Ep134: Leveraging Your Skills to Get Hired (When You Don’t Have the Experience) | with Steve Lang, ACE (pt1)

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If there’s one story regular listeners of this show have heard a lot, it’s the story of how I got my first television editing the #1 show on cable at the time – Burn Notice (having ZERO television experience at the green age of twenty-nine). I tell this story often because it’s a great example of how experience doesn’t have to be king when it comes to getting jobs. Many of the students in my coaching & mentorship program come to me hoping to make a transition in their career where they have the skills already but they don’t have the specific experience. I was in that very same position when I landed my dream job editing Burn Notice.

Here to lend a unique perspective to my “Burn Notice story” is ACE Editor Steve Lang, the catalyst for getting that job. Steve has cut over 120 hours of television in the past 24 years and worked on such shows as The Practice, The GiftedPreacher, Rectify, and Manifest, to name just a select few. He took an unusual path to becoming an editor having held every role in the post-production department at one point or another. This experience gives him a well-rounded point of view of hiring editors and assistants and best practices for advancing your career…without getting pigeonholed.

This interview has been a long time coming, as I’ve been trying to get Steve on the show for years!!! Our conversation ended up going so deep that we made it a two-part interview. In this first part, you’ll hear how I got the job on Burn Notice from Steve’s perspective while also hearing the skills vs experience argument from someone on the hiring side. You’ll learn how Steve has managed to jump genres and show formats throughout his career, and why he’s always trying to help advance other editors and assistants that prove their worth. And make sure you come back next week for round 2 when we take a deep dive into his philosophy on editor’s cuts and the playbook he gives to all his assistants to ensure they get a seat in the editor’s chair.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Why using the “sniper method” vs. “the shotgun method” helped me get the job on Burn Notice.
  • Steve’s unusual path to becoming an editor (that included working EVERY role in television post-production).
  • How he realized editing was a better fit for him rather than writing, which was his original goal.
  • How his path crossed with Russell Crowe and what he learned from him.
  • His experience working on The Practice and the opportunities that brought to his career through editing and producing.
  • What editors don’t understand about the job of being a producer in a post-production department.
  • Steve explains his vast and varied resume of seemingly unrelated shows and genres that keep him from getting pigeonholed.
  • What he has learned when hiring editors as supervising editor and how he gets people to listen to him.
  • The difference between skills and experience and how it’s not always the experience that gets you hired.
  • How he helped James Wilcox get the job on Genius when he wasn’t available for it.
  • Why he always wants to share jobs and give recommendations when he’s not available for work.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Steve Lang’s Instagram Page

Steve Lang’s Facebook Page

Continue to Listen & Learn

Ep135: The “Playbook” For Building a Successful Career in Scripted TV | with Steve Lang, ACE (pt2)

Ep164: How to ‘Get In the Room’ and Work with Producers Who Will Value & Respect You | with Matt Nix

Ep127: Chasing After the Next Gig vs. Building Your Career | with Kabir Ahktar, ACE

Ep115: How to Be So Thorough You Can’t Be Denied | with James Wilcox, ACE

Ep129: How to Cultivate a “Service-Centric” Mindset (and Why It Will Make You More Successful) | with Agustin Rexach

Ep76: Transitioning to Scripted Television (Without Becoming an AE) | with Phil Habeger & Toni Ann Carabello

Ep80: How to Avoid Getting Pigeonholed, The ‘Concentric Circles of Networking’ & More | with Doc Crotzer, ACE

Ep126: On the Importance of Building Relationships, Asking Questions, and Never Giving Up | with Andi Armaganian

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 this 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 vet, 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. If there is one story that regular listeners of this show have heard more than once, it's the story of how I got my first television editing gig on the number one show on cable at the time, which was Burn Notice. And by the way, I had zero TV experience, and I was at the green age of 29 years old. I tell this story often because it is a great example of how experience doesn't have to be king when it comes to getting jobs. Many of the students in my coaching and mentorship program come to me hoping to make a transition in their career where they might have the skills and the abilities. They just don't have the experience. And I too was in that very same position when I landed my dream job editing Burn Notice here to lend a unique perspective to my Burn Notice story is ACE editor Steve Lang, who is the catalyst for getting that job. Steve has cut over 120 hours of television in the past 24 years and he has worked on such shows as The Practice, The Gifted, Preacher, Rectify and Manifest just to name a few. He took an unusual path to becoming an editor having held practically every role in the post production department at one point or another. This experience gave him a well rounded point of view about hiring editors and assistance and the best practices for advancing your career without getting pigeonholed. This interview has been a long time coming. As I've been trying to get Steve on the show for years. Our conversation ended up going so deep that I made this a two part interview. In this first part, you're going to hear how I got the job on Burn Notice but from Steve's perspective, while also hearing the skills versus experience argument from somebody that's on the hiring side. You'll also learn how Steve has managed to jump genres and show formats throughout his entire career, and why he's always trying to help advance other editors and assistants that have proved their worth. When Part 1 is over, make sure you come back next week for round two, when we are going to take a deep dive into his philosophy on editor's cuts, and the playbook that he gives to all of his assistants to ensure that they get a seat in the editor's chair. If today's interview inspires you to take the next step towards a more fulfilling career path that not only lines you with projects that you're passionate about, but also includes some semblance of work life balance, and especially if you would like support, mentorship and a global community to help you turn your goals into a reality this year. Then you and I need to talk because enrollment is now officially open for my Optimizer coaching and mentorship program. Over the last three years I've worked with well over 100 students, helping them to strategize how to design healthier lifestyles, increase their focus and productivity, better manage their time, and I have helped many students land career changing opportunities. But to be honest, the biggest obstacle for many who knows this program will make a difference. But having joined has just been the cost. I have now made this program a lot more affordable. And I'm also offering all of my online courses, masterclasses and workshops, Netflix style as part of the program. Needless to say, if this year is the year that you need help developing a new strategy, you should visit optimize yourself.me/optimizer to learn more about how you and I can work together. I review applications in the order they're received. And I fill my slots accordingly. So the earlier you apply, the better your chances are of getting into the program. Enrollment closes Friday, January 15. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with television editor Steve Lang made possible today by our amazing sponsors Everast and Ergodriven, who are going to be featured 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 optimize yourself.me/podcast.

