31 Days of Spooky Movies

kawaii_bearsceneI love Halloween. It’s probably been one of my favourite holidays since I can remember. I enjoy dressing up, going to haunted houses, sitting around fires roasting s’mores and listening to scary stories. I will preface all this by mentioning I haven’t ever quite made it through actually watching 31 scary movies during October, and I can be a bit of a scaredy-cat, depending what the movie is about. I do enjoy psychological thrillers most of all, but I’m taking suggestions and trying to broaden my scare range.

My goal is to watch at least 1 scary/halloween/fun/spooky themed movie each night this month, but on weekends I’ll probably play catch-up and watch more. I can’t promise there wouldn’t be ANY spoilers in here, but honestly, a lot of these movies will be older and so you’ll take the risk reading my unbridled thoughts, which I hope to document down right after each viewing. This isn’t going to be super technical review either, just my little brain summary.

OCT 1st to OCT 5th 


Hocus Pocus – I figure I will start things off with this & also cap the end too. Why not! Love this film. It’s not really scary, but you won’t really mind. The Sanderson Sisters are an entertaining bunch to watch, and I’m pretty sure nostalgia for the movie is not at all unlike “A Christmas Story” or “Home Alone” during the holidays. You’ve seen it a billion times by now, but you still somehow enjoy it. Billy the zombie will warm the cockles of your little heart >.< oh also, that funny scene with the devil, “Honey buuunch”. Mary riding a vacuum. Sarah’s complete derpiness at all times. Bette’s performance is most wonderful. Bonus points for ‘yabo’s’ being the only time I’ve ever heard that word.

Friday the 13th (2009) – I recall this movie because it was the first time I saw Jason run. I mean, the guy’s known for calmly approaching all his victims. He takes a little Sunday stroll, wielding his sword and pruning the hedge. I mean, victims. I don’t know why exactly this one, but recently I’d re-watched Freddy vs. Jason on a whim, so I figured I’d continue with more Jason films. I wouldn’t say it’s the best – at times I am not sure I remembered or even cared who was currently getting choppity-chopped. Gratuitous bewb shot, hellooo. The first rule of horror-film-not-dying-club, don’t have sex in the woods. Oh wait, is it don’t wear high heels in the woods? It definitely has jump/creepy factor in some parts. Not sure I’d go out of my way to watch it again anytime soon.

The Last Exorcism – this had promise. I really enjoyed the documentary style filming (though a tad handheld at times). The beginning was interesting & held my attention, including some charming moments, but most of all, kawaii_ghostsreally great humour about the fake exorcism tricks (no this isn’t a spoiler, it practically waves that fact in yer face throughout the film lol). Midway through, you should know there is a scene I REALLY hate involving animals. Not anything I want to ever remember. If this kind of thing bothers you, avert yer eyes. You’ll know when. And sadly, towards the end, things sped up so quick it felt like a cheap hurry-up-and-end-this-before-your-brain-catches-up. Overall, it got a little MEH to me. An okay twist if things had played out more. I would still recommend it with the caveat of these two things. I couldn’t help yelling at them to just freaking leave about ten dozen times xD “yer not paying me enough to deal with all this shit, man. I say good day to you. I’m outta here!!” I was inserting phrases for the guy to continue the comedic value when it needed it most.

kawaii_catdevildanceThe Descent – *shaking head* NOPE! NOPENOPENOPEEEEE. I couldn’t make it through this film, I admit defeat but not because it’s too scary really. I couldn’t suspend my disbelief and my logic was screaming. Yes, this is the film I can never finish and get teased about. You could not get me into that cave even if you threw Never Before Seen behind the scenes of LOTR from an old vault (ok, maybee.)

I have a thing with caves. If I can still see out, I’m good. No, I won’t be squeezing my arse into any tiny tunnels anytime soon. No, I really don’t want to scale down into some unknown pool of water and marvel at being trapped in. The minute the friend is all like “Oh no worries guys, I just brought us down this totally off-the-grid type cave without notifying anyone, and oh hey look at the broken leg over there – tis but a flesh wound” I could not retrieve my eyes from rolling so far upward. This film shoves you into the middle of an unexplored cave, full of creepy Gollum creatures, sudden cave-in’s, and reckless abandon for anything. If you like feeling claustrophobic and think bones are nifty, be my guest. Me? I would have turned around too many times before even getting to the tunnel and drove back off in that car into the sunset.

The Conjuring – place head in hands, squish into a ball of sweaty anxiety, randomly cuss and jump at random noises like your own cat crunching food. Maybe nooot that scary, but certainly a creepy atmosphere, I’ll give it that. kawaii_trickortreatI’m sure you’ve all heard of the Warrens. Probably enough said there. I’m really not sure what to make of this one. It scared me at points, but I’m not sure what even was scaring me. Was it a witch? A demon? A witch demon ghost? Well placed SFX? 🙂 Yeah… Whenever I get spooked, I try watching with the sound off. Usually, it’s that.

And during the exorcism itself, there felt like a ton of buildup to this particular thing she saw, and why he didn’t want her around another person being exorcised, but what did she see!? Sometimes the ghost-witch-thingie acted in superhuman ways, and other times just seemed to borrow all sorts of abilities. I’m not sure anymore what it is, and it seems it doesn’t know either. Unanswered questions, guhhh. And suddenly it’s over right at it’s climax, and surprisingly no one has died and everybody’s having a hug fest on the lawn. Probably worth a watch once, but no more.


Interview with the Vampire – <3 This is a wonderful film. oh right, Brad Pitt and Tom Cruise vamp’in it up, who would have imagined back then. Not to forget, a very young Kirsten Dunst, who is a deliciously spoiled little vampire permanently. All their characters are incredibly rich, enchanting. I don’t even know how this is possible, except magic. I consider this a high recommendation, even if you haven’t read the book by now, and it’s a classic for good reason. (PS: How have you not read this book?!)

Lestat can be described as the essence of what we know is vampire, all teeth and unfeeling, even vicious nature, acting out life the way he believes is proper and best. He doesn’t concern himself too much with the future. He sees a natural order to things, therefore, he doesn’t feel badly about his choices. Louis is his opposite, hanging full onto his humanity and trying to find his meaning. He lost it as a human, and it seems he won’t soon find it as vampire, either. A complex little tale for all of us in that regard. I have often wondered if I had endless time, how would I fill it? Would you continually seek out all the new developments of the future, or would you live in the past and shun more modern things?

As Lestat points out, what is life without meaning? I have seen this film several times and still find it’s intensity the same, yet the pacing is easy enough to follow. Beautiful settings, costumes, and time periods. Can you imagine being the interviewer.. it leaves you with plenty to think about.

kawaiimummy gifChildren of the Corn (2009 remake) – Teh Horrorz are not monsters or ghosts. It’s an unhappily married couple constantly reminding us ‘why did I marry you again’ within the first half hour, so that you can’t help but also wonder how on earth they made it through the ceremony. If there is any horror here, they help make for that delightfully miserable movie experience. There’s a few nicer filled moments between all the incessant jabs, but it never goes anywhere.

Coming from the Midwest, this corn classic from the 80’s never felt all that scary for me, but I did live around a lot of corn… it is kind of creepy. Total comedy gold when the guy runs out of the church and shows those kids a few Vietnam moves. Probably the best part, in fact. Too bad he forgot all that once he hit the cornfields. :/ Insert a giant band of kids who walk into the corn on their 18th birthday for sacrifice and all listen to some 7 yr old ordering them around. Cuuuuckoo! I suppose the saving grace here is it’s shot nicely at times, and when the guy finally gets on his own, you root for him at points. I think the kids do a decent job given the script, but at times it falls so flat you see the missing potential. So to sum this up, I’m not sure why his wife and him had to lock horns every 5 minutes, only to have a breakthrough, then to go straight back to bickering. Nothing came of it, so all that lacking character development is felt when they come for her and all you can think is “Phew, maybe NOW she’ll shaddup” The barren area of Nebraska is not somewhere I’ll be visiting anytime, ever. Nope, no thanks.

NAB Blues: For Those Who Can’t Go

How it feels, amirite!?

*taps mic* I’m no good at this whole blues thing. Sorry. I often listen to metal. If I could, I’d try to sing the blues to see if I felt any better. I’m sad. Instead… let me write some thoughts out here where you too might feel a little comfort, and I will offer some ways to keep yourself sane/busy.

We will get through this. It sucks, make no mistake.

Firstly, you are not alone. Don’t sit there and constantly read every update minute by minute. Or feel like a failure. Or horrible too. It won’t help anyway, and it might help to know there are others who pine to go and couldn’t for insert variety of reasons. Heck, there’s even people who could care less about going! The following words are for those who DO care.

