Okay, I’ve been in this business a long time. When I started editing it was tape to tape, and then like a miracle it was read before write! I started as an intern in a tape room running from machine to machine (D2, BetaSP, and 1” machines) setting up bars and tone and re threading when a one-inch machine was inadvertently run off its spool.
What, you didn’t understand a word of that? That’s okay, it’s all ancient history anyway. And that’s a good thing! I took a lot of heat when the NLE (Non-Linear Editor) came on the scene. I was first in line with my hand up to give it a try. I sat down behind my first AVID console in 1994. Yup. It was like heaven.
When trying to introduce email as a better way to communicate and send documents (like scripts and estimates) I was met with disbelief. The fax machine will never be replaced! Our video engineer said to me, "The internet thing is just a fad. It's going to fade out like CB radios."
My interest in Photo Shop and After Effects was also met with negativity. Okay, so it was pretty clunky, and man was it slow even with my smokin' 33MHz processor and 8MB of RAM, but I saw the potential for letting your imagination be the creative limit and not the technology or budget. I knew they would figure out the tech stuff.
I have never looked back. And I continue to be excited to try new programs and attain new skills. I’m not bleeding edge. I don’t have to be the first on the block, but I’m always learning and curious about what’s next.
This business (like many creative businesses) has a reputation for being pretty ageist. Companies seem to want some young hot shot right out of college. “They’re willing to put in the time.” I’ve heard said. Well, yeah they need too, because half the time they spend is figuring something out or redoing it over and over until it’s right. This is not a criticism, it’s just fact. It takes time to learn. Making mistakes and admitting you just don’t know is all part of it. Time to work through a problem you’ve never run into. It’s stressful too. Wondering if you’re going to figure it out before the hard deadline.
A more experienced worker has had many problems to work through and not too much rattles anymore. Work-arounds are second nature. We will make that deadline.
So I dare you to hire experience and know-how instead of potential and enthusiasm. Better yet mix it up! Each will educate and inspire the other and you will have balance. I think the most important thing to have is an open mind and a desire to keep moving forward. That goes for the college grad as well as the experienced artisan.
What do you think? I’m really curious to know what others are experiencing out in the work place.