NAME: Justin Fong
COMPANY: Venice, California’s Heresy
CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR COMPANY?
We are a full-service production company doing everything from prepro to post production, mainly creating work in broadcast commercials and branded content, while dabbling in music videos, television and feature films.
WHAT’S YOUR JOB TITLE? Lead Editor
WHAT DOES THAT ENTAIL?
Editing is huge — it’s an invisible art form that makes or breaks the content. Literally, without editing, you just got a blob of footage sitting there. My job is to create the story and vision of the project by bringing out its emotion and concept.
Specifically, after the footage is all shot, it’s given to me to start building out — the offline edit. I’m given scripts, concept boards, sound reports, script notes, notes from the director and client(s) to begin with a strong foot forward. From there I create the first version of the edit, while working closely with the director. This version then goes out to clients for approval, and round and round we go until the edit is locked and ready for finishing.
Finishing entails sound mixing and color grading. Then when we have received all those assets back, we go into an online edit that incorporates all the final elements. And finally, we are ready to deliver and broadcast to the world!!!
WHAT SHOULD PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT EDITING? ANY SURPRISES?
I don’t think there’s anything that’s really surprising about editing, but one time I told a friend what I do and her response was, “It sounds easy.” A real peach she is! The technicality of it can be easy, but it takes a lot of patience and creativity to pull through an entertaining or thought-provoking edit. An edit can literally go a million different ways, but I believe there are a few paths that make it great.
WHAT TOOLS DO YOU USE?
I use Apple Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PART OF THE JOB?
It’s great to see the project through to its final stage.
WHAT’S YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?
I have to be chained to my desk… until they have a phone that can store terabytes of footage so I can edit on the beach.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE TIME OF THE DAY?
That moment when I pick up my son from day care.
IF YOU DIDN’T HAVE THIS JOB, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING INSTEAD?
I would love to work in a nice/good restaurant. Just serving people good food and watching them enjoy it; I think that would be a nice experience.
HOW EARLY ON DID YOU KNOW THIS WOULD BE YOUR PATH?
I knew in high school in my media class. I got really excited when cuts came together. Especially when The Matrix came out. I did a ghetto-style version of my own bullet time effect (whenever the camera revolves around the character when they’re fully frozen). I just took a bunch of photos, as my friends stood still, then stitched it together. The final product wasn’t as seamless as the movie, of course, but that excitement was pure joy. So I just gravitated to editing because it made me happy.
CAN YOU NAME SOME RECENT PROJECTS YOU HAVE WORKED ON?
I just finished up some projects for Viacom Velocity with Verizon HopeLine called 6000 Beds about domestic abuse awareness, a YouTube campaign for that last Terminator movie and a Vitacoco ad campaign starring Jane Lynch.
WHAT IS THE PROJECT THAT YOU ARE MOST PROUD OF?
I did this BMW short film that was about this small town of oddballs in Germany trying to launch the new BMW 1 Series to America using this magnificent, gigantic ramp. It was a failure obviously. I loved it so much because the project was so weird. Really proud of that one.
NAME THREE PIECES OF TECHNOLOGY YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.
My iPhone, my Mac Pro and my TV.
WHAT DO YOU DO TO DE-STRESS FROM IT ALL?
I have a voodoo doll of my producer doll at home that I stick needles into. Just kidding! To de-stress, a nice dinner with my wife does wonders!