I know I’m not alone in feeling that icky, sad panda, envious, frustrated, pining, hollowed out melon feeling of absence and disappointment at not being able to make it to NAB (again!) Maybe it’s your first time hearing about it. Maybe it’s your consecutive missed year in a row. Or perhaps you got to go before or last year, but can’t this year. Doesn’t matter! Let us all gather together in our misery all the same.

I’ve never gotten to go. I should probably make that clear. I’ve never felt the agony of that impossible time management nor awkward interactions of meeting all my fellow #postchat friends or others that may show up to NAB. I’ve never felt the sweaty pain of wearing the wrong shoes and walking miles up and down the hallways. The dizziness of dehydration. etc. etc. heh.

You wanna know what I think is the worst part of missing NAB? THE PEOPLE. yeah. I know there’s all this cool technology, updates, and conferences happening. And I look forward to those updates via twitter and everyone there in the thick of it. But dammit! It’s the comradery and nerdery happening, gathering right there all in one spot out in magical looking Vegas. It’s the one major time of year you could possibly in real life introduce yourself to all those great twitterland people you talk to so often. It’s certainly not the only one… Edit Fest comes to mind. But, it’s a very large one.

I think this part feels like the biggest punch to the gut. Don’t get me wrong. I’m excited for my friends, really. It’s strange, a mixture of happiness to see people reunited another year or getting to finally meet, then a cold drizzling of feeling left out. I SHOULD BE THERE. That’s what my mind has said now for several years ever since I found out about it.

We all have our reasons & situations for why we can’t go. What can you do now about it? nada. Planning I know is kind of cursed ground. Sure, you can go ahead and plan out your master plan to get there for the next year. But know that life is fickle, and you’ll have to roll with the punches. It’s not always juuust about the money. Sometimes you can’t get off a project in time (that you can’t/won’t know about in that much advance) or you have to ‘man the fort’ regardless, make sacrifices due to family, whatever it is – know that it’s not an invalid reason for not being able to attend.

Keep it together.

And for what it’s worth, it’s perfectly fine to feel the way I mentioned above. The year I am able to go (READ: NEXT YEAR OR BUST) I will post as many updates and pictures as I can – for those who can’t go. Will it sting to see them and not be there? Absolutely. But I’m grateful to the people I follow who take the time to share their experiences, even with 1% battery left. I know what an effort it must be, it’s a whole little world inside there and hard to pull away.

Now onto the lighter portion – how do you manage these feelings and continue plodding into the week when you already feel a bit full tilt and it hasn’t even REALLY started?

First off, Game of Thrones is on tonight, Season 4: watch it. Hurry up and marathon as many episodes as you can until then. It’ll be fun. ^__^

How to recreate that environment of awesome people? You can’t quite… but! you can call up some friends who aren’t at NAB because you probably have been too busy to catch up proper and maybe you just might hang up feeling a bit brighter.

Pick back up an old hobby you haven’t done for years. Write, draw, crafts, sew, clean up the garage or house, DO SOMETHING. that’s the key. And breathing. For instance, I’m starting to draw again. Even though I’m sure I suck in the large scene of artists, it’s something I enjoy pretending I can do.

Update some of your work. Show off some things you’ve been putting effort into & you’d be surprised how cool it’ll feel to go back and look or maybe someone will give you feedback – insta-boost!

Exercise! Yeeeep. Doesn’t matter what you do. Cardio, weight lifting, interpretive angry sad jealous dance? Go for it!! Tire yourself out til you don’t have enough energy left. And I hear you get a nice little brain boost of good feels afterwards. I even have experienced it myself, sometimes.

Get out at least one good solid vent about things to someone. Whatever happened, get it off your chest and try not to dive too far back down into it. It’s not healthy to hold it in, it’ll just build and make you rage-face feeling by the end of the week. You can try avoidance techniques too. Nothing wrong with being sans twitter until it’s almost over. But I think it’s best to tackle it head on and challenge yourself in these moments.

Gamer? Pick up Skyrim and slay some dragons. Nothing pumps you up better than slashing the scales off a big mean fire-breathing dragon. Think of it like a virtual sandbag to get out stress til you are filled with glee. Not a gamer? Well, maybe try watching a show that has battles where whoever you want win. Yes. That’ll do pig, that’ll doooo.

Go for a drive and imagine you’re about to head off to some great destination (NOT NAB, no. just no.) and continue doing so while blasting whatever music makes you feel best until the intensity of bad feeling has passed.

Lastly, I’m here! @ninjakittay if you need someone to vent and commiserate misery with because I understand… and nope, I don’t judge. *innernetz hugs*

Put the ice cream DOWN.




Freelance to Advertising: An Editor’s Adventure

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How many times have you or someone else asked how important Twitter is in regards to our field? I can answer for you: quite a lot. Or rather, you’ll get out of Twitter what you put in. Even if you only lurk, you may discover some cool follows or perhaps have a bit of conversation – so you can’t really lose anything by using it. This is true especially if you put yourself out there, network, attend #postchat, and get to know our fellow film cohorts. Early last year, I got a lucky and well timed opportunity to fly out to Winston Salem, North Carolina via @Jack_McFly & @zebratape to interview for an advertising agency looking for a broadcast video editor. NICE, I was possibly going back to broadcast. Familiar waters I’d wanted some more experience in. In fact, I’d be working with  @Jack_McFly. I don’t know if you knew, but shhh shh come close, he maay know how to get back to the future. Now, it’s almost been a year!

If you are indeed moving from one position to another in post, there’s plenty of things to consider. I hope you’ll gain some knowledge or maybe a new perspective while I regale you with my tale of freelance to advertising. I think overall your best lesson is that nothing is usually how you analyze and pre-plan for (those in production can attest, I’m sure) and the more patience you have with yourself to adjust, the better.

The back history: I was a freelance editor for a few years after graduating college. I was in the midst of finalizing a feature film edit, Ingenue. My lease at my apartment was coming to an end, so everything was kind of in limbo, this slo mo evaluations of where am I going, what am I doing.. this will-I or won’t-I dance throughout. I knew I wanted some stability staying in my field – but HOW to get it!? I had a previous taste with a PT broadcast edit job, plus got to learn MC Avid for :30 spot or unders, but unfortunately it wasn’t FT nor did it have room to grow. I took on this PT job editing music/comedy/theatre promo spots – and I totally won’t mention the nightmare my life was whenever I had to see/hear country or Nickelback spots OVER & OVER & OVER. hahah oh nooo, like some musical form of torture. I did sometimes get to do spots I actually liked to raise my sanity a bit. (yes just a bit can do a lot) They also mostly operated using beta tapes. That was an experience to learn. But for any negative, I took it in best I could because this is when I got to first crash course myself into Avid. I wanted to get to know it better.

Media OfflineTiming can be literally everything. We know this fact pretty well. The advice I’d offer someone that feels a little ‘out of sync’ for being in the right place, right time, etc. is to keep trying. If you persist, I think you have a decent shot. Now, I happened to know both @Jack_McFly and @zebratape from the twitterverse land. Not only that, but they both have been in #postchat and also were fellow #nomquerers. (double YAY!) What’s neat is during my time editing Ingenue, I’d been emailing and getting some advice from @Jack_McFly. He had done a feature film himself, Granted. Anyone who’s spoken to me at great length will know that I definitely get detailed and write pretty lengthy when I want. He humoured it awesomely and gave me some really good things to think about. That’s a valuable part about getting to know your fellow editors better – it opens up the chance to exchange ideas, share, get opinions you know probably won’t sugar coat, and get to feel a part of the community even if you’re in a smaller town. So fast forwarding to the idea of being able to work with him was really really exciting. Prior to that, the only other editors I’d really gotten experience with was few.

After I applied for the position, I did a Skype interview firstly then later flew out for more interviews the next week. I arrived via 2 planes to NC, had a driver telling me all sorts of stories about the city and oddly if I recall, Oprah and her dog! After a little drive, we arrived to this higher story building to head inside for my interviews. MAN was I nervous but excited, too! I interviewed with several people and was very glad my memory had not failed me. Do your research and really try to discuss things that interested you about their past works. Find ways to include works you’ve done that might relate to that. Each interview was a challenge to get that ‘read’ on, but I felt good & kept my hopes up. On a hilarious sidenote, I managed to make a mini lake out of my purse. See, I shoved the water bottle into my purse before lunch and put the lid on crooked. It leaked ALLLLLLL over my stuff in there. YAY, gogo clumsy meee. So basically, I was trudging around after lunch with a watery purse, waiting for the lining to burst forth a sea of embarrassment, donning my best poker face (I’m positive I hid it well, except til when I dived into @Jack_Mcfly’s office that afternoon to empty the poor items out, dry them, and reprint my ticket) What an experience. Hey, if that was the worst thing that happened, I’m cool with it.

