Editor's Position Accepted
The 508 semester at USC Film school

#14 in a series of 16

Lights, camera, action! .. at USC Film school

Fade up & zoom in.

Wendy called & said she & Lisa blew up at each other. Lisa left, then came back, 
and they talked for two hours. Wendy claims that Lisa's lack of planning is making 
her job far more difficult than need be. Lisa claims Wendy is not committed to her 
film. They blew up in the
editing room, in front of Luke & Keith.

I don't think this means they love each other any less. I think it means that it's the 
end of the semester, and they're both stressed to their breaking points. All students 
were warned prior to the beginning of the 508 semester, that 508 was a killer. 

Partner conflicts are not uncommon. On the contrary, it's unrealistic to think every-
thing will be blue skies & sunshine.


This is it. Crunch weekend has arrived. A light has appeared at the end of tunnel 508. 
Picture lock is due Monday morning. Lisa's film started at 15 mins. Wendy whittled it 
down to within 30 secs of the limit (5 mins 3 secs). 

Usually, the locked picture goes to a composer, but Lisa didn't get a composer. Rather, 
she's is using the 
actress's (LaToya's) boyfriend to create the sound, a bunch of 
individual audio tracks. Lisa prefers to get average people "off the street" (so to speak) 
to do her films. As you may recall, her actress has no prior acting experience. (Wendy's 
composer, Ed, is

Lisa gave the individual audio tracks to Wendy, and asked her to edit the picture to 
the audio tracks
. Wendy thought she was almost done with editing. Now she has lots 
more work to do. She worked extra hard, early on, in hope that she'd get to spend 
Sunday with her
mom, on the second anniversary of van's passing, cuz mom had a 
hard time with the previous anniversary of
Van death. 

Anyway, she's not happy about learning about the new editing strategy at the last 
minute, when (she thought) she was so close to being done. She says that if Lisa 
wanted the film to be edited this way, she should've gave her the music weeks ago. 
She says, "Lisa has me editing a music video .. on a flatbed, which is absurd. Nobody 
edits a music video on a


Tania was not selected to direct a 546 next semester. Some panel members had 
problems with
the story. Wendy thought this odd, cuz all scripts are pre-approved 
the directors are selected. The panel was comprised of 6 men, 2 women. 
Men in particular were not thrilled with the script. 

Perhaps if they would changed the drunk husband to a work-a-holic husband, 
they wouldn't have had a prob. I had similar misgivings myself. Any male who 
happens to identify with the husband would have a problem with this script.

Tania considered two scripts. The one she did not select was chosen by the panel.


The diff between 508 (this semester) & 546 (next semester) is:

1. 546 has sync sound dialogue. 508 does not.
2. 546 is in color. 508 is B&W.
3. 546 is 12 minutes long. 508 is 5 mins. 
4. 546 uses 10 students. 508 uses 2

In other words, 546 represents more how things work in the industry. Wendy heard 
that people tells lies. Promises get broken. Ugliness not uncommon. Profs have sat 
down with students & warned them. Bottom line is that 546 is about chemistry
Best advice is for students to work with good people that they get along with.


Wendy has been talking to the four directors who have been selected. Her options 
look like this:

Do Sound for Denise McCarthy. Denise's offer was the first (after Tania's) that Wendy 
considered. Denise was the one who called while I was writing
update before last. 
Denise did Sound for her first 546 crew assignment. She says Sound is good, cuz 
everybody needs a good Sound person, and she was able secure pay-backs from 
other students who she did Sound for. 

Wendy enjoys doing sound, but heard that Sound people get no respect - that Sound 
the last thing directors think of. She discussed this with Denise, who assured her that 
this won't be the case. Denise will make sure that Sound (& the Sound person) is not 
an after-thought. 

Denise told Wendy that she wouldn't give the position to anyone else, without first 
talking to her. This makes it easier for Wendy to explore other options.

