Ep158: Leveling Up Your Ability to Tell More Engaging Stories using EditMentor | with Misha Tenenbaum

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“One video made by anyone can change the world.”
– Misha Tenenbaum

Whether you are a seasoned editor, an aspiring editor, or if you’re simply a creative professional who tells stories, you can always benefit from improving your visual storytelling skills. The craft of storytelling gives you the power of persuasion, the ability to affect change, and the opportunity to express yourself in a unique way. By far the most persuasive and engaging way to tell your story online (and sell a product – or yourself) is with video.

Until now, learning the language of visual storytelling has largely been limited to online tutorials that focus on the technology and how to push the right buttons. Even film school editing classes often focus more on the technical aspects of the process and less on the principles of storytelling. But the brand new browser-based NLE EditMentor revolutionizes the way we are going to learn how to edit and be better visual storytellers by not only focusing on teaching you how to edit but more importantly on why you should make the choices you do as an editor.

In today’s conversation, founder and CEO of both EditStock and EditMentor Misha Tenenbaum and I take a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of EditorMentor as well as the habits and practices that enable editors and content creators to create more compelling visual stories. We discuss the value of having a great teacher and the psychology behind the teaching methods he chose when making EditMentor. Beyond the tech we also discuss the deeper theory and practices of editing, how to approach dailies & script analysis, and so much more.

No matter if you’re brand new to the craft of editing or you have years of experience but you’re looking to improve your skills even further, EditMentor is a groundbreaking new tool I highly recommend everyone try out by signing up for this free tutorial lesson.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Why Misha started Edit Stock and what he learned from starting his own business.
  • The entrepreneur mindset and what type of personality it’s best suited for.
  • Edit Mentor is the education system for content creators.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: The value out of learning to visually tell a story is self expression.
  • Editors are painters who use emotion as their paint.
  • What Edit Mentor is and what makes it different from other editing tutorials.
  • The difference between being an efficient editor and an effective editor.
  • Why dailies analysis is a critical skill that is not taught in most programs.
  • Edit Mentor will teach you the language of film.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Media literacy is for everybody.
  • The nuts and bolts of what you get from Edit Mentor.
  • Defining what a story is.
  • How seasoned editors can learn from Edit Mentor and what value they get from the lessons.
  • The difference between being a sculptor and a builder in regards to editing.
  • Habits and processes for making decisions in the editing process.
  • The psychology behind the education method of Edit Mentor.
  • Edit Mentor always gives reasons behind the answers in their challenges so you understand the logic behind the theory.
  • What’s coming in the future for Edit Mentor and the integration with Edit Stock.
  • How to get started on Edit Mentor.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

VHS – Wikipedia

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:00

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

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

Whether you're a seasoned editor and aspiring editor just getting started or if you're simply a creative professional who tell stories, everyone can benefit from improving your visual storytelling skills, the craft of storytelling, it gives you the power of persuasion, the ability to affect change, and it also gives you the opportunity to express yourself in a unique way. And by far the most persuasive and engaging way for you to tell your story online. And frankly, to sell a product or even yourself is with video. Until now though, learning the language of visual storytelling has largely been limited to online tutorials. And those tutorials quite often focus on technology and how to push the right buttons. And frankly, even film school editing classes often focus more on the technical aspects of the process, but less on the principles of real storytelling. However, the brand new browser based NLE Editmentor revolutionizes the way that you and I are going to learn how to edit, and more importantly, become better visual storytellers, by not only focusing on teaching how to edit, but more importantly, on why we should be making the choices we do as editors. In today's conversation founder and CEO of both Editstock and Editmentor Misha Tenenbaum and I take a deep dive into the nuts and bolts of Editmentor as well as the habits and the practices that enable editors and content creators to create more compelling visual stories. We discussed the value of having a great teacher and also the psychology behind the teaching methods that Misha chose when he designed Editmentor. And beyond the tech we also discuss the deeper theory and practices of editing, how to approach dailies, how to approach script analysis, and so much more. No matter if you're brand new to the craft of editing, or if you have years of experience, but you just want to improve your skills even further. Editmentor is a groundbreaking new tool that I highly highly recommend. And if you want to try it out, you can simply visit optimizeyourself.me/editmentor all one word if you want to learn more and you want to try out their free lesson which you're going to learn a lot more about in today's conversation. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with CEO of both Editstock and Editmentor Misha Tenenbaum 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 Misha Tenenbaum who is the founder and CEO of Editstock, which is a company that provides unedited footage and raw dailies from films so you can practice editing. And he's now the founder and CEO of a new company that we're going to talk a whole lot more about today. Editmentor, which is a brand new software application that teaches the world how to communicate and tell their stories with video. So Misha, that was a bit of a mouthful, but I'm super excited to talk about all of the endeavors that you have in store for us because every time you come up with something new, it's not just this nice new little shiny object. You revolutionize the way that people do things in the editorial world. And people have no idea what's about to come. So I'm really, really excited. We can finally get this conversation on the record. Because you and I have had a lot of off the record conversations about this for a long time now. So this is going to be fun. So welcome back.