Then the big moment. I got it! I GOT ITTT! Now what? A number of things running through your mind trying to prep for what’s to come. The switch. And not just NLE’s or states or environments. Everything really, as a freelancer basically. I was a little nervous about jumping back to FCP after all this time in Avid, and before that, Premiere. Wait, shouldn’t my answer have been moving? Okay, yes that too hehe but I have been ready I think, forScreen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.42.13 PM awhile. I didn’t know where things would take me, though! Moving really isn’t so bad in hindsight. I think our memories trick us into remembering it that way so you might actually do it again. Remember – we are going from one dark room in this one state, to another one in another state strictly speaking. But what you don’t think is: oh yeah, I can’t swing over to that movie theatre to see this movie with my friends tonight, because I had a momentary brain-fart and realized I live in NC now, not Indy!! >.< Whoops.

Some of the new experience gains were being able to use AE a lot more, with plenty of challenging things to learn or re-learn better ways on. Methods, processes, intricacies you only learn ‘on the job’ that’s for this job specific per se.  Some you can take away with you for other applications elsewhere. There are still things on my list I need and want experience in, such as more multi-cam, for example. I’ve become fanatically better at my organization, color coding, etc. things I do in the hope that it won’t leave me being cursed one day in the future (especially if it’s me opening an old project going WHAT in the world.. haha) There are a number of fun times I’ve had, too. I got to dump a giant bucket of water over @Jack_McFly once. THAT was part of some really fun little videos I got to help on. I tend to make mementos out of hilarious, silly, or trying situations especially if I learned something. Upon my door are several funny jokes that’d make no sense unless you were there in the trenches of that particular project xD They amuse me. That’s a good way to turn something around.

Lots of new faces, new projects & brands, lots of new responsibilities, and projects never stop changing even if they have a familiar wrapping on them. OH, and the meetings. Loooots and lots of those… I won’t say I ever got used to all of those, yet 😉 Codes and paperworks which continually can confound me at times. The intersecting deadlines who sometimes lose their little tail lights so you lose track of when they’re turning… that can feel impossible to balance yet so far, no epic fails. Mainly the hardest challenge of all is becoming familiar and used to the various clients, including their past video projects as well. Some go down insane rabbit holes of versions and titles that can be daunting at first.

There have been some really cool changes here at the Editorium that happened since arriving. One of my super duper top favs being the new invisible yet visible ‘magic’ wall logo along with a new magic themed slate/2pop and overall theme, with the other being the adjustable standing desks!! I sort of rigged one up at home with boxes and my foam mat.Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 3.44.21 PM I started to stand while editing as I could, and I quite liked it too! The first thing you’ll see me do in an office is get rid of the chair as soon as I can. I know most days now it feels totally natural. With that said, I find sometimes if I’m very sore from my str training, I actually want to sit for a little bit on my stability ball. But the more I stand, the healthier I feel overall and less slumpy sluggish. Goofy sounding enough, I really like my wall square that I don’t draw on often enough since I’m forgetful, but I always enjoy making my new themed Totoro character for the season. Yes, there is still a holiday themed one out there as I speak… er… note to self: draw a new totoro soon. xD

Switches galore. Switching environments from working at home back to the office. No more Spazzie assistant cat on hand. Editing in pajamas at like 1am just because I am a night owl. Multitasking my entire day everyday between life and work duties all at once. That control you’re able to have. Thankfully, I’ve heard enough times to ‘fake it til you make it’ on so many topics and I have to say, it’s not all blowing smoke. I was able to pull from all -those- experience to -this- experience in being more confident that I COULD. DO. THIS. No, scratch that. I am doing this. That’s how quick you can go from uncertain avoidance to uncertain action.

There is a switch of sorts to make when you go from a variety of freelancing to advertising. More like aiming your focus more towards that side of things. I suppose in some ways it’s no different at all, and in other ways, it is. Yes, riddles! What I mean to say is that there will be similar projects over the course of time, always with some new ones & super short burst ones in-between. I still freelance whenever possible, whenever opportunities pop up. I don’t actually mind spending the evenings or weekends working on something on the side. Some days you’ll come in and never know if your inbox is piled up with ASAP requests, blown up revisions, requests, or there could be crickets trying to lull you into a midday nap. You do learn to appreciate that one slower time because even the next hour or the next day could be slammed. It’s hard sometimes not to be ansy though, I do like to stay busy – if I know something is going to hit, but can’t tell when or am waiting on assets or what not, it’s like being blindfolded in front of a giant ocean wave approaching and not quiiite being able to sense it’s size or complexity. Sometimes you brace and it barely tickles your toes, other times you turn your back and it unleashes jellyfish. I can’t share very often about what I am editing, the way I used to about freelancing. I find that goes with some territories, and I think in enough time, I’ll be able to sit down & fill out more of my projects section as I can.

Screen Shot 2014-01-31 at 11.38.29 AMDuring my time as a freelancer, I learned A LOT about myself and my skills. How to deal with clients, how to screw yourself over with rates (learned a more proper rate only after the first, mind you), how to sacrifice social time in exchange for experience (maybe even took it too far), how to pluck up courage for my work, humility when I needed more experience then gaining more wisdom to be proud of myself too, definitely how to say no or see warning signs better… of course these are not just freelance editor skills, only. Plenty of them might seem just plain common sense in regards to being an editor. Of course, putting these into practice is different than merely thinking them, so it just so happened to coincide with this experience for me. The same pretty much applies here, except you can relax on the whole rate thing and you aren’t generally dealing directly with the client, moreso with producers and creatives or account teams.

Among so many other things, I am now in hindsight curiously glad for literally tripping and falling into the chilly end of this giant freelancing pool after graduating college. I know I’ve written before and more in-depth about some of the wonderful and huge learning opportunities I ran across during my time in Indy, including the feature film edit Ingenue. Please feel free to read those to get the best perspective on that. I want to venture a guess that not knowing how challenging freelance in a not-so-film-centric area would be kind of helped me, though I admit maybe having an inkling of an idea would have been better. However, after many years struggling to keep myself afloat, I tried to make a new plan. The only plan for me: not to give up. I am sure if a few of my fellow video friends are reading this, they will remember how by the time we hit senior year, there was quite a lot less people around in our major. That feeling of knowing some people found out it was not for them. That slight moment where you wonder to yourself, what happened & what made them go, and was it the right decision.

I’d applied to many types of more stable editing and post jobs all over the states, even landing a PT fill-in broadcast editor for a time. In fact, I even applied overseas dreamily thinking it might happen in a few different countries including Finland haha I was becoming tired of waiting around. I found myself pretty frustrated. You think, sheesh – if I work truly hard and don’t screw around or call off and go with extra effort every project, that should be enough, right? But it’s not.. or at the least, my luck wasn’t with me? I’m an admitted work horse so with the gaps of uncertainty or nothing happening more frequent than not, including all the fretting anytime I was definitely done with a project too, I knew I was going to have to get out there to make some changes happen. I re-did some parts of my website, switched up the reel, fluffed up my resume, and went out on a search again. What happened is luck found me while finalizing the cut of Ingenue.

Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.52.12 PMAny time I’m feeling truly overwhelmed in a project and a moment, I just remember “keep moving” and that is somehow comforting.That’s all it falls back to – you can and will do something if you stay headstrong. It’s really truly a mix of many things: network, passion, your determination and fluidity to keep on adapting to things best as you can. You don’t have to put out some persona that is perfect and never troubled. Is our line of work tiring? Heck, of course it is. But, it is also rewarding.

I’ll round this up with a hilarious portion of the beginning of things. When I got up early to fly out, my fellow editor cohort @kyl33t offered to drive me out to the airport that morning. Perfect! However, when we arrived, /insert DUNDUNDUUUN music – the plane was delayed!! Everything mostly was in red on the board. There was a rather daunting and giant line of people all backed up, and I won’t lie – I had a panicked moment while waiting in line and sorting out how I’d get through my day of interviews when I was already starting off late – “Wait, what am I doing? Shit, who do I call first?? Why me, today of all days? Is this some sign or something?! I JUST REMEMBERED, I hate to fly!! AHHH.” Thankfully this was all internal, I tried to move these thoughts into some nether space so I could focus. Anyone who comes across this knows that no matter where you go, how high up you get or not, most people are no stranger to feeling uneasy about the unknown. It’s OKAY to have these moments. Change is inevitable.

