Ep155: How a Tentpole Hollywood Feature Editor Stays Healthy, Fit, and Sane | with Alan Bell, ACE

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Have you been grinding it out, “paying your dues” on the job, sacrificing social and family life, hoping that one day it will pay off and you’ll finally land the top level, “tentpole” gigs you’ve been dreaming about your whole career?

Or maybe you’re just starting your career and you’re wondering how much you need to sacrifice in order to achieve your lifelong dream of winning major awards and if it’s even worth it?

Most importantly, perhaps you’re constantly asking yourself:

“Is it even possible to work as a successful creative professional and still enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking time off to enjoy vacations, and having time to pursue other interests and goals in life?”

I can’t think of anyone more qualified to answer these questions than my good friend, mentor, and Hollywood tentpole editor Alan Bell, ACE who has edited such films as The Hunger Games: Catching FireMockingjay (parts 1 &2), The Amazing Spider-Man, and 500 Days of Summer, to name a very select few.

In this conversation Alan freely shares his habits and routines and the changes he’s made to keep himself healthy and sane during his insanely demanding work schedules. He reveals his honest thoughts on how many hours need to be worked and whether anything can be done to change the demands placed upon editors & creative professionals in the entertainment industry. He also shares some of the perks that come with being at the top and working on big budget films while offering tips that anyone can implement for healthier snacking and higher energy levels throughout your workday.

One quick caveat: This interview was originally recorded several years ago back in the “Fitness In Post” days, so you’ll hear some references to that program along with some talk about working in offices, (remember that??) clearly pre-pandemic. But the topics of discussion are still relevant issues that we’re all confronting today, so for those that missed this interview the first time, I hope it provides as much value now as it did when it was first released.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How post production affected his competitive rock climbing career.
  • The routine Alan developed to help himself lose 23 pounds in 4 and a half months.
  • Why counting calories is not an effective long-term weight loss strategy.
  • How counting calories can be useful as an initial barometer for what you’re eating and building awareness around that.
  • The mindset shift that Alan used to create healthier eating habits.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Food is nourishment for the mind and body.
  • How Alan recalibrated his fullness level and began to understand how the types of calories he eats affects his hunger levels and how he feels.
  • The difference between emotional eating and eating to fuel your body.
  • A day in the life of Alan Bell on a tent pole film.
  • Alan’s honest assessment of the hours he works and what it takes to work at the level he works at on a consistent basis.
  • How Alan has improved his memory over the last 4 months.
  • The role that finances play in your ability to choose the right projects and take the downtime you need.
  • Healthy replacements for snacking habits.

Useful Resources Mentioned:


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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:00

My name is Zack Arnold, I'm a Hollywood film and television editor, a documentary director, father of two, an American Ninja Warrior in training and the creator of Optimize Yourself. For over 10 years now I have obsessively searched for every possible way to optimize my own creative and athletic performance. And now I'm here to shorten your learning curve. Whether you're a creative professional who edits, writes or directs, you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're a weekend warrior, I strongly believe you can be successful without sacrificing your health, or your sanity in the process. You ready? Let's design the optimized version of you.

Hello, and welcome to the Optimize Yourself podcast. If you're a brand new optimizer, I welcome you and I sincerely hope that you enjoy today's conversation. If you're inspired to take action after listening today, why not tell a friend about the show and help spread the love? And if you're a longtime listener and optimizer O.G. welcome back. Whether you're brand new, or you're seasoned vets, if you have just 10 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you clicked the subscribe button in your podcast app of choice, because the more people that subscribe, the more that iTunes and the other platforms can recognize this show. And thus the more people that you and I can inspire, to step outside their comfort zones to reach their greatest potential. And now on to today's show.

Have you been grinding it out? paying your dues on the job sacrificing social and family life hoping that one day it's all just going to pay off? And you'll finally land that top level 10 pole gig that you've been dreaming about your whole career? Or maybe you're at the place where you're just starting out? And you're wondering how much do you need to sacrifice so you can achieve that lifelong dream of winning major awards? And to be honest, if it's even worth it? And most importantly, perhaps you constantly ask yourself, Is it even possible to work as a successful creative professional, and still enjoy spending time with family and friends, taking time off to enjoy vacations and having time to pursue other interests and goals in life? Well, I can't think of anybody more qualified to answer these questions then my good friend, mentor and Hollywood tentpole editor Alan Bell, who has edited such films as The Hunger Games Catching Fire and Mockingjay, part one and two, the amazing Spider Man and 500 Days of Summer, just to name a very select few. In today's conversation, Alan freely shares his habits and routines and the changes that he has made to keep themselves healthy and sane. During his insanely demanding work schedules. He reveals his honest thoughts on how many hours need to be worked, and whether anything can honestly be done to change the demands that are placed upon editors and creative professionals in the entertainment industry. And he also shares some of the perks that come with being at the very top and working on big budget films, while also offering some tips that anybody at any level can implement, whether it's for healthier snacking, or higher levels of energy and creativity throughout your workday. Now before we dive in one very quick caveat, this interview was originally recorded several years ago back in the fitness and post days. So you might hear some references to that program, along with some talk about working in offices. Yeah, I remember that. So clearly, this was recorded pre pandemic. However, the topics of discussion, I believe, are still very relevant issues that we all confront today. So for those that may have missed this interview, the first time it came out, I hope that it provides as much value to you today, as it did for those when it was first released. Now, if you're struggling with creative burnout right now, or you find yourself sacrificing time away from family, when you know deep down that it doesn't have to be this way. Then I invite you to download my ultimate guide to optimizing your creativity and avoiding burnout, which offers over 50 pages of my best tips, tricks and strategies to consistently stay focused and energized throughout your long work days. When you're trapped in a dark room that most likely has no windows, you can download my ultimate guide 100% free at optimizeyourself.me/ultimateguide. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with editor Alan Bell made possible today by our amazing sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven, who are going to be featured just a bit later in today's interview to access the shownotes for this and all previous episodes, as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview, please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. So I'm here today with Alan Bell, who is currently the editor of the Mockingjay series was also the editor of Catching Fire is the editor of one of the best films of all time called 500 Days of Summer and has also done numerous other feature films. Hello, Mr. Alan bell. How are you?

Alan Bell 4:59

I'm doing great Good, I have a little bit of a cold, but I'm in high spirits.

Zack Arnold 5:03

Well, that's good. Well, we can certainly talk about the coal today because our our topic today is just going to kind of be a general discussion about health and the the state of our industry. I don't know exactly when the show is going to post yet. But I know that as we're talking live, this is the middle of na, B, and I'm fairly certain that you and I are the only two editors on the planet that are not at any be taking selfies of themselves eating dinner and drinking.

