I’ve been an editor now for over twenty years. When I was starting out I looked everywhere for some course, book, video, or anything that could teach me the black art of creative editing. There are many courses design that teaches you AVID, Adobe Premiere or Final Cut Pro software but nothing on the creative process.
One day I was surfing the net and found this site called “Inside the Edit.” The site was boasting it was the world’s first “creative video editing course,” which I found very hard to believe. I took the course for a test ride and OH, MY GOD, they did it, they cracked the code.
Take a look at this:
I would have killed for Inside the Edit
I would’ve killed for Inside the Edit when I was starting out. I looked up the crazy man who created this and found Paddy Bird hiding behind the curtain. Paddy Bird is one of television’s most prolific and accomplished editors.
For the past fifteen years, he has edited dozens of prime-time documentaries, entertainment and reality TV shows for British and American television. He has even worked in war zones, spending time editing news stories on location in Iraq.
I had to have him on the show and here we are today. This episode is one of the most enjoyable ones I’ve had to date. Just to old workhorse editors shooting the sh*t! Paddy Bird drops a ton of info on this episode.
If you want to become an editor or if you just want to have a better understanding of storytelling Inside the Edit is for you. You get over 60 tutorial videos (he plans over 200 when he’s done) and new videos added every week.
Some of these tutorials are 2 hours long. The production quality is remarkable, he even lets you download footage so you can practice yourself.
Paddy Bird: The Mad Scientist
I’m going to say it, Paddy Bird is a madman or mental as he puts it. He has written over one million words creating this opus. What Paddy and his team have done is just remarkable. In a sea of crap video tutorials and courses Inside the Edit is just elegantly amazing.
You can do monthly or yearly membership. It will be one of the best investments you make on your storytelling journey.
Alex Ferrari 0:01
Paddy, thank you so much for joining the show. We really appreciate it, sir.
Paddy Bird 0:43
Absolute pleasure. Thanks for having me.
Alex Ferrari 1:10
And as you I are both some, as they say old dogs in the editing game we've been doing this for for many years. But a lot of my listeners are new to what editing is. And I think a lot of people who've been doing it for 20 years don't know the answer to this question I'm gonna ask you, but what is the job of an editor?
Paddy Bird 3:28
Yeah, that's a good question. It's Yeah, as you say, is difficult to define. Because editing really is the most unknown or nebulous kind of art form within the Moving Image medium is the one art form that no one really knows much about, you know you can do you can you know, what a director does what cinematographer does, sound person does an actor does bla bla bla bla bla, but the editing that sits very few people are privileged to go into an edit suite, and actually watch what an editor does. So that's why it's it's known as a kind of black art really. I mean, it is, every single genre is cut differently. Every single genre documentary is very, very much different to drama, which is different to commercials, which is different to music, videos, stuff like that. So each one of these genres has their own very, very specific set of rules and regulations and stuff like that. Where I come from is long form documentary. I think the best probably description is, is taking maybe the two, the two most well thought out genres, which is drama and documentary. drama is a lot of dramas, pre thought out the script and stuff like that. So it's about taking that looking for the best performance. Sometimes restructuring the script. It's also about, you know, recreating the pace within the dialogue, to make it more dramatic. Or more emphasis on a certain specific thing which the director wants to do, which didn't come out in the actual performances from the actors. And documentary is very much different. It's, it's, it's about shooting a load of stuff, and then finding the story there. Within that stuff within that footage within that raw material, you're bringing something out that some that you're actually finding along the way. And there's a you know, there's a classic, saying, in editing, you know, you give 10 editors the same footage, you'll come, you'll get 10 completely different films. But I think one of the most primary things that editors, their main, the main job that an editor does, is to be the first audience. And that really is a privilege, you're seeing something grow. You're taking the director's vision, all the performances, whether it's, you know, a documentary based character, or a, or an actor, and you're seeing them for the first time, you're making sense. And you're filtering through and seeing what's working, what doesn't work, and slowly piecing it together in this kind of very intricate jigsaw puzzle. And it ends up being very loose at the start, and then you tighten it in certain places. And it's like going through, I always say, it's like going through in waves. Each scene is very, very much an isolated unit, but it's also part of an act. And it's also that act is also a part of the structure of the film, whether it's a documentary, or an entertainment show, or, or, or a or drama, it doesn't really doesn't really matter. So I'd say it's primarily it's the abilities, you have to have a you know, you have to watch the same thing over and over again, if you're not prepared to do that, you know, editing is not for you, you have to have this kind of meticulous sense of detail, and nuance and, and don't mind watching things hundreds of times over and over again, which does drive a lot of people. Yeah, 1000s does drive a lot of people away from the craft. But we are the first audience we're there to react in an impartial way, you know, the director, I've had so many directors, I know, I'm sure you have as well, directors come in, they've gone through this long and arduous process of pre production, production, which is highly stressful, as lots of unforeseen, unknown elements that happen. And when they come walk into the edit suite, they usually, you know, they might be tired, extremely tired, they might be very stressed. And, you know, they want to know that the best they're gonna get the best out of the material. So our job is to kind of create kind of nurturing environment and say, Okay, let's go through this and give you their feedback in a kind of interesting and informative way and just say, Oh, you know, we could go in this direction, or this is what this is saying to me, you're, you're there to give a first impression about this, because the director can go off and get really obsessed about a certain set of performances, or we've got to get that great big crane shot in that cost. 20 grand, right. But then you come in, you say, well actually doesn't make any sense to the story. So we shouldn't put it on, even though I know that you're emotionally tied to it, because you had to stay up till four in the morning to get it no matter what. So
Alex Ferrari 8:11
That's one thing, I've noticed that I'm a director, and I've edited pretty much everything I've ever directed. Occasionally, I've worked with editors as a director. And I have to say, I actually enjoy working with an editor rather than me editing my own stuff as I've gotten older, purely because of that reason, like, you know, I'll sit there and go, Oh, it took us six hours to get that shot. It has to get in the movie. Yeah, and if I'm editing, it's gonna get in the movie, and it might not be right for the story. And a lot of a lot of directors don't get that in. I know what the the rise of Final Cut and laptop editing and all this kind of stuff that everyone's like, I'll just be my own editor. I'm like, sometimes it's really helpful having another set of eyes in the room.
Paddy Bird 8:53
Absolutely. This is that layer of impartiality where we weren't, we weren't there at all the performances. We weren't there in all the meetings with the producers that went on for months and months and months. We we are looking at this cleanly as a narrative observer as an observer of someone who is helping the director construct the narrative. And that kind of you know, impartiality is priceless. That's one of the major things apart from the skills of construction and stuff like that, and pace and timing and stylization. That's one of the major reasons we're there to give our, our feedback. So it's really, really important and I think yes, in today's world because because of you know, with the rise of the, the, you know, the final cuts in the premieres and stuff like that, but they you know, they kind of cost next to nothing and people think, Oh, I can just cut I can just do it, but it's an art form. It's not just putting shots down on the timeline. There's a whole load of sense laws, logic and feel that goes with it, whatever you came whatever style which, you know, doesn't come to someone overnight, just because they bought some software.
Alex Ferrari 9:58
Right, and literally, sometimes Frame means everything. And that's what people don't get like cutting a frame here. Trimming a frame there the timing, the pacing the emotion of a scene. Yeah, that frame that frame means so much and I've after years and years, you realize that but a lot of people don't get that yet. And I think you're right, the craft, the black arts, I like when you say Black Arts, I think I'm in a Harry Potter movie. So it's very nice.
Paddy Bird 10:24
What can I tell a really bad editing joke then? What's the difference between comedy and tragedy? What? Six frames? It's, it's, it's a terrible editing. Hearing back in the 90s. Old editor told me I was like, Okay. I'll tell you, I'm sorry, Microsoft now. Yeah, okay, that's great. That's fine. But it is it's like every single frame matters. I remember watching the making of jaws. And he seems cool. Spielberg was talking about you know, because the famously the shark was like, terribly fake and stuff like that. And he said, we stuck the shark in for I can't remember what the exact numbers were. But it was something like 70 frames. But if we cut it down to if we if we added more than 70 frames or 60 frames, the shark looked fake. But there was seem to be a magic number in every single time you saw the shark, it had to be a specific number of frames, because the model was so bad that if it went over that, people would just laugh it go that's a big plastic toy. That's not scary. Right? Exactly.
Alex Ferrari 11:29
So, in your opinion, I think you might have answered this, but I don't know. Maybe you haven't. What makes a good editor? Like a really good editor?
