Back to Articles

January 12, 2023

Editing is changing — are you keeping up? (w/ Steve Ramsden)

Blog, Famous Editors

Jade Chow

Jade Chow

January 12, 2023
Steve Ramsden is a YouTuber and filmmaker with over 250k subscribers and 11M views under his belt. Steve is also the owner and founder of Unexplored Films, a UK-based video production company that’s created content for names like Xbox, Warner Bros., and Jamie Oliver. We discuss Steve’s journey as a business owner and content creator as we unveil his recipe for an equilibrium between client and passion projects, along with how to rocket-launch yourself as a freelance editor or videographer.
STEVE RAMSDEN:

STAYING AHEAD OF THE TRENDS

 Steve shares his experience searching for overseas opportunities to kickstart his career after college, from working with National Geographic to exploring the Phillippines, and the importance of cultivating an adventurous spirit when seeking new, fun opportunities, as it goes hand-in-hand with forming a network of like-minded people that often lead to creative friendships or even fruitful collaborations. Aside from connections, Steve advises experimental filmmaking for those interested in telling a story that’s able to span cultures and reach viewers from around the world. We talk about storytelling, the essence of editing, and how thousands of editors share the same desire to bend time and space through their craft.

It's like being a superhero you know; you're cheating with time because these things were shot hours, minutes, or years apart. You're cheating with space because they might have been shot in different countries.

Steve Ramsden, YouTuber and Founder of Unexplored Films

While Steve believes that film school might not be everyone’s cup of tea, he notes that the decision largely depends on the student’s goal, ranging from having a support system to learning the basics of the craft.

I think there is a place for traditional film school, but it is expensive. I mean, most of them are - so you have to have a pretty good reason to want to do it.

Steve Ramsden, YouTuber and Founder of Unexplored Films

A constantly shifting landscape in education means that new doors have opened for people to utilize self-teaching methods via online courses or even enough YouTube tutorials, such as DIY Moviemaking or After Effects Essentials – two courses that Steve is currently offering on his website.

  • As a freelancer who’s just starting out, experimenting with the free-to-fee model is a great way to gain exposure and start building your client base.

  • More and more editors are learning to fulfil more than just the editor’s role. Learning how to shoot and edit can assist you in building a client base as you develop your showreel from scratch.

  • Thinking about the ultimate edit while filming will aid you in the editing process, and vice versa, as using both your camera and editing skills can help you improve them simultaneously.

  • Adequate preparation, such as elaborate storyboards, is vital for editors or filmmakers interested in working alone on any project.

  • Build up a portfolio and share them with your friends and family. Try to talk about your work and show people what you’re capable of that you don’t talk about aloud.

  • When considering whether a client project is worth the time, compile a set of questions and samples to assist the client in clearly expressing their vision and expectations for the project to avoid complications and identify any red flags.
EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

OUR INTERVIEW WITH STEVE

Nick Lange

Okay, Steve. So, as I understand, you started making films when you were 13 with a camcorder. Can you tell me how you discovered your love of filmmaking and how you got here today?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, absolutely. I was always interested in films, and even before I had my first camera, because it wasn’t like these days where a kid probably grows up with a smartphone, they’ve got a camera in their pocket. For me, growing up in the late 80s, early 90s, I didn’t really have any of that stuff. I would build stuff out of Lego, I’d shut one eye and pretend I was a camera and try and get some sort of cinematic angles out of little models I’d build, but I just didn’t have anything to film it with. So I eventually pestered my parents to get me a rickety camcorder, and that was what I started making films with in my backyard with my friends, which I’m sure a lot of people are interested in this sort of stuff do. So I was doing it as a hobby before I was doing it as the thing I was studying. In fact, it wasn’t a subject at my school, so they didn’t really know what to do with me in terms of career stuff at school, because it wasn’t a subject that was offered – anything to do with media or film. I mean, it is these days increasingly so at lots of schools, I think, but at the time, my secondary school like my high school, there wasn’t an option for me. So I would do it after school or on weekends, just make films with my friends. I’d make things that would take like an entire year to make on weekends. People’s hair would be changing length, leaves would be falling off the trees and that sort of thing, but they were fun because it was a training ground where I didn’t really have any formal training at that point. It was just messing around and learning how to do it. So that was how I started really.

Nick Lange

What inspired you to create your YouTube channel?

Steve Ramsden

I think it was just starting to have fun with experiments, the first couple of things uploaded were some of my earlier short films and that sort of thing, but the things that I think people found most interesting were things like attempting to do low-budget versions of visual effects. That seems to be the thing that most people kind of found me through, I think. It was kind of sharing experiments that I’d done, which I’d tried to figure out my own method of doing something that I might have seen in a big-budget Hollywood movie. One of the early ones was the Mission Impossible mask coming off, you know? And so, I thought, I don’t actually know how they do it, but I think I’ve worked out a version of trying to do something similar. So I would share these things and then that I think led to more people liking them and enjoying them. I think the things that mostly took off were me trying to do my own version of things I’d seen in films, but without spending very much.

Nick Lange

And how did that lead to creating DIY Moviemaking, the course that you sell?

Steve Ramsden

Well that came about because I realized that I was getting more and more requests to explain in more detail what I was doing, so I eventually put out a video saying, “What would you like to learn?” I asked everyone that was interested in the channel what they would like to learn, and the responses came back in kind of two categories, some people said they want more nerdy After Effects stuff, because a lot of the stuff I use has been with a specific program, Adobe After Effects, so some people came back and said, we want to learn more about every process that you regularly use and that, and some other people came back and said they wanted to learn more general things about low-budget filmmaking, they wanted to learn how to get some people together and make a movie without spending very much. So it was clearly two different kinds of topics, that led to me building two separate courses, under the banner of DIY Moviemaking, which is what my website is called and where these courses are. There are now two courses, one is actually called DIY Moviemaking, and that is how to make the best film you can on a budget. That is the kind of reasoning behind it. Then the other one is called After Effects Essentials, and that is showing how, with just using a couple of the tools in After Effects, you can get results similar to the stuff that I’ve tried. So that’s how I ended up creating it based on getting asked a lot of the same questions about getting into stuff in more detail and how people could replicate my results.