Alan Bell 5:27

Yeah, definitely. I'm not there. And if I was, I wouldn't be taking selfies or drinking very much.

Zack Arnold 5:33

But thanks to Facebook, I kind of feel like I am there. So thank you.

Alan Bell 5:36

Yeah, buddy. Well, yeah, it's funny, because nav, you pretty much learn everything you need to know in the first two days just by reading press releases, and the rest of it is sort of like, well, you can run around the booths, and you can go party and have fun. But ultimately, it's really just a big party, because you know, 80% of the products don't even come out until the end of the year.

Zack Arnold 5:55

Yeah. And then the ones that do are kind of ones where you want to press a button a few times, they Oh, this is cool. And I want to hold this and then you're done. So yeah, the five or six days or whatever last certainly seems gratuitous. But it's also kind of like a paid vacation to say, Hey, I'm going to do a work thing, quote, unquote, you know, yeah,

Alan Bell 6:12

no, it's pretty fun. I've always really enjoyed going there. But I it's been years since I've been.

Zack Arnold 6:19

But anyway, the kind of the the theme of today's conversation is everybody always does is like state of the industry and na B's kind of the the new year, so to speak, and all the new products. And what I want to do is just kind of talk generally about the current state of health and wellness in the post production industry. Because I've talked to different editors and you know, different visual effects people and people inside our industry and outside of our industry. But with you I have somebody that's literally at the top of the top levels and Feature Film Editing. And I know that there are so many issues that come up with the type of job that you have if you're also trying to stay healthy. So I just want to talk about just kind of your your general schedule, what it's like living a life where you have to travel all over the world to work on these giant tentpole films, some of the obstacles that you come across maybe some things you've come by to fix some of these problems, and then just kind of brainstorm together and see if there are things that we can come up with to help people or can inspire people to do things based on what you've done, or things that I've done, and just kind of talk about the general state of where things are now, because you've seen this industry progress over the last 2025 years where schedulers were not the same, you know, working in the 80s and 90s, as they are now a lot of that driven by technology. So let's just kind of start there.

Alan Bell 7:40

Okay. Well, I mean, I think that thanks to us Act, the State of the Union, as far as health and fitness and posts is, it's getting better, it's certainly getting better for me. And I think it's getting better for a lot of other people who were starting to take this idea seriously. But it's probably not as far along as it should be, you know, I have an interesting perspective, because when I started in the business, I was an athlete, and I was a rock climber. And I trained all the time and actually post production was, was kind of in the way of my fitness, it was constantly making it difficult for me to train as much as I wanted, I was a competitive rock climber. And so I would after, like nine months on a film, I'd be out of shape. I mean, I was still in shape, but not in competitive climbing shape. And so I would get off of a job and I'd have like three months off, and I get in better shape. And then I'd be at the top of my game climbing wise, then I get another job, and then it all sort of go away. And I did that for a long time until I decided to take my career seriously. Because I was sort of one foot in the door, one foot out the door. And basically I didn't, I was always a very active person. But you know, when you start working 12 1416 hours a day, something has to give and you know, pretty soon you find yourself in your 40s and you've got a family, it's a lot harder to be as active and you're certainly not as active when you're sitting in a chair for 12 hours. So I kind of let myself go a little bit, but not not as much as, as I suppose like could have. But I got at the top of my game, I guess as a climber, I weighed about 155 and I'm six feet tall. And now last December December 1, I weighed 190. And, you know, no real muscle just kind of just like a little puff ball. So now it's like what, April 13. And on December 1, I decided to get serious about not letting myself go too far. I always have this feeling that like if you let yourself go too far, it just becomes so much harder to get back into like a realistic space and your body. You know, just starts building all these blood vessels to sort of you know, maintain this heavier physique. It's just a lot easier. If you just kind of don't let yourself get to where you're morbidly obese, so I looked up just on my app, you would talk to me about fitness and post. And I kind of, you know, even though I was very interested, I'm not much of a, I don't really like to compete with other people in the sense of like, losing weight and stuff. Even though I was a competitive climber I just didn't, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to fit my, this kind of worked out schedule and eating schedule into my work scenario. So I guess I'm just kind of going into my whole story here. I don't know if this is the kind of conversation you want it because

Zack Arnold 10:32

Terrific, please continue. I'll stop you if I don't want to listen to you anymore.

Alan Bell 10:35

Okay, so December 1, I basically I got this app, My Fitness Pal. And I decided that I was going to start losing two pounds a week for actually a pound a week, but it ended up being almost two pounds a week. So I, you know, I programmed in my weight, and I decided I was going to count calories. And I at the same time, I bought a stationary bicycle. And I put that in my living room. And I started getting up every morning at 530 in the morning, and I would get up out of bed. And this is the mantra that went through my head, every time my alarm would go off, I'd say to myself, I'm not going to do this, I absolutely cannot do this. This is the worst thing. I'm not doing this. But as I was saying that I just got up and did it. So I would like walk into the kitchen, make myself a single espresso a drink a single espresso, hop on the bike, or mate stretch a little bit, but not a whole lot. I'd hop on the bike and I'd pedal for a half hour on like one of the easy settings. And eventually they started getting harder and harder. And then gave myself a bit of a cooldown period before I did take my shower. So I had this joke with myself that like if you don't give yourself enough time to shower doesn't take you kind of get out of the shower, and you're still sweating. So I would have my second cup of coffee and then you know eat like a banana or a piece of fruit or or some sort of something that passes for breakfast. I've never been a huge breakfast eater, although that seems to be changing a bit now. And so now here we are. It's April 13. And I weigh 167 pounds. So I've lost 23 pounds in four and a half months.

Zack Arnold 12:12

And that's that's fantastic progress. I that's news to me, too. That's great.

Alan Bell 12:16

Yeah, no, and I feel really good. The thing of I'm still counting calories, I think about counting calories for me is that it's changed my eating habits. Because when you have a limited number of calories, there's nothing worse than you know, having it be four in the afternoon, and you're fresh out of calories. So there were many times where I like if I had yogurtland and you know, after lunch or something where I would come home, and I'd have to get on the bike for 45 minutes to be able to eat any of the food that my wife had prepared. But for the most part, if you eat the right foods, like right now, I still have 400 calories left today, because I just I so many vegetables. I mean, it seems like you know, you just if you eat green stuff, and you don't cover it with oil and salt, you can eat pretty much as much as you want. And your body starts to crave it after a while.

