Ep137: How to Negotiate Your Real Value (and Advocate For Yourself) As an Assistant Editor | with Scott Jacobs

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“You can’t just stand up for yourself. We have to stand up together.”
Scott Jacobs

When it comes to working the brutal hours that have become the norm in entertainment, negotiating for better pay, and fighting to make changes in industry standards, most of us feel helpless (and hopeless) about where to even begin. When I wrote Dear Hollywood: It’s Time For An Intervention About The Hours We Work this past summer, I was surprised to learn the majority of people in Hollywood have no interest in losing their golden time and overtime hours in exchange for shorter, more manageable workdays. While I have no interest in taking money out of anyone’s pocket, I do believe there has to be a better way than working 60+ hours a week and burning ourselves out just to make ends meet.

Here’s a crazy thought: What if we were paid for the value we bring to a project rather than the number of hours we clock in each day?

Today’s guest Scott Jacobs, a longtime editor, AE, and MPEG board member, tackles this question with me. Scott has worked as an editor and assistant editor in both television and feature films on studio features such as The Bourne Legacy, Despicable Me 3, and Men in Black: International, and his TV credits include CBS’ Person of Interest, NBC’s Parks and Recreation, Fox’s The Orville, and he’s currently working on Marvel’s WandaVision for Disney+.

As a father of two, Scott has had to wrestle with difficult choices between the faster track of being a television editor and the higher negotiating power of feature film assistant editing. His role as a Board Member of the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild has made him very aware of the salary discrepancies between features and television along with the major challenge of work-life balance. He feels strongly about advocating for better wages and more sane working hours while also giving people the tools to advocate for themselves.

If you’re interested in having a little bit more ammunition to advocate for a job that is more focused on value than hours, and most importantly working smarter (and not harder), my conversation with Scott is a must-listen.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How Scott went from video game junkie to finding a passion for film editing.
  • Why he wanted to get a Masters from AFI and why he insisted on starting at the bottom of the career ladder when he graduated.
  • His surprising strategy for networking and making connections right out of school in 2006.
  • How he got his first job as a Post Production Assistant four months out of college.
  • What connections and skills enabled Scott to jump back and forth between television and film.
  • Why assistant editors in television are paid unfairly and should be paid commensurate with experience.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Assistants in features have negotiating power (those in TV do not).
  • Scott’s candid thoughts on why the union can’t negotiate making shorter working hours part of the contract.
  • His plea for greater member involvement in order to negotiate change in the union.
  • The many factors that led to Scott’s decision to go back to assisting in features rather than look for his second editing job in television.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Learning the difference between external success and fulfillment is the key to good decision making.
  • Why going after happiness before success is the better route.
  • What Scott loves about the Peloton and how it’s improved his life.
  • Scott’s Advice for making it in Hollywood…(I did not pay him to say this!)

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Ep132: How to Pursue Fulfilling Work and Find Your ‘Calling’ | with Dr. Tal Ben-Shahar

Peloton bikes

Editors Guild – IATSE Local 700 > Local 700 – Home Page

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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, and 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 rights 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 Oh, gee, 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, when it comes to working the brutal hours that have become the norm and entertainment negotiating for better pay and fighting to make changes in industry standards. Well, most of us kind of feel helpless and frankly hopeless about where to even begin. When I initially wrote my article, Dear Hollywood, It's Time for an Intervention About the Hours That We Worked This Past Summer, I was surprised to learn that the majority of people in Hollywood frankly have no interest in losing their golden time and their overtime hours in exchange for shorter, more manageable workdays. Listen, I have no interest in taking money out of anybody's pocket. However, I do believe there has to be a better way than working 60 to 90 hours a week and burning ourselves out just so we can make ends meet. Here's a crazy thought. What if we were paid for the value that we bring to a project rather than the number of hours that we clock in each day? Today's guest Scott Jacobs, a longtime editor and an MPEG board member tackles this question with me. Scott has worked as an editor and an assistant in both television and feature films. And he's done so on studio features such as the Bourne Legacy, Despicable Me Three and Men in Black International, and some of his TV credits include CBS's Person of Tnterest, NBC's Parks and Recreation, Fox's The Orville, and he currently just finished up Season One of Marvel's Wandavision for Disney Plus, as a father of two Scott has had to wrestle with difficult choices between the faster track of being a television editor and the higher negotiating power of feature film assistant editing. His role as a board member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild has made him very aware of the salary discrepancies between features and television. Along with the major challenge of work life balance, Scott feels strongly about advocating for better wages, and more sane working hours, while also giving people the tools to advocate for themselves. If you are interested in having just a little bit more ammunition to advocate for a job that is more focused on value than ours, and most importantly, working smarter instead of harder, my conversation with Scott is a must listen. If today's interview inspires you to step up your networking game so you can continue to build relationships with people that you admire who can open the right doors to the next stage in your career. I am excited to share with you my new, improved and vastly expanded Insider's Guide to writing amazing outreach emails. In this extensive guide, I will help you completely transform your outreach email game. So you can build a networking strategy and reach out to the right people so you can seek much needed advice, connect with a potential mentor, set up meetings and shadowing opportunities and even get referred for your next gig. In this upgraded version. I've also included a step by step template that breaks down every single piece of your outreach email from subject line all the way to the final salutation and I also provide a video tutorial with a before and after email tear down so you understand what a great outreach email should and should not include. To download your FREE guide and take your outreach emails to a completely new level, visit optimizeyourself.me/emailguide. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with editor Scott Jacobs 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 show notes 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.

I'm here today with Scott Jacobs who is a film editor a father of two a husband to one, you were also a lover of 80s rock and you love your peloton. And right now you are currently working on Marvel's Wandavision. And you also serve as the Motion Picture Editors Guild Board of Directors, Scott, it's a pleasure to have you here today. It's only taken me what like a year to make this happen. And I'm glad we could finally make it happen today. So thanks so much for being here.

Scott Jacobs 5:34

My pleasure, man, I'm I'm really excited to be here. And, you know, yeah, no matter how long it took, I'm really, really glad to be a part of your program, you do such a great job for so many people. And what you do is so impressive. So happy to have this digital chat. And you know, these wonderful times that we're in at the moment. So let's do this.