At some point, we’ve all taken that moment to wonder about the variety of ways we can tell stories out there. Maybe you’re in corporate and want to move more towards TV or film, or you’re in film but want a specific genre like documentary or fantasy, or even doing tv shows (who wouldn’t want to edit GoT or Breaking Bad for instance?) Perhaps you’ve done a wedding or three, and they’re not your cup of tea. But you can say, you tried it. We know we can’t harvest the nut without cracking it open first. Or even finding it. Because it’s not going to leap into your arms with some kind of jedi force like “OH HAI PERSON. TAKE ME!” Okay, it *could* if it fell off the tree and you so happened to be in the right place at the right time, but let’s face it! Don’t count on that. And once you do run across one, you may not be the first to reach out to it. Might end up dueling another squirrel that’s trying to take it. Or getting along with another one for the time & sharing pieces of it, for the good of experiences or survival until you can move on to another tree. haha, wait when did we all become animals?! The point is… you are going to find yourself in a lot of unexpected and very new situations wherever you go. Even if you’ve found a ‘home’ in whatever genre or style of editing you’re doing. This also means generally you are not going to insta-start straight away into exactly your desired niche. (is there some big red button for this that I’ve overlooked? hah)

If you aren’t, perhaps you should ask yourself what you’re doing lately to challenge yourself. Are you too content where you are? I know that sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it happen. When was the last time you put yourself outside of your comfort zone? Edited something you thought beneath you, impossible and/or over your head? What about you try working with another freelancer or editor? Maybe if you often work with Screen Shot 2014-01-30 at 8.41.49 PMsomeone, try working completely solo or with a new cohort on something on the side.

So, great! now I’m a bit depressed about squirrels and nuts AND I’ve learned it’s going to be a bumpy, possibly hungry ride. Well, buckle down. Take an uncertain opportunity if it’s best for you and your development. This adventure can take years and years to get into and through, let alone stopping off at the delicious restaurant with the hand crafted ale or cider you’ve been eyeing which so happens to house your very fav director. Keep yourself grounded, but don’t let it squash your big dreams. Who cares right now if they feel impossible? It’s okay to dream.

Keep your appetite going.



Somehow, in my mind I hear this as a little sea shanty pirate style melody:

Ohhhh, I’ve done semis & weddings, a music videooo,

a couple many PA gigs, a feature film full packed show.

A freelancer jack of all, ready to go(psst! now make that shit glow)

A dash of a bit of most everythinggg, you take what you get

rinse, repeat all, a lower thirds maniacal fit…

Invisible, this is the art of the edit.


yeah. I’ll stop there. (your welcome.)

End of 2013: What a Year It’s Been

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.52.41 PMI did this sort of recap last year and found myself checking back on it a few times this year, to remind myself where I’ve gotten off to in case it becomes a muddled mess of a memory in a year’s time.

So without further adieu, here’s 2013 through my eyes.

2014 is almost upon us all! That makes it sound scary… or a bit like GoT “Winter’s coming!” right? It’s not nearly that dreadful though… not nearly so bad at all. Aren’t you a bit glad you can’t forsee the future? There’s something renewing about a new year, a story untold. It can wipe a board entirely clean even if it was feeling dusty, crackling, and worn. Whatever kind of year you had, for very good or very bad, you can always re-aim your mark again to improve, feel better, try new things, and change what you didn’t like. Even if you fail or don’t manage it the way you thought the whole year, if you TRY to change, you’re doing more than some ever do.

I feel like I have a good amount of things to feel positive about! I want to share these great things and have one last revel in a hard year’s work well done, despite circumstances and obstacles. When I get to the end of a year, I always want to ask myself, “Could I have done more?” The annoying answer: yes. And while it is a nagging answer, you need to stop and appreciate what you did accomplish in order to move onto the new year with a lighter heart.

We all deserve a good start every year. A chance to enjoy, laugh, and find out new things about ourselves and life.

Post-production wise, I accomplished a good bit this year, and allow me a small moment to feel proud. I edited my first feature film starting back in August last year with one very awesome team I was Screen Shot 2013-01-08 at 2.04.14 PM lucky to work with, and it continued until February. It has since gone on to many festivals and cons, and the night I arrived to it’s premiere, I could not feel happier to have seen this story in a feature length come to life. So many people came to it, that it was sold out. And I’m sure I speak for all involved in how proud and beautiful of a moment that was. I got to talk with people afterwards, and seeing their faces and hearing them express what they enjoyed was divine.

So back to the edit part: I dived headfirst into an frightening challenge of using MC Avid, something I’d had little experience in prior aside from small broadcast spots with a long break from that even. Not only did I learn it, but I handled it all through long nights and sweat and tears, oh yes, and a HD totally crashing. The clicking of doooooom. You can read more about that adventure here. If I had to pick the most stressful moment of my year, that would be it. You know how people always are telling you to make backups of your backup etc? And you nod your head like yes, I should do that sometime. But then, maybe you don’t always follow through.. you must follow through. haha. Seriously. Because I had backed up, I was able to recover the feature, save the day sort of feeling, and move along before we all had a seizure or heart attack from it. xD hehe. I will say, even though it is backed up, it is a challenge and a task to piece it back together again, but such a rewarding moment looking back on it too. I’m okay it happened. I learned that it’s okay to panic for a short moment, but then to recover and get your wits about you and fix things right again!

fav memory of a funny "inception" like error in FCP
fav memory of a funny “inception” like error in FCP

After mostly using Premiere Pro, I had to jump into Final Cut again fully. It was not without it’s usual troubles, but I quickly learned it again and found many things to praise it for. But the things I didn’t like, I was able to take away and appreciate more when I was in Premiere or Avid. You see, I still ride the line of using whatever I must to get the job done. I saw the rise of Premiere once CS6 (or perhaps 5.5?) came around. People I’d known for years who were 100% FC were now complimenting things in Premiere. I almost never thought I’d see the day. I felt like for the longest time if I did not get Final Cut, I would never work well as a freelance editor because it was so often requested. Somehow, through this storm of NLE advancements and changes made, I made it out in one piece, with appreciation and dislikes for all of them, as it should be! (secret: there is NO perfect NLE! Yes… I know, you like insert NLE but it is not without it’s flaws. Admit it and you’ll feel better.)

I am using After Effects more fruitfully and fully than I’d had opportunity to in the past. Oh the joy of shortcuts and dynamic links and so many things to experiment with.

late night giggles in AE.
late night giggles in AE.

Through tutorials and friends, I learned to feel like a wizard in there as I always wanted to. And yet I have so much more to learn and do! It’s funny, for awhile I was in there working on projects and primarily in there… and once I left, I realized how much I missed AE. I really want to master more things in it this year. It feels like home now too.

I finally made myself dive into Resolve. YAY, colour grading is still something I work ever towards. I make many mistakes before I will find that good spot or at least acceptable pass. I have a lot to master in there, and I don’t have any fancy board to do it with – but as Philip Bloom says, it’s not so much about the equipment although I’m sure it helps – and this coming year I hope to incorporate it more and more so that I have a better understanding of it. Even if I have no project to use it in, I’ll find clips to practice with.

I got to touch a black magic cam ^^
I got to touch a black magic cam ^^

By the summer, although I had promised myself a break, I participated in yet another 48 hour film!! What was I thinking!? Let me just say now, 2014 – there will be NO 48 hour in your future. haha. I don’t have much new to say on it, except that it was what all the 48’s have been – an insanity time ticktocking hurry up and gogo emotional crazy adventure. In hindsight though, it was not a good idea to join this year, nor was I in any particular place to load on more stress with where I was in life – but like any good film venture, there are funny memories to recall and the film made it in on time, which is quite a feat given all the usual circumstances of a short film done in such a small window. It won an award, for Tony was absolutely hilarious. I laughed quite a lot during filming. He’s a ham for camera. I remember having a super tasty nutella and banana sammich mid-day which was a surpisingly delish lift to continue plodding filming. But alas, I don’t know that I need to prove to myself any longer that I can handle them, they’re no longer about the challenge as moreso a heavy burden. Their place is now complete… perhaps one day in the future I may do one again, but honestly my first 48 hour and favourite one will always be just that, and it’s no use recreating it.

I edited my first animated music video!!! For a band I adored! With a fellow editor on the Twitterverse lands. I cannot say how lucky I feel about this venture, for I felt over the moon, in fact!! My hope is to continue to venture more into that route, if I am ever able to again, because some part within me very much enjoyed the entire process. I can only imagine what it would feel to edit live action music videos. It’s so creative and I absolutely love music, so it goes without saying that I quite enjoyed the song I was given to cut to. I wish I had been in CC version of Premiere to have cut it in, but alas, I have CS6 Premiere which did a fine job. I am not at home editing nearly as much to invest in it just yet, but I may yet take the plunge in 2014. I have heard good things and for good reason 🙂

NOTE that currently I’m cutting a range of spots these days, broadcast/web/internally too of which a lot I cannot sadly share most of them yet, if at all – so it may seem slow on my editing front, but I assure you it’s not. Some you may see on tv even, perhaps one day I can rally those together in one spot to share soon since they’ve aired now.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.54.36 PMRIGHT, the big one: I moved! I moved all the way from Indianapolis to Winston Salem, NC. What a trip that was. I had one of the best sendoffs a friend could ever ask for! The people that came to say goodbye and talk and laugh with, are truly the best sort of friends one could ask for!! I will remember this night fondly. I hope I can be there like that for others in the future because it’s quite admirable. As hard as it was to finally move, this was the ray of light days before we moved.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.53.40 PM
Waking up after a stopover in TN, to SNOW!!!