Nick Lange 

Awesome. So along the way, you’ve been producing really great narrative short films, extremely well-written, well-directed, great cinematography and post. Can you tell me how long the way you’ve been making these great tutorials, teaching these filmmaking fundamentals, how you’ve explored your own career as a creator, as a writer and director of short films?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah. The short films grew out of what I was doing at my university. So when I was younger, prior to going to university, I wasn’t really interested in short films, I was interested in making long films, even though they would take forever, because I thought that’s how films were. I wasn’t very interested in shorts, because I didn’t know much about them, I wanted to make things like, you know, the length I’d see in the cinema. So it was basically coming down to quality, not quantity. That’s what I was learning at university. That was where I started making short films. I made a film as my graduation film, which is one of the ones still on YouTube, called Eco Sock, that’s like a student union animal rights activist group that’d recruit a new guy, whether he likes it or not, and force him to go with them in like some kind of robbery to free some animals. So that’s a kind of a dark comedy, and I had a really good time doing that. I thought, “Okay, I’ll carry on doing narrative shorts,” as a way to practice working with actors and with crew. It’s not stuff that I would be getting paid for, necessarily, because few people are paid to do narrative stuff straight away, but as a way of practicing and doing this side of things that I was most interested in. So then I did a couple of full-time jobs, and during those times, I still tried to do short films outside of work. When I became a freelancer and set up my own company, I had less time to do a lot of that because I was suddenly having to go and find the work myself, but recently, I’ve managed to get back around to doing more of those short narrative films again. So that’s why I’ve done it. I’ve kept doing it to try and stay sharp, stay good at doing it and practice making these things without much money, because you can sit around and wait for funding, but that usually takes a long time and by the time you’ve done it, no one cares anymore and you might be on to the next idea. So I try not to do the funding route, I just try and come up with things that can be easily done for very little budget, and that’s the method I sort of recommend to people.

Nick Lange

Yeah, which are so popular. Everyone wants to know how to make a small budget look big.

The jobs that you had to support yourself, before you went freelance as a filmmaker; when I was young, I used to wonder how do I do that? How do I support myself? What job do I do that gives me the freedom and time outside of work to set myself up to have the skill and the clients to do video production full-time; what were those jobs, and what’s the worst job that you’ve had to do in order to pay the bills to make this dream possible?

Steve Ramsden

I think most people would say it’s kind of like with any job that is kind of seen as like a fun job that that that people might want to do for a living. I mean, most people would kind of suggest the kind of free-to-fee models. So you might have to do a bunch of free stuff first so that you can say you’ve done it because it’s like chicken and egg; if you haven’t done it, they won’t hire you. And I think I think straight out of film school, you know, like a lot of people, you kind of think “Alright, I’m done. I’m ready to get hired by loads of companies,” and of course, if no one’s heard of you, and you don’t really have much experience outside of school, then yeah, no one’s really going to hire you unless you start doing it. So, I did a load of unpaid jobs as a run-up straight after university, just stumbling out in the forest in the middle of the night on some terrible horror film, you know, that’s probably not something that I would want to do these days, pretty far down the pecking order of the crew, you know, so you kind of, you get blamed for everything, like everyone blames the person below them for something, and not really knowing how any of the equipment works, or you know, anything like that. So I did a few of those, and then I eventually got an internship as, I guess a trainee kind of shooter-editor would be the closest thing to say. And actually, that was very useful, because to me the to use most useful things to learn. And obviously, all these roles are kind of colliding these days when it’s been easier with the technology but would be to learn how to use a camera and learn how to edit. And those were the two things that I was advised to get good at if I wanted to earn money doing it because you can either be part of a traditional crew, which is obviously very big and a lot of people, or you can try and do something smaller, where you’re doing it all yourself, and you’re wearing more hats, and that was the route that I eventually kind of took; I did an internship for a production company, which I think are quite rare to find these days, actually, at the time I was lucky to find one, not in the UK either, this was one that I did overseas. And I thought, okay, well, it’ll be cheaper to live if I’m not living in a big city, and I won’t have to spend a fortune staying in London, which is where I guess I would have been if I hadn’t done this thing. And it allowed me to kind of build up a showreel. That’s the other thing. I think if you want to start getting hard to do stuff, as I say, you’ve probably got to build a showreel out of free stuff first, whether it be filming or editing or both. I mean, that’s great thing about editing, right? If you’ve gone out and filmed something, but you don’t know how to edit it. No one cares; it’s probably just a long series of clips. If you’re good at editing, then you can suddenly put that together and it might be something people will watch and go, “Oh, you mean you filmed and edited this, oh wow,” or whatever it is. So I think that I think that’s why editing is so valuable if you can you’re quite useful, especially if you can make people watch something. I mean, everyone’s staring at videos all day, right? So there’s never been more of a demand for people that can put stuff together and make people keep watching and stop scrolling. I guess.

Nick Lange

It’s true, growing demand. We talked before the call about how we both learned filmmaking by making wedding videos or at least some of what we know today. I would shoot terrible footage of weddings and then have four or five hours of footage that I had to cut into 30 minutes of halfway watchable content, and so I learned how to be efficient and how to choose shots that that would work. Tell me about your experience making wedding videos and what did you learn from that?

Steve Ramsden

Well it wasn’t so much wedding videos for me, but the bit I was certainly agreeing with was taking a whole load of stuff that wasn’t very good and trying to get like the few seconds that were good. So it wasn’t really weddings for me, which I still kind of try and avoid as much as possible, because I prefer working for companies rather than, you know, mothers-in laws, or whoever it is, you know, people who might not know about all the work that’s involved. Not that I’ve got anything against mothers-in-laws.I think, yes, it was the same experience of having gone out and shot tons and tons of stuff for whatever the project was, and then wading through all in trying to find, you know, the odd little clip that might be the best bit, and then sticking them all together in a row, but I think that forced me to get faser editing as well, because if I had to wade through a load of stuff, it forced me to get fast at it and able to able to do it quickly. And that meant it was less of a problem if I’d overshot or, or it’s worse, if somebody else passes you something and says, “Here you go, his 10 hours of stuff, good luck with that,” and this is why I think actually being a shooter or a camera person makes you a better editor, and vice versa; I think being an editor makes you a better shooter, because if you’re already telling a story when you’re filming, if you’re almost editing in your head, I think you’re a better camera person. If you’re filming with editing in mind, you’re a better editor, if you’ve gone and actually got the shots and the coverage. You don’t have to explain to someone else where all the good stuff is right, you know where all the good stuff is because you filmed it. I tend to work backwards when editing sometimes if I’ve done multiple takes, because why would you have done it again if you got it already? Why not start with the last one, and save yourself a bunch of time? So little things like that, I think you’d work out if you’ve been filming a load of footage, maybe and then slowly getting better at being maybe more selective as you film. I’m guessing after your initial wedding videos, maybe you’d end up working out little shortcuts or better ways of doing things. I think there are little tricks like that.