Zack Arnold 5:57

Well, like I was talking about before we started the show, I'd much rather that's where in person you and I were at a juice bar having a you know, kale and blueberry smoothie. But here we are, you know, in the midst of a pandemic, doing a zoom chat, there's a lot of stuff that you and I could talk about today, so many topics of conversation that you and I have been involved with over the years via social media, talking about advocating for yourself as an editor as an assistant editor or somebody that works in post production as a filmmaker, as a human being as a parent, so many different conversations that we can have. The place that I want to start though is I want people to get to know you and your journey a little bit better. Because one of the topics of conversation that I know is important to you is how difficult it is to break into and make it in this industry when you start with nothing having no connections, even if you have the top of the top degrees. And you're somebody that came into this business with a master's degree in editing, from AFI. So let's talk a little bit about your origin story. As somebody that works for Marvel, you're all about origin story. So let's talk about Scott Jacobs origin story.

Scott Jacobs 6:58

Yeah, you know, I, I enjoy telling his story because it's, it's fun, and it kind of like builds on all the different layers. And you know, growing up, I was a Video Game Nerd, and die hard, diehard video game player I actually wrote for a magazine called Electronic Gaming Monthly back when I was 16. That's a whole nother story that I won't, won't get into at this point. But the crux of it is I was I loved my video games and sat inside a lot. When I got to high school, I got involved in the performing arts and singing. And that led me to wanting to change my idea of what I wanted to do with my life, which was I was gonna major in business and minor in Japanese. And then I was gonna go on the video game industry. When I went to I went to Western Michigan University and in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and

Zack Arnold 7:51

I didn't know you went to school in Michigan.

Scott Jacobs 7:53


Zack Arnold 7:53

I know. I knew you were who you i was i was University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. But hey, go Michigan. Okay.

Scott Jacobs 7:59

Yeah, go Michgian. Yeah. So when I was at, when I was at Western, I loved my my time there. But I was starting to lose the love for performing because everyone around me, you know, coming into college, everybody was the lead in the musical and everything like that. And with entertainment in general, it's just one of those things where if you can't see yourself doing anything, but what you're doing, then that's great. Stick with what you're doing. Otherwise, if you're not really feeling it, this isn't the type of industry where you can just stay in and make your way like you really need to be passionate, and I was just losing the passion for it. But I loved entertaining and I loved making people laugh and be taken out of their everyday world for a couple hours. And so I ended up taking a blow off film course, which I ended up taking really seriously. It was just an intro to film where you just watch movies and you get an A. But it was the first time that I really read a book cover to cover. And then I saw Baz Luhrmann's Moulin Rouge, this was back in 2001. I was blown away. And at the time, a buddy of mine was talking to me. And he was saying, oh, everything that you love deals with the visual effects and the editing. I was like, Oh, interesting. I mean, I was you know, so I went back into the book, and I read a little bit more about Film Editing. And that's when I started seeing that, you know, in the digital age, you're dealing with computers, and I was just like, Oh my gosh, there's a job out there that combines my love for theater and my love for film, or my love for technology, all in one. So I started digging deeper and I got into teaching myself iMovie and then Final Cut and then I got an internship where I was able to get my hands on Avid and I started teaching myself Avid. That's why I decided to that's what I was gonna do with my life. It just made sense. And I was like, Oh my god, I can make money doing this job. Like, this is so cool. And then I finished off my degree because my advisor said, you know, just finish your degree, you're so close, you only have three semesters and most film schools really focus more on their grad students than their undergrad. So that's what I did. And I was looking at all the big, the big ones, UCLA, USC AFI. And, for me, a AFI was made the most sense. Because I knew what I wanted to do, I knew I wanted to be a film editor. And I want to just pursue that. And AFI is the only school that offers a specific degree for the track that you want to go in. It's not like USC or NYU and Chapman, where you have film production. And then you can focus on where you want to go. So chose AFI, I got in 2005, and I moved out here with nothing. And really, I mean, I know a lot of people will come out here on a whim without having any connections whatsoever, just the sole drive of I want to come out to Hollywood, and give it a shot. You know, my hat's off to those people, for sure, I probably would have been down that route if I didn't get into film school. But for me, I always wanted a master's degree, in case I wanted to do teaching or something of that nature. So I came out here. And then while I was at AFI, it became apparent to me that the important aspect of navigating this industry was not just about being an editor, it was about, you know, what is it like working your way up from the bottom, and then getting to the top. So it was important to me that even when I went to AFI and graduated, that I wanted to be a post PA. Because my theory is that by the time I work my way up to the top, I want to be able to understand the positions, so that when I'm in the editing chair, and I'm in charge of an entire department, that I know how to communicate with the post PA, the Assistant, the first and I understand how much time things take so that, you know, I wasn't coming off as the demanding editor that has no sense of time, and just needs things done, done. Done. Now, it's you know, because it's all about relationships in this industry, and it's all about people's feelings, everybody has feelings. And in stressful situations that we all get in, we all lose sense of that element. You know, for me, it's just being respectful. And the only way that I understood how to do that was to be able to start at the bottom. So that's kind of my origin story. As far as all that goes the carry over

Zack Arnold 10:38

Before we go forward and not to interrupt, but I am going to interrupt

Scott Jacobs 13:12

No please. Hopefully, I'll keep going.

Zack Arnold 13:14

No worries, no worries whatsoever. So the the most important thing that people really need to understand about your journey that so many miss, is you went from having a master's degree in the best concentration, as far as I know, on the planet for becoming a professional Film Editor. And you said my strategy is to be a production assistant. That's bold, and most people believe in their minds. And I know these people, because I've talked to that many times. Once they have that master's degree from AFI. They assume they're coming out of AFI. And they're going to be editing feature films The next Monday morning, and they don't understand that the degree that's education, but you still need to start from the bottom. And so many people struggle when they first start out, because they're trying to do something they're under qualified for my strategy when you're starting out, try to do something you're overqualified for. When I came out of college, similar to where you were, I had fairly extensive editing experience. And I had a degree not in Film Editing, but at least in film theory and film studies and spent four years writing papers about Battleship Potemkin seven different times. And I went after assistant editor positions at small companies because I walked in there being an asset that not only had the assistant technical capabilities, but that also could do creative cutting right out of the box. That led to me being an editor in six months. That's because I started probably below where I thought I was qualified, but I provided value. I worked on building those relationships and it moved me up faster. And it sounds like that strategy also worked for you very well. So out from school to the point where you are gainfully employed in the industry. How big was that gap for you?

