Editing Gigs on Craigslist: An Experiment

So, I apply for a lot of jobs on Craigslist that I’m sure other people are applying for too. I’m curious about how other editors format their resumes and what sort of reels they’re giving out. I mean, I just have no idea what my competition is like or how many people apply for any given job that’s posted.

And then I was talking to F about his resume and how he didn’t know how ADs really formatted them and he was thinking of posting a Craigslist ad just to see what other people’s resumes looked like. This struck me as totally genius.

Here is the mediocre job I posted on FCP, apparent as not real primarily because of the correct spelling.

I need an editor with their own FCP setup to finish a short project; everything’s been digitized and assembled, just need an editor to make a good pass and solid cut. Drive will be provided.

$100 for the work. Please submit online reel and resume. Include the word “Fun” in your subject so that I know you’ve read the ad.

I shall let you know how it goes.  I’ll be keeping track of the following

1. how many e-mails I get

2. how many e-mails have resumes

3. how many e-mails have reels

4. how many e-mails have the word “fun” in their subject

Lost Weekend

I had a weekend that was no good for writing. I’ve set myself a deadline of end of Thanksgiving holiday for a rewrite of Bible Con and a Polished first draft of Dyke for a Day. I had time to work on it this weekend because all of my editing projects are floating in nebulous waiting for other people to do things. But I didn’t work because my shoulder is messed up. This didn’t make it impossible to write, but it was really uncomfortable to sit in front of my computer or look down. It’s still killing me. Maybe I should start dictating.

Instead, I just watched a lot of Christopher Hitchens. I try to imagine the God/No God debate from the other point of view and find I just cannot. Cannot imagine it. I suppose I am like Hitchens, I never lost my faith, I just realized I didn’t have it. I was eight, I found all my teeth that I’d lost in my mom’s room (why she kept them, I don’t know). And there it was, proof that there was no tooth fairy. And that meant no Easter Bunny, no Santa Claus, and no Jesus.

I am going back to Columbia, SC this weekend. Doing the red-eye Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I’m seriously considering trying to raise money and film my feature in SC. I think it could be done for a modest budget, and I think the idea of a Native Daughter shooting in SC is something that could raise some money. I have a lot of connections there, including with the university. I hold secret hopes that somehow I could tie it into the university and get a lot of young people involved with the production. There aren’t a lot of opportunities in film in South Carolina.

Maybe I’ll get some writing done on the plane. We’re going to not put odds on this.

I started watching Jeeves and Wooster. I highly recommend it.

Segment Producer: Ups and Downs

I got a segment producer credit instead of story assistant because of the sheer amount of work I’ve done on the show I’ve been working on.  This is super exciting, it’s a great credit.  Of course, I’m still making less than a living wage.  But there’s some hope that that will change by the end of January.  Which I need, because I can’t afford to live in Los Angeles on what I make, and I’ve been with this company a year now.

And, in more meh news, I’m probably going to have to go back to logging.  And because they’ve eliminated the day shift, that means a 7pm-3:30am shift.  I’m hoping against hope that something will save me from that schedule.  I worked it for a couple months last year and it was so depressing and awful.  It would be better this go around because it wouldn’t seem to go on into infinity, but worse because I’ve proven I can do more.

A Day in the Life of a Reality TV Story Assistant

Get to work at 10 AM.  The Company Head Editor (CHE) comes to talk to the Story Producer (SP).  SP arrives a little late, usually.

CHE (to SP): Your editor won’t be back for the rest of the show.

Me: I can edit.

CHE ignores me.  Continues talking to SP.

CHE: So I’m going to start making calls to people.  See if you can find someone to come in.

Exit CHE.

Me: I can edit until you can get someone in.  You’re already using my cuts.

SP: Thanks so much!!  We’ll set you up in the editing bay!

CUT TO:

Me in editing bay, no problem.  SP enters.

SP: Development Editor (DE) will also be editing, but we can use all the hands we can get.  He’ll do the packages, you can do the deleted scenes.

