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Dear Set People: Tips Straight From The Editor's Mouth

A few wise tips from our favorite editor on what not to forget on set. 


1. Don't Hate The Slate

Film crew members are always in constant communication. Meaning they are always talking. But respect the slate, make sure the AD quiets the crew during slating. You don't want to have someone near the boom (cast or crew) blabbering over the important slap of the sticks. 

Also, take the time to clearly and legibly mark the correct scene, shot, and take information on the slate. Even for shots that seem "obvious" or have no dialogue, it's important for the editor to know for what scene the shot was planned. 

Don't have a physical slate? Technology bails us out yet again! There are a bunch of smartphone application slate options - some even have timecode capability. 

Slating correctly is also very important, and often a skill that is overlooked. Obviously, the information written on the slate must be accurate, and you must "call it" correctly or else it's all your editor will be quite peeved in the cutting room.  The ProVideo Coalition's "Art of Slating" has some useful techniques and tips for proper slating.


2. Calling it Quits

This one is for the future Soderberghs and Spielbergs - don't call "cut" immediately after the scene is over. Let that puppy breathe for a bit. You never know what little moments you might find if you let the take last a few seconds past the end of the scripted action.

And this applies to DP's and camera operators, too. Some of the most surprising and honest moments can come in the moments after "cut". 



There are a few important documents that make the editors' job a little less hell and a little more heaven. The assistant editor, who is brought in at the beginning of post to help set up the project and footage for the editor, needs to receive camera reports, sound reports, and script supervisor daily reports. The editor should have the script supervisor's lined script and facing pages to help review the coverage for each scene. 

It's important that the scripty on set takes precise and detailed notes on their lined script, and that the camera and sound departments also make meticulous notes on their respective reports. These details definitely streamline the work for the assistant editor and editor as they go through the mounds of footage. 

You can make and customize your own reports, or your editor may have their own preferred versions for each department to use - check with them first to be sure no important info is neglected. 

But also, here are a zillion film production document template options from No Film School. 


4. Step by Step, inch by inch

Reviewing and giving notes with the editor is an important part of the director's job in the cutting room. But there is a difference between giving feedback and...ahem..."frame f*cking". Which is leaning over the editor's shoulder nudging their every cut frame by painstaking frame. 

Trust your editor's timing decisions. It's why you're working with them in the first place! 

That's not to say you shouldn't give your input on the pacing and shot selections the editor makes. Give your notes freely and openly, but the editor is not just a pair of hired hands to do the dirty work of editing. A good editor is there to sift through the footage and find the story with the director. 


5. don't you forget about me

Don't be shy, set folks! Just because the editor works solo in a dark room somewhere in an office/cave out of sight, doesn't mean they aren't part of the team. Stay in communication with them throughout the shoot. They should be receiving call sheets, script rewrites, "Casual Friday" office memos, and an invitation to the wrap party.

Have a question about the work flow, preferred slate formatting, or the dailies assembly? Contact your editor! They don't bite! 


Posted 12-30-2017

Easy does It Diaries:
Linda Hamilton is cast in 'Easy Does It'

...and we all have heart eyes



Ben Matheny, Susan Gordon, Linda Hamilton, and Will Addison during rehearsal for "Easy Does It". 

Ben Matheny, Susan Gordon, Linda Hamilton, and Will Addison during rehearsal for "Easy Does It". 

We've been dreaming about filming our first movie for a long time. We drooled over our favorite films as kids and adults and daydreamed at our desks in film school, fantasizing what it would be like to roll on our first feature. 

But not even our daydreams could compare, and I mean that in more ways than one. 

We have never worked so hard, been so stressed out, and spent so much time on a single project. We’ve also never felt such victory looking back over the footage and seeing how the final cut is coming together, and we realize now that we have accomplished a task greater than we could ever have imagined in the beginning. 

We spent the entire summer shooting Easy Does It, and were lucky enough to attract the talent of the absolutely amazing and generous Linda Hamilton (of Terminator franchise fame). I think it was the first moment we could look at each other all wide-eyed and, this is really happening.

Variety had the exclusive to officially announce Linda Hamilton (Sarah Connor, you guys!!) joining the cast as lead antagonist, King George. Linda is quoted in the Variety article saying,

“I love working with new talented directors, and seeing works that are personal and so hard-won come into full bloom.” 

And you know what. Linda is right.

Easy Does It is our hard-won effort, and we are reaping the outcome of hundreds of hours sown developing, writing, rewriting, fundraising, and crafting the perfect team to get the job done. Looking back, the years of hard work and the dozens of patient and skilled people lending their talents and services to this film are what made it happen.

We are happy to be example of New Orleans independent filmmakers who are making steps to be a part of the industry that refuses to die out, despite the obstacles. 

Stay in touch for more updates on Easy Does It.

Posted 9-10-2017