Paddy Bird 11:38
Um, God, that's very difficult to answer. I think it's a combination of talents. I mean, obviously, you have to get on with the hip, nevermind the skills, you have to you know, if you're gonna be political, yeah, you have to be political, you have to be the ultimate. I mean, if all the editors were suddenly fired. Tomorrow, I think we'd all go and work in the UN, because we'd be so diplomatic. We'd be brilliant ambassadors, I think we just, you know, we would get what we want without offending anybody. Which is a great assist, it's a difficult skill to learn. And obviously, that's, you know, we work in a collaborative industry. There's lots and lots of, you know, whether it's camera operators, working with directors, or whatever, you know, we're all working with people. So it's, you know, you got to learn to get on, but that's the basic one. Because there are, you know, I have met editors who, you know, the shout and scream and that editor and you're like, you're not going to go too far with that kind of attitude. But in terms of the kind of craft I'd say, A, the ability to watch something over and over again. I always think that, you know, people always say to me, how can I learn the craft of editing. And I'm, like, Well, I mean, editing really is, is getting yourself in the mood of, of a film of a scene of a character. So one of the best ways you can do that is, is watch as many films as you as you can. And I'm not just talking about your favorite films, because editing really is a big, I always see it as a big stylization database in your in your head. You know, whenever I'm confronted by a scene that might be nice, some academic or something from that film, I saw that film, you know, that's a really good way to start. I mean, obviously, when you're cutting a scene, it may not go that way. But it's a good way to go from the start, I always find that if you have that big sort of creative directory of things that you've got in your mind, you can apply that pretty quickly to any type of scene whether it's a fast paced reality TV scene, or you know, a medium paced you know, action scene and a drama or whatever, whatever you're cutting. So it's important to have you know, know your craft know what all the other amazing editors are out there doing and what they have done. And, I think being very logical, aware of logic and aware of structure you know, especially with documentary editing drama, as well but a lot of the thinking on the structure has been pre thought out I mean, a lot of dramas pre thought out beforehand by dozens of people that it's writers, you know, storyboard artists, stuff like that. I mean, it can all famously change in the edit suite, but there's been a lot of thought put out into it and you do often have a lot of restructuring in the Edit. I know lots of friends of mine who are big feature film editors, and they told me like quite a lot as you know, on certain films as obviously I can't say which ones but a lot of them get you know, they get switched around with large tracts of dialogue get cut out because they don't make sense. So you have to be the ability to watch something, a scene in isolation, but also that scene as part of a larger arc in in in the movie, but then the whole arc of the movie, or the documentary, whatever you're doing so it's working from micro to macro as well. Then also understanding good pace and timing and the velocity of movement and pace within a film. You know, that doesn't come easy or what they say one of the hardest than the last things to come for an editor is that is pacing timing, if at all, there's so many editors that they don't actually make that final step and that that separates someone from a good editor to a truly fantastic one and, and you know, editing this is like a roller coaster, it's like a, you go up and you're down, I'm here, we got to go slow. And this is where we need to the audience to feel this thing here. You know, I we're constantly asking ourselves, what are the odds? What do the audience have to feel here? What do I want them to feel and to know, emotionally, logically, stuff like that. So there's, there's lots of different factors, we have to take into consideration. Some of them are more important in, in, in certain scenes than others. And it's about being flexible, and knowing when to do apply these rules and when to when to leave them. But then, when to throw the rules out the window and go, you know, it's like the old Picasso, quote, you know, learn all the rope, learn all the rules, like a pro, so you can break them, break them, like an artist,
Alex Ferrari 16:14
That's a great quote. Yeah. So when you, when you start editing, do you stick to the script or the storyboard? Or do you start interpretating it right away?
Paddy Bird 16:25
I mean, I don't tend to do a lot of drama. I've done a lot of docu drama, which is as you know, combining documentary with drama. So I don't tend to do that I've, I don't, I must confess, and I probably shouldn't confess This is in case the my any of my previous or future employees or employers out there, but I never listened to any of the notes or anything like that. I just watched things through for performance, and, and stuff like that, as all I do, I need to have that reaction. You know, I know so many editors who go there, especially with drama, and they go, they watch, you know, takes one to 10 of an actor's performance and they go, don't believe it, don't believe it. Don't believe it, believe it, you know, take one take two take three. So then, you know, you just dismiss a good percentage of things that aren't excellent immediately, so you're whittling it down? But yeah, I I need to see it without any kind of people's opinions to give my own true opinion. ArrayList
Alex Ferrari 17:24
Yeah, and I feel the same way. I think, as far as performances are concerned, I think anytime an actor is winning an Oscar, they really need to thank the editor as well, because they did give the performance but that editor went through all of those takes to craft. Yeah, performance at that, that made it so I think they're definitely one of the big parts of that team, as well as obviously the director and the writer and everything, but at the end of the day, it's the editor Who, who, who puts that together, and a lot of times finds a performance that might have not been there. Sometimes I've seen I've seen performances in the Edit room that are horrendous, prior to the editor kind of going in there. Yeah. I know one. I know one movie specifically the Green Mile. Michael Michael Clarke Duncan when he was a no he's famously they gave him every acting coach in Hollywood because he was you know, he was he was a bodyguard he was an Armageddon he's not as you call the greatest, you know, actor in the world. But between all the coaching Tom Hanks and the editor who I slipped my mind who the editor was on that crafted together and Oscar nominated performance, specifically for that season. It's pretty crazy. So are there rules for editing certain types of scenes? Like comedy dialogue action that you'd like to follow? Or like the break and you have any examples?
Paddy Bird 18:53
I mean, I think in terms of the rules for you know, each each genre has their own rules, really is it's hard to sort of sit and break them all down. Sure, sure. But you you know, once you've watched, you know, once you've watched Woody Allen films to 300 times each, I mean, I think I've watched my favorite movies over 200 300 times. Right? You just analyze the first five or six times 10 times you watch a movie you're still engrossed in the narrative you're still Oh yeah, that's funny or Oh, that's tragic. Or Wow, that's a great action scene. But then after the sort of 10th 20th time you're sitting then you start analyzing and you're going okay, this is what they're trying to do here you memorize every shot and we're camera movement. This is how I learned editing anyways and and looking at the pacing and I always ask myself, okay, that's the Edit. What not Wow, that's amazing editing. What ended up on the cutting room floor. What didn't work. I will He's kind of looked I tried to look at it through the looking glass like you know black is white and white is black what didn't work there and how was that constructed you know when you're talking about you know, they say you know comedies in the timing but it's not just comedy tragedies in the timing actions in the title everything's timing with it with editing so we got to be very careful about what we're saying and what we're trying to make the audience feel every single specific moment. We're stuff like action action a lot of action stuff is driven by music so music has got its own set of unique emotional implications. So a lot of times we're cutting to music we're looking at the beats in the music we're looking at the structure of the of what's going on in the music What instruments are going on at certain points and stuff like that whether it's been scored whether we're buying a commercial track all these kinds of things. So you know, I think the best way to I always thought the best way was certainly the way I did to learn was to look at the performance look at the coverage find the kind of seeing that from your memory that works or would work in this and then try and start because it will never be the same start a construction a pace and timing construction around that but yeah, it's like and then you suddenly end up pulling out a couple of frames here between lines couple of frames there or between action if you want to go really really brutal enter in a specific action in an action scene, you know, probably the most still for me even after 10 years the most amazing action editing in recent memory was born ultimatum now i think i think he just didn't he Yeah, I mean it's just all crossing the line cut frames here he didn't care I was I remember watching that and I was doing a I was doing a science documentary for
Alex Ferrari 22:01
Which became all of a sudden very much more exciting when you finish cutting the
Paddy Bird 22:05
Discovery Channel a National Geographic or somewhere somewhere some some broadcaster news and I went in early I watched it on the Saturday afternoon when it came out and then I was like oh my oh my god, I end up watching it three times over the weekend. And I came in about seven o'clock in the morning into the edit suite and I will probably start chopping around that and then the director came in with his with his last day I said watch this and his jaw was on the floor and I said no he just turned I said what were you watching over the weekend? This is it man this is this is genius editing this is where we're gonna go
Alex Ferrari 22:52
How did it How did it How did it turn out?
Paddy Bird 22:54
It stayed in good for you see I kind of you know when you see a really amazing piece of editing you know unfortunately television we don't get the chance to do that kind of stuff very often in drama and commercials feature films you've got a lot more leeway to be more creative in certain circumstances but in television there's a kind of pulling back not all the way but there's a kind of pulling back and kind of what you can get away with. But yeah, I mean, the title sequence in what's the what's the Brazilian movie set in the favelas, oh, City of God. See a god what amazing film but the chicken chasing I remember seeing that. Like it's just astonishing editing, and a little action sequence of the guys trying to chase this chicken around. It's all mixed with you know, cut against Brazilian music. And that is you know, this is a couple of guys chasing a chicken around a favela. But what what he did the editor did that was just exceptional.