Scott Jacobs 14:53

I achieved that and well I mean, I mean honestly, you can see Say that even as opposed to pa or being gainfully employed. Yeah, I mean, it's in those regards. And this kind of taps into one of your recent articles talking about networking, and finding a mentor, and, and all of that, you know, there's, sometimes some of those things can't be taught, and people don't, necessarily, because again, it's just about personality and relationships. And, you know, some people, and I guess, I didn't mean, it can't be taught, some people have it in them already. Other people need to be shown the proper way to do things. And you I was going through through that article, and you nailed every single element of it, you know, something that for me, not to be like, holier than thou comes very naturally, you know, I love being an introvert, but I am also an extrovert extrovert. But yet you you just got to reach out and cold email, you know, back in 2006, let me backtrack for a second. Because, you know, most of us, we are going to have to put in a lot of work to get to where we are, there are the Michael P. Shawver's of the world that can attach themselves to a director and boom, that's it, you come out of college, and you're you're golden, you have a director that just hit the lottery. And I mean, Ryan Coogler is great, I actually, I was working with him for time on Space Jam Two. And, you know, you there are certainly those people out there, 99% of us are going to have to work our tails off to really get what we want. So when I when I was at AFI, and I noticed that there wasn't necessarily going to be a director that I associated myself with, that I knew was going to jump off and get a Ryan Coogler film. I started thinking outside of the box, it was okay, how can I do this? You know, how am I going to make my way in. And back in 2006, the editors guild didn't have a website, they actually came out with this big thick book that had everybody's information and it if they wanted to make it public. And I started going through IMDb and looking at the movies that I really loved. And I started researching editors. And I started cold calling editors and reaching out to editors and sitting down and having lunch I've I won't name drop. But by doing that I've had some amazing meetings with Academy Award winning editors, Emmy winning editors, just to talk shop. And it was easy because I could introduce myself and say, Hey, you know, my name is Scott Jacobs. I'm currently a student at AFI. Thus taking that element of I'm not coming at you for looking for a job, even though everybody knows that whenever we're trying to do a meet and greet. We all know that we're trying to network and we're hoping that something will will land but you take that element out of it so that you lower the guard down and you make yourself a little bit more approachable to to get in that meeting. And there was one editor in particular Steve Rosenbloom, who was Ed Zwicks Editor and crazy at the time, I didn't. I don't know why I didn't know. But at the time that I reached out, I actually didn't know that Steve had attended AFI. I knew Ed Zwick did. And I just wanted to talk shop. But Steve's information wasn't available, his agents information was. So I reached out to his agent. And I said the same thing. Three days after I had reached out, he wrote me back and said, Steve would love to meet with you. And, you know, I followed up with with Steve and we met and we had a two hour coffee, just talking shop. And at the end of it, he ended up saying, Hey, you know, here's, I'm gonna connect you with my first assistant. And you guys, you know, who knows what, what can happen? So I reached out to her and all that time I was, you know, I was trying to find other post pa jobs or whatever. But she ended up reaching out to me when I had reached out to her saying, hey, guess what, I got a, an interview for a post pa gig. And she wrote an email back to me saying, hey, that's great. But how about instead of you going there? How about you come work for us? We're coming back into town. And we're gonna need a PA. Are you interested? So this was about, I don't know, maybe four months. Now I'm actually getting to your question. This was like four months after I graduated, if I want to say it took me long to tell that story because it's Did probably seven months or eight months of work, reaching out to people and just trying to get a get a foothold, I took out extra money. For my I took out the maximum maximum amount of loans that I could, so that I couldn't survive on the $600 a week that a PA makes plus mileage,

Zack Arnold 20:25

Which back in the day was actually not so bad. There's a lot It wasn't before there's the internet, I remember shuttling three quarter tapes all around town all the studios.

Scott Jacobs 20:33

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. And, you know, so there's a lot of groundwork that was being laid. And I mean, yeah, coming out of AFI I definitely wanted to be editing I didn't want no one goes to film school, thinking that they're gonna start at the bottom, but much along the lines of what you said, you will move up faster. Because you come in with knowledge. Yes, you are overqualified. But it's actually the same advice that I'll give to people when they contact me about trying to get into the guild. And I'll even say to people look, if you have your hours, don't, you know, obviously, it depends on how much experience they have. But you know, especially if it's someone wanting to transition from unscripted to scripted, I'll say don't be afraid to do a PA job. If you know you already have your hours because you're just getting your foot in the door. Because guess what the second that a spot opens up. And if you've made a good enough impression, and they know that they have an in house assistant editor that they know, then it's easier to replace a PA than it is to find a good assistant that fits with the mold of the cutting room. So they're going to bump you up and replace a PA. So you know, that's one avenue that someone can do. That's obviously not, you know, financially, it might not be the right decision for people. But yeah, I'm and then from, from those from that pa job, I jumped on to another pa job, which is another story of how I met the met the guy there. But I essentially PA'd for a year on two different features. And then the then I went off when I realized that I wasn't going to be able to flip from a PA to an apprentice, I had to go off and get my days for the union. So I actually went back to AFI, I worked on some of their award shows, and got my hours that I needed to join. And then I got my first union interview based off of an assistant that I had met while being a PA. And I essentially can trace my entire career from the mere fact that I was a PA for a year and the 30 to 40 or so people that I had started a network with back in 2007. You know, I have them to thank to start my network up and then just continually build, build and build from there from all the different shows that I was a part of.

Zack Arnold 23:08

The key here that I love is the idea that you are planting seeds, you are laying the groundwork. And this is the part that so many people miss, especially the introverts that love to sit in their dark rooms by themselves and get really good at the craft. And there's nothing wrong with that. But I always say plant the seeds first, then as you're waiting for everything to grow and pan out as after you've laid the groundwork, while you're waiting, that's the time to work on your craft. But like you said, Well, the first thing you mentioned that I think is so interesting is like you can't teach this stuff. My belief is that nobody's taught it well yet, which is why I decided to try and step in and fill that void because I too, was somebody that was horrible at networking, reaching out and connecting. And still like you said, there's a part of me that's an extrovert I have 0% of me that's an extrovert. Aside from all the the global things going on, for me personally loving the pandemic. I'm home all the time I get to do my own thing managed my time. I love it. Now one day of I said man, is this over yet, like I like none of that. Love it. So I had none of the skills. And I was extremely introverted to the point of social anxiety going to events caused physical anxiety for me, and I couldn't even do it. But I realized that's an absolutely necessary skill, to be able to do the things that I enjoy and that I love. And if I want to do it at a high level, I can't just sit at home, be good at cutting scenes and cross my fingers. Oh, man, I hope somebody finds me like it doesn't work that way. So you have to lay the groundwork from the beginning, which you started doing very, very early on because this is a really long three dimensional game of chess, this isn't a game of checkers. So it's really important that people understand this is going to take time but you made all the right moves early in your career. And they all started to pan out and these connections lead from one job to another to another And one thing that's interesting about your career path specifically, you came out of AFI, with a master's degree in editing started at the bottom pa up to assistant editor, and you've done an extensive amount of editing. But you've also made an interesting choice, where you said, I think I want to stick with features. And being an assistant rather than going the television route for various different reasons. So talk to me a little bit about kind of this circuitous route that you've had back and forth between editing and assisting in various mediums.

