This Indiana-based editor uses Avid Media Composer at work, Adobe Premiere for personal projects and After Effects for both.
NAME: Indianapolis-based Hillary Lewis
COMPANY: TourDesign Creative/Live Nation Entertainment
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are the post house for all Live Nation artists creating their broadcast, online, print, radio and advertising for concert tours, nationally and internationally.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE?
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Using the approved ad materials from our art department and approved radio materials from our audio department, we create TV and online commercials using concert footage and/or music videos, adding motion graphics, transitions, color grading, etc. With the approved commercial, we localize and deliver for each market (city) where the tour will perform.
WHAT WOULD SURPRISE PEOPLE THE MOST ABOUT WHAT FALLS UNDER THAT TITLE?
The editors here are jacks-of-all-trades. We don’t have colorists, assistant editors or other post positions that you’d normally find in TV/film post houses. We truly do it all from start to finish.
One of the things that still surprises me is working with artist management teams that give you unusable footage. Whether it be terrible camera work, aspect ratio differences, low resolution, baked-in logos, etc.
A good majority of artist management teams don’t keep a sufficient archive of raw, uncompressed footage of their artist performances. This inevitably backs us into a corner and we’re tasked with finding and ripping usable footage off of YouTube. The humanity!
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
When I have the most possible time to be creative on a new spot. When I can work on one of my favorite artists or bands. And when I can learn new things and put them in my bag of tricks.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
Having to put my name on something I’ve created that I’m not proud of, but that was completely out of my control. For example, a commercial spot that I artistically and creatively didn’t call the shots on.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST PRODUCTIVE TIME OF THE DAY?
For me, there’s a difference between when I’m most productive and when I’m the busiest. We tend to be busiest in the afternoons — from 3pm to 6pm — because we cater to our smaller office on the West Coast. This means the majority of my work is done right before I leave for the day, which often means staying late. But I’m truly more productive in the mornings when the office is less chaotic and when there’s time to be most creative, rather than sacrificing creativity to push a product out in the late afternoon.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
Two things. I’m obsessed with Vox’s explainer videos and would be making similar highly designed, motion-graphics-based content on broad topics such as film/TV, music, FAQs, food, travel, etc.
Or, I’d be a phenomenal post production coordinator/supervisor in film/TV.
HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I entered college as a business major and knew pretty early on it wasn’t going to be a fulfilling career path for me. I happened to take a new media course to fill elective requirements, and it resonated with me so much I switched my major to new media arts and sciences and have been on the post production path ever since. It hasn’t been easy making a name in this industry, but I’ve never once looked back or had any regrets.
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
The most recent artist tours created by TourDesign: Cardi B, Madonna, Khalid, Live Nation $20 National Concert Week, Lewis Black, MasterChef Junior Live!, Mary J. Blige/NAS, Dave Matthews Band, The Head and the Heart… I could go on.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
Not a specific work project, but several accomplishments through my side hustles. I’ve also been a panelist at recent conferences speaking on topics like the gender pay gap, post workflow and new trends in AI and machine learning.
Being an integral part of the media production industry and building a vast network of pros through my travels is something I’m extremely proud of.
NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
Our Avid Nexis server at work, my stand-up desk and my AirPods.
WHAT SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS DO YOU FOLLOW?
The Blue Collar Post Collective on Facebook. I’m also a member and volunteer. BCPC is a nonprofit supporting emerging talent in post by providing mentorships, networking and funding to attend major industry events for pros who make less than the median income of the state they live in. I was one of the recipients of that funding and it was life-changing for me.
If anyone reading this has questions about the program, reach out to me on Facebook
or Instagram @hillary.dillary. I follow other Facebook pages like I Am a Female Editor!, Avid Editors of Facebook, Post Chat, I Need an Editor, Austin Digital Jobs (I’ll be moving there soon).
DO YOU LISTEN TO MUSIC WHILE YOU WORK?
If I listen to anything at work it’s either keeping up with current events from talk shows like The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, The Daily Show With Trevor Noah, Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, etc. or Vice News. Or strictly entertaining things like GoT recaps/fan theory videos, SNL, Vox, Funny or Die.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
It is extremely high stress! I have to keep my body active during the day, using my stand-up desk in intervals and stretching. I can’t be in the right state of mind if my body feels stiff or sore.
Going to the gym at least two to three nights every week also helps me sleep better, which makes me fresher mentally the next day.
Cooking is a great stress reliever for me as well as a creative outlet. I can try new things and be risky with it. Even if I make a meal that tastes horrible, I know I’ll eventually improve that meal and make something that tastes good. It reminds of something a wise man on Queer Eye once said “Failure is not the opposite of success, it’s a part of it.”
I also love a good beer at the end of the day.