Behind the Title: Billboard Magazine video editor Zack Wolder

Name: Zack Wolder

Company: Billboard Magazine

Job Title: Video Editor

What does that entail?
I edit behind-the-scenes videos of magazine cover shoots, as well as on-site event coverage for music festivals, award shows and industry conferences. I also create branded content pieces, multi-camera studio performances and mini docs.

What are typical projects you work on?
Recently my focus has been on branded content and mini docs.

Can you name some?
I’m currently working on a video series for Sour Patch Kids. Each video features a different artist staying at The Patch House, talking about their upcoming tour/album and it usually features a short performance. The Patch House is a space provided by Sour Patch Kids for artists to stay, relax and create while on tour. One was for artist Raury (pictured). It’s about Raury writing the theme song for the Heaven Sent chute-less skydive that Fox aired at the end of July.  It was presented by Stride Gum.  This video follows him while he meets the skydiver Luke Aikins and does a jump with him.

What is the typical turnaround on these?
Turnaround time varies from project to project. The behind-the-scenes videos for the magazine are sometimes turned around in two to three days, while I have about a week for the more narrative pieces.

How do you manage and deal with the challenges of quick turnarounds?
It’s all about being organized and well-managed. The first thing I do is listen to the interview in its entirety while making a few notes. My goal is to get a good understanding of the story so I don’t have to fully watch it again. Note taking is essential. After the first pass-through I usually have a story mapped out in my head and know how it will unfold. Then I skim through the b-roll, just to get an idea of how much there is, the quality and variety.

Zack cutting on-location at a music festival.

These few steps typically take a few hours; it all depends on the length of the interview. My goal is to have a complete story edit with a music bed done by the end of day one and maybe start a b-roll pass. The first half of day two is filling in with b-roll, and the second half is some basic color correcting. Day three is for revisions.

What editing system do you use? Any plug-ins? What about storage?
I use the Adobe Creative Cloud, mainly Premiere Pro, After Effects and SpeedGrade (I have not yet updated to the newest version of Premiere, which removes the direct link to SpeedGrade function.)

I don’t use many plug-ins other than Twixtor and a few free transition plug-ins that I’ve found over the years.

For storage, we have a large EditShare server set up in the office. We have another, slightly smaller EditShare unit that we bring to the larger festivals and conferences. For smaller events we use LaCie and G-Tech G-RAID drives.

Are you asked to do more than editing on some of these? If so, what are you asked to do.
Mostly editing. For festivals I tend to help plan the post workflow. I recently planned a simple workflow for our Hot 100 Festival, which includes six editors (one offsite), a DIT and 13 cameras.


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