Nick Lange

Yes, absolutely. To your point about the value of knowing how to edit as a director, and vice versa. Yesterday, I was speaking to the editor of the most recent Jumanji movies with Dwayne Johnson, and he’s editing The Rock’s current movie. Something he said was that he’s worked with dozens of directors over the course of his career, and he always knows the directors who edit. You can always tell just by the footage as it comes in how much experience they have in editing.

Steve Ramsden

Wow, that’s really good to know. That’s really interesting.

Nick Lange

Yeah, Paul Verhoeven, he said, is one of the directors who he says is, is shoots really like like an editor who really knows how to tell he directed Showgirls was the movie that Mark had edited. And he said, “Just look at that footage; you can really see this by just looking at the clips.” You see how the director envisions that story coming together in post really fine.

Steve Ramsden

It’s funny because I think everyone assumes that directors edit their own films, like your average person on the street probably doesn’t realize that. In their head, it’s one person who’s gone out with a camera and then edited it. If you love it as a director and you want to sit and put it together in your way, I think it’s quite hard sometimes to learn to work with, whether it be a separate camera person or a separate editor, on big films. Tarantino always has his editor, Martin Scorsese always has his editor, who I’ve actually met – Scorsese’s regular editor, Thelma. If you haven’t found somebody who you always team up with, I think it’s probably quite hard to let go of that, you know because you’re like, “But it’s my thing, I want to put it together,” and it’s hard sometimes to be impartial. If you’re editing your own film, you don’t have those fresh eyes of someone who didn’t sit there until midnight trying to get this shot that’s not adding anything to the story, but you want to include it because it took you so long to get.

Nick Lange

What will you do as your films become grander in scope and bigger and as you become a world-famous writer-director. Will you be cutting your own films?

Steve Ramsden

I’s funny, I’ve tried both methods and I’ve almost gone backwards a little bit because the last few that I did before thisd year, I was doing with a separate editor. I was working with various friends as editors, I worked with a couple of friends as camera people as well. Weirdly, I think it might have been a post-pandemic thing, or not post because it’s obviously ongoing, but since Covid came along and everyone’s been a bit more conscious of packing a load of people into a room, funnily enough, my most recent short film which I shot earlier this year, and although I’ve done a few behind-the-scenes things on YouTube, it’s not released yet because it’s currently in the running for festivals, but I went backwards a little bit in terms of crew numbers and scaled back down. This most recent short that I finished recently, I did actually edit myself. It might also be the fact that I’ve done more and more client work since, say five years ago, where I have been editing day in and day out. I was also filming day in and day out. I actually ended up wearing more of the hats myself, for the most recent ones than I did for the ones I was doing maybe about six or seven years ago. I almost went a bit more Robert Rodriguez, do-it-all-yourself with these most recent ones. It’s interesting, I think there is a place for both methods. There was another sequence from another short that I’ve started work on – which will take a bit longer because it’s more ambitious – but that involved hiring a location, which I only had the money to hire for one night. And again I think it would have taken longer to explain to somebody else wanted to get, so I ended up being like my own second unit camera person and just shot all of it myself because I didn’t think I’d have the time to explain to a whole crew what I wanted. So I think there is a place for both, you know, I think it’s it’s funny, like, depending on the story you’re telling. I think yeah, you know, if you already know an awesome camera guy or an awesome editor, then why would you not work with them? But if you’re separated from some of your good friends and collaborators by geography, or other commitments or that sort of thing, then yeah, you know, there’s nothing wrong with trying these things. But I think having more time to do a test as well is wise if you’re going to wear more hats, and be super prepared if you’re going to try and do all the hats yourself. Because I only did that because I’d done a shotlist and a storyboard. There wasn’t time to kind of mess around, and so I had to know what I was going to get. So yeah, I think there’s a method of both, but I’ve tried both. Yeah, for sure.

Nick Lange

What’s the biggest disaster that you’ve had to deal with onset? The most stressful chaos of production? We were doing a shoot for a beef jerky company here in the US called Krave Jerky, and it was a shoot featuring an NFL player. He was on the Broncos at the time, Vernon Davis. So we were at his gym in the Bay Area; it was a travel shoot. And as you know, we’re off to a good start getting great footage and wrapping up at this gym location. And then we’re going to drive to his house and film him with his family. He was you know, teaching his kids how to paint and playing football with them, and of course, eating the jerky. So as I go out, I go out there to start the van, which has all of our equipment. That’s our way of getting to the house. And it doesn’t start, it’s just completely dead. And I said, “Oh no.” And Vernon has already left. So he’s got he’s expecting us to be following him. And we could not figure out what to do. So there happened to be a mechanic across the street. So I run over there and convinced one of the mechanic mechanics to follow me back. He spends you know, 20 minutes, getting the van door pouring in some kind of fluid and changing this and that and maybe jump starting it too. And then finally, we show up at Vernon’s house 45 minutes late; it seemed so likely for us that the shoot was just not going to happen. Have you ever lost if you’ve lost footage?

Steve Ramsden

Oh yeah, no, I’ve got a story about that. Actually, that’s a really good point. I mean, maybe less of a like an onset disaster, but kind of like yeah, I’ve done that in my first job – a couple of weeks into my first job, luckily it wasn’t footage of the actual film like it wasn’t quite that bad, but it was a behind the scenes interview with the director that I and some of my fellow kind of low-ranking crew members we had worked on together and – this is why you should ingest your footage straight after, kids – we’d done the shoot with the director of the film, and it was a Friday. It was like the last thing on a Friday, you know, we’re about to have the weekend and we thought, and I thought, ah, you know, it’s fine. I’ll ingest it on Monday. I’ll do it on Monday. It’s, it’s fine. Where did I put it? I put it in my wallet. Because I thought, well, that’s going to be safe. It was an SD card from a fixed lens camera and I put it in my wallet, that’s fine. It’s going to be safe there. Why did I not put it in a drawer somewhere that wasn’t going to be moving that weekend? I don’t know. Anyway, we then went on a boat trip, my friends and I during the weekend, where I took my wallet, took my phone took my wallet, whatever it was in my pocketa. And yeah, for some reason, I decided that would be the safest place for it. And then when I came back, not that I thought I’d fallen in the water or anything, but I never found the card again. So I kind of had to fess up to my supervisor who was also on the crew. He was a really lovely guy, still a really good friend of mine, who’s based in the States. I said to him, like, I’m gonna be honest, I don’t know where the footage is with this interview so, yeah. We went back to the director as a group, we said, “Well, we, we did get some good stuff; but we’ve actually come up with some additional questions that we think would be really good. And the problem is, it’s not going to match if we cut it together with what we’ve already filmed. Would you mind if we reshot it because we’ve got some better questions for you now and we think we can film it a bit better because me and my buddies we’ve been practising and we think you know, we can do a much better job than we did on Friday?” And he was like, “Oh yeah, brilliant, we can totally film it again.” So yeah, my supervisor saved me on that one, but that was not a good week. And the moral is, ingest your footage straight after. Do not wait until another day unless it’s in two places, you don’t have it. Yeah, see my suggestion there.

