videos. Yes, more coffee please but instead of sugar mixed it with Redbull.
When a batch of interns descended upon us, I hit the roof. One night on his shift I saw him curled in a sleeping bag with an intern doing his job. He got a sound lashing from my coffee/ Redbull laced tongue. Next morning he ran crying to Mrs. Supervisor and told her I am meany and I was bullying him. The nerve! Like me once upon a time, Mrs. Supervisor felt sorry for him. She asked me to meet her for coffee (more coffee was just what I needed before I turned into a lunatic) and related to me what all Mr. Editor lamented to her. I sounded like an Editor-zilla from his account of what had happened. Wearily, I tried to explain my side but I don’t think I changed Mrs. Supervisor’s perception of me as a fire spitting dragon.
Of course I stopped talking to Mr. Editor after that and I realized nobody wanted to work with him because it was impossible to work with him but somehow he always ended up being the victim. We did manage to acknowledge each other with a slight nod of the head when we happen to pass by each other on the hallway of the new editing suite but that’s after a couple years when I have sort of forgotten what he did. But as you can see not really.