A very long drive, through mountains and corn fields and rain and snow. With 3 kitties in tow, trying to bend myself sideways from time to time to assure and comfort them, and a car filled as much as it could with a truck filled going ahead. All this. I made the move for an editing job. I’ve never moved further than across town, you know? It was something… I’d always wanted to try getting away from the home town of good ol Indianapolis – where I struggled greatly to find paying edit work (or for that matter paying work with a subject I enjoyed immensely!), but was able to find some very satisfying opportunities. I do miss some things back there, but I’ve proven to myself that I can handle being anywhere. I mean really, as an editor, you’re in your #editcave most times anyway right? So it’s just a new location, but your editcave is yours, and once you make the new one feel like ‘home’ it matters not where you are. Though it does help to come home to my kitties who are so entertaining and familiar too. I never dreamed to end up in North Carolina… I think it’s funny how your path takes you to unexpected places like that, though, and I have found some neat gems around here. Some of which I hope to do or visit when I can get the time off to do them, but if not, I’ve found other ways to enjoy it.

So there’s the great editing related schtuff. The big things I am proud of and celebrate the end of this year with those in mind. A toast to them, in fact! ^__^

Moving onto more general non-editing related 2013 accomplishments:

armstrong_fmasparkleHealthier Lifestyle!! standing desk – stability ball chair – better noms – etc. etc. I’ve struggled and conquered some in the health department, as in caring more about me and less about other things. Losing some weight, getting stronger with strength training, and learning not to cringe or expect a mirror to break as I pass by. I have by far been the meanest villain internally.. and heck, it’s easy to lose yourself in projects and games (when there’s free time that is) and slowly by little, you forget yourself and snap out of it like a bad dream. I’ve chipped away at that more and more. Taking more control of it and forcing it’s way into even the most insane projects to keep myself overall better feeling. I may always have the knack of seeing that cloud overheard, but I try harder to also find the light in things. To laugh at myself, stress, and pick myself back up where I before wanted to stay down at and wallow. Not letting stress get to me AS badly, in where I’ll go all day and refuse to eat a meal until I can feel calm.. but see, if you knew me, you would know I did this because I suffered horrible nervous stomach and IBS. That was a large cause of anxiety as I grew up, because I had so much nervousness going on. Because life is not often calm anymore enough for me. so I’ve had to adapt. And I love what I do too much to let that get me down long.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.52.29 PMAlpacas – aka: FREE time to be imaginative and create things with my hands!! And some hot glue. and glitter. Because glitter is awesome (and reproduces everywhere in a fury from just one glitter piece haha) this isn’t really post production related, but this year I finally tackled crafting something, albeit if my alpacas looked a little slow or very handcrafted, I enjoyed this activity a lot and hope to include more and improve on it.

Some personal thoughts which I rarely felt comfortable to share so openly with others. But after the year I’ve had, I’m ready to face it. Maybe you don’t know me very well, or perhaps all you see is the goofy GIFS and !!! mark filled tweets or silly Pusheen cat FB posts I often make and perhaps dismiss anything deep or rational out of me. I just wanted to say, that is not who I am. Or rather, that I am worth knowing past that. Maybe you merely randomly clicked on this wondering out of curiousity. I will never know. I have changed enormously this year. I’ve had, just as I’m sure many others have had as well, one HELL of a year. I had a good bit to celebrate, and in another hand, a hard grasping to keep things afloat, together, happy. This has affected me in a number of ways. I have been dealing with a growing depression, a looming social anxiety, and because of this, namely the strongest introversion towards others I think I’ve ever felt in my life. I’m a naturally private person.. but this isn’t right.

Well – as part of growing myself, I’ve decided to share some little known things about me in an effort.

What I don’t want you to know, dear reader:

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.52.14 PM
I dread this place. but moreso now. 🙁

Hello! (that’s a good start right) I’m Ninjakittay, I’m Katie, or maybe you know me as Wulfie from gaming. Maybe I look a bit strange or entirely normal to you. I suppose that doesn’t matter much, so long as you understand. I have colourful hair and a very oddball sense of humour. I’m missing a tooth and wearing a retainer with one every day right now because of a bad crown done by, as I dub it, Dr. Doom, that HAD to be pulled or risk infecting me even further. He got me twice, if you will believe it, as he managed to mess up BOTH my crowns (one not sealed properly, the other not cleaned of cavity thoroughly), and I am facing the same fate on this other one. An unfortunate turn of events… it’s made me very sad. I feel often like a frankenstein monster, but there is little to be done about it now except to accept it happened and work towards saving for an implant or other solution. So what. Why am I afraid anyone knows this? This has caused me immense anxiety daily. To that I say, hell with it. Conjure up whatever  images, if it somehow spins this humorously for you. I know I have. “ARRR I AM A PIRATE now, WHAR be teh RUM!?” (ps: I do like rum!)

This is how I start letting go of these things.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 8.09.12 PM
My daughter, Rachel ^__^ who also happens to like many things I do, including Hello kitty :3

I also have a 16 year old daughter (She’s a Leo, born July 31st!) who thankfully I am very close with but little know about. She means the world to me, and while I am not parenting her personally, I feel like the older she gets, the more she seeks me out and wants my company. That is a great gift. I realize now I have felt so closed off about this, with general people, for good reason – that I don’t want to share personal things like this. Because of judgements. Because of all these tv shows that came out of teens getting pregnant and dually suffering the mockery of that. It was not like that then growing up, but then, you don’t know my story.. and maybe in time if you don’t, you will. But trying to explain year after year is tiring, so accept it or not, with no backstory further, for once and all! Adding to that, not everyone has a choice in matters, remember that what MATTERS is what you do with the damn time given to you! And so I did make the best of what I could at the time. That’s all I want to say now about that.

Also, I have two mothers. TWO mothers. Not her “roommate” as I had to explain it years back when others would ask plainly when I was open about it, if I was going to have a girlfriend as well… or worse, make me feel like it was wrong, and at such a time in my life, some days were truly awful – it made me want to shrink into nothing. I saw what was wrong alright, and it wasn’t with my mom’s partner. I never saw a thing wrong with having two mothers, until people tried to force it on me. I dislike that greatly.  So if you are intolerant of people’s personal relationship in their lives that do NOT affect yours, (newsflash: it doesn’t!) I will continue facing this kind of ignorance on this front. You can call me an advocate if you like, but I call it normal – standing up against intrusive hate. Because it’s not worth acknowledging people with loose argument who insist most of your family life is a SIN in their eyes, or that I’m going to hell (which I don’t even believe in) when it’s not their place nor their business. If I had any wish for 2014, it’s that this stops entirely. But I am a dreamer…

By the by, I am not religious and have not been for years. I try not to make a large deal of this. Perhaps I believe in good, or just being a decent person. What’s good,

Enjoying a little Vitamin D + summer flowering trees.
Enjoying a little Vitamin D + summer flowering trees.

what’s decent? I think we all deep down know. I don’t need anything else. It’s sad to say, I’ve lost friends over religions, but not on my account as I try hard not to be intolerant. Just as I am not intolerant of your religion, I do wish I would not be excluded from your lives because of it. It’s not going to change. I don’t need religion to find happiness, I haven’t for over 15 years or more really. So please, this year oh 2014, I’d like to see less of this giant divide – we’re all people, aren’t we!? Whether you find or lose something you deem important, I hope we stay friends. but I can’t help but wonder how many many more years pass before we learn how to truly let others be.

I have one deceased yet fairly altogether useless father who died of MS and surgery complications before we could even begin to discuss where things went wrong. In this, I hope you will remember that it CAN be too late, for some things. Time is not endless, at least in our personal case. And you should try your best with those who matters because you cannot end it always on a good note, but perhaps better luck with ending it overall with good. My estranged grandfather committed suicide around new years, giving my new year a new meaning. In that life is precious, even if it feels miserable or going down a very bad path. You can change that, and suicide is sadly not the answer to your troubles, no matter how tempting it feels in that moment.

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.52.54 PMEVEN though I point these things out, that seem negative – I still like to laugh at bad movies, have fun doing nothing, go out spontaneously to wherever my feet take me especially low to no-cost adventures, for money is not everything, and enjoy company over coffee and deep discussions. I find I can still be an extremely loyal and to-the-end type person so throughout the year, I have not lost that capacity. I would like to again hold hope that there are friends in the world who would understand where I’ve been and where I’m going. A place I truly belong. A foothold I can return to many times again and feel welcome. Which is why I am starting here where I most of all fear to toss these things into the wild. The innernetz.