Nick Lange

Oh, wow. I wish I had thought of that. I was doing a shoot in Las Vegas. We were filming it for a mobile phone company, ZTE. We were filming the DJ Diplo doing a New Year’s Eve party. So they’re all these people there. And we were just filming it. That’s gonna be part of this, like, CES experience that we were doing for the client. And so New Year’s Eve happens to be my birthday. So we filmed until midnight, you know, we got the ball job, exciting, cool footage. We were filming on an Osmo just those little tiny gimbals that connect to a smartphone because they wouldn’t let us bring big cameras in this club.

Still got lots of good footage. And then the cinematographer puts the phone and the Osmo in a little bag under our seats. Oh, and we had that they had bought a table. You know, it’s like they’ve gone all out to make this footage amazing. We’re in a perfect location. Anyway, so we put the camera under the bench of the table and then we go party and drink tequila. And forgot everything that happened after that.

Steve Ramsden

Work hat comes off and party hat goes on.

Nick Lange 

Yeah, exactly. Yeah. And just had a wild night. Woke up the next morning unsure how I even got in my hotel room and feeling awful. I could barely crawl out of bed. But I do, we had more shooting through that day. Make it to my phone to see what time it is, and I see a message from the cinematographer saying, “Dude, the footage got stolen,” the camera and footage, you know, his phone and the Osmo were gone. I said no. And so he’s like, “I’m waiting in front of the club for it to open.” Of course they don’t open first thing in the morning so he’s waiting hours for this club to open, and finally it opens – nothing. It was a disaster. We had to book another table, and those tables are very expensive I learned, for another DJ, it wasn’t even Diplo again, two nights later and try to recreate this event at our expense

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, because there’s no other way of doing it. Yeah, of course, until it exists in another place then yeah, that’s it. Oh, that sounds really tough.

Nick Lange

It was our last project with that client. I didn’t have an angle about how we could ask how we could do a better job.

Steve Ramsden

No, it can’t be like, “I tried, we got robbed like, I tried to stop them.” Amazing.

Nick Lange

Yeah. So you separated your channels so that you have Unexplored Films, focusing on professional content, and you have your tutorials on the Steve Ramsden channel. Where do you plan to go with both channels as a filmmaker?

Steve Ramsden

So I recently separated the YouTube channels, it was becoming a little bit messy. The channel was originally called both my name and Unexplored Films about up to a year ago, and then I renamed it to my name because I thought that was actually more representative of what was on it, the stuff I was doing for fun like the DIY movie making things, rather than the professional client work. So recently, I have now set up a new channel just called Unexplored Films, which is all the client stuff that is much more like all the stuff that is on my company website. So really, my plan is to keep pushing both of them to keep doing more of the client work in the day-to-day way that I make my living, but also continue to build out the DIY Moviemaking courses and the site, and spread the word through both the organic stuff on YouTube but also maybe find other ways to promote it you know, like talking to folks like you, that sort of thing. It would be a case of continuing to grow DIY Moviemaking as a kind of global community of filmmakers supporting each other, doing their own low-budget movies and learning from each other, because, again, not everyone lives in a place where there are loads of folks to help them do this. Globally, there are lots of places where you can’t just find a load of people who’ve also gotten interested in this stuff in your town, village, city, or area. I think the idea is to build a nice community of people that can learn and grow and support each other through using these kinds of methods of making the best film you can on a budget, whether that be with lots of flashy visual effects, or some little tips and tricks to plan, shoot, edit, and script, and ultimately publicize your own film projects, and so that’s where I’d like to build out DIY Moviemaking in particular.

Nick Lange

That’s awesome. How much do you enjoy working on client projects in comparison to building that community, that channel? The reason I ask is that, I’ve been running a production company for 13 years, we’ve worked on all sorts of different client projects, but I’ll often feel that I need to do some passion projects or something that I’m in charge of, where it can’t get watered down, it can’t get changed, it can’t get ruined oftentimes by clients who don’t have the same goals for that piece of work that you might when you first pitch that vision to them. And it can be really demoralizing to see something changed to the point where in the end you deliver it and you don’t really recognize it. And the seed of what it could have been is gone. How do you reconcile the different projects?

Steve Ramsden

I think I definitely started doing visual effects as an outlet when I was doing more mundane day-to-day work, but that was a full-time role. That wasn’t the kind of freelance stuff. I think then when I became a freelancer, I became much more excited about the stuff that I was making because I felt like I was getting to be more creative with that stuff, than I had been with the in-house bits I was doing previously. I think that took my attention away for a while, off the passion projects. The passion projects definitely slowed down. I’d been doing like a film a year, like a short film a year outside of work, while I was in full-time work because that was the sort of the creative outlet, and I think I started doing the DIY effects around about the same time, but then when I started doing client stuff as my myself, I got much more excited about the stuff that I could make and so that that took more of my attention. I haven’t yet become super, like bitter and sick of the client work. I mean, I do still enjoy it. Obviously, you enjoy some jobs more than others, but I do still think I enjoy it enough so that I can have a healthy balance. But, obviously, the things I do for the channel are definitely fun, as you say, to be able to do something where you’re in charge of it, and you’re not being told how to do it necessarily.

Nick Lange

How do you choose the right project? So there are clients who are wonderful to work with and client projects that have been very fulfilling and rewarding. How do you discern between the projects that are going to be worth your time and going to be fulfilling for you versus the ones that aren’t?

Steve Ramsden 

With clients, we definitely have kind of a list of detective questions; we sort of have a cheat sheet of things that we ask if anyone comes and says, “Hey, I need a video,” or “I need something,” and so it’s like, okay, how long is a piece of string? It’s like, “Hey, can you build me a house?” All right, I have some follow-up questions, you know. So the first thing we do is ask a lot of those questions, and I think that’s where you might get some, if you were to get any, red flags, where it felt like they didn’t know what they wanted. Those might be the ones that we’d be less inclined to work with. I mean, we’d still probably have a couple of meetings with them, but there have been a couple of times where we will have had a few meetings with them and will have said very clearly, “Would you like this or this,” or if not tell us anything, something to avoid. There’s no amount of money worth someone that might not be happy with anything that you do. So there’s been a couple of those, but most of the time, you can just keep asking questions and get out of the person, what it is they want to make, what they can afford to spend on it, whether their vision is realistic, based on what they can afford to spend on it, and to me, it’s about having as many discussions in advance, and just having a conversation about everything you can in advance, so there are no nasty surprises later on. You know, get it to get everything in writing, so it’s agreed. And then there’s no kind of like, there shouldn’t really be any surprises later, if it’s all been agreed in advance. So it normally comes down to just keep asking questions, I would say. Pretty soon you’ll work out whether it’s someone that thinks they’re making the same film as what you think you’re making, or whether there’s a bit of a disconnect there somehow, and it might be time to walk away before it begins.

