My Top 3 Most Indispensable Tools as an Editor

September 17, 2014

Meet Guest Blogger: Zack Arnold

I have been a professional editor for 15 years and I have experimented with a lot of different tools to make me better at my job. What I have found to be my number one asset as an editor, beyond the shadow of a doubt, is high cognitive function and good health. But I’ll get to that more below. A close second is Boris FX.

I edited the tv series  Burn Notice  for four seasons, and had I been paid a commission for every time I used a Boris plug-in, I could’ve retired. With the amount of style necessary to cut a show like Burn Notice, life without Boris FX would’ve been pretty miserable. I doubt a day didn’t go by (and certainly never an entire episode) where I didn’t use a glow transition, film grain, a chroma key filter, or my #1 go-to filter, “BCC Composite.” The life of an Avid editor can be frustrating when you’ve used programs like After Effects because you are familiar with “Composite modes.” Avid doesn’t have composite modes, but with BCC Composite you’re in business. On my most recent show  Black Box for ABC ,  I used this filter several times for subtle light filter transitions that I used from a company called Indie Essentials. I tried doing the composites without Boris, and let’s say that didn’t go so well.

Fitness in Post logo

In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that Boris FX is a sponsor of my latest adventure in the post-production industry,  Fitness In Post …and no, that’s not a typo (and it’s not an oxymoron). I founded Fitness In Post because I’ve spent ten years trying to figure out how to combine good health and editing (NOT an easy task), and I’m now sharing my solutions with everyone in the industry. I believe it’s time editors, assistants, visual fx artists, and everyone working in post-production decide to take back their health as the number one tool we have as creative professionals is  our brains.  You can have the fanciest plug-ins in the world with the fastest workstations, but if you live with brain fog all day long, you’re essentially useless.

So if cognitive function is my #1 recommendation and Boris FX is #2, then what’s #3? The Nutribullet - no question. If you told me I could have a brand new MacPro and no Nutribullet, or I could have a 5-yr old Mac Tower and a Nutribullet, I’d want the latter. There’s nothing easier or healthier than making one quick nutritious shake per day to keep you going when the days are long and the stress is high. Looking for something to put into it? My BONUS recommendation is Shakeology.

For a lot more recommendations for how to improve your health and well-being in the edit bay, visit the newly designed  Fitness In Post .


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