Zack Arnold 13:11

Yeah, absolutely. And anybody that listens to the show regularly knows that. I'm always an advocate of awareness. But I'm not an advocate of counting calories as a long term strategy. But the reason that I advocate, My Fitness Pal, for people that start a program or start a challenge group is exactly what you're saying is it makes you think about what you're eating. Because this The science is definitive at this point, that if you just want to count calories and do an exact measurement of intake versus outtake that's not a long term lifestyle weight strategy, but to build different habits and build awareness like you are it's obviously a great strategy.

Alan Bell 13:49

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, the thing is, is that counting calories isn't enough in and of itself. It's not really, it's not really a road to health, all by itself, like we need to be more active. And we basically sit on our butts for 12 to 14 hours a day. And I'm like, I'm one of these guys who I went and got a standing desk. And I have to say I hardly ever use it. I do use it. But I just I find it hard for me to concentrate on the kind of work that I do standing up for some reason. And maybe it's just old habits but so I don't get a lot of exercise while I'm while I'm in the cutting room. But I do make sure that I'm active pretty much every day I'm going to get 30 minutes of writing sometimes 45 minutes of started lifting weights now because I realized the need to do start to do strength training. And it doesn't, you know, doesn't really take that long. And the other thing that's interesting is that as I am getting healthier and stronger, I'm more active on the weekends, I ride my mountain bike a lot more. I've even written my mountain bike up over the hill to work on occasion. And I've noticed that I you know, obviously if you exercise a lot, you get to eat a lot. And I've started to think in terms of food as not just something that is an enjoyable the E, but it's also it's nourishment for, you know, for my exercise for my activities. So it's just an interesting different kind of mindset. Because it used to be when I was working hard on a movie for 14 hours a day or a stressful me, even if it weren't long hours, but there were stressful. And particularly when you're on location, one of the only things that you really have and in fact, most people I talked to when when we talk about locations and places that were working, were we talking about the food that we're eating, you know, Atlanta is a great place to go work, because there's so many wonderful restaurants. But you know, everything's enormously fattening. And that's what you remember is like, if there were good places to eat, then that was a great location. If there, there were no places that were good to eat, then it was a really crappy place to have to live in work. But now I look at food is like not just a comfort thing, not just something that it's like, wow, this is the one time during the day that I really get to have fun, you know, we're going to a great restaurant and eating this fantastic food. Now it's more like, yeah, I can still have that fantastic food. But if it's not good for me, maybe I won't eat so much of it. And I'm getting my enjoyment from actually feeling good. While I'm at work being more effective when I'm at work, maybe being able to leave work a little earlier, because I've been more effective at work. And then when I'm with my family, I'm more effective with my family. So I'm able to do things with my kids that were harder for me to do before.

Zack Arnold 16:35

Yeah, and that I mean, that's kind of the whole idea behind everything that I've been talking about on the show on on the website for the last year is that, you know, when I look at food, I don't just look at it as Oh, well, that's good, or that's bad as far as taste or enjoyment. It's whether or not that food is proper fuel. So if I'm in a position where I know I'm going to have a long week, I am really really fastidious about what I'm going to eat even that Sunday before because if I have a really fattening, unhealthy meal on Sunday, that's probably going to affect me through like Wednesday of the next week. As far as my cognitive function, my ability to work quickly, like you said, you're you know, able to leave a little bit earlier because you were functioning better you were working, you know, spending more time with your family. And that's really what this is all about for me is trying to make food more than just an emotional choice, but make it you know, a scientific choice based on the fuel that your body needs at a given time to be able to perform at an optimal level. And that doesn't mean that I don't eat crap or have really tasty meals that are unhealthy. I'll enjoy myself. I just think to myself first, what kind of fuel Do I need, given the way the next 24 to 48 hours of my life looks not so much, oh, this is fattening or it's not fattening. It's like what do I need to be able to function optimally? And it sounds like that's something that you're kind of hitting on as well.

Alan Bell 17:51

Yeah, I am. I mean, I'm not very scientific about it. But it's interesting because as I as I'm progressing on this journey, I am noticing that the types of things that I'm eating are changing and a lot of that is based on you know, what types of things I guess I need, when I first started, I really didn't know what it meant to be full. Because I thought like eating being full meant I was stuffed you know, like my stomach just couldn't hold anymore that that was the full feeling. And I remember the first month I was I really felt hungry all the time when I really wasn't I just you know my I was getting used to the idea of my body you know, utilizing some of its fat stores. But in terms of putting food inside my stomach I wasn't really used to the idea of having like a manageable meal. So if I ate just a small amount of something you know, whether it was healthy or not just not you know most case I was eating healthy, but I wasn't eating nearly as much as I normally would. So I was always kind of hungry like I would finish lunch and I'd be like god I'm so hungry. And as I'm getting further along I'm starting to realize that like okay, well what did I have for breakfast all I haven't had any protein well that's a problem I need. I need to have protein and I shouldn't really eat a bunch of carbohydrates at night like I used to be a super really into crunchy stuff at nighttime. Like That was one of my biggest faults was I would come home at you know nine at night and watch some TV show and eat what I call crunchy snacks and whether it was chips or nuts I mean I can I remember I was eating sometimes like 1000 calories of cashews. And you know 10 o'clock right before going to bed and not the cashews are bad for you but I don't think 1000 calories of cashews is what you want to eat right? When you go to bed.

Zack Arnold 19:48

There are very few things that 1000 calories of anything in one sitting would be good for you and I dare anybody to eat 1000 calories of green beans, right? green beans are healthy well there's no way you possibly could because of the amount of fire But that's a that's a tangent.

Alan Bell 20:01

I mean, like, I don't think you I don't know how you could eat 1000 calories of green beans, it would be like a giant bucket

Zack Arnold 20:07

Right. But eating 1000 calories of Doritos is a piece of cake.

Alan Bell 20:11

Yeah, no, it's just one bag.

Zack Arnold 20:13

Yeah, it's a really, really, really easy thing to do. And like you were saying, you were, you know, I'm, I feel like I'm so hungry. And I feel like I'm, I'm not full. And basically, that's just your brain saying, hey, I need you know, I need these chemicals that I'm so used to because we become addicted to the preservatives and sweeteners, and the chemicals and the food. But once you start to realize that it's your brain that's hungry and not your stomach that's hungry, that's when you can start to make those different choices. And that's part of the reason that we have such a gigantic obesity epidemic is that we're overfed and undernourished. Because we think we're still hungry because we didn't get any real nutrition or any real micronutrients. And we're saying, Oh, my God, we're hungry, we're hungry, but you just have 1500 calories of junk, but your body is starving.

Alan Bell 20:58

Right. Because we're not eating real food. I mean, that's the other thing that I did, starting December 1. And it's interesting, because I love I'm a person who's absolutely loves Coca Cola. Like, I could drink that stuff all day long. And I used to drink a lot of it. I haven't had a single soda since December 1.