Nick Lange

I think you hit the nail on the head saying, make sure they know what they want, because it can be so brutal trying to help them figure out what they want, putting in all the hours behind the scenes that they think maybe they want to change immediately.

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, the one part of the three bits that no one ever thinks of. People think of shooting and production, and they think of editing, post-production. They don’t think of pre-production, but actually, it is a three-step process. It’s not a two-step process. You can’t just turn up and say, “What are we filming today?” You need to know who to bring, you need to know what kit to bring. You need to know what you’re making and what style you’re filming in. So also another good thing is to say to them, “Right, send us a video example of what you want, from anywhere, send us something that you like the style of, or send us something you don’t like the style of. Pick something from what we’ve done that you like the style of. Here are three options, pick the one you like the best,” you know, because there’s nothing better than having a video example. Because a picture says 1000 words, everyone knows they’re making the same film from the beginning, I would say.

Nick Lange

And it helps them identify and verbalize what it is that they like or don’t like about these references. Definitely.

Steve Ramsden

Sometimes they don’t know what they want, but they know what they don’t want. Or they see something and they go, “Oh, that’s what I want, but I don’t know how to say that.” So yeah, always get a video example. Very, very important.

Nick Lange

Can I ask how the revenue from your production company, your client works, and your channel and courses, which I’ll put together for this question, compare? Your channel is growing quickly, and you have a fast expanding base of fans who I imagine are funding up through courses more and more often. Will that surpass the production company’s revenue to the point where you end up Using unexplored films just for your own passion project for your own short films and maybe feature films on the road?

Steve Ramsden

At the moment, by far the majority of the revenue comes from the client work comes from the production company, like the proper projects, it’s a smaller amount at the moment from the courses but then again by because I’m running both of them at the same time, it’s having the time to dedicate to time to building out the courses and increasing the kind of student base if you like on the courses. So there’s still a lot of growing that needs to do I keep feeling like I haven’t sort of got round to promoting it enough yet, which I’m hoping to do more of in the coming months. But then you’ve got everything else that’s going on at the same time. At the moment, the production company is the main earner, and the courses started out as the side thing, but obviously yeah, eventually it’d be lovely if they grew to kind of an even level or, you know, one went beyond the other because I’m probably more interested in ultimately, I’m probably more interested in the DIY Moviemaking stuff, and also using the, you know, using the revenue from those to make more passion projects, because then that will help that generates more stuff that you can share about how you made them, you know, so it all. The idea is it all feeds in and creates a kind of a nice kind of loop there. Where you’re able to shoot stuff for clients, you can then also create your passion projects using the equipment that you already have. Because of that using the crew you already know for that. And then in turn that creates more content for the courses. That’s the ultimate kind of plan.

Nick Lange

Can I ask you what you learned in film school. And when people ask you, is Film School worth it? Should I go to film school? How do you respond?

Steve Ramsden

I think for me film school was useful because I didn’t get taught anything at regular school like because it wasn’t a subject at my school, it was still handy to have the basics, like the ground knowledge of stuff. And it might depend on the course you pick as well because if someone says is Film School worth it, they might be talking about a practical course where you get to play with cameras, or they might be talking about like sitting in a classroom learning about Citizen Kane like it might be practical, it might be theory. I was lucky enough to find a course in the UK that was 50/50, it was both theory and practical. I Don’t think I would have wanted to do it if it was just theory, if it was just sitting in a classroom. But at the same time, I didn’t really just want to be playing with kit either. So I think a lot of it comes down to whether you’ve learned anything already, and whether you feel like you’d benefit from learning the basics, I still feel I’ve probably learned more about how to make a living doing it by just going to work by just starting work afterwards, but, you know, a lot of that basic knowledge did help, I think, coming from there. I mean, these days, because the landscape is a little different and you do have more kinds of online film schools, you know, a bit like the one that I run, and more complex ones than that of course, I think these days, I probably say, have a think about it very carefully, don’t just assume you have to go to film school, a lot of famous successful directors didn’t, a lot of them, you know, kind of learned just by watching films and trial and error and just experimenting. So I think I’d say you know, you might need a pre, you probably need a better reason these days to definitely want to go instead of exploring cheaper or more, you know, other options, because there are more options now than they were you know, when I went, you know, wehn I went to university back in 2006, we only just got broadband, you know, it wasn’t, it was still kind of quite a basic internet at the time. Whereas now there’s like a lot more options to learn all this stuff. You’ve got lots of free resources, you’ve got YouTube, you’ve got more substantial programs that obviously you can pay for, but a lot of it can be done online. So I think you I think I would, you know, not every course is equal, there will be some courses that will benefit you more based on what you want to learn and what you feel like you would like to learn about, but yeah, I think there is a place for traditional film school, but it is expensive. I mean, most of them are so you kind of have to have a pretty good reason to want to do it. And if you want to have a great time socializing and meeting loads of people, then yeah, definitely do it. If you just want to learn how to do filmmaking the cheapest way possible, then maybe don’t. It all depends on your situation, I think.

Nick Lange

Yeah, it’s not an easy decision. It’s what I wrestled with quite a bit. What software do you spend most of your time in, and what software do you think is most important for editors right now to be learning? Where do you stand on the debate between Premiere and DaVinci, for example?

Steve Ramsden

So, I still need to try DaVinci properly, actually. I’ve been on Adobe for a while, but I don’t have like any kind of affiliation to Adobe; I just kind of fell into it after I was one of those Final Cut 7 people that kind of loved Final Cut 7 and Final Cut X really bugged me when it came along, because I took my look at it and thought it doesn’t look, you know, what is this? What is this? This doesn’t look like what I’m used to. So I kind of went straight to Premiere because it felt more like Final Cut 7 than X did.