Alex Ferrari 23:56
Now let me ask you a question. What was the first time you as an ad I was like asking entered resists. What was the first time that you discovered the craft of editing like that? It dawned on you early like when you were a kid or in your when you're in high school, or whenever it was the moment you said, oh, there is a craft called editing. And this is how they do it. Oh.
Paddy Bird 24:24
Wow. I think I mean, I
Alex Ferrari 24:27
Was going but you're going back
Paddy Bird 24:29
Ive gone back Yeah. Going back through the years. I mean, when I was when I was younger. We got our first VHS player. I think I must have been about 10 Yeah. Back in the whenever it was the early 80s. And I remember watching films 7080 times my parents thought I was nuts. Oh, and I would learn everything I was I was only about eight or nine. I remember thinking How's that? You know, I remember thinking what's on the end of that shot? Did they shoot that And it stopped there and things like that. And then she were thinking about this already. I was thinking about that a very young age interest. And then I started Yeah, I started working one of the sort of very early adverts in the mid 90s, I was about 20. And I think I was at 10, I was doing a charity video, something like that. And the person who was presenting it was just, they were really bad, they couldn't even string a sentence together, they were so nervous, or guy was so nervous. And I remember to sort of playing around and cutting everything out and height. And then obviously, there's loads of job cuts, and then hiding certain jump cuts, and then cutting to this there and then and thinking, Wow, look at the power of this. I've made this person seamless, absolutely seamless. And then I started practicing and cutting other things like just cutting interviews with people making them say sort of crazy and outrageous things that they didn't say just why we call you know, I don't know if you call it the same in the US, but in England, we call it frame bashing, okay, which is, you know, just stealing words and putting them next to other words and cutting out knots and cutting out butts and becauses. And you know, so that people end up just really, you know, because that's what editing is really it's a bunch of words, and you can take those words and do whatever you want with them. As long as you got the coverage to hide those cuts. You can get away with pretty much anything obviously, the ethics around that are exactly, you know, but I remember then very early on in my late teens, that's when I really dawned on me. And this is unbelievably powerful. Oh, so yeah. Now I was fascinated drew hooked from the word go.
Alex Ferrari 26:46
The the what for me, it was you remember Robert Downey is Chaplin?
Paddy Bird 26:51
Oh, yeah, I actually watched that again the other day?
Alex Ferrari 26:53
Well, I was then you'll know the scene much clearer than I did. Haven't seen this in years. But when when Robert Downey or Charlie Chaplin shows up to Hollywood for the first time, and he gets caught up in the middle of that act, that little, that little scene with the cops and everything. And then he brings, he brings him down accurate brings him into the editing room. And he shows him editing. There, he cuts the film because you don't want to be on the cutting room floor. That's that place you don't want to be. That was the first time for me that I saw editing. Like Like, I got like, Oh, that's a job. Like I was in I was a teenager when I saw that movie as well working at my video store in Florida. And it was it was kind of mind boggling to me. And I didn't fall in I felt like I told you originally when we spoke first spoke, I fell into editing, editing because I didn't want to be a PA. It's like, oh, there's an avid in that room. And it's air conditioned. Let me let me go learn that.
Paddy Bird 27:48
And they bring you free briskets they bring?
Alex Ferrari 27:50
Exactly and then then the lattes came after. So
Paddy Bird 27:55
Just go better.
Alex Ferrari 27:56
Exactly. So this is a problem. I know, a lot of editor space. And I think it's a really important question to ask. When other people come in the editing room other than the director, like an actor or writer, or even a producer? How do you handle their opinions politically versus the director? And then you obviously need to find out who your master is at that point. Is it the directors at the producer? And this is a part of the editing process that editors don't know because this is all this politics? And then you just have to figure out what to do so I'm usually Switzerland as the way I handle it. I'm Switzerland I just like yes, whatever they tell me I kind of just move and someone asked my opinion I kind of quiet but I don't take sides because it could hurt you. Obviously, you know, you don't want to piss off the producer but you don't wanna piss off the director and who's gonna give you your next job and so on and so forth. So how do you handle it?
Paddy Bird 28:52
I mean, I think what's important is you have to take every single you know instance completely You know, every single one is unique I look at the you know, if you've been locked in a room with with the director for a couple of months, you know, you're gonna get to know who they are. And you know, how they handle pressure and stuff like that. And whether they're, you know, in arguments with the producer and you know, this these type of things happen all the time. Whether they promised you another job, and it's a big one they go on
Alex Ferrari 29:25
Always that's why they're not paying you that much this time.
Paddy Bird 29:29
Don't worry next time is going to be much more going to W Ray.
Alex Ferrari 29:34
Have you ever heard you have all the time in the world and we're going to double your rate. Have you ever heard those words uttered out of a producer's mouth
Paddy Bird 29:40
Never, never will never go? Yeah, take your time. Don't worry. Just don't worry. When it's ready when it's ready.
Alex Ferrari 29:50
Can you imagine?
Paddy Bird 29:51
I don't think I'd fight on the spot. No, I mean it's it's incredibly difficult man. It depends on you know, if There's arguments brewing if there's you know what the temperament of everyone involved
Alex Ferrari 30:06
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show.
Paddy Bird 30:16
You know, that's that thing is who is your master? You know, there's this I remember a friend of mine who cuts just commercials. And he said, it's really difficult because in commercials when you're in the edit suite, there's like 25 people in the in the MDM. And you've got this person and that person, all of them don't know anything about making films. They're from branding, and they're from this and, and he says, the main key thing in cutting commercials is finding out actually who's in charge and whose opinion counts because there's only one of those people in the room. The other 19 can just leave but they're there to justify their job and stuff like that. So it's very, very difficult. But yeah, I try and be as diplomatic as possible and I always give my opinion, I've truly believed that I'm paid to give an honest opinion. Sometimes those opinions are you know, sometimes you're in a position where if you give an honest opinion about why this scene didn't work, and you know that the reason happened is because the director messed up, but you don't want to get the director into trouble. You know, you're gonna have to make a call on that because you know, the directors sitting there looking at you going
Alex Ferrari 31:23
Don't don't don't do it.
Paddy Bird 31:25
Do me over I work in this town. So yeah, it's it is a very, you know, each each one is very, very different in its, I mean, I'm like you, and I think most editors are Switzerland. I'm like, you know, the end of the day, I'm here to cut this film. And my only responsibility really, is to make it as good as it can be. But the politics are, I mean, that's actually one of the reasons I became an editor in the first place is I loved the fact there was no politics involved. Yes, there's less how much politics can there be in a dark room. So then I found out there's tons
Alex Ferrari 32:05
And now the craziest, the craziest story I've heard was cutting a commercial and I had two advertising execs fistfight in my room. Mmm, MMA style. I was in my house. I was in Miami, I was editing a commercial for a chicken joint. A local chicken joint. And the funny thing was that the client had just fired the agency that was editing in that spot that they just produced so the client through his wisdom fired them before the commercial was over. And then I think the new guy came to kind of oversee what they just finished and turn on each other they just literally I had to break up a fight in my edit suite I've never forgotten that I was like, Oh, you guys it's a chicken car. Never
Paddy Bird 32:54
That I've never heard of that. I mean, I've heard some pretty crazy stories but I've never heard of office. Yeah, no, that's wow
Alex Ferrari 33:02
Well, you know we're Latino. Latino down in Miami, you know, things you know, it's it's the heat is the heat it's a it's what it is, is the heat you know, but yeah, US Latinos we do have a little bit of a spicy edge too sometimes and add in, you know, a chicken joint, you know, things just go awry. So, um, what now I know this, this happens to a lot of editors as well. What do you do about editors block? Like, do ever get edited? Like, have you ever had editors block when you you can't cut a scene to make you happy? Like, what do you do? Has it ever even happened to you?
Paddy Bird 33:38
I doesn't tend to happen to me. No. Sometimes I'll see something that I'll be like okay, this is as far as it can go. Now, I'm going to leave that for a week I'm gonna come back with fresh eyes, you know that first. First impressions are so important. In that continual first impression, you know, that like butterfly wings, you know, once touched forever destroyed, we really do want that first impression that first, this creative side side of our brains to be engaged in how we're reacting to something because we have to put ourselves in character in the mind of the audience, even after, you know, we're watching this for the 180/7 time this week. So I think I sometimes I don't know, I don't know if I've called it editor's blog, but I've got to a point in the scene, I go, Well, I'm gonna have to think on that I'm gonna have to process that for a couple of days or a week or something. So I tend to leave things and then come back to them if there's a problem, but also, you know, specifically if there's, you know, something, that there's knock on effects up and down the timeline with that specific thing as well. You know, if I'm having a problem with that scene, and I want to start doing some really serious cutting to save it, that might have implications in seeing 12 down there or seeing the eight up there. So sometimes you've got to go back and I find you go, you go, leave a bit. Go. Back do some other stuff and process it subconsciously and then come back that's probably the way I do it. Okay.