Scott Jacobs 25:31

Yeah, and this is going to open up a whole can of worms and

Zack Arnold 25:35

Bring on the soapbox,

Scott Jacobs 25:36

Soap boxes to come open on this one. You know, there's a lot of different elements that are in play with my decision. Now, thankfully, I did have the ability to, I shouldn't say ability, I had the opportunities to flip flop between features and TV. And it just so happened that when cable really started coming in to play and that element of the schedules changing were more shows we're doing 10 to 12 episode runs, at least in cable, and not necessarily network TV. But the 24 episode shows were starting to become less and less. And the first union job that I had was on this TV show called The League on FX. And because of the relationships that I made, while being a PA that had left the door open for me into the feature world when I was working on The League, and that was wrapping up the an assistant I worked with needed some help on The A Team. And so it just so happened that my schedule worked out that I was able to go on to that. And then after that was done, which was it was only a month or so gig. Then I continued back on with the TV job with some people that I worked with, on The League. And then you know, then when season two of the league ended, I actually got pulled on to work as an apprentice while I was already assisting for a year at that point, an apprentice job opened up on on a feature film and I took it because I I have always wanted to be in features. That's where that's where my passion is. And so I was able to take that opportunity. And then I worked as an apprentice. And then when that was done, The League was available again. So I went back. And so that started opening the door of me having the ability to flip flop between TV and features. During that time I'm at my now wife, she was a single mom at the time. So I became like an instant dad, which was awesome and gratifying in its own way. The TV world does not pay assistants properly. And this is where the first soapbox is probably gonna

Zack Arnold 27:55

I was gonna say this is an understatement. But go on.

Scott Jacobs 27:58

Yeah, you know, assistants. No matter what, when you're in TV, you only get scale. And now look, scale wages on the union on a union show are fantastic. You go ahead and you take that rate compared to the rest of the nation, no one is going to be crying for you or like being on your side, because the rates that the union sets is still good. However, it's not as good as it should be. We are completely undervalued and underpaid, even editors, even editors in TV are strongly undervalued and underpaid. But there is no negotiating in TV. And no matter if you've been in the industry for 15 years. Or if you are just coming out of grad school and you were able to get in or saying you're making the jump from unscripted to scripted. It doesn't matter, you you work in TV, and you're going to get scale. And that's infuriating. Because it should be you know, someone who has been in the industry for 15 years should be making more than someone who's just getting started, you know, when I

Zack Arnold 29:13

But I'm gonna play the devil's advocate for a second. Why they're pressing the same buttons? They're doing the same work. Why in the world? Should I be paying somebody with 15 years experience to do the exact same job that a kid can do out of college? What's the difference?

Scott Jacobs 29:26

The difference is the experience and how you conduct yourself in the cutting room. No one can teach you the hierarchy. They can talk to you about it. But every cutting room has a different dynamic and until you actually get your hands dirty. In the cutting room environment. You just don't know how you're dealing with multiple different personalities, different producers, different directors, different writers. And it's just something that's gained over time. It's Yeah, our job isn't just about pushing buttons, which is why so many people will say it's not about, you know, oh avid is the best or premier is up and coming and, you know, yes, you should learn all these tools because they help do the job. But someone's experience brings more to the job. And just how they handle situations, you know, are you going to want a kid that's just coming out who's never dealt with a high pressure situation where a cut needs to go to the studio, or you have a preview coming up, and you're under the gun, you're, you're crunched for time, someone who's not used to the situation might completely lose it or make mistakes. Whereas someone that's been doing it for 1015 years, will have a cooler head to approach the situation and be like, yeah, that's okay. We got time. Don't rush, we just do the job. Right. You know, so it's just, it's how, you, it's how you approach the situation. So it's really what you're getting paid for, you're getting paid to be to deal with people, you know, it's said all the time editors are therapists, you know, we we just know how to deal with people. And you know, hopefully, you know how to deal with people. Obviously, there's some people that that don't, and that's why

Zack Arnold 31:23

It's a struggle in the introverted world of people in post production that's for sure.

Scott Jacobs 31:27

Yeah, sure.

Zack Arnold 31:27

Yeah, but I think that the the point that is missed, and if there are any producers, studio executives, anybody that does hiring or budgeting, I just I want to throw this right out there and be as blunt as possible, you guys want to save all the dollars, all the cents, it's all about the spreadsheets, there's nothing more expensive than a bad assistant editor that messes everything up and then has to be replaced. If there's one thing, there's one stake that I want to put in the ground, a line in the sand that I want to start a new conversation about, it's that in the 20th century, the Industrial Revolution, we learned this idea that we get paid for the hours we work, we punch a time clock, we punch it in the morning, we punch out at night, we get paid for that time, those days are now over, especially given that we work from home for the most part. And I think that when the pandemic is over, some of that's going to change. But I don't think as much of it's going to change as people think, because this is now starting to work and it's starting to save people money. That's why I think it's going to continue, not because we like it, because I think it's going to actually save people money in the long run. But in the 21st century, we no longer get paid for the hours that we work, we get paid for the value that we bring to a project. And there's tremendous value that comes with an assistant editor that's been in the room for five years, 10 years, 15 years, that can manage personalities, that can manage workflows that can manage all the crises that happen. And even if you get to the technical, they're gonna save you a lot of money by having cleaner visual effects, spreadsheets, and outputs that don't have all the mistakes on them. That stuff cost people money, and it cost them time. It costs them frustration, we need to start advocating for ourselves because we bring value, not because we're a warm body that's pressing buttons for a number of specific hours. I'm so over this mentality, especially for assistants. For editors, it's a little bit of a gray area because we're on call which most people even myself still have a hard time explaining what that even means. But we're not so much punching a clock but the assistant editors, it's very much the 20th century mentality punch a clock, you need to put in your 45 put in your 50 we can plug in another warm body to do the exact same job at boys that expensive when you have somebody that's not qualified.

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 33:59

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 infringement that are imposed on us both by schedules and expectations. When you guys demoed 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 34:22

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

Brad 34:28

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Roger 34:55

What matters most to me is it makes the entire process more efficient, which then translate leads 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 our friends and family.

