AMD 2.1

This week’s #PostChat: reprogramming your muscle memory

By Randi Altman

Some people might argue that social media has made interaction less personal. But I don’t think anyone who participates in the weekly PostChat conversation on Twitter would take that stance.

Wednesday nights from 9-10pm EST (6-7pm PST), a group of industry pros gather to follow #PostChat and talk about tools, techniques, trends and more.

By following #PostChat anyone can take part in the conversation or just follow along. This Twitter group was founded by New York-based video editor Jesse Averna (@Dr0id), whose day job includes editing Sesame Street for Sesame Workshop. He has three Emmy wins for his work on the series.

Averna runs the chat with Gordon Burkell (@AotgNetwork), an editor, C.C.E. Executive Board member, and owner/operator of, and Tej Babra (@TejBabra), a film and broadcast editor, C.C.E. Associate, working with CTV, MTV, Much Music, and Bell Media. He also teaches workshops for the Canadian Cinema Editors. He also operates

This week’s topic was “Unlearning: How to reprogram muscle memory, move on from negative feedback, erase bad advice, forget old shortcuts.”

For Averna, it’s all about attitude. “If I decide that learning a new piece of software is pain, instead of exciting, then it will be a pain. That being said, change is always difficult. I don’t want to have to think about how to get the machine to do what I need it to do. I just want to be able to concentrate on the creative.”

But he refuses to see learning as an obstacle. “We as post pros are lucky to be able to constantly use and incorporate new technology into our art. Don’t expect the new software you are using to act and function as the old software you are moving from. Learn Avid. Learn Premiere. My advice is to not try and make Avid act like Premiere and vice versa.”

When I asked Averna if editors should be constantly trying different tools to keep sharp, he said this: “Editors are usually constrained to the software being used on the project they are hired for, or provided by the client hiring them. One of the advantages of down time between gigs, for freelancers, is you get the chance to dive into new software.

Averna says, personally, he has trouble learning something new without having a project to dive into. “I do believe that any time you get to have an ‘ah-ha!’ moment of discovery, whether with learning a new piece of software or in your development of how to get a tough scene to work right, etc., it energizes you. Your brain hungers for those moments. But sometimes you have to create an excuse to learn something new. In order to stay relevant and remain hirable, it’s in the editor’s best interest to create the time and energy to learn that new software and to not let the tech dictate your ability to work as a storyteller.”

To take part in the conversation, follow #PostChat any Wednesday evening. And check this space weekly to get a preview of what’s up next on #PostChat.

Photo Caption: Jesse Averna is center (wearing glasses) along with many regulars of PostChat, including Tej Babra (first row, far left) during an NAB PostChat meet-up.

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