Alex Ferrari 35:07
Now do you cut to music or without sound? And how does sound influence your cutting?
Paddy Bird 35:14
I am I'm all about music Actually, I find I have a an exhaustive library of music. Again if you've got that app out there in the state exam
Alex Ferrari 35:27
Oh yeah, this
Paddy Bird 35:28
Is like my favorite app of all time whenever I'm in a coffee shop or even in an elevator something's you know that's really nice that'd be really nice for a specific type of scene. Bam I'll Shazam that banger by that let's listen to that 2530 times great and I tend to do that as well with music libraries as well I get to know them really well so that I have a specific emotional reaction to a set of rushes a set of footage and go okay first of all, I kind of work out what the scenes is about and I take a quick look at the footage and then I do it kind of backward on I'm not comparing myself to Tarantino but I know that's his process he finds music and then makes the scene you know as opposed to create the scene then find the music he
Alex Ferrari 36:17
Writes to the scene to the music
Paddy Bird 36:19
Yeah, it's like it's a process I love doing that I because music for me is you know I did a lot of reality TV shows. I did a lot of stuff like X Factor where nothing happens in the footage nothing is not emotional it's nothing so we have to overcompensate that with highly emotional music you know that's the trick we do if nothing happens ramp up the music right let's get that this gets Celine Dion in here you know this this you know absolutely nothing happened so I did a lot of you know reality TVs as at the same time my documentary so music has an unbelievably powerfully an unbelievably powerful effect on the audience is the one thing that transcends cultures languages anything so I'm I'm all about cutting and finding the perfect track and I find I tend to try and find tracks that haven't been used and abused you know you get a tribe that's gets really popular and then they just turn on the television it's on every single show for the next six months.
Alex Ferrari 37:20
Oh Moby Moby that Moby album was on everything Yeah,
Paddy Bird 37:24
Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely never listen to Moby ever again.
Alex Ferrari 37:29
It was a great album but I remember it's like yeah, every damn thing I watched had the damn Moby on it you know he was the most um it was the most licensed album of all time.
Paddy Bird 37:43
Really? Yeah Did Moby surprise me
Alex Ferrari 37:46
yeah most licensed album of all time every movie every trailer put it in their scores it was just like i mean i'm sure movies still just counting cash from that dance
Paddy Bird 37:56
It was through cashing in Well, I mean
Alex Ferrari 37:59
God bless Alright, so so you out of all you've been an editor for a long time and you sat down one day and looked around and said you know, I am not seeing anybody teach the craft the black arts of film so you you decided to put together something called inside the Edit which is how I discovered you originally found you online. And I saw this amazing site that was like inside the ad and I'm like what is what is this guy from England doing let me let me check this out. I'm like, the site look gorgeous, which I loved. I loved the grid design of it. And then I started looking at some of the videos you were putting in like oh my God, this guy's actually teaching people how to edit like I've never seen this in my life and I've been around a while and I've taken a lot of courses and I know a lot of you know the Lynda dot coms and the VFX PhD and all these other places but there was no one doing it and it was not just like oh well throw a couple videos up you're psychotic you have like a ton of I mean like it's insane so tell tell us and tell the audience what is inside the Edit
Paddy Bird 39:07
well inside the Edit was I came up with the idea about three or four years ago I I stopped editing for about six months because I was just a bit tired burnt out and you know, I just wanted to stop so I started training and teaching final car and avid and things like that at a training center and and I looked around I was like oh no one's actually teaching the craft I just looked at all I sort of widen my gaze and then looked at all the film schools and looked it's all software related. And they teach you a very basic amount of editing theory, but I was like, no one's teaching you know how to assign you know, different musical instruments to specific characters within and then physical nuances within a scene. No one's teaching how to construct a really tight sink pool. No one's teaching us you know, these literally I wrote down it took me a year. To write down probably a couple of 1000 theories that you need is a pro, a pro a list editor at the top of the game, and I just I tried to find all of them I interviewed film school alumni I went to the broadcasters training centers stuff like that and no one's actually teaching the craft it was all you know, buttons pull down menus and this software and that and that is it so I basically Yeah, I decided to, I thought oh, this is really interesting. And I basically wrote a very specifically crafted training course online training course that consists of about 200 tutorials some ranging from five minutes to like feature length we've got feature length one so it's basically like a 200 part series on editing with
Alex Ferrari 40:57
you understand this I understand you sound crazy.
Paddy Bird 41:01
I told my wife at the time and she just said how long is it going to take and I was just like three six months? I think it took me three years and not writing nearly a million words.
Alex Ferrari 41:14
Yeah. But you're mentioning you're working on other things at this time you know, yeah,
Paddy Bird 41:18
no, no I didn't I literally I didn't I couldn't as soon as I did I wanted to make in 100 years of editing I wanted to make the be all and Nando was like I could make I could just link some stuff up then it'd be great or I could make the you know, start milling and start milling and never have to wait this is the quintessential study of editing which no one's ever done all these hundreds of different techniques. I mean, we got 25 tutorials alone just on scoring. I mean no one's ever taught scoring before you go to lynda.com and you go to all these other websites and it's all techie and you know
Alex Ferrari 41:56
which goes away which goes away in a minute because anything tech will be changed in about eight years yeah yeah
Paddy Bird 42:01
change it's it's it's you know, we don't have loads of people in the industry you know, there's loads of people who know the techie side what we are what we're in short supply of and what we've always been in short supply of is people who know how to craft stories craftsmen and that's it you know that's always going to be you know, just because you buy an editing piece of editing software and you know how to use the timeline and stuff like that and trimming that does not an editor make so I yeah, I basically looked at everyone all the websites or the film schools and thought yeah, this is this is this could be really amazing. And I spent a long a long time crafting it but then what I also did as well was I mean, when you want to learn editing, the one thing I haven't taught hundreds of people the one thing that I always was asked at the end was okay, how do I get show together? How do I cut some scenes? And like Well, you can't really because production companies never ever release rushes footage, raw raw bits raw footage onto the market onto into the open public domain doesn't happen. So you're stuck in this next barrier, which is how do I get footage to practice on and I'm a director as well directed quite a few documentaries in the UK. So I went out and I shot a one hour documentary, like 40 hours of rushes 35 hours of rushes. So I thought there's no point in teaching people to editing unless you give them footage to practice on and know all the nuances, all the problems that you get all the good stuff all the bad stuff you get in any one set of footage, they have to practice on that. So I said right we're gonna give you all these tutorials and you also we give you all the footage as well.
Alex Ferrari 43:46
How long did it take you to shoot all this?
Paddy Bird 43:48
I shot it as an observational documentary and I shot it over two years while I was constructing the course so I was specifically shooting scenes with problems in them as I was writing specific tutorials knowing drawing on my experience of editing problems I'd had in the past I was like okay, I'm gonna shoot this scene perfectly and it's beautiful blah blah blah. And I will shoot this one with loads of flaws are not going to ask that question that I would do to to the interviewer or to the interviewee. I'm not going to do that. So we're going to have to learn how to fix that in the Edit.
Alex Ferrari 44:20
Now Barry. I don't mean to interrupt you, but I consider myself a go getter. I consider myself a hustler. You're absolutely crazy. I hearing the story as you're saying it is It's so inspiring like one man, and it's one dude that together like I'm gonna just write, like think about this. If I would have said this to you before you started. You're gonna sit down and write the end all be on on the craft of editing over 200 different tutorials. 1000s hundreds of 1000s of hundreds of hours of of thing plus 1000s of hours of work. It's insane. It's like you're literally writing words. Peace you know but
Paddy Bird 45:01
actually with currently 400,000 words more than war and peace want to correct you
Alex Ferrari 45:09
I appreciate that thank you I
Paddy Bird 45:11
know Spencer everyone says a mentor my wife says a mental all my friends I'm crazy
Alex Ferrari 45:16
but that's what Steve Jobs said it's the crazy ones that changed the world
Paddy Bird 45:21
wow there you go there you go from quite odd Steve Jobs level yet but in terms of the craft of editing yeah I just I guess the other thing was is the kind of you know one of the things about documentary editing is you love constructing and taking apart and reconstructing something that is inherently complex. And I think that's an editing thing you know, people like editors truly love taking apart and reconstructing something really really complex and the kind of pride and joy that you get out of that artistic highly complicated complicated and long winded process I kind of applied though to inside there it was like this is a it was it was it was I guess you know after all it was an intellectual challenge no one's done it before so I'm going to do that or I'm going to try and do it so yeah, but yeah it's it's
Alex Ferrari 46:17
if you if you would be telling me this before you did it I'm like this guy's off his rocker he'll never get this done. But you've done it. It's there. It's been it's been around for what a year now, right?