Zack Arnold 35:08

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 35:14

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 overcast for the freelancer, indie creatives, anyone who is a professional video creator outside of Hollywood,

Roger 35:30

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 35:44

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 ever cast has to change the way that you work and live, visit optimize yourself.me/evercast. Now back to today's interview.

Scott Jacobs 36:08

Yeah, and, you know, you hit on another element there, which is, you know, the work week, and there's a differing opinion and I am on the side of the overtime, wanting the crazy hours. But it's not because I want to, it's because I have to, because the rates are so are so low compared to what it takes to live in LA to live in New York, you take our rate, and, you know, like there's assistants that are down in Atlanta, especially on the Marvel projects and, and stuff probably not so much Tyler Perry, but I can't say for sure. But you've got assistants, that are making la wages living in Atlanta, that is like fat cash right there. You know, being able to live in Atlanta and still make the kind of money that just an LA Union wages is gonna pay you. Living in LA, or living in New York and working on our rates is just becoming unbearable. And that was a big reason why I really wanted to focus my career, even though I was editing in TV, why I still made that switch to continue assisting knowing that would take me a little bit longer to get back into the editing chair on features. Because my negotiating power actually existed. I'm making just as much if not more than an editor in TV as I am right now as a second assistant in features. Because the negotiating power is just so much better. And in the future territory, where where was going is the notion of the hours. And you know, talking about how you had you talked about a 45 hour or 50 hour and people are expecting to stay clocked in. And there's this notion of needing to work overtime in order to actually make money because that's where that's where we really start getting getting paid is by killing ourselves work overtime. And being that I'm the sole provider monetarily because my wife works her butt off but doesn't get paid for it. You know, being the sole provider. Obviously, money is a factor for me. And it was a factor in trying to decide do I stay in TV and continue, you know, trying to find my second editing job which I can go over in a second? Or do I go into features where I can be making more money. And that's what I ended up deciding to do because I needed to provide for my family. And I didn't want to have to keep killing myself to find the jobs that would work me 60 to 80 hours a week. And you know, just because I'm getting paid scale so that I could actually survive out here. Now granted, I'm still working the 60 to 80 90 hour weeks, but now I'm getting paid really well. Because I can negotiate. So what I would love to be able to see is that our rates go up so that we can stop killing ourselves because there is so much value in finding that work life balance. You know, it wasn't until I met my wife. And at the time, my only kid there's so much value in stepping away from the cutting room and just having fun doing stuff with family doing stuff with friends. And if you are constantly working because you're you're underwater because of loans or credit cards or anything like that, then you start losing your sense of self. And having that work life balance will just make you a stronger employee when you're actually working because you come in fresh you're not completely dragged down by all the hours. We have to work You know, it would be nice to see productions finally get it through their head, like, Hey, you know what most of us are streaming now, we're not really set on a schedule, we don't have to turn our shows around as quickly as we are, we can add two or three weeks to our production. And that's going to make a world of difference for everybody. So yes, while I'm on the side of having an eight hour day or an hour day to do our jobs, unfortunately, I don't think it's feasible at this point, from a production standpoint, but I would love I would love for it to get there because we don't need to be killing ourselves. We're making entertainment. It should be fun. It shouldn't be. You know, we shouldn't be slaves.

Zack Arnold 40:44

As I've said many times, and I believe might even be a headline of an article, we create entertainment for a living, we don't cure cancer. We're not curing COVID. We're not creating vaccines. We're not saving the world. However, we are entertaining the world. But is that really worth what we are putting ourselves through? And once again, to step in the shoes of the devil's advocate, work life balance, it sounds great for you. But what about me, Mr. or Mrs. Studio executive that needs to save money, the thought of adding two or three weeks on a schedule? Are you crazy? Do you have any idea how much extra that costs? It's so much easier to just burn people out and replace them. So how do we fix that? How do we get to the point where it isn't a matter of the only way for me to survive is to put in overtime? because like you said, That's not feasible, especially if you value family life? How do we get to the point where we can have a quote unquote, normal nine or 10 hour day? How does that happen?

Scott Jacobs 41:39

That's a really good question, then isn't

Zack Arnold 41:41

As somebody that's coming from the union perspective, you've probably had at least a few closed door conversations, and you certainly don't have to share anything that you're not allowed to share publicly. But let's walk inside this conversation a little bit more. Because as you know, I've I wrote an article earlier this year advocating for a nine hour day knowing that maybe it would bring us down to 12 hours, like I was trying to negotiate by starting with nine, which to me is still insane. The point being that most people came back many of them very angrily, and said don't take away my golden time. I like working 80 hours a week. And I totally get that and respect that. But not everybody does. And again, it comes back to if we really got paid what we were valued, as opposed to getting paid as drones that worked for a certain number of hours. That to me is the seismic shift that makes change, but from the union perspective as a board member, what are some of the things that are standing in our way?

Scott Jacobs 42:40

How about not as a board member and as a as a member? What I feel is, is standing in the way No, I mean, honestly, we're saying in the way of ourselves if you if you want the honest truth, because we you know, as far as the the scope of the IA the way that Hollywood locals work, you know, we have Local 700, which is our union, but we have to negotiate with 12 other Locals to get what we want. And unfortunately, each Local wants and needs different things. We don't need the same things that the cinematographers do, or the art directors do. And they don't need the same things that we do. You know, I can't remember how it all came to be because it happened decades ago when we all got lumped in together. And there's this whole notion that the editors had the opportunity to go in with the DGA at a certain point, and we all try to put the kibosh on that conversation as soon as it comes up. Because the problem with that is the DGA only wanted to take the editors into the DGA, they didn't want the assistants, they didn't want apprentices or anything else. So they only wanted a portion of the editors guild they didn't want to take all of us and it was for us an all or nothing thing which I respect that decision, you know, and it's and it's true like why you know the DGA still has assistant directors and things of that nature in their in their union. But in any case, as far as negotiating goes, we have to sit down at the table with 12 other people essentially and broker a deal. The problem is that you have a lot of people in our industry that are just wanting to get to retirement and want to not rock the boat because we all all 13 locals that are that we negotiate together we're we're the peons. You know I hate saying that because I personally feel that we make movie magic magical without us. They have nothing Yeah, they've got the script, they've got actors, but they need us to pull off everything that they want to make happen, especially when we have to fix it in post, you know, so without us, they have nothing. And if the 44,000 plus members that are comprised of the 13, hollywood locals would realize this power that we have, we could actually make some headway to get a 12 on 12 off, which is something that a lot of people talk about, maybe, you know, 12 hours working 12 hours off, which right now-

Zack Arnold 45:38

That we're working for 12 on and to a lot, by the way, like,

Scott Jacobs 45:41


Zack Arnold 45:42

If that's the the past resolved, we're working for something is very wrong.