As soon as the news was released, who was selected to direct next semester's 546s, 
the first call Wendy got was from
Pema (pronounced 'pey muh, he's from Tibet), asking 
if she'd be interested in Producing his film (with
Dennis). Pema was selected to direct a 
movie titled Echo (linkage

Dennis, who pitched with Wendy & Tania, for Tania's project, also pitched for Pema. 
Protocol states that, when a student pitches with/for more than one director, he/she 
must inform all directors which is their first choice. Tania's project was not Dennis' first 
choice - Pema's was. Each position is filled by two people (two producers for each film). 
Pema still needs another Producer.

But Wendy isn't crazy about about the idea of Producing Pema's film. She isn't crazy 
about Producing, period. She feels that she could Produce, if she had to. But Producing 
deals with the business aspects of Filmmaking, and Wendy's more interested in Film's 
creative aspects. 


Editor's positions are sought after more than any other. This may be cuz 546 films 
are now edited using
Avid Media Composers. Knowing how to edit film on an Avid is 
a marketable skill in itself. Plus it's so much easier than editing on a

Denise already has both her Editors, so she had no need for another. Denise's film is 
mostly dialogue. So there wouldn't be much creative opportunity for a Sound person 
(music, etc.). Wendy wants to be excited about her position, and doing Sound for 
Denise doesn't excite her. 

Wendy already told Pema that she didn't want to Produce, but that she might consider 
doing Sound for him, but would rather edit. Wendy gave Pema a 'reel', containing: 
Breathe (2nd half), Descent (2nd half), Pearl Diver (parts), all of Vandancing & BodyMind.  


Yesterday Pema offered Wendy an editing job - the first/primary position. She accepted 
on the spot. She's very happy, walking 2 inches off the ground. 

While talking to Pema, another girl walked up, who's directing another 546 film/project. 
When the girl heard that Wendy signed with Pema, she said, "Aww, we wanted Wendy. 
You stole her." Pema said, "You only wanted her for Sound. I gave her an Editing job." 
The girl said, "We wanted her for anything."

Pema asked Wendy who she might like to work with. He said that one of the possibilities 
is a guy named Geof. Wendy thought Lisa & Geof were pitching as an editing team. 
In other words, she thought they were working together, and you didn't get one without 
the other. Pema said that this wasn't the case. 

Wendy hopes that Lisa isn't offended by Pema giving her the editing job. She hopes it 
doesn't affect their relationship. Lisa wanted the position. Things could get awkward. 
They only have one more week of working together, but it will require much time spent 
close together. 

After Wendy got the editing job with Pema, Lisa wanted to take Geof and go 'pitch' (as 
an editing team) to Dava, who's another girl selected to direct a 546. But Geof wanted to 
"talk to Pema first." Wendy said Lisa is fuming, calling Geof a backstabber. Lisa thought 
she & Geof were a team, and felt like Geof is abandoning her. 

This just in. Wendy just called and said that Pema offered Geof the second editing 
position, and he took it. Wendy is concerned that this may affect her relationship with 
Lisa, cuz she'll now be editing with the guy Lisa thought was her (editing) partner. 
It's not Wendy's fault, but could make for an awkward final week. Wendy feels bad for 
Lisa. She hopes Lisa doesn't resent her. 

Wendy heard good things about Geof. Says he never misses class. Works hard. Smart 
as a whip. Pema said a reputation for working hard was his primary criteria in making
his selections.


It is now clear why it's better to do your movie *first* during the 508 semester. This is 
what Wendy heard, but she never heard reasons why. Reasons are cuz:

1. If you go 2nd, you have to start planning your film while finishing (editing) the first. 

. Many people (like Lisa &
Ron) totally change their script after working on the first film. 
This adds tons more work with little/no time. 

. Pitching for 546s occur during the 2nd film. It's difficult to produce/direct your own 
film while looking into 546s. 

Lisa says that the students who do their film second get screwed. But there is also the 
school of thought that says you learn from the mistakes you make by going first.


Wendy got fat letter from Lani today. It started by saying, in giant letters:  
Mommy, you're my inspiration!!!
Wendy was crying. Good timing, cuz today is 2-year 
anniversary of
Van's death.

Fade to black.

Next -> Wrapping up the Semester
Previous -> Preparing for the Pitch

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