Me: Sure

A little disappointed, I wanted to be the hero editor (Pay raise plz, kthx), but cool.  Also, DE is doing the job I was doing provisionally (for free) a few months ago, but then the Head of Development remembered that she loved DE and wanted him to do it instead.  So, didn’t get that promotion.

So I cut a bunch of stuff, and spend a lot of time showing the footage to DE, not because he’s not good, he’s great, but because I’ve spent a couple weeks cutting the material and there’s a lot of it and I’ve already cut what they want but some local producer didn’t want it, but then the network did want it, so they’re reverting everything back to basically what I’d cut in the first place.

1PM SP grabs us lunch I guess because she feels guilty about locking us in the editing bays and whipping us into editing frenzies.  Not really true, but you know.

Early afternoon, I finally get the call sheet for set tomorrow and learn things such as where I am going, when I need to be there, and when it will be over.  And find out what I’m going to be doing.  And that I need a laptop.  So, you know, good to know last minute.

SP comes by 3ish to check my cuts.  Asks me to revert previous editor’s cuts to what I had originally cut, and likes what I’ve done.  Ego boost.  Wants me to get another Editor at the place to come place music on the cuts, because they’re being used tomorrow on set.  I joking (not really) say I should get a pay raise and an editor credit.  SP laughs.

I monitor the other two editors, sort of superivising them but then let them do their thing.  Will work on a cut of something new and count down the time til 6PM.

Tomorrow, 8AM call.  But I do get to meet famous people.

Female Filmmakers; Women Directors

There’s an interesting article over at Film School Rejects which basically lists about a hundred films directed by women.  Now, I do appreciate that there are not very many women directors, or at least, not a lot of successful ones, but I do think that it’s useful to look at the entire field of filmmaking.  After all, directing is just one part of the puzzle — movies are written, edited, produced, and a million other things.  Even movies with leading females aren’t that common.  Statistics from San Diego State University.  Last Year (2008):

  • Only 6 of the top 50 grossing films (12 of the top 100 films) starred or were focused on women.
  • Women comprised 9% of all directors.
  • Women accounted for 12% of writers.
  • Women comprised 16% of all executive producers.
  • Women accounted for 23% of all producers.
  • Women accounted for 17% of all editors.
  • Women accounted for 25% of production managers.
  • Women comprised 44% of production supervisors.
  • Women accounted for 20% of all production designers working on the top 250 films.
  • Women comprised 5% of sound designers.
  • Women accounted for 5% of supervising sound editors working on the top 250 films.
  • Women comprised 1% of key grips.
  • Women accounted for 1% of gaffers working on the top 250 films of 2008.

Even film critics are overwhelmingly male:

In Fall 2007, men penned 70% and women 30% of all reviews.  Furthermore, of the newspapers featuring film reviews, 47% had no reviews written by women critics, writers or freelancers. In contrast, only 12% had no reviews written by men critics, writers or freelancers.

So what do I have to offer as a way to remedy this?  Not much.  There are some resources out there, but you usually have to pay money to join.  Or else they’re just not updated that often.

Go and be depressed now.

http://www.allianceofwomendirectors.org/

http://www.wif.org/

http://blog.moviesbywomen.com/

First Act: Complete

First acts are probably the easiest. And I write short anyway. This one clocks in at exactly 22 pages, written in just over a week. 9 days coming out to over 2 pages a day, though that’s certainly not how it was written. 12 last weekend, 10 this weekend. Nothing like my 15 page a day peek last summer, but then, I have a full time job and several part time gigs.

I am going to polish it up and send it to the manager guy sometime this week. Although it’s a first draft kind of, it’s not really.

I first wrote out the idea as a short film, which I shot 2 summers ago. Then, last summer, I wrote out a 4 page treatment and character profiles. And then, last fall, I did 40 index card outline. And then I hand wrote it the last month. So the typed version is not really a first draft, but it still feels fresh, new and exciting.

Hopefully I can get some feedback before I send it off to more judgmental eyes.