Scott Jacobs 45:47

But the, you know, yes, it's a pipe dream right now. But if we realize this and can step up, push back to our leaders, we at Local 700 are graced with an amazing leader and Cathy Repola. Other locals are not so fortunate, from my opinion, and my opinion only, just from what I've seen, it all lies on the strength of our members. And speaking, speaking of Local 700, and the power of our members, our last contract back in 2018, we were very adamant about voting against the contract that came up. And, you know, for those outside of Hollywood, this might be a little confusing to understand. But on our last contract that came up in 2018, we voted no, we got almost 80 80% of our local voted for our contract. Our board of directors nominations and elections, were a month after our contract was done, after we just had a windfall of 80% of our local voting on our contract. We got, I think that year was a 14% voter turnout for the board of directors elections. And that's pathetic. The apathy, and every local is what's killing us in order to give us the rights that we deserve. People need to be involved, people need to care. It's not just about the big contract, it's also about filling the needs in your union, even the elections Board of Directors elections from this year, it was only 17% of our local voted. And that's when everybody's in, inside, we have nowhere to go. And it only went up 3%, we can complain all we want about the rate, we can complain about the hours that we work. But if people aren't willing to actually get involved and care more about just, you know, making sure that they have health insurance, which unfortunately, right now, a lot of people don't have that. But we need people care. And unfortunately, our Local cares more about everything than other Locals. So, you know, we're not going to be able to strike, if people don't actually show up and vote to strike, we're not going to be able to raise our rates unless people actually show up and complain about their rates and actually do stuff outside of Facebook, because that's not going to get you anywhere. So, you know, and this element of standing up for yourself. You know, you can't just stand up for yourself, we have to stand up together. If we want to have a global shift in order to push the needle to finally start getting proper wages for ourselves. And, you know, until that happens, it's kind of feast or famine, and hopefully you can find find a job.

Zack Arnold 48:52

I'm glad that you pointed out the elephant in the room. And you answer I didn't feed this answer to you at all, but you nailed it, which is let's just be let's be honest, the problem is us. The problem is not the studios and their regulations, or the oppressive executives that are trying to take advantage of us. It's us because we're letting them because we are not standing up for ourselves. We're not banding together. And this is not a union issue. This is a human issue. I've been saying this for months. Yes, we're talking about some specific locals and politics and things in Hollywood. But this is a global problem. When I written those articles earlier this year about this topic. I got I don't even know the count. But as well over 1000 emails, Facebook comments, Instagram messages, I couldn't even keep track of all that I needed three people just to help me organize them so I could respond to as many as possible. If you take the name away, or you take the name of the project away. It's the same email or comment 1000 times in every specific craft all over the world, the union non union, scripted, unscripted, advertising corporate, it doesn't matter. It's the same conversation over and over and over and until we advocate for ourselves and believe And ourselves, that we have the value that needs to be paid for and compensated accordingly, nothing's going to change. And boy did I learn that the hard way, because I really tried to step in and bring a voice to let's shorten the workweek. And I didn't hear any complaints from executives or directors or writers, they were on board. It was all of the other craft people that attacked me. That really surprised me. And it was a big learned lesson on my part, that the shift needs to come from within.

Scott Jacobs 50:29

Yeah, and people, they're just not realizing it, they're getting mad, because someone's calling out the the elephant in the room. But then they don't really understand why there's an elephant in the first place. And, yeah, it's extremely frustrating. But for me, I am going to fight to the very end for for Local 700, I will always fight for my fellow editors. And you know, but at a certain point, I do have to continue taking care of myself. And if nothing is going to change, I do have to look out for myself. And for me, you know, thankfully, my wife is extremely understanding of the hours that I put in, and my kids are understanding, thankfully, you know, I missed them when I'm working, but we make it work. And we make up for it on vacations, when that can happen and, you know, experiences and things of that nature to make good memories. But I learned back when I was making my decision, do I stick with TV? Or do I stick with features, because I had worked my way up on on a TV show that I was an assistant on for for three seasons, it was called Person of Interest on CBS. And I worked my my way up, I put in my blood sweat and tears into that show. And I loved it. And I still love everybody that was a part of it. It was just, you know, unfortunately, I got I got bumped up to editor. And then I was dealt some three very difficult episodes. And heading into season five, I was already offered to continue editing, then we had several executive producers leave the show. And then the show was getting cancelled, and was only coming back for 10 episodes. A month after I had left for hiatus, I get a call from the post producer and the showrunner saying, Hey, we hate to do this to you, but the network is filling your seat. So after I had already, like I moved into a new place, because I had been promoted to editor and I was doing really well. And I got the carpet ripped off from under me, you know, I thought I did a really good job, it was a pretty low point for me because I just worked my butt off to get to where I was, you know, and I started thinking like, God, what could I have done better? And what could I have done differently? And this and then I still asked for those answers from the showrunner. And I got, you know, I got some feedback. And, and it was fine. It was a it was a learning experience. But at that moment, I was just like, Okay, well, I try to find another editing job, a second editing job was not easy to come by.

Zack Arnold 53:14

The second is always harder than the first no one knows that nobody sees it coming. But the second way harder than the first.

Scott Jacobs 53:20

And you know, because you're wanting to just get in as an editor, but you know, you're back at the end of the line, you know, and unless you know, enough people to give you another crack. That's what happened. And so I went to assistanting and that's when I made a decision, okay, well, if I'm going to be an assistant, I need to decide, do I want to focus my energy, making new relationships with a new show and everything. And it might take another year or two? Because I I lost track with my editor that I had been following for several seasons at that point. And, you know, so it was it came down to do I spend time working the situation to work back up to editor, or do I flip into features knowing that while it might take me longer to get into the editing back into the editing chair, I can at least have you know, I'll make better money and for my family and it was going to be more fulfilling. So that was the decision that I made. And so, you know, I've been assisting on some amazing projects. And you know, I'm currently at Marvel, which I've been wanting to be associated with this studio since Iron Man and I've always had connections over there. But they are so ironclad with their crews, it's really hard to break into to Marvel because they just kind of they keep rolling over their crews to their next projects. So now that I'm here like this is a dream job for me. Just working on a show that so many people are excited to see in the fandom with everything, it's just exciting. You know, it's, it's great. So, yeah, it's gonna take me a while to get back up to editing on, you know, on the scale that I want to be working on, I'm still doing short films on the side and building relationships on the side outside of assisting. But it's it's a choice that I made, and I'm standing by it and it's, you know, that's what you have to decide to where do you want to be? What is it that you want to be doing with your career? And where are you most, most happy? You know, it's not necessarily about, you know, getting to editing fast. Because you can, you can do that and TV, you can easily, I shouldn't say easily, you have to still be in the right situations. But you will have an easier time moving up to editor and TV than you will in and features.