Paddy Bird 46:29
Where a year old yet we're already in like, over 5050 or 60 countries. We've got filmmakers all around the world. We've got directors, producers, camera operators, we've got teenagers, we've got octogenarians we've got Yeah, we've got people we've got major production companies like the BBC and discovery and vice media news, people using it, you know, commercials people, people who want to move from short form into long form. Yeah, it's really why this is it's it's it's a great, it's turned out to be a great success. And we're finding out film schools as well now. So yeah, it's going really well,
Alex Ferrari 47:08
which I find ironic. you're citing film schools.
Paddy Bird 47:13
I mean, yeah, he's.
Alex Ferrari 47:16
I just find it erotic. That's all
Paddy Bird 47:18
it is. Yeah, I mean, you're kind of going and going, Hey, look at this. This is awesome. You should sign up with us. And what about the other stuff you're teaching? Exactly. So yeah, it's but yeah, it's been going it's been going phenomenally well. So hopefully, it's um, and, you know, we get I guess it what fills me with joy is you know, I get emails from so many people, I get emails from people saying, you know, I got one from somebody in California the other day saying, ay, ay, ay. I've spent something like 60,000 pounds over many, many years doing a degree doing courses, doing an MA and editing. And I've learned more in the first four chapters of your course than I did in the last five years. That's awesome. And then I get people who working in editing houses who are like, Oh, you know, I was just doing mood drills, you know, they're not you know, just sort of taster tapes and stuff like that and they would only trusted me with 32nd spots and now now at work they call me the documentary guy and they've given me big projects on is taking my career on leaps and bounds in what would take you know, essentially editing high end editing takes a decade minimum to learn. But that decade is only for a lot of persistence. It's for a lot of trial and error and it's through a lot of luck as well. You know, if you go if you go into Edit facility and be a broadcaster and try and be a edit assistant, you're not going to get a pro editor to sit down. Maybe they'll have 10 minutes at some point, one week, if you're lucky and they might tell you something, but then you're not gonna have someone who's going to meticulously stand over your shoulder and go through the craft and what you should do and what you shouldn't do so so why it's
Alex Ferrari 49:02
so what's the process like I'm a new PR I just got went to the inside the Edit How do I what's the process of getting in? What do you What's the Is it a core like is it what kind of coursework is it how do you sign up? What's the deal? How does it How does it work?
Paddy Bird 49:17
Well is we from the very start we want to be very, very simple. So it's really easy. All you do is you go in you can do we do operate a monthly subscription or an annual subscription or a lifetime subscription. If you just want to come and try it out. For a month, you can sign up it's like 50 bucks. You can it's like yet 3040 pounds 5050 bucks, or you can you know buy your subscription if you if you really like it and you get 12 months for the price of 10. And yeah, you get you get on within you know, enter your details. And you're there within a couple of minutes just sent an access code and immediately you have complete access to All of the inside the Edit tutorial library. So you start a chapter one, it's a linear course, you know, every one is like learning a language, every seat, you can just watch them out of out of sync. Because you know, Bill, I think, right? Yeah, you'd be like getting to lesson five speaking Italian, I wouldn't know what they're talking about. So it's a linear course. So you go in, and you just start watching the tutorials. And at the end of each tutorial, you're given a least one creative task. So as soon as you sign up, you've got free access, free access to download all of the footage. But also, we've partnered up with universal Production Music, who are they were always my favorite, my favorite music library that they just got an astonishing array of like half a million amazing tracks. And so not only do you get 35 hours of rushes, but you also get hundreds of tracks, from Universal Music features, practice scoring, so you can download them, but you also download the creative task. We've basically tried to replicate everything you get in a pro edit suite. So you get PDFs of directors notes about the scene breakdowns, what's in every scene, all the log notes, all the time codes, the transcripts for the interviews and stuff like that. So you're basically you've got everything. So you go through and you start breaking down, you're basically cutting a one hour documentary over the course of this. Over the course of inside the Edit, however long you choose to take, and we update. There's about what 6065 tutorials up there already, we add the new one each week. Okay? So
Alex Ferrari 51:43
in your end goal, how many tutorials? Is there going to be an ongoing forever? Are you like, Is there a number like you think I've read?
Paddy Bird 51:48
I've locked it I locked all the scripts. I've written just over 190 Okay, scripts, tutorials.
Alex Ferrari 51:58
Sorry, every time you say stuff like that, just like your say,
Paddy Bird 52:02
sound I think does that mean? That whoever that is that sounds mental? What is mental? Yeah, remember, it's you should see that the script the pile of scripts, I mean, it looks like three telephone directories. It's just insane. So yeah, it's um, but there's other things as well, this we've interviewed I've, we're starting to bring out I've basically come up with all these ideas about training the brain for creativity, we've we've launched this new feature called metamorphosis. So it's basically about one of one of the specific things about editing or being a great editor that can really help you change your brain on my new differences when you're watching something over and over again. So we'll take a scene and we'll say, what's this scene? Or what's this 42nd cut of something? Okay, now, we've changed one thing could be a shot, we could have lengthened it, we could have changed something, a word, we could have changed anything, we won't tell you what it is, but what's the second version? Okay, now, what's the difference? So it gets you into this analytical frame of mind of like, sitting there and not being sucked into the narrative, looking at it and going, yes, this is really cool. But I've got a job to do here. So we're trying to, you know, you know, work out the muscles in the creative part of the brain. So that we become more analytical as editors. And we do it with timelines as well, we show you a timeline, you know, of a scene, so you're not watching visual stuff. So right look at this timeline. Okay, you got 20 seconds, like stop now. Now, we've changed two things, what are they Where's they're cutting the music on channel a and three, a four, or five and six, or something like that, or there's a cutaway put in it, or you swap those two shots around. So it's not just watching all the the theory and stuff like that, in the tutorials, it's also we're expanding and putting in a whole load of new fresh, original ways of looking at editing, which no one has ever done before. And the feedback we get is tremendous. It's really cool.
Alex Ferrari 54:04
What I find what I find fascinating about your whole story is that you've never done anything like this before, you don't have a history of stuff like this before. So literally, you just woke up one morning and said, I'm going to write more words than war in peace and create the definitive, the definitive course on the craft of editing, and the kid and as a, as a filmmaker, as an artist myself, I find that so incredibly inspiring that out of nowhere, you just decided to do it. And I think it's a lesson for a lot of our listeners, if at all our listeners to think about like, you know, just because you've never done it doesn't mean you can't and you obviously aren't 22 you know you're obviously been in the business for a while. So it's a it's really a year 20 obviously 28 2009 but you know, you have a wealth of your life of knowledge that you've picked up along the way that gave you the ability To do this, like right away, so it's not like you know, I'm just gonna wake up at 18 and start teaching the craft of editing, where you're at, you haven't had time to learn the craft of editing, it's like, I'm gonna teach you how to build a table. I've never built a table before, but um, you know, I've seen it, I've seen it done. So I think as a as an artist, you know, even as you get older, at a certain point, it's never a mistake that you're like, it's never too late, you could keep doing it. It's not that, but I just find it inspiring that like, all of a sudden, he's like, you know what, I'm just gonna do this. And it's not something small, you've taken a Herculean, I can't say the word. task. herculean, Thank you, sir. Task upon yourself. And not only have you done it, but you're continuing to do it. So it's not like you're talking about doing it, you've done it. So I'm not trying to blow smoke up you, but I just really, I really find it, you know, I find it so inspiring of what you're doing, and that you're doing it well, anytime someone goes out to achieve something, as an artist, because this is an art what you're doing as well, this is not just, you know, you're not just a number of ones and zeros, Allah, you're you're an artist creating art to teach other people how to make art, which is, in my, in my opinion, in a lot of ways, a very high level of art, because you're teaching others to be artists. And that takes at a high level. And it does take a lot to do that. And to do it in a way and the way the world is reacted to it. And it's only been around for a year, but you've got major corporations who see value in what you're doing, and your fat, your obviously your subscription base, and all that kind of stuff. But I just wanted to say that because it was just really, you know, I've heard the story before we've talked on the phone before, but this is the first time I've kind of heard the meat and potatoes of it. And I'm like, God, seriously, man, seriously, congratulations.