Tomorrow, the editor starts on the show I’m working on. I’m hoping to get to know him at least somewhat.

Sometime this week I need to meet with the actress whose reel I’m working on. She has some notes on it. Unfortunately, for what she’s paying me, I can’t afford to spend much more time on it, so hopefully when we meet this week we’ll be able to put it to bed.

I also need to finish this assembly/rough of the short I got last weekend. I’m about halfway through, but I wanted to be done tonight.

I also wanted to have the pilot for this web series written. I just need to sit down and bang something out, even if it’s crap, to get it off my plate. I’m just having a hard time drumming up enthusiasm for a 3 page script. It’s so little to work with.

The web series that I worked on and was going to post supervise and edit isn’t going to be happening. The deal they were getting was just unmanageable, which is a shame.

I have no idea what I’ll be doing as a job come Nov. 2. I spent the day e-mailing back and forth with my G.G.Aunt Margaret. I’m learning a lot about my family history and it’s all very cool and strange at the same time.

Tonight was the last night of my antibiotics for my weird strep, which the doctor thinks may be the cause of my severe fatigue and dizziness. Thank God, because I’m having to really focus on keeping it down. Nothing like knowing you can’t throw up because you’ll lose your medication.

Obviously I’m still a bit bummed on the Nicholl Snafu but I’m excited that there are possibly going to be phone calls this week. I really should have busted my ass to get a new draft of Bible Con done, but who knows, I may have gotten rid of whatever made it SF material.

And their cock up (sorry, too much Gordon Ramsay) was good in the sense that I broke 200 visitors in a day by posting it. And I discovered a few new screenwriting resources because message boards linked to me and sent traffic my way. DoneDeal and Zoetrope, if anyone is curious. I’ve never been much a part of the online screenwriting community because I know so many writers in the flesh, but it could be a cool avenue.

And if I haven’t said it before, Greg Beal is a class act — he’s everywhere online apologizing, explaining, and taking people’s thoughts into consideration. I’m really impressed with him. Now, if he could get some different people working the phones…

Busy Weekend; Bad day for a Migraine

Friday was crazy. I got asked to write a pilot by a web producer, to write a polished first act of a feature for a manager, to edit a short, to add something to a reel, and that it’s possible that I will be promoted to Assistant Editor in January and that I will be responsible for the deliverables for the show I’m working on starting Monday. These are all good things, but suddenly my off days are very full.

I feel terrible today. I have the worst headache I’ve had in years. I missed my morning call about the trial drug I’m taking, I’m really hoping this doesn’t cost me being able to be in the trial. But seriously, my headache was so bad my eyes were watering. I took some Advil. And then I irrigated my nose. And then I took a decongestant. And then I found a bottle of Vicodin I had from a previous injury.

This stuff is magic. I still have a little bit of a headache, but I am functioning again. Albeit at a reduced capacity for coordination and thought, but still. I should say that I’m already prone to being totally dizzy and having zero coordination. Which is to say, on Vicodin, I am kind of hilarious. I’m like a tight-rope walker trying to balance who is also very talkative.

Yesterday, I met with the director of the short and got the footage. It’s a romantic comedy, the lighting looks good and there are some good performance moments in what I’ve seen. It’s 4 hours of footage to subclip and log and it took me 12 hours just to get the back up done. But, I’m hoping F will be able to take a little bit of the subclipping work off my plate. Like a subcontractor ha. I also met with the actress, showed her my rough idea for her reel and got another project from her. She seems happy, so that’s good.

I also got 12 pages of the first act for Dyke for a Day written, so I’m excited about that as well. I’m trying to finish it this week. Luckily I write fast when under pressure, so hopefully banging this and the short web pilot out won’t be too difficult. I’m just so Zombified from the headache and the vicodin that I’m not sure I’m useful.

I’ve been watching a lot of Hell’s Kitchen and Flipping Out. I must just love angry people because Jeff Lewis and Gordon Ramsey seem so adorable to me. I want little teddy bear versions of them to have walking around and yelling all the time.