Zack Arnold 21:17

Wow. Well, that's that's probably a huge contributor to all the weight loss, because that's got it's probably the least healthy thing that you could be putting in your body is coke.

Alan Bell 21:25

Yeah. And I didn't drink a lot before. beforehand. I mean, I had cut down coke. Like, it's, I would maybe have maybe two a week. So there was a period of time, and I drank it all the time. But I realized that like, No, I can't be drinking, I'll get enormously fat, I gotta stop. But I would occasionally have like a Diet Coke, which I think is actually worse than sugar code. Is this actually worse for you? Yeah, yeah. But I just basically realized that you know what, all these beverages, they're just not good for you. If you want to drink something good for you just drink clear water. Yep. And so I just started drinking water. And the thing that I discovered is that when I felt hungry at night, like when I had that urge, because it's really just about habits, I have that urge. And it's and I still haven't, it's not like I'm cured of you know, 51 years of eating like a trash can, you know, in four months, I still like at night, I'm in front of the TV sometimes, or my computer and I want to eat something. Instead, I have a glass of water. And it's amazing. Because once you're once you, if you fill your stomach up with water, you really don't feel like eating anymore, and you go to bed, you're not dehydrated. So that's what I that's how I kind of get around the eating trash late at night thing. But I think that when you're first starting out, you just have to kind of take it slow, and moderate what you eat, and kind of save your meals up. You know, it's not like you can't, you know, I started right before the holidays. And it wasn't, I had Christmas dinner, you know, I I ate thanks, Thanksgiving, and gorged myself, but Christmas, I, I still had all the same kind of food I would have at Thanksgiving, but I just didn't eat as much of it. And I made sure that, you know, I had the day off. So I took a nice long bike ride. And I could actually have a second helping of something or half the pie if I wanted to. It's not like I'm going without, you know, I still have things that I enjoy. And I find that I enjoy them more. That's the that's the other thing that's really interesting about sort of dieting and exercise is that when you do eat that cupcake that you know you've been holding back from for so long, you really do enjoy it. And you also recognize when it's like, wow, I don't really need that cupcake. In fact, I guess I don't really want it in the past, I would have eaten it just for because I've had a shitty day and I just want to sort of have some comfort food.

Zack Arnold 23:53

Yeah, it's emotional eating. You're just looking for that emotional response saying I deserve this because I was under a lot of stress today. And it's the cortisol on your system that telling you that it's not like your body's saying, Oh, I require a cupcake for fuel.

Alan Bell 24:06

Yeah, exactly. So, you know, I think that people, it's very easy to kind of to not do the things that make us healthy, particularly when you're working really, really hard. And it's it's all about developing habits. And what happens is we start to develop these habits that are centered around getting the job done, and getting to work and making sure we're doing everything we can to make sure that the cut is working or whatever facet of the industry, you know, we're in, but I think that it's people fail to realize how important it is when you're not at work, what like what your quality of life is. And I've just noticed that, you know, I'm getting not old but I'm certainly not a young man anymore. And I look forward and I go well you know Let's say I live to be 80. If I keep eating junk, and I just become fatter and fatter, you know, 190 people would say, Oh, you don't need to lose weight. Why are you on a diet? And I'm like, well, because I feel fat, and I don't feel good. And I'm getting, you know, you start to gain. I'm not sure what the statistics are, but it feels to me like, when you get in your 50s, it's really easy to gain two to five pounds a year. Like, it's without even realizing it.

Zack Arnold 25:33

You know, unless unless you actually do things to counteract that, I believe it's like five pounds a year or something. I don't know the exact amount, but it's in that neighborhood.

Alan Bell 25:39

And, you know, it's like, Look, I want to live as long as the next guy, but I want to make sure that even if I were to die tomorrow, it's all about quality of life, like no, we don't know when we're our GIG is up. And I just want to make sure that I can do the things that I enjoy for as long as possible. Because I'm at the point now, where I'm realizing, gee, you know, I'm never going to be a downhill mountain biker. It's not going to happen, because I'm too old, my bones are brittle, and I don't like falling off my bike. But I mean, I ride down hills, I ride my mountain bike, and in what I'm sure a lot of people would say is, is challenging. But I'm never going to be you know, a competitive downhill mountain racer on a mountain bike or anything. But I'd like to be able to ride my bike when I'm 65. And the only way that's going to happen is the fun healthy today, you know?

Zack Arnold 26:32

Yep. Well, let's do this, given what you've kind of been through over the last four or five months. I think it's incredibly impressive for just about anybody. But I think given what you go through in your work schedule, because there are a lot of people that say, Oh, yeah, I work really, really hard. And I've got long hours. And then there's somebody that works extremely hard. And then on top of them is Alan bell. So anytime that I say to people, oh yeah, I'm working crazy hours, blah, blah, blah, I think to myself in my head, but I know I'm not working as much as Alan is. So give me a picture of what it's like working on a giant tentpole film as far as hours in the day, days in a row, and just kind of the impossibility of trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. And you found a way to do it, just by doing these minimal changes. And then I just want to go into some of the things that we run into that are obstacles that other people are facing and just you know, see, see what ways there are to overcome them?

