Tinkering Away

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've begun working at ON Animation Studios as a 2nd Assistant Editor on an animated feature film. With starting any new job, it comes with it's own share of challenges that continue to beat the dents out of you.

Having worked in Television promos at my previous job, it was a big change of pace jumping back into the animated feature world that I had experienced at Pixar. Thankfully, because my Pixar mentors shaped the Editorial workflow for the film I'm working on, I was able to hit the grown running on tasks such as dialogue processing and recording with ease. However, learning how much Editors rely on their Assistants has been a rather eye-opening experience.

At Pilot, our Editors cut short-form pieces, which meant that if they ever needed any additional material or aid with their edits, it was in the form of me bringing in a piece of media here or there for them. This was the case as I would always organize and ingest all the media needed for the project before the editor even arrived at our offices. Pilot had this structure in place as I was often juggling the Post of multiple projects, and the speed of Television production was extremely brisk.

Working on a feature, I've had to learn to think quickly on my feet and in the moment while the Editor is cutting. For example, one day I was processing some dialogue, when suddenly one of our Editors asked me to get her a certain line that I hadn't marked up yet. While I wasn't too far off from processing the requested line, I switched gears to get it to them, as the dialogue I was currently working on was for storyboards that hadn't been delivered yet. Promo multi-tasking tends to be on a single project by project basis, while feature multi-tasking concerns itself with the larger picture.

While less of a lesson, because my team and I were in a bit of a crunch recently, the Editors actually let me cut a few boards, sound effects, and dialogue. I had no idea that the Editors would actually hand off some of their work to their Assistants, but in hindsight, it makes sense. An Assistant Editor is there to pick up any slack and help ease the Editor's burden. The willingness to be ready to lend a hand at all times is necessary for Assistants as it shows the ability to be flexible under pressure and be an active team member.