I'm here today with Steve Lange, who is a Hollywood film editor and proud ACE member and just a few of your credits include show such as The Gifted, Preacher, Hand of God, Superstore, Rectify, and frankly, the reason that you and I are even here today talking, Burn Notice. Steve, as I've joked about more than once, it has been a decade long quest of mine to get you on the other end of this microphone, and you're finally here. Hello. Thank you so much for being here.

Steven Lang 5:48

Absolutely. It's a pleasure. It's, it's one of those as there's a reason why I'm in a dark room all the time. I normally don't like to talk too much, but, but for you, I will always make an exception.

And I appreciate that. And I was just going to allude to the fact that getting you out in any form of the public, even a zoom call from your own home is like pulling teeth. I saw you at one event last year, which was the the ACE holiday party. And I'm like, that's got to be a hologram that can't actually be in public, amongst other human beings.

Amongst other editors too.

Zack Arnold 6:21

Amongst other editors on top of that. So yes, it's great to have you here. And if people are wondering, well, how do I not know about Steve, that's why. And I'm hoping to change that because I don't think that you have, you've been able to provide as much value and knowledge and brilliance out into the the larger world. I know you've done it on an individual level on your shows with your assistance with your other editors. But there's a lot of value you can bring to this community. And I'm hoping you can bring a little bit of that today as I pulled you out of your shell out of your comfort zone to be on the other end of the microphone. So where I want to start is the beginning of our story. I have told what I call the Burn Notice story at least 100 times. And for my regular listeners, they're like oh my god a Burn Notice story again. However, the story is never been told, from your point of view. And I think understanding it from your point of view is so important. Because when I tell it, it's all about how I broke in how I got your attention, how I proved myself how I got the job on the show. But I think it's even more important to crawl into your brain to know what that looked like from your perspective. so other people can understand. How do I get noticed if I really want to work on something that I'm passionate about, but I might not be qualified for? Or I'm just looking for mentorship from somebody that I admire? What does it look like from that person's perspective? So talk to me about the very first time according to your memory, at least that you and I first connected?

Steven Lang 7:49

If I remember correctly, it was a it was a Facebook thing, right? You sent me a message through messenger, right?

Zack Arnold 7:55

It was the very first time we connected was a Facebook message, which to look like one message, from my perspective was Facebook stalking every single person that working on the show, but you you're like, oh, I got a message. So yes, the first time we met was a Facebook message.

Steven Lang 8:08

Yeah. So I mean, it, you know, what's interesting is, obviously, you weren't, you know, you're not the first person to sort of reach out to me, and, you know, I am one of those guys that you sort of take the time and you reach out. I, I, you know, most of the time, I will respond with some sort of message or advice. And, you know, usually, you know, obviously, I'm I work a lot, I'm busy a lot, but I also know, you know, when I started out, you know, I mean, I had a lot of people that sort of helped me along the way. So it's just one of those things where, you know, I always feel like it's, it's one of the ways for me to sort of, to give back. So when I get those messages, I might not respond right away. But you know, I usually respond with with something and I said, I remember you wanting to sort of get together because you were, you know, trying to make the transition and I do remember you talking about at the time you had a was a was a trailer sort of company or what you were doing promo stuff.

Zack Arnold 9:13

Yeah, I had sort of I had built a boutique post production facility that was doing a combination of long form and short form, where I had a small group of independent contractors that were working with me where a client will hire me but because the workload was so high, I would basically you know, subcontract other editors, I would supervise them. And we would do both trailers, promos, featurettes and some long form work and it was actually the web series feature film that I was working on that I used to get your attention so that was where it all started was i'd sent you the trailer for it. Exactly.

Steven Lang 9:44

And I said I remember being a trade because I you know, I said it was I thought the trailer was was really well done it you know, it reminded that reminded me of Burn Notice and a lot of weight. And you know, this is where this sort of luck aspect of it comes along is You know, we were looking for an editor at the time, because I believe Matt got his other series, and I knew I was gonna go do that. And so it was a question of who was going to sort of replace me. While while I was sort of working on that, so Originally, I believe it was just gonna be like, for maybe a half a season or something. So, there were, you know, there were a few combination of things that were just sort of like, perfect, you know, perfect sort of timing. I was intrigued by your situation, I remember just thinking, I was kind of curious, like, what, what your setup was, in terms of this, this house that you had, and, and all of that stuff, because, you know, you know, I can get geeked out by some of the technical aspects of it all, too. So, like that I remember coming to your facility, and it's just down and having a conversation. And, you know, I mean, the minute I kind of walked into the facility, it was like, Okay, this guy's real, like, you know, obviously, most of the emails or messages that I get, they're, they're, they're mostly young, you know, younger people trying to figure out how to break in with almost no credit, you know, those are sort of almost the easier conversations to have. Because, you know, I mean, when you've got nothing that's like, okay, you know, here's sort of a playbook of, you know, from assistance that I suggested before, that really seems to work, you know, with you, it was like, it was more of a, you know, I'm a working editor, I'm just trying to make that transition into scripted, which, you know, like, everything can be, you know, can be difficult, but I remember just sitting down and having that, that, that conversation with you, and right away saying, Okay, this guy is like, for real, like, it's really just a matter of an opportunity. So, you know, I remember you gave me a DVD, I don't remember if there was a few episodes on it, or what it was, but I watched it, and it was just like, Okay, this, this is a no brainer, like, you know, like, this guy knows exactly the style of this show in a way that, you know, that A is going to make my life easier. Because, you know, at that point, I had a relationship with the guys there that it was like, you know, they expected me they expected a lot. And, you know, I wanted to make sure they hired somebody that that really could sort of pull it off. So, you know, so very quickly, it was just one of those. I mean, I remember walking in with with a DVD and just said, Don't even waste your time, like, watch this and hire this guy. And you'll be fine. Yeah. Now, granted, you still had to go in there, and you had to interview and you had to impress them, and that you did so you know, you know, I mean, like, it's not as simple as me just saying, hire this guy, although it was probably 90%. I mean, you literally had to just screw that one up in a way that that they wouldn't have hired you. But But then the rest was history. Because like, because I remember you were supposed to do a half a season, we ended up getting a full season pickups. So you stayed and then I remember the season after that, it was like, I am not coming back to Burn Notice, unless we have three editors and and then that was you know, and then that's basically how it sort of continued.