Paddy Bird 56:53
Thanks. Thanks, man. I mean, it means a lot to me. I mean, it's, I mean, we're all artists. And I think one of the great thing about one of the driving forces around art, whether it doesn't matter, what you're doing is, is you want to be challenged all the time. And that that for me was this that I just thought Hold on a minute, I can really, I could really help people's careers in an art form particular art form, which has not really been covered, because no one's sat down and deconstructed it and I just thought it's it is that idea of challenging yourself and that's why we come to the artistic process. And you know, we don't go and whatever working work in banks or wherever, like that we want, we want to strive to create the best possible thing that we can create. It is that challenge and that's the thing that kept me up, you know, that drive until three, four in the morning, and doing all the crazy hours that I had to do to do inside the Edit, but just getting the feedback and getting all these wonderful, you know, emails and LinkedIn messages from people saying, Oh, you know, you've, you've changed my life, you've inspired me to go out and then they send me their films and stuff like that. I'm like, this is awesome. They sent me their films at the start, and they're like, Oh, god, that's not well edited. And then you see the progress and you're like, that just fills you with joy as, as someone who's not, you know, I was I never grew up as a teacher or anything like that didn't start as a teacher, I just did a bit of teaching, you know, a few years ago, you know, after doing 1516 years of editing, so it fills my heart with joy. Seeing people progress and seeing people you know, really, really get to their artistic helping them you know, to their artistic capabilities. You know, I can I teach you to be a Renoir or a Picasso No, I can't do that. So I'm just igniting a flame that is in you already, and hopefully helping you to do for you to go off and be that Renoir going off and be that Picasso but that's up to you I can I can point you in the park that's what i think but you know, for me, it's it's as an artist and making that that daily challenge, you know, because it is a daily challenge you wake up in the morning are Gods what's you know, what have I got to do today? Oh, that's really complicated. And just pushing through that. I just, I just, I love that feeling. I mean, that's what a lot of editing is like this, the complexity of that art form. So I love it. I really do love it. And I was always really important to me that this looked exceptionally good. I mean, my target audience is a bunch of, like me, a filmmaker, lover of film, a cinephile documentary makers, you know, all the way around the world. It has to look beautiful, and I looked at everyone else's tutorials. They're like, God, this looks like corporate kind of, you know, it's like Excel. You're selling Yeah, you selling washing machines or something, you know, it's like, no, this has to be a cinematic experience. And that's the way we designed it. And that's the way I wrote it. And that's the way you know, because each one of the tutorials is cut, like a documentary with music and high end graphics, explaining everything so it's really important being You know, you've got to be a perfectionist as an editor and I took all that perfectionism even though it had, you know, even though I had to stay up till three, four in the morning, sometimes perfecting it, you know, the tiniest detail, there has to be perfect. And that's you know, that's what filmmaking is about.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:17
We'll be right back after a word from our sponsor. And now back to the show. You've basically aged about 20 years in the last three
Paddy Bird 1:00:33
out actually that I worked out that I've, if you don't know what the average working week is, you did the numbers. I did the math, I did the math. In the three years I've worked on it so that if you take the average working week is 40 hours I've worked nine and a half years in three years. So yeah, I was doing 110 hour weeks for like a year and a half it was just insane.
Alex Ferrari 1:00:57
That's what I find fascinating that you don't have a history of being crazy. So that's what I find fascinating about your story is like it's like all of a sudden, you just turned crazy. And decided I'm
Paddy Bird 1:01:08
I was like this could be and
Alex Ferrari 1:01:11
this is this is your I this is your iPhone. This is your second Yeah, this is this is the thing that I like, um, this is where I'm gonna put my stamp on the world, you're gonna put a ding in the universe, at least the editing universe.
Paddy Bird 1:01:21
The thing in the editing universe. Great. I have that on my gravestone. Just as he finished the last tutorial,
Alex Ferrari 1:01:33
but he died on his mouse.
Paddy Bird 1:01:36
I don't have a keyboard is
Alex Ferrari 1:01:38
the way a good editor ship. The ship. So um, so I have a few more questions for you, sir. Um, what is your funniest editing story? something that happened in the room. Something you heard from somebody else that you can't say their names. Something funny that people were like, Dad, that didn't happen or really that happened?
Paddy Bird 1:02:06
Well, I mean, it's hard to do that without getting anyone or myself into trouble. Like most editors,
Alex Ferrari 1:02:16
just a fun one does a fun what doesn't have to be like a heavy political one. Just a fun something funny that happened.
Paddy Bird 1:02:21
I tell you I was actually ran out of a friend of mines for dinner the other day director I worked with several years ago. He's one of the last jobs I actually did before. Before inside the Edit. I shouldn't have said that actually, because then some people can look that up on IMDB and he was and then work at a production company. Now they just about to talk
Alex Ferrari 1:02:41
about well, you just what you just gave them the exact roadmap to do so.
Paddy Bird 1:02:46
While there's a lot of intelligent people out there, no, that was one of the last ones I was. But no, we were working on this. This this rather large budget co production between British and American television. And they're supposed to be a sort of legendary legendary exec producer who's you know won loads of awards and stuff like that. He's coming in for the first viewing of the rough cut. I think we're about three or four weeks in sunlight. It's a long way. It's like a 12 week, I think it was feature length I was at featuring for 60 minute I can't remember. And you know, when you go, you know when the when the exact producer comes is quite a moment. Yeah, they're in charge of everything. And they report to the channel and you know,
Alex Ferrari 1:03:36
in television, yeah, to everybody know that in television, the exact producer is the power as opposed to on it's on a film set the director many times is the the guy is the top top cheese, if you will.
Paddy Bird 1:03:47
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. The exec is, is you don't want to mess around the exec. They have they have the power of life and death in your career. Because it's a small world of exact producers. But this guy came in and you know, we'd heard that he was a legend during this, that and the other documentary maker and he sat down and a watch the car and he was like, Whoa, marvelous, marvelous, marvelous. And then he proceeded to give us what I think is the most bizarre set of feedback notes I've ever experienced. He was just talking gibberish. I mean, literally Jabra. She was like, you know, ask yourself the question, what does the voice service say about itself? Like, I was looking at direct again, is it me or is this guy nuts? And he proceeded to give us like, 30 or 40 notes, right? Which is insane. Right, right. And he sort of got up and left and went, thank you. It's wonderful and just but they were just jibberish. And then he walked out and which is She's a bit of a sort of you know because there are some less senior producers in there afterwards after we come in and gone I just sort of looked over today I said did you look down at the notes I mean is it me or was that just a load of rubbish? I mean I didn't understand it thing that he said is that how are we going to change this film? What are his notes what's we've got doing with the channel in no 10 days? how we're going to do this it was utter gibberish and this guy was supposed to be like one of the legends of television. So I was flabbergasted.
Alex Ferrari 1:05:32
So what did they say?
Paddy Bird 1:05:34
What are the series producers? Yeah, just as the other producers were just as flabbergasted they were like I have I have no idea what that you know, was you know, that guy smoking crack before he came in. To jibberish so yeah, we just sort of cut it the way we wanted to cut it and then send it off to the channel
Alex Ferrari 1:05:53
and what what happened at the end of the that everything go right I guess
Paddy Bird 1:05:59
well that was a whole other different story actually. they they they loved it. So this is brilliant. But the exact producer didn't and then they came back and went actually so we were like oh great we're gonna finish on time and you know we can go home at seven o'clock then they came back the lot of things happen in terms of like some someone else SR ends up watching it and then they turn around and go oh actually no, no, we want to change all of this. I want to completely restructure the whole thing and you've got three days to do it for transmission. So yeah, of course.
Alex Ferrari 1:06:30
Of course of course that's that was just the
Paddy Bird 1:06:33
bizarre I've heard I've never heard anything like that it was just I actually wrote down some of these things I can't remember a lot of them but they were gibberish utter rubbish
Alex Ferrari 1:06:42
you should put them into intercourse somewhere
Paddy Bird 1:06:45
you know what it's funny say that I did actually write a one specific tutorial about taking feedback and I said sometimes the feedback will be crazy so don't expect you know how do you know what what notes to to reply to and change in the edit and what just insane because you do get that you know, you get execs and service producers who come in or senior producers come in you know, they've been up for five days and they've had you know, five litres of coffee and they don't really know what they're talking about. And they watch something and they give you a load of notes and and you're like yeah, three quarts of these are just, you know, rubbish rubbish. So how you going to reply to it so yeah, I did I did actually build in some of those responses. I said, I worked on a film once where I got these type of notes. And yeah, they were just rubbish. So it does happen.