Zack Arnold 55:53

Let's say it's quicker, instead of easier,

Scott Jacobs 55:56

You can do it faster. Definitely. Yeah, that's a much better way of saying that you can do it faster and TV. But that doesn't necessarily mean you're going to be on shows that fulfill you. And for the hours that we are putting in until we can get to 45 or 50 hours, for sure. You know, you need to be fulfilled. And if you're not feeling that on, on the projects that you're working on, then what did you just put all all that hard work into? You know, what would you do it for?

Zack Arnold 56:26

You nailed it. This is something that I talked about recently in a podcast with a guy named Dr. Tal Ben Shahar. He's one of the leading scientists in the world on the science and psychology of happiness. And if there's one takeaway, and we'll put a link in the show notes for people that want to dive into this deeper, well, we talked for over an hour about this idea of fulfillment with your work and feeling like it's your calling, and how that contributes to mental well being physical well being. But if there's one thing that I want people to understand, which is a paradigm shift from the way that we have been conditioned in society, we believe that success leads to happiness. And you need to flip the script. Happiness is what leads to success. And it took me a while to wrap my head around this because I too, was so driven towards the next big credit, building the resume, getting the awards bigger and better shows until I realized I was becoming more unhappy, the higher I climb the ladder, and I had to shift the perspective to No wait, I have to be happy first. Then the success comes. And Cobra Kai, for me is the combination of that where I said, I'm going to pursue things that are just cool. And I saw this little YouTube show at the time. I was like, What is this? This looks kind of crazy. My first thought it This seems so nuts now given this this giant Netflix show. But when it just came out, nobody knew what the hell it was. And like, I wonder if this is even a union show like this looks like it could be some like little independent thing that YouTube is doing. They just got Ralph Macchio and Billy Zabka. Like, I would totally work on this. Even if they pay me like half of what I get paid, I would have so much fun cutting it and then like, Oh, it's Sony. And it's union. Oh, excellent. But I pursued it first because I knew that it would make me happy. And I would love working on it. It makes the hours so much more bearable. When you are connected towards you're doing you're fulfilled by it. If you're at the point where you wake up and you say, I cannot believe they're paying me to do this. You're in the right place. But like you said at the very beginning of our conversation, if you don't feel that way, man is this industry going to eat you alive, because this can eat you alive anyways. So you need to be connected to that passion. And for you being very focused on the work life balance as well. Making sure that it works for the whole family is really important. And on that note, there's one kind of side conversation that there's no way I'm gonna finish today's interview without talking about because it's in your intro, we got to talk about the Peloton.

Scott Jacobs 58:51

Oh my God,

Zack Arnold 58:52

Because you've, you've been you've been very vocal and very clear about the Peloton during the pandemic. So, talk to me a little bit about your progress in the habits that you have every day to stay active given we're stuck in the middle of a pandemic and you're working for Marvel.

Scott Jacobs 59:06

Well. I mean, I will talk about what my habit was up until a few weeks ago when things really started hitting the fan as we race to our release date. Now my wife actually I've been wanting the Peloton for about two years now, but you know, we live in an apartment. Hopefully we will be finding a home very soon because our apartment that was just fine has gotten so ridiculously small when you're stuck in it for 24/7, but we couldn't find the room for for the bike. But it wasn't that we couldn't find it. We were making the choice not to really make it a priority. The pandemic hits and we thought about it again. But we were still kinda you know, this was a march oranges like I can't really find it. But then thinking that we would be out of everything after a few weeks. Come Father's Day, my wife finally said, Hey, so I'm just we're getting the Peloton and she got me the Peloton for Father's Day. And we threw out a bookcase that we were able to just take out of our room throw down the trash chute and call it a day and we finally got it and it was the best thing that's ever happened. I what I love about the Peloton, I almost feel like I should give my my referral name.

Zack Arnold 1:00:28

Go to Scott Jacobs.com/peloton for 10% off your next order.

Scott Jacobs 1:00:32

What is so great about the Peloton is that it has a it has built in achievements for you to go after. And the thing that I latched on to immediately was they have goal, you get streaks For how many days in a row, you work and they had a 60 day streak. So I said I'm going to do that. And the way that the app works is that it isn't necessarily riding the bike every day for 60 days, because you'll kill yourself that way. But it's just activity. And you know, they offer strength and yoga classes and they just added Pilates and better stretching and meditation. So there's a lot that will go ahead and fill that bubble of activity for the day. But I want to say that I probably rode the bike for 5050 days total out of that 60 days before work got really crazy. For me, I was waking up in the morning and just getting on the bike for 30 minutes a day, putting in a good a good workout. I also bought I splurged on buying the power blocks, and I just went all in, I got the five to 90 pound power block, because I'm not going to be going to the gym anymore. And it's it's been extremely helpful to just have it here because you can wake up and get going or when you're waiting for an export to go, I can now jump on the bike or I can lift weights real quick, you know, just get some kind of activity in there because our life is so sedentary as it is that even moving your legs for 10 minutes a day is better than nothing. But yeah, I mean the routine is either if I can't do it in the morning, then I'm doing it at night after, after I'm done with the day and the kids are asleep. Hop on the bike. And it's just just keeping that routine going. Because it's just it's healthy. And it's very hard to do with everything else going on. But it's just important because it's just gonna make yourself efficient, and I can't recommend, I mean, look, if you're not into biking then don't get the Peloton. But if you enjoy biking, or if you enjoyed the exercise bike, which is what I love to doing at the gym, there's no better investment. And it's, yeah, it's it can be expensive. But if you can pull it off and do the payment plan, it's you know, $40 a month now for the bike and I think another 40 a month for the membership and but that $80 will cover your entire family or whoever is in your household that can use the bike. So it's a, it's worth the investment.