I’m very concerned, having not heard from the producer, that Gold is not going to be happening this fall. I was really looking forward to being the Post Supervisor for that, but maybe there’s enough on my plate already. I’ll probably hear about the Nicholl this week.

It’s so damn hot in my apartment. I’m tempted to use my new cubicle space as my writing home. Maybe there’d be less distractions there.

Tomorrow: Doctor’s Appt at 8 AM, Starting story assistant job at 9 AM (probably will be late), and all that other stuff on my plate.

A real person read my script

We’ll call these people S and T. S is a manager/producer type, T is S’s assistant. F, my creative partner, has a connection with S, in that she really loved Prombies!, the short he and I made that was about erections turning boys into zombies, and she has been in touch with him a couple times about his interest in directing some fairly middling (read:bad) zombie comedies.

Anyway, F was kind enough, with some heavy pressure from myself, to suggest that they read my script when I found out it was a quarter-finalist at Nicholl. Well, I immediately got a “Please send it” but, as the months passed, although I was diligent with follow up, I figured it would never get read.

And then it got read, and he likes it. And he wants to see all my writing. The only problem is that the only polished thing I have other than the feature, is a Television Spec for Mad Men. It’s not a bad spec, but it’s also not much use for people who produce features. Luckily, I have the first act of another screenplay, Dyke for a Day, written, but in severe need of polishing. He wants to see it ASAP, so I’m going to spend the weekend writing.

I’ve also been in contact with a few people from Craigslist about editing or working on some different projects. One is a short, the other is a feature documentary that appears to be about Gay Jews.  <3

I have a pitch with a web producer as well.  I’m going to go make that phone call now.  Fingers crossed!

Things in Theatres I want to see: The September Issue, Fame, Paranormal Activity, Jennifer’s Body, Capitalism: A Love Story, Coco Before Chanel, Bright Star, Whip It, Anti-Christ, The Men Who Stare at Goats

Story Assistant

Yesterday was a strange up and down day.  My job is in a state of change, and I’m not quite sure what the outcome will be.  It seems likely that I will be promoted to Story Assistant, which would be fantastic.  That’s a sort of cross between editing and writing assistant, which is rather perfect for my interests and strengths.

At least… I think that’s what the job entails.  No one’s actually told me, and it seems like the term “Story Assistant” means whatever each show wants it to mean.  I’ve been told it means I’ll be researching the footage, I’ve been told it means I’ll be cutting story lines, and I’ve been told it’s somehow assisting the writers or the editors.  I guess in reality those lines are blurred.

But I’m excited if this is true.  Hopefully it’ll be more money, which is good because my medical bills are ridiculous, and I think it will at least mean an end to the letters that say “Oh, you’re a logger, gross, please don’t apply for work until you’ve washed the stench of that embarrassing job from your flesh.”

Up and Down; Script, Web Series, Inktip; Allergies

So the webseries thing keeps ping ponging back and forth between happening and not happening.  If it does happen, I’m probably going to lose my Thanksgiving.  Theoretically also my Christmas, except I’m not willing to give up my Christmas and my Thanksgiving.  So.

There’s another short that I’ve been contacted about.  I just got the script, it’s cute, but quite long for a ‘short’.  I find that to be a common problem.  Short shorts get shown more!

And!  Excitingly!  A producer/director team contacted me to read my script.  This was from an ad on Mandy (see the link on the sidebar) and they contacted me very quickly.  So far Inktip has been a complete disappointment.  The script has come up on maybe 6 people’s searches, and no one’s read the synopsis.  It could be a problem of the logline, but, seeing the company names, it just seems like it’s not being found by people who are interested in comedy.

I took a benadryl and a claritin this morning, meaning I had two antihistamines in my system when I went to get my allergy skin test done. My reaction was so terrible that they called everyone who works there in to see.

Dr: Are you trying to win a prize?
Me: No allergies would be a good one, you got that?
Dr: Oh. Um, well.

And, for people like me who can’t get enough of other people’s medical melodrama, you can click here for the picture.