Zack Arnold 13:06

I love hearing the story from your perspective, because there are multiple details I wasn't even aware of until right now. And there are there are a couple of pieces of this, I want to dissect even a little bit further that I think are going to have really important takeaways for the listener. Sure, the way that I saw it from my perspective, and the story that I've told you played it really close to the vest, because I had no idea you were already looking for somebody so early and that you were kind of quasi interviewing me behind the scenes. Because when I had reached out, we just set up a launch. And you said you wanted to see the setup. And I gave you a quick tour of the house that I had rented and built out into a post facility. And we just chatted, I wasn't trying to pitch myself, I wasn't saying hey, I hear you have an opening. I want the job. I just wanted to learn I was just seeking advice to understand how does the machine work? How do you break into TV? What are they looking for? So it was more understanding your story? Rather than Hey, I'm here, I want to pitch myself at least that's how I remember it. Maybe I'm wrong, but I don't remember pitching myself.

Steven Lang 13:59

Well, it wasn't that you necessarily were pitching yourself. But it was like I said, I know you were trying to break into scripted and you know, and obviously, you know, I mean, you know, for someone like you that's already has experienced his theory making a living doing it. You know, it's it's a lot easier when you know, you're you're trying to be an assistant. And it's you know, and it's you're coming from sort of nowhere because it's like, you know, there's, you know, at the time, I believe you already had a family right.

Zack Arnold 14:30

About to have my first son so I yeah. My wife was pregnant.

Steven Lang 14:34

Yeah. So those, you know, those are nervous ones, you know, I mean, meaning, you know, like, I love giving advice, but it's like to say, you got to stop, you know, doing what you're doing. And you got to step into or you got to step down into an assistant position to you know, I mean to kind of to get the, the opportunity to then start editing, you know, scripted because that's that's sort of the reality of how you know of how that process This would normally work for someone, you know, if you want to say you're coming from the reality, you know, from the reality world trying to get into the scripted world, usually almost have to take a step back before you can sort of step in and step up. So, you know, for someone like you, you know, I mean, you know, I saw the immense talent in terms of the material that you sent to me and, and like I said, at the end of the day, it really was the perfect timing, because the reality is if we weren't looking for someone, and I don't remember was it right, it was, it wasn't right away that that we that we ended up

Zack Arnold 15:33

Well the other part that, that I didn't even cover until just now, when we originally met, I had no idea. There were any opportunities. I wasn't pitching myself. I just wanted to learn. What does it look like to remember?

Steven Lang 15:45

Yeah, and I do remember not telling you like it in the back of my head.

Zack Arnold 15:47

Tell me anyway, I knew.

Steven Lang 15:49

Yeah I do remember, like, because I didn't want to get too like excited in a way that, you know, I mean, who like, you know, it was one of those, I want to have a conversation. I really, you know, I wanted to look at the material, you know, and so it wasn't just like, Oh, I'm gonna, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna make this happen. It was, let me just make sure this guy is sort of okay.

Zack Arnold 16:08

Yeah so the timeline. From my perspective, we had lunch at the end of the lunch, I do you remember handing you the DVD very politely, very sheepishly. Hey, if you wouldn't mind this web series that just finished if you'd look at the first couple of episodes, and as a web series, it was like 15 minutes worth total between two notes. You said you look at it, like a week or two later, you called me and you're like, Dude, what is this thing like, this is awesome. Like, this is a really, really cool show. And you wanted to know more about the show specifically, but that was it. So I talked a little bit more about the show the workflow, how I got the job. And then I will never forget this. It's one of my most distinct la memories. I was getting gas at the 76 station at the corner of Sao Paulo. I don't remember the name of the street, but it's right next to the 405. And you call and you're like, Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to be going on to a pilot format. Next, we're going to need somebody to fill my spot for one episode. So I don't even know until today. That was for half the season, you said that we need to fill in for one episode. And I want to see if I can get you an interview and you really downplayed it. Like Listen, you don't really have the credits. I just I want to give you the opportunity to meet with them. But we've got a lot of other people to meet tonight. I think that afterwards Alfredo had said they met with guys that worked on 24 and heroes and all these other big shows. But as soon as you said the opening was there, I said this job is mine. This is made for me and then I remember watching the, at the time it was

Steven Lang 17:32

I remember you binged.

Zack Arnold 17:35

Three seasons twice. I watched all three seasons twice. And as you know, when I came in, I became the Rain Man of burn. Notice you were Erica Alfredo would say hey, what was that one episode? Where did you know? This character does this? Oh, that's, uh, yeah, Episode 311. And in fact, 344 shots before that cut to black. Right. I just I remember everything. But I remember going in really thinking that you downplayed it. And then I know

Steven Lang 18:00

I definitely downplayed it. Now, that would be me, for sure is definitely just downplaying it this way. You know if it worked out fantastic. But if it didn't, it's like no big deal.

Zack Arnold 18:09

Yeah. So I went in, I had the meeting with Alfredo, who was the second in command under Matt next at the time. And he's, he's a tough cookie. When I look back at this in hindsight, and I look at the level of experience I had and how young I was. What was I doing there? Like, I'm now coaching people that were my age, when I got the job on Burn Notice, and they look like kids. And like, that was me, like, what, how did that come together. But the story that Matt Nix told me was similar to what you said, where you handed them the the DVD reel, and they put it in, and I think it was him and Jason, they looked at each other after like 15 or 2020 seconds. They're like, hired hired good.