Zack Arnold 1:03:18

I couldn't agree more. And I left this soapbox in the other room. And I don't have time to drag it in here. But very quickly, I want to say this is something that drives me crazy when people say, Oh, this is expensive, the bike is expensive, the smoothies are expensive health, food is expensive. You can pay for your health now, or you can pay for it later, you're gonna have to pay eventually, I always choose now and what you have found. And this is so important when it comes to a bike or exercise or activity throughout the day, whatever it is, most people, especially the marketing industry, they focus on the result of I have a thinner waistline or I've lost weight and those things are great. I consider those side effects. Talk to me about the result of you having this habit as it relates to your work and your creativity and your focus because that to me is what

Scott Jacobs 1:04:05

I would agree.

Zack Arnold 1:04:06

Well, on that note, I know it's funny because we have two people that work in editing. And you think our timing would be better than this. But we've run over but that that tends to be one of my tendencies. As I I like to chat and really get deep into these conversations. I know we've run a little bit over. But on that note, I just wanted to thank you for being on the show for sharing your story for sharing your viewpoints. Very quickly. Before we go one last quick piece of advice for anybody that's looking to break in, get into the union, get their hours all the most common questions. If you had one nugget that you wanted to share that you could give to people what would it be?

Scott Jacobs 1:04:40

Oh, it would be what you're already covering. And that's just It's seriously networking. You know, I can go on and on about so many things, as has been evident with this podcast. But the most important thing is, follow Zacks advice.

Zack Arnold 1:05:03

I didn't pay you to say that by the way.

Scott Jacobs 1:05:05

No, you didn't. You didn't you didn't even know that I was going to say that. But it's it's true when I was I was actually reading it last night and I was I actually started writing out notes. So things to discuss and you know, unfortunately there just isn't going to be time. So

Zack Arnold 1:05:19

We can do this for six hours.

Scott Jacobs 1:05:21

Yeah. But it what was amazing to me is something that was that came very natural, for me, was laid out in bullet point. And it was reassuring to me that, okay, I made you know, even though that I've had some low points in my career, I'm I am doing the right things, you know, so it was some nice reassurance. And this is coming from someone who's been in this industry now for 15 years. It's, it's nice to just see things out on paper, and you have concisely listed out exactly what people need to be doing. If they want to get a foothold in this industry. It's just, you know, reach out, you've got the power of IMDb, IMDb pro gives, you know, contact information, which I know you've also talked about that before, but it's all true. Like it's just it's not as hard as it seems. And you just have to be willing to put yourself out there and take that step. If you're not willing to do that, then yes, find something else to do. But if Hollywood is going to be your dream, then you just have to do the work and network and be nice about it. It's not going to happen overnight. You got to be patient, you know, and you just never know, a connection that you make from five years earlier is going to open up a whole new door that you never even saw come.

Zack Arnold 1:06:55

On that note it has been an absolute pleasure to finally get this episode in the can. It's been on my Trello board forever. I apologize that it's taken so long, but I knew that it was going to be worth the weight. And there's there's been some great advice and hear some great stories. And I think I think this is going to inspire a lot of people. So I appreciate you taking the time to be on the call today. Thank you so much Scott. If somebody wanted to find you connect with you network with you plant a seed, how can they do so?

Scott Jacobs 1:07:19

You can absolutely email me my email is fixitinpost15@gmail.com I love it. So one five, yeah. My wife thought of that. I couldn't think of anything really original so but but yeah, fit, fixitinpost15@gmail.com please feel free to reach out to me. As Zack didn't mention in the networking though. Article I, I can be horrible at emailing and I get things buried all the time. So do not if you feel like you want to reach out to me, nudge me after a week. If you don't hear back from me, I do want to get back. I love helping people because there are so many people that helped me out earlier in my career. And I just want pay it forward. It's just sometimes I get bogged down by work and family and I am not trying to be rude. It just happens. So hit me again. Hit me again until I finally respond. I will respond.

Zack Arnold 1:08:19

Yep. Wait, you get busy as we all do. And as as I tell the students in my coaching and mentorship program, the magic is in the follow up. So the magic was Scott will be in the follow up as well to give him the nudge. Well, Scott, this has been awesome. I really appreciate your time. Thanks so much for being here.

Scott Jacobs 1:08:34

Yeah, thank you very much. I appreciate it.

Zack Arnold 1:08:36

Thanks. 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 Topo Mat. 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 1:09:01

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 it's ingredients that I know I can trust and just put it in water. And you don't have to think about it.

Zack Arnold 1:09:21

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 1:09:27

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 every day 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 still tastes good.

Zack Arnold 1:10:01

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 Topo Mat. 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 1:10:19

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 that's a fantastic deal.

Zack Arnold 1:10:33

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 shownotes 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. 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 and action visit optimizeyourself.me/Evercast. And to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations the Topo Mat visit optimizeyourself.me/topo. That's t o p o.

If today's interview inspires you to step up your networking game so you can continue to build relationships with people that you admire who can open the right doors to the next stage in your career. I am excited to share with you my new, improved and vastly expanded Insider's Guide to writing amazing outreach emails. In this extensive guide, I will help you completely transform your outreach email game. So you can build a networking strategy and reach out to the right people. So you can seek much needed advice, connect with a potential mentor, set up meetings and shadowing opportunities and even get referred for your next gig. In this upgraded version. I've also included a step by step template that breaks down every single piece of your outreach email from subject line all the way to the final salutation and I also provide a video tutorial with a before and after email tear down so you understand what a great outreach email should and should not include. To download your FREE guide and take your outreach emails to a completely new level. Visit optimize yourself.me/emailguide. 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:


Scott Jacobs

website link

Originally from the North suburbs of Chicago, Scott Jacobs attended Western Michigan University where he was studying theater and vocal performance. While he was losing the love for performing, he wasn’t losing the love of wanting to be in the entertainment industry. Upon taking an introductory film course, Scott watched Baz Luhrman’s Moulin Rouge!. What captivated him the most were the visual effects and the editing. After reading more about film editing and discovering that the job combined his love of technology and theater, he knew that editing is what he wanted to do with his life. After his discovery, he taught himself iMovie, then Final Cut Pro, and finally Avid. This eventually led to Scott attending the AFI Masters in Film Editing program from 2005-2007. Since graduating, he has been fortunate enough to work on studio features such as The Bourne Legacy, Despicable Me 3, and Men in Black: International. Some of his TV credits include CBS’ Person of Interest, NBC’s Parks and Recreation, and Fox’s The Orville. Currently, Scott is thrilled to be working on Marvel’s WandaVision coming to Disney+ in January 2021. Scott has also been serving on the Motion Picture Editors Guild’s Board of Directors since 2017. He hopes to one day sit alongside the great film editors that have come before him and inspire others as they have inspired him.

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).”