I fell into using Adobe, I’d already been messing around with After Effects and Photoshop. So I knew kind of the basics of those. The most important piece of software these days, I think, for an editor to learn would just be like, it’s probably a bit of a cop-out answer. But it’s whatever, whatever they’re most comfortable with, because whenever anyone says to me about a traditional film that I’ve edited, they say, “Wow, that’s a great film, what did you edit on?” I say it’s like saying nice meal, what oven did you use to cook it with? I mean, okay, if you’re doing something specific, then yes, the program probably matters. But if you’re just putting one shot after another, to me, it really doesn’t matter because no one’s going to see your timeline. Like if no, if you’re not working for a company that dictates how to do it, yeah of course, if you’re working in-house somewhere and they say, right, you have to learn Avid, but to me, that’s overkill for almost anything. Because would I would stick with something more. You know, again, you could start with a free one, you know, you could start with a basic one, there are free edit programs that are perfectly good for, for putting one shot after another I’m pretty sure not that I’ve had to sort of use any of them for a while, because, you know, I just tend to use one of the ones that’s an industry standard, I would say whichever one, you know, and I talked about this a little bit in my DIY moviemaking course, in the post-production section, I talked about, you know, trial a few of them, because a lot of them have free trials, a lot of them you can do you know, 30-day trial without having to pay anyone any money, and decide what feels right and get out, get a handle for you know, do some tutorials, work out what you like doing. So to me, I’d say the best editor to learn is the one that you can get up and running with the quickest with what you want to make, and to demonstrate that you can make stuff and then you can edit stuff.

Nick Lange

Yeah, that’s a great, great answer. What do you think of those same editors who are launching their careers now? What are the opportunities coming up? How has editing as a career changed just in the last few years?

Steve Ramsden

I think it’s now possible to wear more hats than it used to be like, you know, 30 years ago, you’d have an editor and that’s all they ever do. And you’d have a camera guy, and that’s all they ever do. And you’d have, you know, a director, and that’s all they ever do. I think now because everyone’s got the ability to do some of this stuff, like literally in their pocket, or you know, or on their laptop or whatever. I think one thing that’s changed is that editors are not able to just be editors anymore. And to me, that was always quite exciting. I felt like I was born at a good time for that, because previous generations would pick a lane and stay in it, And I think now the exciting thing is that an editor doesn’t just have to be an editor, you know, you can go and shoot something and then edit it. If you’re not someone that likes to sit in front of a computer all day, like me, I didn’t just want to be an editor, I think I fell into being an editor as a result of enjoying being able to do stuff with what I had gone and filmed. Even when I was 13 and I was using my VCR to edit, I would press start and stop and rewind and start and stop to like, get the clips into an order. Yeah, even when I was doing that, the fun of it was getting to put the thing together that I had filmed. I think the good thing now, I mean some people do just want to be editors and they’re great at it. But if you’re someone who’s a little bit more of an all-rounder, but you’re interested in filmmaking, learn to edit straight away, because that’s going to be really, really useful with whatever you do. But also, I would say the fun thing is you’ve not locked into any one role anymore. I think there’s a little more flexibility now than there used to be because of the technology changing.

Nick Lange

Yeah, you’re right. What are your favourite movies?

Steve Ramsden

Nothing very kind of arty or impressive. Probably like a lot of the 80s or 90s blockbusters, because my favorite movies are mostly ones, well, maybe with a couple of 70s kind of new Hollywood ones as well, you know, but a lot of the blockbuster ones I like, I think were in that sweet spot between where they were still doing a lot of stuff practically, and CGI was just coming along, but it wasn’t doing everything, like the original Jurassic Park is probably still one of my favourites. Because, to me, it’s the perfect blend of of digital and practical, and so much of it is practical, and so much of it is creative ways of not showing stuff. That to me, that kind of 90s window is where a lot of my favorites are from because digital could do just enough but they weren’t leaning on it so heavily that it’s just robots hitting each other like these days. So I think a lot of my favorites from from that era. Back to the Future, Jurassic Park, Titanic, a lot of those 90s films I really, really like. Also things like some of those 70s films, The Day of the Jackal is one of my favorites. And then you’ve got things like, I don’t know, even earlier films, some good 60s war films, you know, Where Eagles Dare, The Great Escape, you know, lots of those sort of dad films that I really like as well. So a real mixture, I would say, but mostly the crowd pleasers probably.

Nick Lange

I loved how you pointed out in your tutorial about cloning yourself in Back to the Future, they use motion capture just when that was sort of being developed for the first time. Yeah. Just to make you forget that they’re actually just filming the same actor twice. And then you recreate it on a slider without any you know, fancy vocab?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, that’s right. As I say, I like to look for ways that people can do stuff without as much tech as they thought they would need. I mean, I could go and get a motion control slider that they use for time lapses these days. It’s cheaper than ever to probably get one of those, but where’s the fun in that? Try using gravity, and see if you can get the same shot again. I don’t know. It seemed a fun experiment. I mean, you know, it’s hard to find behind the scenes on some of those older films, like it’s easier these days to figure out how some of this stuff was done, but I used to love trying to work out how, like, Marty just poured himself a drink, like how did you do that? Because the cameras moving, you know, or whatever it is. Or Tom Wilson pops up in the door of the cafe and like he’s still sitting there at the counter. Like how did he do that? I just thought that stuff was great. So I would I always love trying to work out that stuff.

Nick Lange

In your evil twin video, which I think you shot at the same time, were you crossed behind yourself and then you shot yourself?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, it’s the method I show in that tutorial. It was a combination of rotoscoping and masking, you know; in fact, I deliberately did that one without a blue or green screen to try and make people wonder how it was done because I actually tried that same clone effect, well not exactly the same, but I tried a similar clone effect about two or three years earlier, and I had done it with a green screen and it never quite looked right. So I thought maybe there’s a way of doing it again, but without, in fact, that was why I put a very harsh backlight behind me because I thought that’s going to help show that that edge maybe is real and it was a cold day so you could see my breath in the air because I did it in like January and I was in my shed and it was freezing cold so I thought, okay, that’s another thing that kind of makes it look like those edges are there. So I show in the tutorial exactly how I did it, but I think it was a combination of masking and like the masks kind of move as bits you know bits move out of the way you know and roto yeah rotoscoping which I’m not a huge fan of because I find it kind of tedious but yeah, I tried that for various parts of that as well. The one thing I never quite got right was the shadows because you needed to have like an actual person moving past, and that was tricky if I had more time to whip something out then maybe I could have done that but I had to kind of fake that with color color solids which never look quite quite right.

Nick Lange

yeah, what Yeah great, great effective How do you learn when you’re researching something that you want to try in a video are there other youtubers that you watch? Are you looking for articles is it purely experimentation?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, tried to categorize this one time. I tried to work out how it happens a lot of the time it’s doing something in a film that I’ll just try and copy and then I’ll might maybe I’ll look up and see if there is any behind the scenes available to see how it was done. Sometimes it’s the films that don’t they’re not very obviously effects heavy, films like, you know, Forrest Gump, I did I tried to do one where it was working out how to add yourself to historical footage a bit like that, but again, you don’t think of that as an effects heavy film, but there’s loads of clever stuff in there that you don’t realize. And so sometimes yeah, I’ll see something and go, Okay, well, maybe I can try and recreate something similar, then I’ll look it up and see if there’s anything available. And then maybe I’ll see if anyone else has tried to do something similar. If they haven’t, or if I can’t find anything to base it on, then I will normally try and do a test first, I will do a test. To anybody. If it’s not terrible, but maybe I can do it again. And record the process of how to do it, you know, that sort of thing?