Steven Lang 18:49

Which is, which is funny, because when you talk about like, people that sort of, you know, are looking out for you. And that's how I got the job on burn. Notice, you know, I have worked with Alfredo on one or two other shows previously. So he was the guy that introduced me to Matt Nix. And it wasn't even like, it wasn't even an interview, like Alfredo was like you're hiring this guy. It's not even like this is this is a no brainer. So I mean, those are the things that I always think about. And remember when I get these emails, I get the calls, in terms of people just looking for advice and opportunities. Because if somebody wasn't looking out for me, you know, that things wouldn't have necessarily happen.

Zack Arnold 19:26

Exactly. So there there are a lot of confluence of events that all made this come together the one piece from my perspective that I always tell people, very little of this was lucky or was an accident because I had a sniper scope pointed at this show wasn't a matter of I sent you a message and 50 other people on 50 other shows said if there's one other show where I'm a shoo in and I can walk in and cut it tomorrow morning. It's Burn Notice. So I'm going to target that one and I'm going to become obsessed with it. And clearly it worked out but it's all about being specific because if I just been some guy that you liked that you wanted to Help. I don't think you would have taken that reel and given it to Alfredo and Matt, it said, this guy's got to cut the show because I wouldn't have been the right fit.

Steven Lang 20:07

No, no, absolutely not. Yeah, absolutely not.

Zack Arnold 20:09

So it's really important that people are so specific about this is where I can set myself up for success. As opposed to I really, really, really want it you kind of look at it from the other person's perspective doesn't even make sense. Because ultimately, your ass was on the line. You can't just hand me over. And then I edit my first episode, which by the way, was the directorial debut of the star of the show. I found that out like two days after getting hired Alfredo was like, oh, by the way, this is going to be my episode, I'm gonna be executive producing this one. And Jeffrey is going to be directing. Oh, cool. Jeffrey, who he's like, Jeffrey Donovan, like, you mean, you mean, the star of the show? He's like, yeah, you're gonna be cutting that one. The pressure that I had, I just had my first kid, I was still running a business. And in my mind, I had one episode. That was it, I had five weeks to either make it in television, or have it never be a realized dream. So that was a long five weeks for me. But it paid off in four seasons later, you and I finished out the series together. So now I want to talk more about you. This is a story that I've always wanted to see from both ends of the story. But when it comes to you, you also have a very circuitous route to get where you are today, everybody thinks in order to get to make it in TV. First, you got to be a PA, then you got to be an assistant editor. You pay your dues for years and years and years, and maybe somebody hands you a few scenes to cut, and then you get to edit. And if I look at your resume, as far as just the credits alone makes no sense whatsoever. There you are, you're the polar opposite of being pigeonholed. But if I look at the roles that you have played, you are also the polar opposite of being pigeon holed. So take me back to your origin story of breaking into TV. 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 ever cast co founders, Brad Thomas and award winning editor Roger Barton,

Roger 22:11

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Zack Arnold 22:35

I also had the same reaction when I first saw ever cast towards came to mind game changer. Our goal, honestly, is to become the zoom for creatives,

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Zack Arnold 23:20

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Brad 23:29

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Roger 23:42

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 23:56

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, ever cast 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 optimize yourself.me/evercast. Now back to today's interview.

Steven Lang 24:20

So my artists are oh my god. So I mean, it's I mean, I started I started the normal path, right meaning, you know, I was lucky to get a job a production company that own their own added system. Right. So this was, you know, I think that was around 93 or something like that, maybe 94. So, you know, it was that digital transition, which I mean, God, you know, those are those things where you realize, Oh, you know, I was young enough to be excited. And obviously there were a lot of older others that just were so not excited or interested. But what was great is they own their own editing system, which is You know, basically gave me the opportunity to just jump on and learn. And it was the type of place where, after hours weekends, I could do whatever I want, the facility was was mine. So, you know, I literally, you know, me and my friends would shoot projects and nobody knew how to edit. And basically, I was the guy that was kind of like, Okay, let me try and figure this out. So, you know, I got a couple lessons, the production company I was working at was Robert green ball productions, they did a lot of television movies at the time. So what the way that you got sort of promoted there is, you know, you kind of, you know, your PA, you did all the running, you did all the grunt work, the research, the shopping, and, you know, and eventually, they would give you an opportunity to assist on one of their TV movies, because they, a lot of that stuff was non union. And I had two friends that sort of went through that process. And all of a sudden, they, they kind of had these, these editing careers or assisting editing careers. So, so they were looking for somebody, I jumped on the opportunity. Unfortunately, it was sort of that period where the television movie industry was kind of starting to die out those TV movies. So, you know, I'd been there for almost like three or four years, and it was a little bit like, ooh, you know, like, I get some opportunities to go, you know, work on a PA, like, on a, you know, on a TV series or a movie, and, you know, you're like, oh, should I just, you know, should I hold out? Should I should I, or should I just, it's not going to happen here. I mean, thank God I, I you better in terms of the holding out, because when I first moved out, I was really, I really wanted to do the right thing, you know, routes and scripts, got a little bit of interest in terms of agent and almost got into the Warner Brothers writing program, and they had their sitcom writing program. But at the same time, I was starting to play around in the editing room, just, you know, basically, kind of learning. And I caught myself. You know, I used to say, like, I was good and discipline in terms of being able to sit down and write and I, you know, I do I go get to three hours, you know, and then I just get a little antsy. And then, you know, my day was sort of like, Okay, I'm done writing. But when I was, when I was editing, it was like, Oh, my God, like 1012 hours, literally just went by blink of an eye, I didn't even think about it really just kind of enjoying the process of what it you know, what it was that I was kind of creating. So, you know, it was one of those where I, you know, I quickly realized, thank God that like, this is like, a real career path. And I think this is something that I'm really sort of comfortable. And, and I want to I want to hold out, you know, so I'll try to get through this as quick as possible, the production company could see that I was kind of growing, frustrated, and they were sort of, they they knew, too, that there really wasn't too much coming down the pike. So, Robert Greenwald, actually had a movie and independent movie that he was doing at the time. And he said, Hey, Steve, do me a favor, can you assist this actor? You know, I think he might be a little bit of trouble. You know, he's got a little bit of a reputation. So I, you know, so I was, like, sure, whatever you want me to do. And then I've been Russell Crowe. Wow, I got this, you know, so I got this great opportunity. And I got to sort of step into that world of it completely other side, but just in terms of just seeing what that like, the set world was, like, what it was in terms of, you know, the, the, the demand was in terms of a leading actor. And this was like, this was right before he did la confidential. So at the time, you know, he had done virtuosity he had done cooking the dead, you know, nothing like, you know, no big breakout things, but, but it was always one of those things, like, he's gonna be the next big thing. Next Big Thing. Very, you know, it was one of those things were really open. You know, I mean, like, you know, once I sort of stepped into that world, I mean, I was a young guy, the amount of questions that I would just hit him with, on a constant basis, I can't even believe that he would sort of, you know, put put up with with any of that when I think about that stuff now. But at the end of that process, it was probably about three months that I was working with him, you know, he would call me up. Because, you know, he, we sort of got along. So now there was a potential opportunity to be his assistant, you know, at the time, he just started doing la confidential, but I mean, I really, you know, I would talk to him about, I want to be an edit, I gotta get into that room. And, you know, so I remember turning him down, and then and then boom, I finally got that the television movie came in, and they you know, and they talked to the editor and the editor said, you know, they said, Hey, you got to hire this guy. If he You know, if he sucks, you know, I mean, you can fire him. But, uh, but but then it started, you know, like I, Peter Ellis was his name, you know, one of the, you know, best sort of mentors that I've, that I that I've had. And the director was Michael Watkins. And from there, we, you know, we just the three of us hit it off. And next thing you know, we're you know, we did another movie together, we did a TV series together and you know, and then from there, it just sort of is kind of built, built and built. You know,