I needed some time to sort some things out, of which I am still doing and will into the new year. There is nothing -wrong- with feeling or being alone. After moving, I feared that some connections would drift away, and some indeed have, although I suppose it’s fair to say others have strengthened. I am a person with many perspectives, so I hope to recall upon many of them in 2014 to pull myself through this hole. If you talked to me 15 years ago, I had so many friends I didn’t know what to do! I was equally overwhelmed in the other direction. That isn’t any good either. I’ve been attracted towards relationships and friendships that seem so far away they don’t make me feel uncomfortable to be around, to figure things out.  I was okay with that too, or I must have been. I feel sometimes so literally invisible and unimportant that I am rather unsure if I exist at times. Hence a ninja title is appropriate here. By the way, I am a ninja who’s also easily spooked by people popping into my room unannounced.

Anyway, my ultimate realization is that I’m going to put myself out more to reach out, and meet new people with as open of a heart as I can muster. I may get bit on the hand some as I do, but thankfully the years have given me a strong stubborn will, and I intend to use it where needed.

Well! That was quite enough thoughts, ramblings, hopes, admittances, and grievances for one year!

Screen Shot 2013-12-30 at 7.54.20 PM
pretty sunset I captured my first night after the move. 🙂

Did you all have a good year? I hope it was. What memories will you take away from it?

Remember that wherever your life is now, it is not locked down, chained up to a particular pattern or style unless you don’t do something about it. That is a very hard lesson to learn, very much easier said than done. Anything can change and don’t let anybody stop you. The past is the past – you can learn from it yes, but sometimes people like too hard to remind you of your past patterns, and don’t allow room for you to bloom and grow in other directions. That’s a large warning sign they are not ready to come along on your own adventures… it’s okay they may not be ready for change, or namely, for YOU to change.. and while that’s okay too, there is a wide world full of people waiting to meet and befriend, or at least know for a time. Fight against the negativity wherever possible, and do some winter cleaning of people that don’t support where you’re headed. Sound selfish? Perhaps. But some people could do with a dose of it, because no one can be there more for you than yourself. Be your biggest champion. If I have learned ANYTHING this year, it is that you must rely on yourself, no matter how much you might wish hard for a true partner or friend, and that it’s okay to be afraid when you’re knee deep in some of your darkest moments, it’s just you. Be okay with that.


Media OfflineHappy 2014 to everyone!

May it bring lots of luck,

good times,

and more adventures than you can dream of!

– Ninjakittay

That Post Show podcast with @Kanendosei

Recently, I was asked to be a guest on @kanendosei‘s podcast, That Post Show. I had an awesome time chatting with him, hopefully will do it again somewhere in the future! Yet another good way to get to know me, learn a little about what I’m working on, and listen to an entertaining discussion with your coffee.

Enjoy That Post Show podcast by Scruffy TV in two ways: either via the website or  iTunes. You can also directly download it. make sure to hop over to iTunes, rate, feel free to leave a comment, or follow any of us on twitter to share your thoughts. Look forward to hearing from you!

On this episode, we speak with KATIE TOOMEY. Katie is a freelance editor living in Indianapolis, Indiana — but she doesn’t know Brian Mulligan… how strange is that? She’s smokin’, but doesn’t use Smoke. She does edit a lot of local and indie films, though. We talk about indie films, editing, hard drive crashes, comic books, Lord of the Rings and much more.

on a side note, the day this podcast released coincided with election day!

Editing Ingenue: My First Feature Length Edit

It feels like yesterday.. I met up with @KateChaplin and was handed over the storyboards, script logs, & HD to begin editing on her awesome sci-fi feature length film, Ingenue. It was shot on Canon 7D @ 24p. You can find more information about this film on their FB page or on twitter @IngenueMovie. Any fellow sci-fi lovers will probably feel an instant draw to the story at hand. It’s really for everyone, though! You’ve got a story with heart, blackmail, family, love, and everything inbetween with life. I have to admit how very fond I’ve become of the characters and story (and namely, the cast for their performances as such characters of course) A synopsis of the movie is as follows:

A married couple finds a human analog in their basement. The Analog appears to be a woman of the age of 20 but in reality she is a clone with the intelligence of a toddler. After being blackmailed by big business, the couple takes on the task to raise this analog and teach her what it means to be human.

Here is the director cut trailer which I color graded. In the future, there will be some teasers released over time! 🙂 Enjoy if you have not seen it, it’ll give you an idea of the content:

Before beginning this adventure, I read @AvidAsstEditor‘s book again and familiarized myself with it better since some time had passed since I’d used it daily. I highly recommend you give it a read if you’re looking to do the same. For a few days, I struggled back and forth with what NLE I would commit to using for this. It’s a bit scary to dive into such a big project, and even more so when you feel a bit unsure of your confidence in a program. Like many editors have said, it’s like riding a bike no matter what NLE you use. What does it come down to? MC is industry standard, it’d be a great experience, and a true test… so why not? 🙂 Once you get the settings down, the story editing itself is still the same, so take comfort in that fact. I settled on Avid MC6, yet would eye Premiere surreptitiously thinking to myself, “ohhh how familiar and easy it would be to use it” – but, I knew I needed to do this. I’m not an entire newcomer to it, as I used Avid in the past for broadcast spots for a time, but I never felt like I really knew it quite the same as Premiere. Thus, I began the research-filled journey of considering DSLR workflows and how best to make this transition as easy as possible. I already knew I was going to use Dual or Plural Eyes to sync, and Magic Bullet Looks for the color grading, which I am also doing for this.  @j_salvo gave me a good spot of advice about the email function in Avid.

I decided a la Walter Murch to try to put together an index card board to help me organize all the scenes, whether by action/dialogue etc, day or night, key guide for characters, etc. Anything to really keep everything organized and see how it was laid out, visually. I can’t tell you how helpful it is to see it and continue to check the board to see where you are. It was a true legit feeling when I completed it. It also kept me busy while I was sync’ing footage. That… and Back to the Future movies that happened to be on that night! 🙂

Along the way, I’ve received some really great advice from fellow editors that have really helped me keep my head on straight. I can’t thank you enough for your effort and time, most of all, your belief in my abilities. I really want to continue staying very busy and starting up new ventures, maybe collab’ing with some of you in the future. Some helped directly & others indirectly, I dearly hope I’ve remembered everyone. A really helpful codec chart guide by @michaelkammes assisted me into making a decision on which DNxHD codec to use for the footage. It’s really important to make sure you plan out ahead of time whether you’ll be working offline at say DNxHD 36 or not. The worst thing you could do is start the edit, only to realize 30 minutes down the road of edited material, that it’s all wrong. The codec will make all the difference in that, as well. @Jack_McFly relayed some of his experiences on his film, Granted and also some feedback/advice on the glitches I ran across & initial color grading. To that, all I need to say is “LeeryFogBeast” and a great convo about color grading ensued hahaha. @robindejongedit gave me very detailed advice on his workflow and transcoding practices.

The transcoding was quite a beast, which I started to do in Avid firstly, and later moved over to MPEG Streamclip to batch out the rest. This was an awesome process. I learned to hate the beachball of doom. Round and round it goes, when will it end, who knows!?! 🙂 Syncing had a bit of issues here and there, as I believe I should have just started with the basic sync settings – somehow it paired up wrong audio with wrong clip, but I simply had to delete those extras. For the most part, it did it’s job really well considering the slate got fumbled here or there xD I went through a period of researching and figuring out offline editing, AMA linking – To this, I remind you never to be afraid to run test after test until you are satisfied. Eventually, I settled on using a DNxHD that would be high enough quality but not bog down the edit, so I did DNxHD 175. As I near the end of the rough cut, I am extremely grateful to find no lagging or anything. @Rawss was awesome help in this process. He also gave me a great script to use on the timelapse automation importer for my timelapse sequences I needed to put together. When it came to sending out previews for the director to see progress each week, I was kindly linked by @kyl33t to @comebackshane with his guide & settings to doing a decent quality preview in Avid. It’s worked like a charm for popping it in Dropbox.