Nick Lange

What is something that your hundreds of 1000s of subscribers don’t know about you?

Steve Ramsden

I wasn’t born in the UK. I was born in Papua New Guinea.

Nick Lange

Really? How interesting. And when did you leave?

Steve Ramsden

Oh, I lived there until I was 8 years old. My parents are from the UK. So it’s not like I wasn’t kind of my family wasn’t from here or anything. But yeah, that’s probably something that not many people would guess. By my, you know, accent. Yeah, yeah. Oh, yeah. No, I lived there. When I was a kid and did like, the first half of primary school there. I actually went back there and filmed some documentary projects when I was a bit older. So yeah, yeah, no, that’s probably something that most people wouldn’t, I think know about me from the YouTube channel.

Nick Lange

That’s great. Do you have you plan to do more documentary work? How do you enjoy documentary versus fiction? filmmaking?

Steve Ramsden

I would love to do more documentary work, because I worked on a documentary a couple of years ago and I was, like, a second unit camera, and also got to be kind of the primary editor, I think it went to a couple of other other editors afterwards, but I really enjoyed that as a change of pace, actually. It’s just as much of a skill I think, as fiction. In fact, it’s definitely a different skill. But you can really, you can still have fun with documentary editing, you’re still telling a story, in fact you’re often building a case for something, based on what the documentary is trying to say, it’s funny, people assume documentary means it’s impartial. But often a documentary is building a case, you know, for a viewpoint. And so you can still have fun with that. As an editor, you know, you can, you know, your shot choices to build an impression of something. I mean, you know, that that is still a very interesting skill. So I would love to do more documentaries. They don’t come along very often, but yeah. There’s a couple of documentary examples on the Unexplored Films website that I really enjoyed doing. And so yeah, whenever they come along, I always enjoy, you know, working out how to do those for sure.

Nick Lange

What are you working on that? What can we look forward to, in the coming weeks and months,

Steve Ramsden

you can look forward to two new short films; after quite a long gap as you pointed out before we started with this interview. You pointed out the kind of fictional shorts, there hadn’t been that many recently. And it’s because I’ve been so busy with all the other stuff. But you’ve got two more short films to look out for at film festivals, hopefully, in the States. And in the UK, I’ll spread the word about those, if they get in anywhere good. Those are probably kind of 2023 that sort of thing more like in the coming months, I’m hoping to do more fun YouTube tutorials on visual effects, that sort of thing; I need to kind of queue up the next few ideas to shoot. And I’m also going to do, I’m also going to try and do a few more interviews like we’re doing now, where I talked to other filmmakers and people who the audience on the channel might enjoy. I recently did an acting one with Guy Henry who played Governor Tharkin in Rogue One, so that was my first try in this kind of thing had, like, you know, hosting interviews for the channel as well. So if that goes well, and I can track a few more people down that I would like to have conversations with, eventually, I’ll try and build out a playlist of interviews, just like you have a playlist of, you know, Effects tutorials and a playlist of, you know, short films and other silly stuff I’ve done. There’s also like a mash-ups playlist, which is still hanging around on there where I, you know, in fact, that’s a fun thing for editors to watch, mash-ups, that’s a great thing to watch if you’re an editing fan, you know  taking two things that don’t belong together and making it look like they’re part of the same thing. So yeah, various playlists will hopefully be built out in the coming months.

Nick Lange

So there was a period where you were cutting movie trailers; what was that experience like and what did you learn?

Steve Ramsden

Yeah, so I was working in-house as an editor for a movie marketing agency in London. So it was a company that would often be hired to do trailers for films. And it wasn’t always new films. I mean, there were a few new films, but they were usually kind of like, smaller projects than the kind of like the big studio releases. We would often be using studio stuff as well for some projects, but we would often be recutting those into other things, but the most fun I had were the original trailers that we got to make and sometimes we also got to make original trailers for old movies that we’re getting a rerelease. So you know, it would be like Lawrence of Arabia, 50th anniversary, you know, 4k restoration back in cinemas this summer, you know, whatever it was. And so the fun would be taking a film that people already knew, and making a trailer for it, because of course, the thing you’re doing with a trailer is normally to not give the film away, and make people want to go and see it, and tease what it’s about and say, you know, you’re gonna have a good time spending, you know, 20 bucks, or whatever it is, and, you know, go and see it. The slight difference with a classic film trailer was that you were allowed to give away a bit more because everyone had kind of seen it. And it was more about getting people back who loved it the first time. So that was a very interesting difference between the kind of a new movie trailer and a classic one, but regardless of what I would cut, I would try and work out a method of like, a good beginning, a middle and an end to make a trailer, you know, that was sort of my, my kind of self-improvised method was kind of, you know, a teaser reopener and then building a bit more information in the middle and then kind of like, you know, maybe break it up with some captions, we’d often do captions rather than voice overs, I think voice overs have kind of fallen out of fashion a bit with trailers, you know, kind of a deep classic trailery voice. And then, you know, yeah, we will often make a trailer for a film, it was a sort of three-act structure. And most of that was me kind of looking at other trailers and trying to make something similar. So that was, you know, that wasn’t really based on a classic method, but it sounds like you know, you’d be talking to some other folks who know a lot about movie trailers. They’re an art form in themselves, they’re a great training ground just like mashups, you know, doing a trailer is a really good training ground as an editor, I would say.

Nick Lange

That’s awesome. So obviously you’ve built an enormous global community on your channel, people all over the world love your content; what international experiences have you had as a filmmaker?