Zack Arnold 30:31

The curious thing about your resume, however, is when I look at it, I don't see assistant editor to editor, I see post production supervisor, associate producer, co producer, you have been all over the map. And I don't think I know anyone else in this entire industry, that's done all the jobs you've done.

Steven Lang 30:50

And you know, what, you know, there's a world, there's a part of me that has a little bit of a chip on my shoulder only because, you know, I graduated with a business degree in business management, like, the film industry was something that, you know, that I, I mean, I always wanted to be a part of it, I just wasn't sure how, how exactly, I was going to get into it. Because, you know, film school, you know, financially wasn't an option for me, obviously, I was lucky enough to live in, I grew up on Long Island, you know, so the city was an option. So, as I was sort of going to school, you know, I started doing, you know, I go into the city, I do extra work on movies, and just kind of got sort of an understanding, I started getting to the writing aspect, and I always thought that was gonna, you know, be my angle. So, when I got out, you know, like I said, Everything I did was sort of self taught no real connections or any of that stuff. But, uh, but I was lucky enough. Joe burger Davis, who was a post producer, who I worked with on my first TV series, he called me up after that one was over, because that David Kelly was looking for an assistant on the practice, which at the time was, you know, in its first I think it was they just finished their first season. You know, it was one of those, you know, obviously, David Kelly had a great reputation, the show didn't really hadn't really done too much. But I met with them. And it was, you know, great group of people, you know, and it was one of those like, Oh, I definitely want to do this. All of a sudden, that show just exploded, so it was really like the second TV show I'd ever done. And after that second season, I think we had one best me, you know, Best Drama, and then it won the Best Drama that the season after that. And then it was one of those crazy, like, got a five season pickup, right. So obviously, at that time, with, you know, you know, you had a post a post production place that was like, there was no editor leaving, you know, I mean, like it was, it was one of the best jobs you could sort of ask for. And, you know, I sort of made a nice, you know, reputation for myself there, I was doing a lot of cutting the previous times, the next time, the editor Charles McClellan, you know, he would let me cut scenes all the time. So, you know, it was I was getting a lot of good sort of training, but, you know, started to get frustrated in the sense that, I would get calls about some opportunities, but I'd have to be willing to leave. And so what ended up happening is, I got this great opportunity to, to assist on a Spielberg series, that they said, if the pilot got picked up, I would then be able to get one of those editing chairs, and Peter Ellis who I'd worked with, you know, back in the day, you know, he was, he's, he was the pilot editor, with Michael Watkins, again, you know, what, like, these, these connections, they never really go away, especially if you if you're good, you know. So, um, so I let them know, this is my opportunity, you know, so they got, you know, they got a little nervous, and they just said, Hey, we know you're a little bit, you know, frustrated here, you know, here's an opportunity. We need somebody to kind of do the video side of post production, wouldn't you know, with that sort of satisfy you in terms of just, you know, we're gonna let you the next time there's an editing chair open, it's yours, but we want to just, you know, we don't we want you to sort of feel like you're growing and you're doing things. Yeah. Ultimately, that that pilot I worked on, didn't get picked up, you know. So, you know, so I, I ended up going back and then doing the video side of it for a season. And then the next season, you know, still, actually the next season, the, the editing chair opens up, and they say, and so now they dangle and they say, you can you can have the editing chair, or we would love for you to run post productions. So, I mean, it was, you know, it was a tough one because at that time, you know, at that point, I was, you know, probably five I was probably waiting about five years, you know, in terms of getting that sort of opportunity and man it was right in front of me and I mean as much as they offered it to me it was one of those like, we really want you to do this, but if you want to do this, you know So, you know, I was intrigued, because I did see, you know, the way, you know, date, like I always say, David, David Kelly company, that was basically my film school, you know, like, they, the way they gave people opportunities was always you know, and, you know, people that started off as you know, in post in terms of running posts, now they were directed, you know, so it was one of those things where it was like, it was to give an opportunity to say no, but I, what I worked out was, Hey, I'll run pose, but you have to let me edit one episode of season. So I was kind of getting the best of both worlds, you know, like I, you know, I got to sort of learn all that sort of side aspect of it. But I also got to, you know, continue to get editing credits and sort of give myself that opportunity to, you know, down the road where I could make, you know, like, said, I could market myself in a way that, you know, I could go in either direction, if I, I ultimately wanted to, but I will say this, the minute that show was over, I never went back, it was like, you know, the I like to get my hands dirty, you know, the running post, fantastic. But it's it's a lot of babysitting, you know, like, and I like to get my hands dirty. So that's, that was kind of a no brainer. You know, once once I was done,

