By Randi Altman
This week’s Twitter-based conversation #PostChat took on the topic of Switching Gears — Transitioning to other positions in post production.
Toronto-based Tej Babra (pictured), who helps run the weekly PostChat with fellow editors Jesse Averna and Gordon Burkell, knows a bit about switching gears. In addition to film and broadcast editing, he teaches workshops for the Canadian Cinema Editors, of which he is a member, and writes a blog http://www.tejbabra.com/category/blog. You can follow him on Twitter as well @TejBabra.
Wearing a few different hats came naturally to Babra as his career progressed. “Blogging and teaching really came from this need to give back to the community,” he said. “I really wanted to help others prevent mistakes, and help young editors get ahead.”
Sharing information is what PostChat is all about, and this week’s topic about transitioning to other positions is a reflection of what’s currently happening in the post world.
“The industry really is changing gears. We are at a technological peak of what can be accomplished in post,” explained Babra. “In the past, your NLE was strictly a picture cutter. Now you can edit multi-channel sound, work with visual effects, and much more. The technology has given studios and producers a reason to ask more of the editor because it’s right there in front of them.”
While he acknowledged that editors can and should take on more, there are limits. “As editors we must not be afraid to say, ‘I’m a picture / story editor.’ Once you start editing picture/VFX/ sound/color grading, it’s easy to lose focus on the story. I’m not saying we can’t perform all those tasks, and there are many people who do exactly that. However, you really should know your limits and when to say, ‘No we need a VFX artist for this scene.'”
He also pointed to the fact that technology has changed so drastically, many people have changed positions in post or even changed to production instead. “This does not have to be a negative, actually it can be very exciting. We are at a point in the industry, where anyone can learn any skill. If you don’t like your position, you can always learn another. Above all else you must love what you do.”
Join the conversation on Wednesdays (9pm EST/6pm PST) by following #PostChat.