Steve Ramsden

So the main ones I had was when I left university in London, I didn’t have anywhere to live because my family at the time didn’t live anywhere useful, I couldn’t really go back home and do the sort of the spare room or the couch surfing, I didn’t really know anyone in London, who I could use as a sort of base for looking for work. And I didn’t really know anywhere to find work. I got a couple of jobs over the summer, one of which was with National Geographic, the TV company. I got in as sort of a runner or assistant on a shoot in Venice, Italy. And that reminded me how much fun it was to do stuff overseas and not just do stuff in the UK. So I thought, Okay, well, the UK is a pretty expensive place to be based; I don’t have any money, I don’t know anyone. So I might as well look for jobs, not just in my own area, you know, I might as well so I would say to people, don’t be afraid to look beyond your neighbourhood for opportunities. Sometimes opportunities can come along and give you a whole new chapter or give you an adventure somewhere, which was what I did. I got an internship with a production company in the Philippines. And I ended up working there for about two or three years off and on and made some amazing friends; some of my best friends are still people I met there. And that allowed me to get some experience with equipment and build a showreel and generally start getting confident with filming and editing. More so than I had done at university, on my film course. So that was an amazing springboard to kind of like do more international work as well. I mean, I had already lived internationally, like when I was little I had done some of that as well, it wasn’t my, but the good thing about that was I wasn’t feeling like I was going to freak out if I moved, you know, to a different country for a while. So I would say don’t rule out doing something like that as well. Because you never know, it doesn’t just have to be opportunities in your neighborhood that can benefit you. Sometime you’ll meet a whole network of people, if you move somewhere else for a while or try a new experience. So I would I would recommend that as well when looking for opportunities in film and TV, doing that sort of thing.

Nick Lange

I love that it’s such a universal language filmmaking that you’ll find communities and in the fact that you can find communities in every big city around the world who use lights in the same way cameras, in the same way, have this, you know, use the same techniques for visual storytelling, despite completely different cultural upbringing and different language.

Steve Ramsden

Definitely, in fact, making films without dialogue is such a good training ground for, you know, crossing cultural barriers and all of that sort of thing. You know, if you want lots of people to watch your film, maybe don’t put any dialogue in it, or maybe design something that lots of cultures would enjoy, you know. It’s a bit of a silly example, but there’s a reason why Mr. Bean is so popular and they show it on every plane, like every flight, you’ve got someone watching the Mr. Bean, because there’s like, there are no words. You know, don’t rule out doing stuff without much talking. You know, there’s, there’s a lot of talking as it is in films, you know, maybe don’t, maybe don’t do that maybe do something visual, and more people around the world might be able to watch it and enjoy it.

Nick Lange

Yeah. And I also find that film is something people that work in film, especially editors, maybe it’s just my biased opinion, are so easy to make friends with to become friends with because they, you know, I think we’re doing it, for the most part, out of a love of storytelling. It’s one it’s maybe you know, the least glamorous position on a film crew, where we’re behind the scenes. No one talks about the editor, often no one sees the editor. I think a lot of people assume that the director is the one doing the edit. And so I think, for the most part, editors are not doing it for the glory but for the love of film. And for me that makes editors so just modest and incredibly interesting to talk to, incredibly deep individuals.

Steve Ramsden

I think it’s about a way of seeing the world as building blocks, like seeing everything that is being shot as building blocks to tell a story, because the thing I like about it is you’re literally cheating with time and space. It’s like being a superhero you know, you’re cheating with time because these things were shot hours, minutes years apart these shots. You’re cheating with space because they might have been shot in different countries. If you take a shot of a by a twig snapping that was done in one country five years ago, and you take a shot of an animal or like a deer or something looking up, and that was done in a completely different place, you’ve just created a third idea that was never there. It’s like, you know, one plus two equals three. Or sorry, one plus one plus one equals three, I should say. It’s like, it’s like you’ve created something that never was, you know. So I love it. Because it’s, it’s being able to, it’s being able to create stuff out of separate elements, and maybe it takes somebody like an editor to see that, out of what’s available.

Jade Chow

Jade Chow

January 12, 2023

Back to Articles

View more articles by

Related ARTICLES

Why SonduckFilm quit editing eSports (w/ Joshua Noel)

Why SonduckFilm quit editing eSports (w/ Joshua Noel)

Joshua Noel is a filmmaker, motion graphic designer, and popular YouTuber known as SonduckFilm. At over 730k subscribers and 76 million views, Joshua posts straight-to-the-point weekly video tutorials that cover various editing and motion graphic techniques for Adobe After Effects, Premiere Pro, and Illustrator. Joshua shares with us how he went from posting eSports videos to selling thousands of exclusive motion graphic templates to creators around the world.

read more
How an editor in his 20s made a hit show for Discovery (w/ Casey Faris)

How an editor in his 20s made a hit show for Discovery (w/ Casey Faris)

Casey Faris is an editor, educator, and popular YouTuber with almost 300k subscribers and over 26 million views. With a particular focus on DaVinci Resolve, Casey teaches his subscribers everything they need to know about post-production while also working as a training host at Ground Control and co-owning his own production company, Release the Hounds Studios. We discuss how Casey went from making short action films to professionally teaching editing online.

read more
Should you go freelance? (w/ Skyler Thomas)

Should you go freelance? (w/ Skyler Thomas)

Skyler Thomas, a passionate editor and YouTuber with over 186 thousand subscribers, started off with a degree in marketing before realizing that his interests lie in the creative industry. From recording camcorder footage of him skateboarding as a kid to editing his own sponsor videos as a competitive snowboarder, Skyler found his passion in filmmaking and editing and realized that this was what he wanted to do for the rest of his life.

read more
Why do CG artists get hate? (w/ Chris Kelly)

Why do CG artists get hate? (w/ Chris Kelly)

As the VFX industry continues to gain popularity, Chris breaks down creating a portfolio and recommends how artists can stand out in their editing careers. Chris offers his insight on the opportunities available for artists in the future on the big screen and beyond in content creation as we explore how VFX artists’ roles will evolve as technology improves.

read more
The lightsaber that launched a YouTuber (w/ Brandon Fate)

The lightsaber that launched a YouTuber (w/ Brandon Fate)

Brandon Fate is a VFX artist and popular YouTuber with almost 200k subscribers and over 12.7 million views who teaches tutorials for Adobe After Effects and Premiere Pro. With his latest video reaching over 184k people, Brandon shares how he went from a young Padawan to a skilled Jedi, turning his passion for editing into a full-time career.

read more
How Mark Helfrich Cut Dwayne Johnson Movies

How Mark Helfrich Cut Dwayne Johnson Movies

Mark Helfrich, who’s currently editing an upcoming Dwayne Johnson film, is a Hollywood film director and editor with over 50 editorial credits on some of our favorite films, including Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017), X-Men: The Last Stand (2006), Showgirls (1995), and Predator (1987).

read more
How Premiere Gal Turned a $100k Mistake Into a Dream Career

How Premiere Gal Turned a $100k Mistake Into a Dream Career

Kelsey Brannan is the creator and host of the Premiere Gal channel with almost 400 thousand subscribers and over 25 million viewers watching as she teaches mainly Adobe Premiere Pro tutorials on YouTube. Her career began with a $100,000 mistake that set her on a path to success as a self-made professional editor and content producer today.

read more