Zack Arnold 36:14

I definitely want to talk about the myriad of shows that you have cut since then. But before we go forwards and talk more about the editing side of your career, I do want to talk to the only person that I know, that has been both a high level editor and a high level co producer that's running departments, what are the things that happen on the production side, or the post production side, that editors just don't get? The things that editors just are driven crazy by you, like, you have a dude, you don't get it? What are the things that we on our side of the fence need to better understand, so we can all coexist, because as you know the structure of our departments, it's not the most brilliant way that departments are structured. If you look at all other departments, what let's let's use the camera department, for example, I don't know the exact order of it, but like you get to do this late, then you get to be a third AC, then a second AC, then our first AC, then a cameraman, then you get to be a dp someday. But if you're a dp, you've done the job of everybody below you. But in post production, the CO producer is most likely never touched an avid in their life, and they've never edited. And I've just never understood why the person that's running everything has never done the job to talk about these two things.

Steven Lang 37:26

Yeah, no, I mean, let's put this way, if you really did those jobs, you would never I don't think you ever really want to, you know, in terms of actually running post, because it really is, you know, you're dealing with studios, or dealing with net worth. Now I do have to preface being in Kelly land is not like being in a normal sort of post world, because for the most part, money was no money was no object. Like, you know, obviously, I had to get permission, I had to let people know in terms of what was going on. But there was a lot of money flowing in a way that you know, that that didn't, you know, it never hindered, you know, so I get, you know, when I'm working for, you know, a place and I get you gotta get the studio approval for the overtime, you got to do this. Like, none of that stuff. Really, you know, like, you know, the thing that that when I talk about the babysitting, like, if you were in that post production, if you're an editor on that show, I will say it, you know, I mean, it's easy to look back at it now. But at the time, it was such a, it was such a cushy gig, you know, I mean, like, yes, the hours could be laid, and now you'd have to do the weekend works. And by the time we got to the end of the season, because they would always squeeze out one or two more episodes, since it was such a popular show. Like we were literally finishing on a Friday, locking on a Monday and locking out a Wednesday and airing on a Sunday. Like, that's how tight it was, which means three editors working on one episode, you know, being able to pop into each of these rooms, you know, one, you know, each, each editor had their own act. I mean, it was such a, I mean, it was a well oiled machine, but it was also just crazy, crazy, intense, you know, but they took care of you in a way that, you know, you know, you always sort of felt grateful for it. But yes, I, you know, I can get frustrated all the time when it comes to the sort of financial aspects of it. But from the creative aspect of it, like I don't even you know, it's like, I mean, and, you know, obviously, you know, we've both been there, you know, there's there's only so much I can do, you know, I mean? Like I problem solve mangetout point of the job is just your problem solving all the time, sometime that problem solving is gonna make me You know, it drives me crazy where like I said, my hours are gonna go a little bit crazy. Do I you know, I can ask for I asked for, you know, permission to get that over time. Or there's times where I just got to do it because I don't want To deal with the hassle of, you know, obviously I try, you know, I, you know, when I'm working on my editors cut my cut, you know, I mean, I don't necessarily mind doing the hours, but beyond that, then those are the times where, you know, I mean, I, I'll step up and make sure that I'm being taken care of my systems taken care of, because those are the times where, you know, I mean, where I shouldn't be on my time, it should be on somebody else's time.

Zack Arnold 40:23

Yeah, and I have the exact same philosophy where if I want to make it better, that's kind of sorta on me, and I need to put in the time. But once I've handed in my cut, and it's up to other people's notes, other people's schedules, other people's responsibilities, when you need something done faster, and you're saying, You can't pay me your lack of poor planning, and your lack of ability to manage time and money, that's not my emergency, that's yours. You need me, that's fine. I'm willing to provide my services, but my services have a cost. That's a really hard conversation for most people to have. And you you're like, that's hard for people really, like if you're like me, you're like, dude, you're not getting a minute of my time on paid. That's really hard for a lot of people to do that. And they put themselves through the long nights and the weekends, secretly, even when it's other people's, the needs and requests and schedules, and it's not their fault at all. That really frustrates me, because I know you and I are like, dude,

Steven Lang 41:16

but I mean, but you know, a lot of that like said, because I can remember early in my career, you know, you know, it was more just like, oh my god, what am I doing here? I do I know what I'm doing here, like, so, you know, the longer you do it, I think the confidence, you know, the confidence in terms of what you bring to the project. And ultimately, like I said, these relationships, that you you know, when you're, when they're constantly calling you to work on something, I mean, that you know, you know, their trust, you're trusted in a way that you deserve to get paid for, for what you're doing.

Zack Arnold 41:45

Now, I want to transition to finishing the practice, you have a few editing credits under your belt, you also have producing credits, from there until this very moment where you've been the supervising lead editor on multiple shows now format. Next, there's this giant grouping of credits that make no sense whatsoever. everything, every genre, every type different network strictly, it makes no sense. But it does if you if you can discuss what you know, I'm just gonna let you go ahead because you clearly