Alan Bell 27:27

Well, I used today's example. And today wasn't necessarily a rough day by any means. But it was sort of an average day now that I'm not on location. So I, I was in the cutting room by a quarter after 8am. Maybe 830. Just depends on traffic. The director was there at like, I guess about a quarter to nine, I brought him in showed him some work that I did, yes, Friday. He wasn't in the office Friday. So I showed him a few things. We talked about it, then we went through the whole movie first, like a visual effects past to talk about some various things that we want to change. And then I did some compositing to deal with some stuff, did some editing, went to lunch, had some salmon in French beans, and some water for lunch. And then after that, we went to the composer and talked to him about we have a big screening coming up. So we talked about, you know which queues he was going to try to get demos for, and then came back and did some more editing worked until about eight o'clock. And I probably would have worked until about 830 if I didn't have this interview, so I left it a because I never know if it's gonna take me half hour, 45 minutes to get home, got home, put my six year old to bed real quick said goodnight to him. And then now here I am. Um, so that's sort of an average day. And that's and that's an average day where you got in the car at 730 and got home 13 to 14 hours later. And that's average. And that's kind of my average day to like mine. Mine is about an hour later. But I get up at the same time I get up around six or 630 with my daughter, spend two hours with her, get her dress, make her breakfast, take her to school, drive in traffic for an hour, and then I do the 12 hour day too. And that's my average. And it sounds like for you your average day is about the same but for you and it'll go much further when you get busy. Yeah, I mean, the thing is, when we're shooting those days are completely it's completely different. So like, when I was on location for nine months, I did nine months of six, six and seven day weeks. I think I only had two days off in a row in nine months once and it was basically because they just I had to ask for it. I was just so so hammered. But in that case I would get up at whatever the call time was because I was cutting on set. So very often I'd be at the set By 630 in the morning, and the reason why I had to do that is because as soon as they wrap, if there was a company move, or they needed to move my trailer, they would want to pull the electricity. So I would get up at, you know, five in the morning, maybe 430 in the morning drive to some distant location from my apartment in Atlanta, and then work until, you know, six or seven o'clock at night, at which point they would might pull the electricity. And then I would, if I was lucky, I'd get to go home. If I wasn't lucky, I'd go back to the studio and cut at the studio just depending it just depended where I was in terms of how far away I was from the studio, and whether or not that footage that I needed to get finished was done whatever scene was working on. So there were a lot of days when I was getting up at four in the morning, and I wasn't getting help until you know, 10 at night. And I was doing that six days a week. I mean, not every day was like that. I mean, sometimes my six day, you know, was a six hour day. But usually it was, you know, 14 hour days, just weeks and weeks and weeks on end. And then when I had my one day off, I would I would take my mountain bike and the second ad on on the Hunger Games movies with me, he loved to ride mountain bikes and sidaway. So I brought my bike out there I go riding, but I was just so hammered, because I never really exercised. So if I had to do that differently, I'd probably bring an exercise bike into the trailer. And instead of you know, pounding food down at lunchtime, he did all the catering, I would just eat something light and get on the bike for a half hour. So at least I would have some conditioning. But yeah, that's it can be pretty hairy. I mean, you basically, I'm sure everybody knows this, when you know, as editors, you know this, if we're talking about anything other than the movie, or we're on our phones, or we're looking at our computer, that's, you know, reading emails, whatever, we're not really working, and the only way to work the footage is to actually focus on it, and work on so, you know, that's kind of what you have to do when you're cutting, like these huge acts and scenes and complicated sequences, and you're getting lots of footage and you need to try to stay up to camera. So you just have to, you know, you do whatever the show needs in somewhere else, you know, somewhere after that you get some some life

Zack Arnold 32:24

Sometime, right? Eventually. It comes years and years and years later. Yeah. Well, you know that that's the price of success, I guess.

My sincerest apologies for the interruption in the middle of this interview. But if you are a content creator or you work in the entertainment industry, not only is the following promo not an interruption, but listening has the potential to change your life. Because collaborating with Evercast is that powerful. Here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Evercast co founders, Brad Thomas and award winning editor Roger Barton

Roger 32:54

Living this lifestyle of a feature film editor has really had an impact on me. So I was really looking for something to push back against all of these lifestyle infringements that are imposed on us both by schedules and expectations. When you guys demo to Evercast for me that first time my jaw hit the floor, I'm like, Oh my god, this is what I've been waiting for, for a decade.

Zack Arnold 33:17

I also had the same reaction when I first saw Evercast two words came to mind game changer.

Brad 33:22

Our goal, honestly, is to become the zoom for creatives, whatever it is, you're streaming, whether it's editorial, visual effects, Pro Tools for music composition, LIVE SHOT cameras, it's consistent audio and video, lip sync, always stays in sync, whether you're in a live session where you're getting that feedback immediately, or you can't get it immediately. So you record the session and you can share those clips with people on the production team where there's no room for any confusion. It's like this is exactly what the director wants. This is exactly what the producer wants.

Roger 33:50

What matters most to me is it makes the entire process more efficient, which then translates to us as creatives who spend way too much time in front of computers. We get to shut it down and we get to go spend time with their friends and family.

Zack Arnold 34:03

The biggest complaint and I'm sure you guys have heard this many, many times. This looks amazing. I just can't afford it.

Brad 34:08

Tesla had to release the Model S before they released the model three. So by the end of the year, we are going to be releasing a sub $200 version a month of Evercast for the freelancer, indie creatives. Anyone who is a professional video creator outside of Hollywood.

Roger 34:24

I think what we've learned over the last few months is that this technology can translate to better lives for all of us that give us more flexibility and control while still maintaining the creativity, the creative momentum and the quality of work.

Zack Arnold 34:39

I cannot stress this enough Evercast is changing the way that we collaborate. If you value your craft, your well being and spending quality time with the ones you love, Evercast now makes that possible for you and me to listen to the full interview and learn about the amazing potential that Evercast has to change the way that you work and live visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast. Now back to today's interview.

Well, let me let's talk about this a little bit, because my feeling is that there's is nothing on this planet that is worth putting somebody kind of through that process. And if you walked out of this having a cure for cancer, and you saved 100 million lives, like, yeah, alright, I guess it was worth it. But this is for movies. And you know, hopefully a director or producer doesn't hear me saying this someday gonna be like, well, we don't want to hire this guy. But there's a part of me that just says, this just is not worth it. So is there something that we do about it, or we just say, this is the price of doing business on a big movie?