Alex Ferrari 1:07:37
Now I'll tell you my funny it one of the funny stories I did, or I heard of, I was in I was early in my editing career. And I was in again down in Miami. And this was doing I think it was commercials if I'm not mistaken, I was like assistant editing on this. And this editor was this old editor who had just been around for ever and he you know, he's like, this nonlinear thing is never going to get out. So that kind of dude. He was working online I was in an online was in a CMS 3600 at the time. So but this, this battleaxe of a producer shows up and everybody's like, Oh, this this lady is just horrible. She's just she's just gonna and the editor as you get older you just don't care as much and it's true you just don't care as much as you get older. So he really didn't care. So she comes in and he's like, he told me he goes watch this so she comes is like I'm like I'm sitting there with popcorn in my head are waiting to see the show. So the lady comes in she's like I need this or that and he's like, okay, sure no problem no problem because but you know the problem is with the with the footage she's she's like, well, what's the problem? What's the problem? He's like, well, it's the time code it's you know, it's not the best kind of time code that we can use. What do you mean she's like, well there's time code and then there's double downtime code. Double downtime code is really really accurate while this other time codes not as accurate it's hard to sync the reels she's like really you need double time down code? Yes, you need double downtime code if you want to so when you go out tomorrow to the set make sure everybody knows that you need double downtime. She's like all right all right. All right. Cool. And she went out to the set and she was just yelling at the top of her lungs as people what is this graph this shows that being shouted double dog type code This is horrible and the sound guys like and then I was I was on set I was on set to do doing stuff add the camera guy I'm like yeah Larry Larry Larry sent this over she's like everybody was like ah, everyone just pissed themselves like oh Larry and then everybody's like yes of course we'll do a little
Paddy Bird 1:09:51
Yeah dont worry. We got it.
Alex Ferrari 1:09:53
We got we got this covered where Paulina, but she's like, All right, good, good, good, but it was just the best to see
Paddy Bird 1:10:01
Alex Ferrari 1:10:02
oh it's just brilliant it's just brilliant Oh when I was asked you do as an editor and I know this this might be controversial to answer you don't have to answer this Do you sometimes leave a red herring in the Edit for the Producer Director or the powers that be to have something to change
Paddy Bird 1:10:20
the classic classic I was told that when I was a teenager right if you get a problematic hands on you know really pain pain in the butt creative or whatever. Yeah, yeah, just always give them something I was always told about two thirds of the way through the scene because they'll start watching the scene and then what what will happen so it's always about a third of the way through the scene so let's start watching the scene so so we're near the front the front third make a really bad deliberate mistake and so then they will immediately take their head away from the screen scribble for 10 minutes like that and they'll miss the rest of the of the scene right? They come back and they'll go stop they go right well it's good path from this you didn't do blah blah blah blah blah and then you go oh god Sorry about that. I'll change that Yeah. Was the rest of the scene right? Yeah, yeah, yes fine. No worries you can get one all your ideas if you just do one colossal so that they can you know you can see it
Alex Ferrari 1:11:27
It can't be it can't be a can be a mistake that just makes you look incompetent, but it has to be it's like that fine line if it's something like completely competent, then like why are we hiring this editor? But it has to it has to be that balance of something for them to say I usually either do audio drop outs I'll do a double frame in the Edit you know, like little little little things here and there.
Paddy Bird 1:11:51
Yeah, plastic Oh brilliant. Brilliant. Fantastic they will work then they they're brilliant. They're just you know
Alex Ferrari 1:11:57
it's it's all transit.
Paddy Bird 1:11:59
Yeah, get him to shut the hell up and get your get all your changes what you want under the radar and I don't even realize it. It's all over. There's no CD of producers.
Alex Ferrari 1:12:09
No, no only filmmakers listen to our show. So if I if I finally get the executives and senior producers listening to the show, then I've taken the show to a new level. And by the way, if there are any senior producers or executives listen to show, email me at and you can email Patty code. Alright, so what finally what what advice do you have for young editors just starting out in the business?
Paddy Bird 1:12:43
I mean, you just got to keep on editing. I know it's a crazy thing, but you have to get those hours up in the in the, in the course in the in the in the course of your career. You got to hit hit the get into the 1000s
Alex Ferrari 1:12:56
you know, as they say you need 10,000 hours to master something.
Paddy Bird 1:12:59
Yeah, the old Malcolm Gladwell. I remember reading a refutation to that there's like more it's like apparently more than 10,000 hours so you know 10,000 hours is not that much I think it's about five years of you know 4050 hours a week you know, you can do a lot more but you know, I would say watch as many films as you can watch as many as you want don't just stick to the genres that you like, start get in as much music under your belt because the one thing you know if editing is the most nebulous art form in the Moving Image medium scoring is what is probably the most nebulous art form in editing and there's you know, that really sets you apart
Alex Ferrari 1:13:45
when you say scoring You mean like cuz I'm not hearing
Paddy Bird 1:13:49
music for the scene because you're not scoring as in writing the music scoring as in going and finding the perfect piece of music for that particular scene so yeah, that's another another big one but you know, just watch as many many things you can keep on cutting as much as possible. But I'm obviously going to say this. Come and join inside the Edit is the one and only major league editing tool that's out there. You could go to three years of film school, you could then make t in a production company for another two years. You won't get anywhere near what we teach over inside the Edit.
Alex Ferrari 1:14:31
Oh absolutely. There's no question no question. So we're in so we could do the hard sell what's the website
Paddy Bird 1:14:39
Alex Ferrari 1:14:40
All right, there it is. And two more questions and I asked all my all my guests this. What are your top three films of all time? Oh, like I always say whatever comes to your mind right now. We want to hold you this forever, but three films that really you know moved you in some way or are considered in your top three not not an order just any
Paddy Bird 1:15:03
thought. I mean I'm a bit high fidelity here I've got sub genres within I've gotten top fives within specific genres, top five comedies. I mean top five documentaries top five war documentaries. I don't know if we're just gonna go plane drama not in any order, I'd say. One of the films that really influenced me I saw it when I was nine when it came out in the cinema. And I was like, Oh, I want to be in films. This is a beautiful film is Amadeus. God is such a brilliant. I've seen that film over 200 times.
Alex Ferrari 1:15:38
Such a brilliant movie. And a lot of a lot of people. A lot of this generation don't know about Amadeus. It's not one of those films that is like taught in all the film schools as much as a genius. It is absolutely brilliant, brilliant, brilliant film.
Paddy Bird 1:15:55
I'd say films that really influenced me. I mean, you can't have lived through the 80s as a teenager and not see, not mentioned Goodfellas even though it was 1991 I think it was 19 8090 Yeah, I mean, that was just genius. Absolutely genius. I'd say i mean i'm actually attracted to a lot of films. I mean, I love action movies. I love you know, I love them all. I don't I don't have a genre. I'll watch anything I grew up on watching European arthouse movies, and john Claude Van Damme
Alex Ferrari 1:16:35
obviously is the greatest actor of all time. We all know that he great stuff.
Paddy Bird 1:16:39
I don't know why he's not you know, nominated. Actually,
Alex Ferrari 1:16:43
JV was a it JVCD. That was was actually a really
Paddy Bird 1:16:47
Great movie. That's brilliant.
Alex Ferrari 1:16:49
It was a brilliant, brilliant performance by him. I honestly I was like I was blown away that monologue. He did I was like, holy cow. He he can act holy cow
Paddy Bird 1:16:58
can act and it's so honest. I was like, wow, oh man, you know after you've watched death warrant, and Bloodsport
Alex Ferrari 1:17:04
well, Bloodsport, Bloodsport is the greatest You know, one of the greatest action movies of all time. Let's just start out there.
Paddy Bird 1:17:10
Right now maybe we shouldn't rage. But now I actually like films that are based on plays. So I do like the you know, one man to man to character. films like sleuth you 60s Mark Kane Laurence Olivier, Glengarry Glen Ross, David Mamet. You know, James Foley directed that genius movie. I mean, I think that's got to be the greatest cast of all time. Yeah, yes, sir. alpa Chino, jack Lemmon.
Alex Ferrari 1:17:41
Paddy Bird 1:17:43
Alec Baldwin, Harris, and Harris. Jacqueline price. Oh, yes. I mean, it was obscene. This this? Yeah. I think Al Pacino Didn't he say this is the greatest cost of a word with
Alex Ferrari 1:17:54
Yeah, well, yeah, of course. Yeah. And he wasn't the Godfather.
Paddy Bird 1:17:59
But ya know, I love that kind of quick. You know, man, it's so good for that. I love that. You know that Mamet style, you know that Mamet talk, as they call it, right? Bam, ba ba ba bam. I love that kind of quick, fast play. It's a play, it plays a film. And so yeah, big fan those those are those are the films
Alex Ferrari 1:18:18
that I mean I've come to that I mean, you can go on forever I got you.
Paddy Bird 1:18:21
Well, we'll rule film buffs
Alex Ferrari 1:18:22
and last question. Since you're this is this is very editing focused show. What is the best edited sequence in the last 25 years?
Paddy Bird 1:18:35
Wow. I knew talking about the difficult questions here. Oh, wow.