Steven Lang 42:15

I just, I mean, listen it, you know, it's somewhat it is somewhat by design, you know, and, and, you know, it's when you're talking about the pigeonhole thing, it was something I was very, I was conscious about, but caught myself, like falling into, you know, I mean, like, it wasn't, it wasn't easy, you know, because all of a sudden, it was just like, Hey, I love watching half hour shows, like, when I'm not working, I catch myself watch watching more half hour comedies, than I'm doing, you know, one hour action dramas or lawyer shows, which were, obviously you do the practice, you're gonna get lawyer shows, you know, I did some cop stuff, Burn Notice, all of a sudden, you know, you're getting these sort of action shows, and, you know, the, the one thing I kept getting is, oh, my god, you're gonna love this, this is just like, Burn Notice. And it's like, of course, internally on like, I have no interest in if it's just like, Burn Notice, like, you know, you like anything you want to sort of grow? And, you know, and you, you kind of curious on on some of these other genres. So, the question is, how do I navigate that? How do I get there? Because, you know, it is they look at the resume, and they say, should I hire the guy that has absolutely no half hour experiences, you know, credits to his name? Or should I hire this guy that has a million half hour experiences, you know, credits to his name. So, you know, that's where, and like I said, and once again, you fall back on those relationships, because, you know, Matt Nix who, you know, I've had this great relationship with him for, for a while, you know, hired a writer had a writer, Ben Wexler, who, you know, who, who I love to this day, and was one of those guys that, you know, you get this a lot, obviously, when you work on shows, when I get my show, I'm gonna hire you, you know, and it's always like, Okay, great, great. I'm, I can't wait, you know, to, to work with you, you know, and, you know, at the time when I was trying to kind of, you know, trying to, like, you know, hold out, hold out, you know, see if I could break into that sort of half our world, all of a sudden, an opportunity, an opportunity opened up, because Ben ended up getting a show him and Matt did a half hour show with Larry Charles, which was the Billy Crystal just add one on FX. And, of course, it was like, I want to do this so bad. You know, Larry Charles, you know, obviously, the director, one of those outside the box, guys that are just like, there's no way this guy is going to hire me. Because, you know, I mean, I, I don't have, you know, I don't have the, the credits he's going to be looking for. But of course, you know, you know, Ben and Matt. I said, you know, you got to get me Got to get me to the meeting, got to get me the meeting. And, and, of course, you know, I walk into that meeting, meeting and it's like, Very quickly, you know, I, I just throw it out on the table in the sense that I go listen, you know, because I remember him picking up my resume and looking at it, it was like, I might as well just walk out right now. And so of course, you know, I, I say to him, you know, I know you're not seeing what you what you want to see here, but understand, you know, this is a genre that I, you know, that I love. And, you know, and I tried to be specific, and he he stopped me very quickly. And he said, I know, common, he's like, I'm looking for someone with a different perspective. You know, and it was, it was one of those things where it was like, Oh, my God, I think there's a thought here, you know, I mean, like, for him, you know, for him to be able to and that's why, like, I, you know, I, I love him is because like I said, He's one of those guys who's so outside the box, you know, that, you know, I mean, like, normally you would get the I need to I need my kind of guy knew my comedy guys like, Nah, he's like, I just wanted somebody with a different sort of perspective, you know. And then once we started talking about the script, it felt easy in there, but I got it, you know, I mean, so all of a sudden, it was like, Oh, I, you know, now I'm, like, literally what I did once, one season of that, and all of a sudden now on my half hour guy, because, you know, the superstores, people saw that, and they, you know, everyone loves Larry Charles, he hired this guy. So, you know, and then it's like, men next thing, I know, I'm doing a bunch of half hour. So, you know, and then it was like, a, you know, a horror genre half hour, you know, I mean, so it was one of those things where it was one of those, like, it's never gonna happen, then all of a sudden, that happened. And, and now it's like, I try and keep that momentum where I try and go back and forth to sort of remind people that, oh, I can do this, or I can do that. And I feel like I've gotten to that point where I have that flexibility now, which is, which is nice. You know, it really is, but it like said it was, it wasn't easy. And it's, you know, it's like anything, you know, I mean, I could be very comfortable doing one hour action shows for the rest of my career. But, you know, at a certain point, it's, you know, you do like to push yourself and look for those opportunities.

Zack Arnold 47:11

You're like me, you get bored really easily. Four Seasons a burn, notice that like, this was awesome, I'm good. I'm ready to try a different challenge, and then ended up going to Glee and going to Empire. And then I'm like, I've done the music thing. I'm good. Moving on, right? So you're like me, and that you constantly want to learn to be challenged and not fall into the well, here's the formula. Yep, just put the pieces together, it's the same thing. Like, even as amazing as Burn Notice was you get to the point where you're like, oh, man, another box montage, right? Every one of these I've done. I've had Michael building a bomb, like 27 times already.

Steven Lang 47:43

I know. But like I said, those are those. Those are those relationships too, though, that like, you know, if it wasn't Matt Nix, I wouldn't have stayed for as long as I did. You know, like, you just, you have certain understandings with people that it's like, you know, like, there's a comfortableness. And like, said, it's, it's a relationship that's continued, because we have, you know, he knows what I sort of want need, when I work on a series, you know, we'll sort of jump back into the mentoring ship, because when the gifted came along, after the after the pilot got picked up, you know, the idea was, I was going to supervise editor, I was going to get to hire, you know, so I bought him, I brought in the post person, I mean, I brought in everybody in terms of the the main posts, people, including the editors. So when it came time to hire the editors, it was like, well, who's gonna listen to me, when I you know, when I want to give a note on something. So what I realized is, I'm just going to hire all of my old assistants, that are now editors, because they'll always pretend like I know what I'm talking about, and won't give you too much lip. So I mean, that's, that's what I, you know, that's what I sort of ended up doing there.

Zack Arnold 48:52

One of the things that I want to extract that's so important when it comes to both what you did to decide that I want to make these these different genre transitions, and it actually comes back to without me knowing it the strategy that I used to get on Burn Notice, originally, people are looking for two things, the most likely thing they want is experience. I look at the paper, the paper tells me you're the perfect fit, my ass is covered, if they don't work out, it's their fault and not mine because I hired the person that makes sense on paper. The other area that I feel so few people don't have the confidence is saying I might not have the experience, but I have the ability. I've got the skills to do this. Well, that's what you did with Larry Charles. And that's what I did with Alfredo. Because Alfredo told me after our meeting, he's like, there was nobody else we interviewed. They could just sit in the chair on day one and cut Burn Notice we didn't have to train you. All you had to do is get the job and we knew you didn't have the experience. But you just knew how to cut the show down to the act outs and the effects and the box sequences. We'd have to train other people so my skills are what got me there not the experience, but people are so hell bent on thinking I have to have the experience and they get caught in the Catch 22 I got to get the job to have the experience, but I need the experience to get the job. And you focus on skills in order to start making that transition not just Well, this is what's on paper. So you get what you get. And you address that elephant in the room head on, which takes courage, but it's so important. Absolutely. Absolutely. And the other thing that we haven't talked about yet, my guess is you probably said no, more than once to opportunities that would further pigeonhole you, correct?