Alan Bell 35:37

Well, I don't know. I mean, I have to say, I'm probably responsible for the hours I work more than maybe even the director is, in some cases, I love what I do, I also, I tend to do more than I see a lot of other editors doing. So some of the time I spend, maybe their editors aren't doing that. And they're just as successful as I am, in many cases. But I'm always one of these guys who just sort of lives in fear that he's not gonna, he's never gonna get hired again. And so I'm always looking to offer more, and I take more on so I've always had this, this feeling and opinion that if I can offer more to the movie, and directors and producers, and the story that people will appreciate me and my services, because I I sort of view editing as a service industry. I mean, certainly, it's creative, and, and technical. So because of all the compositing things that I do, I tend to and sound work as well, I tend to spend, I try to take my scenes to an another more finished higher finish level than maybe I would if I didn't have some of these skills. So an awful lot of my time is spent doing things that maybe I could have other people do. But then of course, I would have to have a larger crew. So I mean, I guess if I wanted to, I could go home, when I'm on location, I don't really have a home to go to. So I'm, I'm fairly, unless my family's in town, I'm very happy to just work, the main thing, like how to change it, I don't know, because I'm probably more responsible than the average person in terms of taking on more work. I mean, when I was coming up, there were an awful lot of film editors who were coming out of the film world in particularly picture editors who are like, No, I don't cut sound on the film editor, I'm a picture editor, I don't cut sound and they would just cut with a dialogue track, and then have all that's what the sound effects editors are for. Well, now it's like my first cut. It's, you know, I'm working at five one, it sounds like a real movie, you know, there's, it's, I'm panning things around, you know, got all these tracks of effects and music and dialogue, and I'm doing everything I can to make it sound as good as possible. So there's always more work to do. And since it's a competitive industry, and there's always somebody else waiting in the wings, he's willing to work just as hard. We're definitely not saving lives. But we are in an industry that the people who aren't in it value it a great deal. It means a lot to them, what we do, and people get very excited about going to movies, they still do. So I don't know, I don't I don't know how to change it. And I don't, I don't really have a lot of animosity, because of the hours because I really feel like I'm the one who's made that choice is very rare. Like, you know, I'm often there after the directors left. And I'm almost always there before he he arrives. And I'm usually in the cutting room before a large, most of the people who work for me even come in, they usually have one person there to turn my system on because they're like, No, we got to make sure Someone's here before Alan or he'll just flip. But in reality, I don't, they don't have to be there. And I often don't require my assistance to stay until I leave, they're more than welcome to go have lives themselves. And I'm kind of I really think it's an internal thing. And so I'm responsible for the hours that I'm spending in the cutting room. Obviously, when it's during the director's cut, I suppose, you know, you're going to leave, you're not going to leave before then unless it's some sort of special occasion. But in reality, you know, during the first pass of the movie, or during production, there's no reason why I couldn't leave whenever I wanted to. It's just how much footage do I have? And how happy Am I going to be if I didn't go that extra mile, you know, if I didn't turn over that every stone to make sure that that's the best possible performance and the best possible timing and you know, etc, etc. So, I think it's a I think it's a personal question. I think that as you get older, the one thing I do know is that, you know, when I was in my 20s it was a lot easier to do this sort of thing and to work as hard and as long hours as I work now that I'm older, it's it's much more difficult. Really what happens is that your energy level, just tanks, you know, like, we're gonna finish this call, and I'm going to go out, and, you know, sit down for a few minutes, and then, you know, I might read for a bit, and then I'm going to go to bed, you know, because I'm going to get up at 530 tomorrow. So you know, what gives is, as you get older works sort of takes over, and then you know, your life happens on the weekends, or you just have like a one and a half, two hour window every evening, that you're semi conscious, and you can kind of interact with your family. So it's, it's a lot harder when you're older. And I think I'm still trying to find the balance, I'm just trying to figure out, you know, figure out exactly how much I can and will do from show to show I'm certainly getting better at it, this whole fitness thing is part of it, because I am noticing that I'm much more effective at work. So I'm enjoying my time at work a lot more now. And I'm able to remember things better, that's that I thought that I found to be really interesting is my memory has gotten has improved over the last four months, measurably. And I'm convinced it's just because of the exercise, and not eating crap all day.

Zack Arnold 41:12

Well, and it's really no different than the analogy of thinking about computer memory. And if you have 150 gigabyte internal hard drive, and you have 73 megabytes of space left, your computer's not going to work, it's going to choke and you're going to type in simple things. And it's going to hesitate. And you're kind of not going to be able to have multiple applications open at once. Because you have no space left and nothing's functioning. And it's the same thing with your brain. And that's that's kind of what I'm trying to show people. And what I've experienced is I've been on the other end of the spectrum, I've been completely useless in front of the computer, barely able to function not even able to function as a human being. And realizing that if I just made simple dietary changes and lifestyle changes and activity and doing all the things that I talked about on the show, and on the website. Now it's like I've got a brand new operating system, and the amount that I'm able to get done in those same 12 hours or work less than 12 hours because of it is amazing. And I think the other thing that you really hit on that's kind of like my big, why is your saying Well, once you get older, it gets even harder. And I'm trying to prevent that as much as possible and convince people my age and younger, that the tidal wave is coming. And you can either prepare for the tidal wave, or you can just let it hit you and totally knock you over. Because I don't want to be in the position in 15 or 20 years where I can barely make it through the day, because I've gained another 50 pounds. And I just I'm not in any form of condition to be able to do this job. Because I mean, this is a mental marathon every single day. And we make 1000s and 1000s of decisions. And those decisions require actual measurable energy to execute them. And if you don't take care of yourself and don't take care of your hardware and your software, you don't have the memory left in your system to execute those things.

Alan Bell 43:00

Yeah, you're absolutely right. And I you know, I think in terms of, I guess, really the answer is it's an individual answer in terms of, you know, your lifestyle and your life choices, the business doesn't really need changing as much as we need to decide to change ourselves. So when you first start out, like you'll do anything, you'll work your butt off, it's like, and you'll even work for people who maybe aren't nice, because you just want the credits. And you learn very quickly that if you if you take that job for the jerk, when the nice person calls, you won't be available. And if you know, you know that your reputations on the line, if you quit even on the job was a jerk. Because they'll bet that they'll trash talk you or you know, even if they do get married not matter, but you'll think that it matters. So you know, you're not available for the nice people. So as you as you start to mature, you make better choices. You know, you start to work for people who care about you who understand that, oh, you need to go to the doctor. So you go to the doctor, you know, you you want to have decent food around the cutting room to support your, you know, your lifestyle changes. And we'll also respect to you that if you you know, you've gotten to a certain point in the day, and it's six o'clock and you're like, you know what, I'm tired. I've been here since five, you know, since eight, whatever, whatever time you came in, I'm going to go home and you've got the work done. It's the nice people, the people who have lives of their own. I mean, directors happen to be in situations where, you know, they can kind of make their own time somewhat, and the reasonable ones tend to have lives and most of them will you know, I I believe that if I wanted to leave work every day at six o'clock, I probably could. As long as I got my work done, and I'm certainly in a position now where not every day is a killer, you know, has to be a killer 12 to 14 hour day just because of where the movies at right now. We've gotten into a shape and it's not like we have to bang our heads against the wall because it's firing on all cylinders. You know, not every movies like that, but I think that if you, if people make the choice to eat right to exercise and to be present, when they're not at work as much as they are, when they're at work, then you can have balance in this industry, there's no doubt about it, it's just there are gonna, you know, the hours are long. I mean, even if we're working 10 hour days, if that was the average it, there's still long hours compared to everybody else in the world. But, you know, this is kind of what it is, you know, that it's, it's the film business. And while it's like I always think of a movie is like a, like a military endeavor, it's like, you know, you, you build this whole crew up, and everybody like, goes in the mission is the film and we all work our butts off, and then you know, we're off on vacation afterwards. Right? It's, it's really, what do you do on that vacation? Are you healthy enough to enjoy it when you're done, you know, or you just freak out about the next job. I mean, I think another part about this whole fitness and post is making sure that people make the financial choices that they can so that they don't have to take the very next job, because that has consequences on your health as well. Like if if you don't have downtime, and you're tired, I mean, I've been turning down meetings with people right now, just because I can't imagine leaving this movie in September, after working, you know, two and a half years straight three years straight, and going right on to another huge movie, like, I need to rest a bit like, I don't want to take a film that starts up the day, this one ends, I need to have a couple months. So I'm sort of looking at, I don't want to take anything huge, certainly not going to take any means right now for other large movies until I'm in a position where you know, I feel rested. And I'm going to be able to feel good about the time I have with my family, do the things that I enjoy physically, and be mentally prepared for the next film.

