I grew up to the wonder of the cinema, the amazing places it took me and the incredible visual stories it told me. As I grew older I started to learn that the things I saw, and how they were created, weren’t always as it was in real life. Things were changed, modified, adjusted to create a perfect visual representation of what the director wanted to show me.
I’ve always come from 2 schools of cinema, the George Lucas school and the Steven Spielberg school. George created worlds, but Steven showed me a best version of the world I live in, through staging, camera movement, and lighting.
As I started my career as a cinemeditor over 20 years ago, I would shoot my little shorts, but they always lacked the magic of what I saw in the Spielberg films. The more I studied his work, watching all the behind the scenes videos, I started to notice the reasoning behind the difference. Beyond the obvious, it was the planning, his shots were so well planned, the time of day, location, camera movement, all so well orchestrated and planned. Thats when I realized the way to do better work, to do work inspired by one of the greatest directors of all time was to be better at planning. I was ready to take time and do my best work ever…
Enter in the age of social media.
My biggest takeaway from trying to be a Spielbergian cinemeditor in todays world of social media is how hard it is to plan or take time to produce well thought out and organized video content. I’m bombarded with lines like ”why does this take so long”, or ”just grab a quick shot”, or my favorite ”my cousins nephew has a camera and he can shoot it in five minutes”. Well planned and professionally produced high quality content is replaced with grab and go, swooshy swooshy quick cut 10 second videos.
So that begs the question, where do I fit in this new world of video creation? Am I a relic, a dinosaur, or is it just time for me to grow up into the next opportunity. Unfortunately I don’t have an answer to that. I can and do grow, adjust, and expand my style as I learn new things, but what I can’t do is go against the core foundation of who I am as a cinemeditor, and that is to do the highest quality work I can and be proud of what I create, no shortcuts, no settling. If Steven had not been so committed to his beliefs and convictions as a filmmaker despite the crushing pressure from his ”client”, we wouldn’t have ”Jaws” as we know it.