Alex Ferrari 1:18:43
Something that you saw that was just like I mean, obviously the Jason Bourne stuff was insane. But
Paddy Bird 1:18:48
I mean, it's gotta be Yeah, I mean, it's got to be I think it's gotta be the either one of the two, the second or the third Bourne movies. So you know, the Bourne Ultimatum that was the third one and the bones supremacy I was just literally blown away at the pace the timing the daring, I can't, I can't think of anything. I mean, there's obviously a ton of amazing you know, even this year, whiplash you know, that was just, it's just phenomenal editing but but in terms of pushing the boat out there. But you know, then you look through the history you know, that is a lot of that kind of, you know, you look look at the way jaws is cut. Look at the way Bonnie and Clyde is cut that was a massive, you know, look at all the cutting techniques that he used. Now, a lot of them stemmed from, you know, films like Bonnie and Clyde, but I know it's more than 25 years ago, but there's a history of it. And there's this really daring, creative editing artists out there pushing, pushing the boundaries. It's so lovely and refreshing to see but for me, I'd have to say it was just a giant that I was just blown away, watching watching the second and third Bourne movies, they were just exceptionally edited
Alex Ferrari 1:20:00
Those action sequences are insane they're just insane though the way they cut and just like I said like pop I was like even my wife who's not you know in the business she was like that was edited amazing so when you have someone who's not in the business go That was really good it's it says something
Paddy Bird 1:20:18
Well that's the thing is that we're you know no one's supposed to recognize what we do if people start recognize what we do you know, we haven't done our job correctly we're supposed to be the invisible eyes that were and if you sit there go wow, bang you're really affected by the editing and, you know, the I had a director friend of mine who didn't like them who's a commercials director. He said Paul Greengrass has just shot a three hour movie and cut it down to an hour and a half on steroids. That's not editing that's not structure and we agree this is like an exceptional jump forward in the craft. There's those movies
Alex Ferrari 1:20:53
Totally I mean push the whole medium forward when matrix came out on the action and visual effects side I mean Star Wars obviously there are those movies but in the genre of editing there are Bonnie and Clyde
Paddy Bird 1:21:12
I mean genius that that end scene when they get shot. Ah.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:15
I mean like I mean the Godfather was I mean the Godfather was brilliantly cut as well, the pacing and that and that maybe that's you know, but anyway so badly thank you so much for being on the show. I think you've given us the pleasure that you've given our audience a ton of great information this is almost a little mini masterclass in an editing so I would have killed to have this course when I was me I would I you know, I had to draw it you know, when I'm not going to do the whole I walked uphill to school and snow barefoot story but
Paddy Bird 1:21:47
And the violins coming.
Alex Ferrari 1:21:48
You can hear the violins right. You know what I there was I didn't have no fancy laptops with Final Cut on them. We did the old fashioned way I drove an hour I woke up at four in the morning woke up to get into the studio early. They were buddies and they in but that's what I did on the avid for like the the year that I sat, you know, doing dubs in the other room as a dubber dubbing commercial reels for for other directors. I sat and I went in and you know what, I think a lot of a lot of that means something like when you have to struggle a little bit to get that and like nowadays, you just, Oh, I just got a laptop and I'll get Final Cut now. I'll learn it. But that's
Paddy Bird 1:22:30
Good. It's sent as your you know, it, it gives you the driving force. It's like this isn't easy. No, no becoming really, really good at something. There's very few geniuses that are born every generation. You know, in our generation, it was Tarantino we all saw Pulp Fiction was like, Oh, yeah, this guy's a genius. Yeah, but you know, he did a lot of work getting up to that point. But it's, you know, becoming a true artist takes an enormous amount of work and, and fire and, you know, pushing through when you just like, Oh, I can't go on, I can't have, you know, another cup of coffee to keep me going free in the morning because I know this has got to be done at seven. It's just like, you know, it's it's it's struggles good.
Alex Ferrari 1:23:12
But talent is not enough. Talent is never
Paddy Bird 1:23:15
Enough. And it's 5%. Yep. 95% is just grit and determination. And that's that's what you know, there's a thing we say in certainly in television, it's like, you know, the reason we pay you nothing and get you to do insane hours and crazy requests in those first few years of your career is because we want to sort the wheat from the chaff. We want to see how committed you are, you know, I said, I certainly had that, you know, you get people I've seen now that you don't want to go home at six o'clock, or get in a bar or go out partying and stuff like that, it's like you're not going to be, you know, in after a period of years, one two years in a production company or brokers, they sort through that stuff. And you're like, these are the people who are truly committed. Because you know, if you want to make money, you don't go into filmmaking, very few people make, you know, you're going because you're a passionate artist. And you have to display that passion. Because unfortunately, there's 100 people standing behind you without waiting to do to 1000 people, you know, 10,000 people in any one city in the world waiting to do exactly the same. So that's that's the only real advice I would give just that getting that that real commitment and drive to just go through and do what no one else will.
Alex Ferrari 1:24:27
And that's in here in LA, you can only imagine how many people are in line waiting.
Paddy Bird 1:24:31
Oh, yeah, I've done some I've worked a bit in LA and you just, you know, I remember Actually, I was thinking about the first time I came to LA and in the 90s. And I was like, this is just everything is movies about this. And I remember walking down Third Street promenade in Santa Monica. There was these two homeless guys, and they were drinking booze and they were you know, really felt quite sorry for them and they were in rags and stuff like that. And I remember just catching their conversation. And as I looked down. And one guy was sent to the other one. He was saying, Yeah, my agents gonna try to get Burt Lancaster interested. And I was like, I'm pretty sure but X is dead. But the homeless guys were talking about everyone's got a script in their back pocket and even the homeless guys were like, bang you know, it's everyone oh look
Alex Ferrari 1:25:22
I got out here eight years ago and when I got out here I just couldn't believe it. It was just like the most amazing place in the world like fulfillment like oh my god, everything's movies.
Paddy Bird 1:25:31
Mecca is the the Holy Holy Grail I love I just, I love going to LA and just, I spend my whole time going to the movies, they're just loved it.
Alex Ferrari 1:25:41
Movies here are fun to watch because actually, their screens here are done right. And you know, you can go to the arclight and they actually you know, will throw you out if you have a phone on, you know,
Paddy Bird 1:25:51
That built for movie theaters in London, you know, it's terrible, because all our movie theaters are around. They're all Victorian, you know. So that, you know the acoustics are terrible, I remember going to see Mission Impossible three, our largest cinema here. And I couldn't understand anything or anyone saying because it's an it's an old musical. So you go to movies, in the state, especially in LA or New York, or, you know, in the big cities, and like, it's such a beautiful experience you it's a movie house built to me, built, you know, for watching movies. So I would I would just, I would I'd go crazy. And I'll be watching three, four movies a day. drawing from like,
Alex Ferrari 1:26:31
Just just hopping, throw you out, they'll throw you out is what you're saying. Movie nerd. Thank you, again, so much for being on the show. We really, really appreciate it. And all and all the golden nuggets that you tossed out there, man,
Paddy Bird 1:26:44
Thanks. And good luck, take care.
Alex Ferrari 1:26:46
I had an absolute blast talking to Patti, you know, like, like I said, the beginning of the of the episode is like too old wardog sitting down and talking shop and you know, bitching and complaining about I wish this would have happened and I have clients and blah, blah, blah. So it was so much fun listening to his stories and swapping stories and things like that, I hope you guys got something out of that. Because, you know, if I was starting out as an editor, a lot of the stuff that we talked about, really would be beneficial if you if you're looking towards trying to get an editing career or trying to get a job as an editor. But even for filmmakers, like directors and stuff, I mean, anybody who's a filmmaker should go to inside the Edit calm and, and just go and start learning from Patty's course it is remarkable. And it's so amazing what he's able been able to put together. So it's a film school, it's a film, they're going to teach you things there that you will never teach in film school. I mean, I know right now that a lot of film schools are talking to him about putting his course in their schools because they have nothing like it. There's just nothing like it on the marketplace. So as promised, I have a discount code for inside the Edit. You have to email i f h discount at inside the Edit calm that's I FH discount. At inside the Edit calm. I'll put the email in the show notes as well. But you email them, tell them that you're an indie film hustle, they already know you're an indie film hustle, tribe member, and they'll send you a discount code and you'll get 10% off for inside the Edit. So well well worth it guys, so definitely head over there and start learning because there's a lot of stuff to learn. Also, don't forget to go to an indie film hustle.com forward slash iTunes, and leave us an honest review of our podcast. It really helped us out on the rank in iTunes and helping spread the word of the indie film hustle tribe and get more people in our tribe. So thanks again for listening and I'll talk to you guys soon.
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