I would honestly tell you, the fastest way to learn an NLE’s ins and outs is on a challenge with a deadline such as this. You could however set up your own mini goals and pretend you’re on strict deadline for smaller projects. Of course, it’s not always the right decision. Lots of things could go REALLY wrong. It’s a risk – and as with any risk, you’ll overcome the challenges or fall under the weight of the errors. I didn’t expect to outright fail – “Failure is not an option” was a favourite phrase I thought while starting out – I kind of saw this as an adventure of sorts. I won’t say it’s been all sunshine nor all shadows in Avid, one just has to laugh at long-stringed errors that required a restart or other mistakes that just have to happen so you can learn. The good part is a restart entirely always fixed the problem, although I did tend to want to quit it and relaunch vs. restart. Don’t worry, I learned after a few times of this lol. @lasvideo linked me to some of the Avid forum posts and was quite good at razzing me about my decision, he and @ReverbMike and many others made light-hearted jokes or gave me encouraging words, leading to a good chuckle.

Considering the mass amount of media and that this did seem to be few and far between, what NLE is without it’s hiccups? I won’t also relay one very very exhausted morning, I thought I’d lost an entire timeline of cuts. Only to find it safe & sound. Oh no… absolutely not. 😉 And HEY, why am I sharing these things with you? I think it’s good to speak up about what you think you did right or wrong, or even yes silly. I’m not about trying to make myself look like anything but what I am. I enjoyed sharing my experiences in short bits on Twitter with everyone, but to re-highlight it for you all, first here’s some of the “fun” errors:

So to reiterate, make your choice of AMA/offline, research your codecs using that chart, DSLR workflows you can understand, familiarize yourself as best as you can with the ins and outs of whatever NLE you’re using, but expect some bumps along the road even for the best prepared. Never be afraid to reach out for advice when you need it, as it can save you some frustration. There really are no stupid questions if you are eager to learn and trying your best to research the basics first. Google is your friend obviously, but twitter and #postchat are pretty amazing! If in doubt, get up & walk away for a few.

I didn’t realize how incredibly and intensely driven I would keep myself to schedule. I mean, as a freelancer, you have to really know how to boss yourself around and don’t get too distracted by the shinies of being at home with cats, tv shows, games, phone calls, and other various distractions. I had originally intended to get this rough cut completed by the 2nd week of October – and here we are, before the last week of September almost to completion on the first rough cut. However, this also presents a problem when you hear the saying, “Get up every hour and take a break” – you really should! I set up my dip station between the door and my #editcave. Everytime I got up, which maybe wasn’t aaalways every hour, I had to get my heart pumping and blood going – whether I did high knees or knee raises. I tried to combine some fitness in because it’s so important for us as editors. We sit down sometimes an incredible amount of hours, so whenever you can, get up and do something physical.

I’m taking a step back to remember this, and make sure during the refinement, color grading, audio mixes that I don’t get too blinders-on and forget. Then again, it’s hard to contain the excitement – the thing about that part for me is being busy with this feature work has made me feel happier than I ever could have imagined. It’s exciting.. it’s my first feature! Allow me a moment. It’s always a big responsibility to take on a feature film, that I intend to come through with to the best of my abilities. And it’s important to not give way to all your whole life during that. I still made time to workout, plus I devised a hilarious way to stop making simple mistakes in Avid during the first while… via jumping jacks. In addition, I made homemade meals or soup and baked for #nomquer , during our awesome back to school round (ps: join us for our Halloween edition, coming up soon!) it was nice to take these breaks, to give myself time to process my cuts, and go back in to see it with fresh eyes.

Here is a collection of moments to share with you:

Finally, I leave you with this 🙂 If you are on the road to editing your first feature or perhaps using Avid for the first time to do so, please know I would be happy to share any uber detailed advice with you, all you need do is DM or nudge me. If you’ve already cut many features, I would love to hear from you about your experiences, maybe if you’d share the first time you ever cut a feature, that would be cool. I will be posting another blog update from rough cut now to refinement, audio mix, and color grading. Thank you for reading! 🙂 Please feel free to follow me if you aren’t and give Ingenue your support + like on the trailer and facebook! Many Many Thanks!! 😀

Remember to keep your sense of humour about you throughout all this!











Editfest NY with Postchat/Mewshop/ACE

Collection of photos  Please feel free to visit/share this album. I set up a little IMGUR gallery for those who missed some of the pics I already posted and included some others not posted to Twitter.

Heading over with @theriotisover and @kyl33t to the event!

I will preface this by again thanking MEWShop & Postchat so very much for giving me this opportunity! Although my time @ Editfest in NY was cut short unexpectedly, I just wanted to say what a wonderful time there is to be had in NY, no matter how long or short you stay. I had quite a mind-blowing and fun experience in one helluva lightning speed record time. If you weren’t aware, I hadn’t gotten the opportunity to fly and/or generally travel in a long time. I missed getting to attend NAB and was looking towards attending at least one of the Editfest events (if not, both by some miracle) I was one of a few lucky winners of tickets for the NY event from the weekly #Postchat meetings. I had about a week to toss together flight, place to stay, etc. but I had promised myself saying if you win, you must find a way to go no matter what.

I got the opportunity to meet other editors from Postchat, including @Jack_McFly, @JamieCobbEditor, @theriotisover, @EditorLiam, @JoelyEaton, and hilariously I believe I had a small convo with @artoftheguillotine discussing where the restroom was hiding at in the hotel (ps: he indeed pointed me in the right direction!) so to him and @schnittman and @Dr0id plus others, I wish we’d gotten to talk and truly I hope to meet up with you again at an upcoming event. I forsee another trip sometime soon to see NY properly. Also, to see that awesome tiki bar, this gelato shop I passed by earlier, more of central park, and roam around the city, among other places.

Welcome to New York <3

The event is put together by MEWShop and ACE, along with PostChat bringing attention to it during one of their recent weekly discussions. There was a panel of editors on Friday  night moderated by Norman Hollyn/@schnittman (including Milton Ginsberg, Jeffrey Wolf, Alan Heim, Meg Reticker) that was held at the Director’s Guild of America. He started off moderating the discussion by telling us we weren’t talking codecs here, which instantly got a lot of laughs, what a great opener! He said, “Audiences react to change…inside, internally, they lean forward and pay more attention..”

It was more about discussing favorite editing sequences/scenes, along with really great conversations that followed. People were able to tweet in questions, which was a cool idea, and they held a little raffle giving away some seriously awesome loot. Two won from Postchat that I recall, @EditorLiam and @jamiecobbeditor – hooray & congrats!! It was really interesting to understand why the particular editing sequences were featured. This continues to highlight how important it is to think actively while watching other films to understand the editor’s choice of cuts made and why. We were reminded at one point to look to the actors or even set design for cues when to cut. No matter how good a scene is, it won’t necessarily make a good movie. These are some of the wise words said among so much more. I need to watch the films they selected from in entirety now. Later, I had a wonderful chat with one of the gals while gulping down insane amounts of water.

Shot of Editfest Badge + Kylee, event about to start!

Some highlights include the mixer that followed at Le Parker Meridien Hotel a short walk from Director’s Guild was AHHHH-mazing. Walking in, I was especially amazed by the feel and scenic view inside the hotel. It immediately put me in an amazed stupor, what with the red candles and giant chandeliers, neat setup, vast size/the height, even the mini screen in the elevator playing Tom & Jerry cartoons!! The view from the roof-less and glass walled balcony on the top floor ripped open my mind and thrust me into a quiet awe. I was too scaredy cat to approach too close to the edge and look down, I think I left my ninja grappling hook for safety in my bag back at the place we were staying at… yes, that was it. hah. Also, they had a little photobooth set up to take filmstrip photos near the front, which we had a lot of fun using. I met several new people at one point while charging my phone over by an outlet, which I guarded like Smaug guards his precious treasure. LOL. (In fact, met one awesome editor named Wesley, who I introduced to Postchat) Even with battery turned down and most draining apps or things off/low, I still couldn’t seem to have enough juice to last through tweets, pics, and other things. I now fully understand how hard it is to tweet & update when you run low and need to navvie the area as well.

Meaghan (@theriotisover) showed Kylee & I around on a little tour at Sesame Street before Editfest event, which was absolutely cool and I’m not sure how much I can discuss here other than WOW, those Hogwart’s kind of paintings in the front were worth every bit of struggle and effort put into them. Note to self: must install similar paintings in my house one day (it’s fun to dream!) OH – and the walls had bright accents of colours and textures, and cute little chalk drawings that we totally had to stop & gaze upon. That was a surreal time there!

Subways were a whoooole new thing for me. Actually quite a few things this trip were new-ish for me. I could get used to the subways, I think. Flying is strange, but neat. I think most of all, it’s pretty awesome to walk out your door and find places to eat, things to do, and sights to see in walking distances. Backpacks are pretty useful for walking around I’d say. That is definitely cool.

