[Podcast] Ep92: From Scraping Up Cigarette Butts to Editing, Directing, and Producing Emmy-Winning TV Shows

For those of you old enough to remember when Seinfeld was on the air live, it was very sad to see it end. I’ll admit it…I cried during “The Clip Show.” (Admit it, you did to). In this episode I had the pleasure of interviewing Emmy Winning Editor, Director, and Producer David Rogers, the editor behind the magic of that episode, as well as the main editor (as well as director and producer) of both The Office and currently The Mindy Project. In addition he has also worked on shows such as Newsradio, HBO’s The Comeback, and Entourage (and he’s a huge comic book fan and sci-fi geek too).

David and I examine his body of work and his career path and really break down how he was able to reach such a high level in his sector of the industry despite having such jobs as the host of an Italian restaurant, and even working as a production PA scraping up cigarette butts off the pavement at the end of a 14 hour day of shooting. You want to talk about paying your dues? This guy paid his and then some.

We break down David’s success into the key components that you can follow to ultimately reach success in this industry as well.

Topics of Conversation:

  • David Roger’s origins and path to working in the industry
  • How Superman influenced Rogers to pursue filmmaking
  • David’s approach to directing an episode of ‘The Office’
  • Transitioning from editing to directing and producing
  • Being persistent to stay in control of your career trajectory
  • Learning to cope during periods of unemployment
  • How David got his big break editing Seinfeld
  • Roger’s relationship with Greg Daniels and the flexible, creative atmosphere of ‘The Office’
  • Knowing when to take risks and turn down work to further your goals
  • How David manages time to edit as well as produce and direct
  • Breaking into the industry by mastering your craft and being persistent in the face of rejection
  • David’s experience on ‘The Mindy Project’

Useful Links:

David Rogers’ Site

Athletic Greens

FiP Question Submission

Optimize Yourself Program

FiP Amazon Storefront

FiP Ep56: Advancing Your Career in Post (What They Don’t Teach in Film School), Pt.1

Fip Ep57: Advancing Your Career in Post (What They Don’t Teach in Film School), Pt.2

Guest Bio:

When David Rogers was 8 years old, he saw Superman The Movie on the silver screen and knew from that point on what he wanted to do with his life. It wasn’t to be a superhero, but rather he was on the path to becoming a Film and Television Director. He shot his own movies with kids from the neighborhood, videotaped Weddings and Bar Mitzvahs on weekends, graduated from Ithaca College with a degree in Cinema and Photography and soon after moved out to Hollywood to make his dream a reality. His first job in television was as the Assistant Editor on Seinfeld and his first solo editing credit was Seinfeld The Chronicle, the clip show which aired right before the season finale. He went on to edit NewsRadio, Andy Richter Controls the Universe, The Comeback, Entourage, and The Office, has directed multiple episodes of the show including the hour-long penultimate episode A.A.R.M., and has directed various other shows including Parks and Recreation, The Mindy Project, The Hard Times of RJ Berger and Friends with Benefits. David currently serves as a Director/Editor/Co-Executive Producer on another show he loves, The Mindy Project, and looks forward to new new directing challenges as well as developing his own projects.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, the show notes were prepared by Jakin Rintelman, and this show is executive produced by Kanen Flowers. We are a member of the THAT STUDIO podcast network.

The music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Dorian Cheah from his brilliant album ARA.

Zack Arnold is an award-winning film & television editor (Burn Notice, Empire, Shooter, Glee), member of the American Cinema Editors, a documentary director (GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story), and creator of the Optimize Yourself program (formerly ‘Fitness In Post’). He helps ambitious creative professionals like you learn how to more efficiently manage your time, energy, and attention so you can maximize your creative focus and minimize procrastination, depression, and burnout. After all, what’s the point of killing yourself for the sake of your career if you don’t have energy to spare for the most important people in your life?