Zack Arnold 47:01

Yeah, I mean, I couldn't agree with that more. And, you know, what I'm trying to help people understand is that it's not just about oh, well, I'll be healthy when I'm on hiatus, because that hiatus may never come if you don't position yourself in a place where it will be there. But I think that really to kind of go back to what I'd asked you earlier, where I said, Well, what can we do about it? You know, we had these long hours, we have, you know, the whole Sarah Jones incident, everybody's talking about working conditions? And I think the answer is that we aren't going to be able to do anything about it. Because that's where the film business is. And you can't just sit there and say, Oh, this has to change, this has to change, right? There's a part of me that, you know, wants to say, Oh, this should be a 40 hour job just like everywhere else. But there is something special about working on films and working on television. And you know, like entertainment is something that is absolutely necessary, especially in greater times of need, whether it's war time, or you know, you look at like after 911. So there is actual great value to what we do in the entertainment industry. And really what this program is all about, like you said, is finding ways to adapt to it. Because it's not just going to change, we're not going to walk into a room and say That's it, I'm working 40 hours a week, and I'm not doing an hour more because guess what they're going to hire somebody else that's younger, that's you know, has more energy and is willing to work 90 hours a week to take your place. So if you're going to take a job, like you have, it's just a matter of accepting that situation, but finding ways to adapt to that situation where you can be healthy while doing it. And one of the biggest buzz words that you said in there that I wanted to jump all over, was saying if I decide that I want to eat healthier, I need healthy foods around me because that's one of the worst things about this industry that drives me crazy, is the food that they make available to people like I literally just today started a new pilot that I'm going to be on while I'm on hiatus from Empire. And the catering situation is horrible. I mean, we're in we're in sunset, Gower studios and these really old like bungalow type buildings, we don't even have plumbing anywhere, except in the bathroom. So I don't even have a sink to be able to rent stuff out in. And I have to devise strategies to take a little kit downstairs to the bathroom and wash out my dishes because I still want to make my own food, because they had just horrible stuff in the refrigerator. And you know, sitting on top of the microwave and the fridge like there was a box of Captain Crunch. And it's like, how do you make television when this is what you're eating, and that's fine. But what I want to make clear is I'm not trying to tell them take the bad stuff away. If other people want to make that choice, that's totally fine. They want to have coke and Diet Coke all day long. That's their own choice and their own life. But I also need to have choices to make sure that I can function optimally and I have the fuel that I need. And that's like saying to them I want to have you know, a horse's head sitting in the catering room they look at you're like you've got four eyeballs. It's like but really like this is going to make everybody better at what they do. And once they actually implement it, they notice a difference But I go through this every single time I'm at a new job, and I'm sure this is something you must go through as well.

Alan Bell 50:05

Well, not really. Only because I just whatever I want, I get I just like, Hey, we need to have bananas and apples and I want you know, carrots and vegetables and whatever I on features, particularly the the kinds of movies that I've been doing recently, like the craft services, you can get whatever you want. Now, there is a ton of crap. Like most of this stuff is junk. And it's stuff that I would love to eat. I mean, it's it's all crispy snacks, but there's always healthy stuff there. And so for me, it's just a matter of like, letting the PA know, it's like, Hey, I really like these apples. You know, I eat a banana every day. So make sure there's always bananas here, please. And it's pretty, you know, it's that simple. I happen to love those kind bars, the little 150 calorie lighten out and honey grain things. Yeah. So often have one of those and a banana, and that'll be my breakfast. You know, I think it's a little different on a pilot because there are you know, the budgets are quite a bit smaller, and they're just like, wham, bam, get in there. Get out. It's young people. And they're like, they probably have a really small craft service budget. I certainly, we had, I've had that on other movies in the past certainly didn't have a great craft service budget on 500 Days of Summer. In fact, there was really nothing like we just had to provide our own craft services and post production. So that was like, you want to eat something go buy it. For the most part. It's really just for me, it's about not grabbing that bag of cheese. It's Oh, and I love cheese. It's good. Oh my so good. Nothing better than a big cheese it Oh, man. I just love those. But it's been a long time since I've had any of those.

Zack Arnold 51:50

Yeah, now I'm right up there with you with all the the cheesy crunchy crackers and snacks and the gold fish. And yeah, there's just so many of them. And they're so good.

Alan Bell 52:00

I know, you know that i because I love crispy snacks. The one thing that I do eat occasionally. And I really like his I just I think my wife found them. They're these rice puff cylinders. And each cylinder. They have like, they're sprayed with like just a little hint of honey on the outside. And they're almost like, you know, like those little cakes those like little rice cakes that people eat all the time. You know, just they feel like cardboard and tastes like cardboard. Yeah, well imagine, imagine something that's about this big around is like a toilet bowl, a toilet paper roll, you know,

Zack Arnold 52:36

a toilet. Pretty big bag. And and it's you know about as long as a cigar. But it's it's like sugar smacks but it's, there's no sugar. And they're crunchy, with like just the hint of like honey on them. And each one is 45 calories, and it takes you a while to eat one and it's really crunchy. They're really good. I'll send you the link to on Yeah, after have to take a look there. Fantastic. So we have those in the cutting room sometimes. And when I want a crispy snack and I you know, I just I gotta eat something crunchy, or I'll eat one of those instead of by cheese what I did, because I have the the same addiction where if I'm in front of the television, either on my own time, or I'm watching dailies, I just am kind of in that habitual need to just have something in front of me that I reach to, and I put it in my mouth and I pop it over and over and over. And it's not about the food. It's not about needing something for my body. It's just, it's the ritual of constantly eating something while I'm watching. And basically, when I tried to just remove that and use willpower that doesn't work. So what I did was like you're doing I just replaced the bad option with a very, very similar but very healthy option. So like instead of having a bowl of m&ms, I just have a bowl of frozen blueberries. And it's the exact same ritual, you know, but I'm eating something that's, you know, leaps and bounds healthier. But I'm not just using willpower saying I can't do it. I can't do it. I can't do it because you're going to fail 10 times out of 10 Yeah, you know, but if you can replace it with a healthier option, but still maintain the same ritual when you have that need of like, Okay, I'm going to sit down and watch the dailies. Oh, wait, where's my boy, I need that bowl next to me while I watch the dailies. You can still have the bowl there, you just have a healthier option.