Subway Adventures in NY

Overall, I would highly recommend this event if you can attend in the future (or perhaps try Editfest LA out later in August?) I’m sure you will find many resourceful and useful posts detailing more of Saturday’s events as I had to leave 🙁 I am very grateful for my experiences. It was one of the happier memories for me, to be surrounded by editors in that sort of setting. I may have ran around hyper-speed all day, been dehydrated, and by midnight exhausted, but, I was happy… and being back, I feel the lull & tug of why I need to move to a more post-centric area to actively participate in more events with people like this in the field. Thank you for reading, and I hope you enjoyed my experiences. I’m sorry I couldn’t cover more.

PS… AN UPDATE:  Forecast looks very good for attending Editfest LA this August (also to make up for missing some of NY Editfest) – with having to disappear like a ninja in a fog due to an emergency. 🙁 Thankfully, things are going to be okay. I don’t regret that, but I did miss people & more speakers. So with every fiber of my being, I am looking forward to it. I hope to meet more people and reconnect with those I missed, if possible!!

Yep. Kitty shoes saw NY 😀


Tattoo Design :D

The time has come, the Walrus said…oh wait, that’s not what this is about!

To answer your question – my tattoo work is being done by an awesome guy over at Metamorphosis located in Broad Ripple (Indy of course) named Jeff Foti. Find him on Twitter or see his Metamorphosis bio/portfolio. He’s not only amazing at what he does, but has been real easy/fun to chat with during the course of many few hours long sessions, great at adapting on the fly to adjust colour tones, and does a damn fine job of making it the least painful as possible haha. Really been a pleasure and recommend him all around.

I realize my tattoo sleeve may be a bit off Post/Editing topics, but now and again it’s good to get in a bit of fun to my blog. I know some people were curious about the design of the tattoo. I wish I had more of an overall layout to show you, but instead I’ll link the designs in their colour version so you can get an idea about it. This is a collection of art that I truly love, pretty much speaks to me in that it’s kawaii but has a dark edge to it. I love that it’s playfully twisted and unusually cute. There’s a story behind the characters. Everybody likes cute things, even if they don’t admit it :3 So this is a way to add some cheer everyday. I absolutely love art in itself. Avid collector, especially ACEO’s those mini 2.5 x 3.5 art cards. So much fun and personality in such a small size.

Here’s a visual representation laid out for you to see it’s progress, scroll down to see details about each session n such :3 this is for those that just want a fast scan of it:

 UPDATE: I am featured on the artist’s website, woohoo. See here. Firstly, the artist goes by Sugar Overkill. She’s also doing a custom piece for me to put on my right forearm in the future that’s very tailored to my interests, like film/editing, LOTR, books, and I just know it’s going to be awesome centerpiece for that arm. :3 Will be getting that done after a break this summer to go swimming \m/ Please feel free to ask her to craft you a custom tattoo. 🙂
Halloween characters - love the pirate bat, skelly/psycho panda, zombie doggie etc. :3 He's going to pull those out and use the candy jelly beans, candy corn, gumdrops etc to float around














Some characters that are to be added in next session include ones from this cute Halloween print. Also, to link the various designs I’ve already got outlines completed, they are as follows:

This one is on my outer forearm. love the expressions on the ice cream and the lil ghostie and sprinklies.
This one is on my upper arm, near shoulder. :3 One of my favs! Gotta give some cupcake <3 and it's so twistedly cute.


This bun's colour is probably going to change, but it's a lil bun filled with red bean paste usually, sometimes painted like a peach xD This is on lower upper part of arm.
Looove this one. 😀 it is now on my under arm on the upper arm area

Note for the sleeve design: all the swirlies and floaties of random schtuff is going to tie all the images together in the end, it’s going to add a nice pop of fun and colours too.

Other images that might be possibly implemented if room allows but in smaller size would be:  Kawaii Onigiri Kawaii Bun Happy

Pictures will be posted next to the appointments to give you an idea of how it’s coming along for those interested 😀

People wonder often how long a sleeve can take. I’m documenting my appointments to give you an idea of what to expect. This obviously depends on the skill of your artist also, but a general good idea is to inquire what total amount of hours is required for your design. Be careful to track these hours against work done. Most artists want to do a good job and at a decent pace, but look out for going massively over projected hours or artists that complete way too fast. However, most of all use good judgement. If it takes a little longer on a detailed area, then it takes a bit longer – it is going on you for good, so might as well make sure it’s awesome 😀

Sleeve Sketch/lightly outlined 😀


November 30th, 2011 – 4 major pieces of the sleeve sketched on/lightly outlined. 2 1/2 hours. PIC: http://instagr.am/p/X3O2N/  and see left pic

December 7th, 2011 – Plans to complete smaller characters, possible colour/shading begins PIC: http://instagr.am/p/X5O7h/ and http://instagr.am/p/X5XiB/

December 28th, 2011 – Shorter appt. but colour work done on top shoulder tattoo (cupcake design) PIC: http://instagr.am/p/cvB5G/

January 5th, 2012 – Outlines + colour work done on outer forearm tattoo (ice cream sundae) PIC: http://instagr.am/p/evE4Q/ and http://instagr.am/p/esGob/

January 19th, 2012 – Outlines + colour work done on 2 lower forearm tattoos: mummy bunnie/pirate bat 🙂 PIC: http://instagr.am/p/iunjd/ and http://instagr.am/p/ipMu2/

February 16th, 2012 – Shading on choco bun (owwieeee, big space of shading) + finish outline, complete other elements of kawaii sundae minus fine lines, touchups on black and purple ink on macaroon and bat. PIC: http://instagr.am/p/HFNxo0HUKy/ and http://instagr.am/p/HF16FoHUBC/

March 1st, 2012 – Cat cauldron outlining + shading begins (owwww, back/under arm :c…) PIC: http://instagr.am/p/Hpkc5fHUKw/

March 16th, 2012 – OWIE. Inner arm tattoo, the worst of the very worst pain but so WORTH it. PIC: http://instagr.am/p/JBdJdDnUC3/

Am I missing an appt here? I have no clue >.< Will update if I did OOPSIE. x3

April 19th, 2012 – Floaties and filler work begins. Really pops with details and colours even more! :O He’s doing amazing!! PIC: http://instagr.am/p/JpQpqZnUJw/

April 30th, 2012 – More floaties, two super duper adorable happy kawaii clouds. One on top of wrist and one underneath.

May 10th & 24th – Combination last two sessions for finishing up floaties, touchups, adding franken-pup (So adorbs!@) and finalizing sleeve. There is a possibility in the future I may look to add in super small floaties in a few spots, or a very light colour wash, but I’m pretty damn happy with it. Can’t wait to start on the right arm in the fall. :3 PIC: http://instagr.am/p/LLQBhYHUK5/

There you have it! 🙂 Will update this blog for the future if anyone’s interested in living vicariously through and/or observing the needlework 😀




Nomquer: Post + Noms + Divide & Conquer

A new website, now with 60% more awesome, is launched for our amazing group of #Nomquerers.

We started with only 6 brave adventurous editors and are growing each new round. We hope you’ll love the new look and easier ability to set up your own #Nomquer pics and posts. You should have received an invite, so please join that so you can login. Please let us know how this new setup works for you and if you have any trouble. Kylee and I are eager for your feedback with this. We’re here to help!

Make sure you check your DM’s. The pairing for round 3 is now posted up http://nomquer.wordpress.com/ so check it out!

If you are new to Nomquer, let me personally welcome you to the amazing combo of post people who also love to bake and share. We’ve had a lot of fun so far. There really are no rules exactly how to do each step of this… feel free to post surreptitious pics of food used to make your noms to make them guess, or you can be more specific if you like. Up to you. If you are inclined, feel free to browse our past Nomquer posts to see how it works. We’re trying to really keep this social, so be sure to Tweet or DM your partner to find out what they like, don’t like, allergies/restrictions, and if they’re craving anything particular. Bake it up, and then post some pics and a bit of words on the site once your package arrives.  Also, you can post your tips and recipes of what you made so other Nomquerers can try them out. 🙂

THANK YOU all for joining up on this crazy adventure that started on a whim back in October. It is a personal joy for me to see everyone having a good time with it.

My Frame of Reference Editor Interview by @twainrichardson


I was recently interviewed by a fellow post/editor on Twitter, asking lots of interesting and fun questions about everything related to post and how I got started as an editor. It’s been a long and personal journey for me getting started. Read my thoughts about organization, how to overcome tough edits, problem clients, how to deal with the director/editor relationship, tips/tricks, and more!

I’m very honored and thrilled to have gotten a chance to write down my thoughts and contribute to an amazing group of editor interviews.

Love the clever title, frame of reference 🙂 +1 to that!

A quick taste:

Name one thing that you would tell an aspiring editor
Don’t give up! :-) There will be a lot of struggle in the years ahead. Go to Creative Cow and other awesome forums or websites for inspiration or help. Find yourself a network and utilize it for knowledge, advice, & comradery. Keep moving forward and stay positive. You will make it to your happy edit cave one day.

See the entire article!