Steven Lang 50:27

Oh, absolutely. I mean, I, you know, to this day, I think I still, I still do that. I mean, I, you know, I'm lucky that, you know, I get, I get to work, you know, I get to work a lot, you know, I get the calls and opportunities, it also gives me the opportunity to be, you know, selective in the sense that what I choose to do or not to do, you know, there's certain people like Matt Nix, you know, who will call me up, and it's like, you know, nine times out of 10, I'm not going to say no to him, you know, I mean, obviously, it always depends, but I mean, you know, there's certain people that I get excited when I get those calls, because I know, you know, I know what I'm sort of getting myself into a good example, you had James Wilcox, you know, when I got the call for the Ron Howard TV series, the, the genius one, you know, I mean, like, I had already committed to Matt Nix doing the, the x men pilot with Bryan Singer. So it was, you know, it was one of those where, you know, when I get those calls, when they say, Hey, we want you to come in and meet, you know, if I can't, if I can't do it, I always like to recommend somebody, you know, someone who might think, Oh, this might be a good fit. So, it was one of those situations where it's like, Hey, you know, obviously, it's Ron Howard. Like, the hell's gonna say no, to no to this, but unfortunately, I'm already committed to something. But I think you guys should meet, you know, James Wilcox, I think you're gonna like it, you know, and, and sure enough, you know, James went in there. And, and, and got it, you know, and established this relationship with Ron now. So now, he's

Unknown Speaker 52:00

features. And you're like, that.

Steven Lang 52:06

But I must say, but those are those like, you know, those are those things where I, I do catch myself, I mean, I'm always constantly trying to share, like, I always feel like, there's a lot of gut, there's a lot of good opportunities out there. You know, and, you know, and if I can be if I can help somebody get a job, to me, I, it's almost as just as satisfying, as you know, as sometimes getting the job itself, you know, I mean, like, I, their successes are always I take that as my successes, I do that with my systems to like, you know, I mean, every time you know, they get, you know, an assistant that moves on and gets an editing, you know, position like i i, That, to me is one of the best fields you know, you can have when, when you see them sort of succeed and beyond.

Zack Arnold 52:48

Now, I'm definitely one of those names on the list. Very, very much appreciate everything that you were allowed to make happen for me. So I appreciate that. And that wraps up part one of my interview with ace editor Steve Lang. We will be back next week with the second part of our conversation, where Steve and I discuss his hiring process, mentorship of his assistance, as well as his philosophy and editors, cuts and so much more. To access the show notes for this in all previous episodes, as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview. Please visit optimize yourself.me slash podcast, and a special thanks to our sponsors ever cast and airgo driven 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 ever cast and action. Visit optimize yourself.me slash overcast and to learn more about air go driven and their brand new product that I am super excited about new standard whole protein visit optimize yourself.me slash new standard. If today's interview inspires you to take the next step towards a more fulfilling career path that not only lines you with projects that you're passionate about, but also includes some semblance of work life balance, and especially if you would like support, mentorship and a global community to help you turn your goals into a reality this year. Then you and I need to talk because enrollment is now officially open for my optimizer coaching and mentorship program. Over the last three years I've worked with well over 100 students, helping them to strategize how to design healthier lifestyles, increase their focus and productivity, better manage their time, and I have helped many students land career changing opportunities. But to be honest, the biggest obstacle for many who know this program and to make a difference, but haven't joined has just been the cost. I have now made this program a lot more affordable. And I'm also offering all of my online courses, masterclasses and workshops, Netflix style as part of the program. Needless to say, if this year is the year that you need help developing a new strategy, you should visit optimize yourself.me slash optimizer to learn more about how you and I can work together. I review at applications in the order they're received, and I fill my slots accordingly. So the earlier you apply, the better your chances are of getting into the program. Enrollment closes Friday, January 15. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well. 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 Kip Perkins, who you may recognize as creator of the Toko Matt, here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Aero driven co founder and CEO Kit Perkins, talking about his latest product, New Standard Whole Protein.

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I've been to 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 its 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 56:00

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.

Roger 56:09

So a big part of what we're talking about here is you are what you eat, your body's 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 one eight 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 56:42

What 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 Topo Mat. Number two, they've got a glass of New Standard Whole 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 57:00

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 optimized that's a fantastic deal.

Zack Arnold 57:14

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 optimize yourself that means a new standard and use the code optimized for 50% off your first order.

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:


Steven Lang

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Steven Lang was born and raised in Stony Brook, New York on Long Island. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the State University of New York at Stony Brook in 1992, but his real education began the six years he spent working at a video store from the age of sixteen to twenty-one. It was there where his love of movies began and planted the seed that the entertainment business was where his passion lies. He moved out to California two weeks after graduating college without a single contact or connection to pursue his dream and never looked back. One of his first industry job was at a TV movie production company that owned their own Avid editing systems and gave him the opportunity to learn his craft. Self-taught, he literately opened up the Avid manual and started from page one. He spent many late nights and weekends learning the system and editing anything he could get his hands on. Eventually, he was given the opportunity to assist on a TV movie, and his editing career was born. Twenty-four years later, Steven has edited over 120 hours of television while working with many of the top Writers/Producers/Directors/Creators in the industry including David E. Kelley, Billy Crystal, David Milch, Steven Bochco, Ridley & Tony Scott, Jerry Bruckheimer, Ray McKinnon, Larry Charles, Ben Watkins, and Matt Nix. He most recently edited the pilot and season 1 for the “Turner & Hooch” reboot for Disney+ directed by McG.

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).”