Alan Bell 54:22

Yeah, I've been doing a little bit of that, but I've been really trying to train myself away from from that just because a lot of times I come home and I don't have any calories left at all. I'm kind of like, well, I've only got, you know, five calories left. And I know that I can eat you know, I can eat 3540 calories worth of carrots and it's not going to kill me I'm not it's not going to make me you know gain weight, certainly very fast. But I don't I'm trying really hard to break that habit. And it's not completely broken because there are so many times when I come home and I'm just Like I like literally get up to go get that thing. And I find myself pacing and I get a glass of water and I drink a glass of water. Instead, I'm really fighting the urge. And if I have the calories, I will eat something just because I'm like, Okay, I have the calories, and I've been good, but I'll have to use that blueberry trick, that's a good idea. Because I've been using baby carrots.

Zack Arnold 55:21

Yeah, those are good too. Like, I'll buy baby carrots to become pretty much a staple for me as a snack. And one thing that really, really makes it much better is I'll take an avocado. And this is literally something I did in my office today that I did with nothing but plastic fork, a plastic knife and a plastic bowl, I just brought in an avocado. And I just cut it into small pieces, mash it up with the fork, and I just have this little seasoning packet that I buy with just this organic seasoning with a whole different mix that I put in and makes it the best guacamole I've ever had. You have that with carrots, it will completely fill you up for two or three hours. And there's not one unhealthy ingredient. And it's all really good for you. Alright, so that's another option. But yeah, and he kind of low sugar berry that's frozen to me is like those are the best snacks on the planet. And at this point, if I'm at work and you gave me a bowl of m&ms or a bowl of blueberries, I would choose the blueberries, because they taste just as good to me. But I don't feel horrible for the next three hours afterwards.

Alan Bell 56:17

Yeah, no, you definitely feel better when you eat the fruit.

Zack Arnold 56:20

Yeah, absolutely. So I'm going to go ahead and I'm going to let you get some sleep because you have to go ahead and work on a big giant movie at about seven hours from now. But it's been a tremendous pleasure having you on the show. And I'm glad that we could kind of shed some light on just some of the issues that people at the top levels are dealing with the same as anybody else in this industry. And the fact that you even you have found ways to get healthier and lose a significant amount of weight, I think is really encouraging and inspiring to other people that are in this industry saying, well, it just can't be done. I cannot be healthy and post production. So my feeling is that if you can do with your schedule, that there's nobody that has any excuse in this industry at any job.

Alan Bell 57:03

Well, I just have to say thank you, Zack, because it's because of you that I really started to thank and get off my butt and create a program for myself. And, you know, you proved it to me. So hopefully I'm proving it to some other people. And we'll just keep the ball rolling.

Zack Arnold 57:20

Well, that's awesome that that just made my entire month you saying that that's that's pretty cool.

Before closing up today's show, I would love to ask for just a couple additional minutes of your time and attention to introduce you to one of my new favorite products created by my good friend Kit Perkins, who you may recognize as creator of the Topomat, here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Ergodriven co founder and CEO Kit Perkins, talking about his latest product, New Standard Whole Protein

Kit Perkins 57:50

I'm into health and fitness generally, but I want it to be simple and straightforward. About a year, year and a half ago, I started adding collagen into my protein shakes. And man, the benefits were like more dramatic than any supplement I've ever seen. So I thought if I can just get this down to coming out of one jar, and it's ingredients that I know I can trust, and you just put it in water. And you don't have to think about it.

Zack Arnold 58:09

When people think of protein powders they think, well, I don't want to get big and bulky. And that's not what this is about. To me this is about repair.

Kit Perkins 58:16

So big part of what we're talking about here is you are what you eat. Your body is constantly repairing and rebuilding and the only stuff it can use to repair and rebuild is what you've been eating. Unfortunately, as the years have gone by everyday getting out of bed, it's like you know, two or three creeks and pops in the first couple steps and that I thought you just sort of live with now. But yeah, when starting the collagen daily or near daily, it's just gone. So for us job 1A here was make sure it's high quality, and that's grass fed 100% pasture raised cows. And then the second thing if you're actually going to do it every day, it needs to be simple, it needs to taste good.

Zack Arnold 58:49

Well my goal is that for anybody that is a creative professional like myself that's stuck in front of a computer. Number one, they're doing it standing on a Topomat. Number two, they've got a glass of New Standard Protein next to them so they can just fuel their body fuel their brain. So you and I, my friend, one edit station at a time are going to change the world

Kit Perkins 59:07

and even better for your listeners with code optimize on either a one time purchase for that first, Subscribe and Save order 50% off. So if you do that, Subscribe and Save that's 20% off and 50% off with code optimize it's a fantastic deal.

Zack Arnold 59:22

If you're looking for a simple and affordable way to stay energetic, focused and alleviate the chronic aches and pains that come from living at your computer. I recommend New Standard Whole protein because it's sourced from high quality ingredients that I trust and it tastes great. To place your first order visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard and use the code optimize for 50% off your first order.

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Optimize Yourself podcast. to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss future interviews just like this one, please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. If this interview inspires you and you're struggling with creative burnout right now, or you find yourself sacrificing time away from your family, when you know deep down that it really doesn't have to be this way, I invite you to download my ultimate guide to optimizing your creativity and avoiding burnout, which offers over 50 pages of my best tips, tricks and strategies to consistently stay focused and energized throughout your long work days when you're trapped in a dark room that most likely doesn't have windows. You can download this ultimate guide 100% free at optimizeyourself.me/ultimateguide. And a special thanks to our sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven for making today's interview possible. To learn more about how to collaborate remotely without missing a frame and to get your real time demo of Evercast in action visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast. And to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations the Topomat, visit optimizeyourself.me/topo, that's t o p o and to learn more about Ergodriven and their brand new product that I'm super excited about New Standard Whole Protein, visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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This episode was brought to you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat (my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation) and now their latest product. New Standard Whole Protein is a blend of both whey and collagen, sourced from the highest quality ingredients without any of the unnecessary filler or garbage. Not only will you get more energy and focus from this protein powder, you will notice improvements in your skin, hair, nails, joints and muscles. And because they don’t spend a lot on excessive marketing and advertising expenses, the savings gets passed on to you.

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Guest Bio:


Alan Bell

website link

Film editor Alan Edward Bell A.C.E., is best known for his work on (500) Days of Summer, ‘Water For Elephants’, ‘The Amazing Spiderman’, and the last three installments of the “Hunger Games” series. His resume spans 30 years in post-production, and includes a long list of credits in editorial as well as visual effects. Over the last 15 years he has been pushing the limits of what is possible in the cutting room by blending visual effects and editing techniques. Alan currently resides in Los Angeles with his wife and three sons.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”