Misha Tennenbaum 4:54

Thank you. It's terrific to be here. It hasn't been a long time. I've been working on Editmentor for about five years, and we are just weeks away from the public launch,

Zack Arnold 5:05

and most likely, by the time people hear this, they're either going to be very, very close or be at the point where they can actually give Editmentor a try for themselves. Yes, hopefully. So that hadn't been said, I love to talk shop, I love to talk bells and whistles and shiny objects. But I also love to go a little bit deeper. You and I have been talking about this for a long time I've known you I don't remember the first time we actually met. But it was probably about a decade ago, way back in the LA Final Cut Pro user group days when it was laughs see pug, and you were an assistant editor in the world of TV and features. And this all started with you deciding that there's a problem that I need to fix for people. And it's the catch 22 that I'm just starting out, and I want to build my reel and my resume. But I need the work to have the work to put on my reel. So I know this isn't directly relate to Editmentor immediately. But I think it's really important for people to understand the genesis of what got you out of the industry, on the craft side to building tools, and how you developing the product, you called Editstock eventually turned into what is now going to be Editmentor. So let's go back in time a little bit. And let's talk about that first, just so people have a better understanding of where this all started.

Misha Tennenbaum 6:17

Sure, well, let me start with first that my goal with making Editstock wasn't necessarily to like revolutionize the world, it was to make money. You know, I made a short film that lost money, it and I have no ambition of being a director or producer or anything. So we spent $10,000. To make it we got $6,000 in funding. So we were short $4,000. And so I sold it to a bunch of film schools in order to just get back my own money. And you know, it took me a long time, there's a whole story about what it took to take the leap into entrepreneurship. And really get going with an idea where you really commit time and effort into it in a way that isn't just patting yourself on the back and giving yourself a little ego boost by saying I have this great idea that someday I'll do you get into the nuts and bolts of it. But in any case, and it started grew to a point where I could do it full time. And I enjoyed doing it. And I left a career in the film industry, at least in part because I felt overworked. And I spent the first two years of Editstock, doing kind of trying to build a life where I could do whatever I wanted all the time, I would take my dog to the dog park for hours a day in the middle of the day. I probably did that for two years. But I had a lot of ideas about other things I wanted to do. And I think ultimately what I learned from those two years is that I like being busy. I actually enjoy it. I enjoy building. And it's not so much that I like stress or pressure. It's that it makes me feel alive to have a mission and a high bar to try to overcome.

Zack Arnold 8:07

Well, you're you're the the exact definition of an entrepreneur and I find it hilarious. It's so many entrepreneurs will say the same thing. I have exactly the same story. I am so overworked and I'm just, you know doing all these things all the time too many hours, I know what I'm going to do to alleviate that burden. I'm going to become an entrepreneur, because that's got to be easier and less work right and less pressure. It's all the same hours, all the same burdens. But to me, and I think the same for you the pressure is so much different. Because it's your thing, it's your ideas. And you might be working the same 70 or 80 hours a week, but there's a certain personality and we're I think we're both in the same boat where it's 80 hours, but it's my 80 hours. It's not your 80 hours on your time. It's my 80 hours on my time, and I dictate what am I really going to get out of those 80 hours. And that's one of the amazing things about being an entrepreneur. And I think that like me, you discover that Oh, yeah, I'm good at what I was doing. But this is more suited for my personality and my lifestyle. And so you know, you made the jump, and here you are.

Misha Tennenbaum 9:10

Yes, that's right. And as part of my personality, if you've ever met me, you know that I I like to think big. I like to think out of the box. And I like to go for a moonshot when I see one. So I had this idea a long time ago. So this is where the idea for Editmentor came from. One of the most common requests we get on Editstock is for tutorials and training. And I just fundamentally don't believe in video tutorials. Like they're, they're informative, and you can definitely gain something from them. But if you want to get good at something, you have to do it everybody knows that. It's you know it no one could watch a video of, you know, Slash playing the guitar and then pick up a guitar and just do what Slash did. You have to do? it. And so I wanted to find a way to do things differently.

Zack Arnold 10:05

And that's one of the things that I definitely want to talk about is the fact that this is indeed, you know, video based training. But it's very, very different. And one of the things that I want to point out is that I totally believe and I think you would agree as well, there is a place for video based training. And clearly people use it because it's everywhere. Like we have LinkedIn learning, and we have all these tutorials on YouTube. And I think there's a place for it. For example, I like I'll do a search. I'm like, crap, why can't I find this right click menu, how do I do XYZ in Adobe Premiere, like, I've been on Avid for months, and I'm working on a side project for a friend and I was back in Premiere, and I'm like, I don't remember how to do this YouTube solved my problem five minutes. So in that sense, I think we both agree that video tutorials are clearly incredibly useful. But I think one of the fundamental differences about Editmentor that I want to be very clear about that I want you to talk more about, and I think is really the essence of why this is so much different. Everything that's out there now, at least that I'm aware of, I don't want to say it's hyperbole, because I haven't seen every tutorial and every course. But I feel like the vast majority are overwhelmingly about here's how to do the following. Here's how to add a keyframe. Here's how to composite these two shots together. What I don't get answered in this videos, is why, here's why you should be using a close up instead of a wide shot. Here's why you should pay attention to the 180 degree rule, or here's why you should ignore it. And then on top of it, you don't just passively learn, you get to actually do it yourself. So for me, that's kind of the really the foundation of this whole conversation is I want people to understand, Editmentor is different, because it teaches you why, while also teaching you how so let's dive a little bit into the fundamentals of what Editmentor is to somebody that's never heard of it. And they're like, I heard of this thing. What is it, Misha, and what can it do for me?

Misha Tennenbaum 11:57

Okay, I want to take a step back for a second and ask you a fundamental question, which is, well, I'm going to answer I'm going to this is a rhetorical question. Why did you search on YouTube or Google Video for the answer to the questions that you had? And the answer is, because video is a super fast method of communicating information. It's faster than reading and writing, you literally intake it into your brain faster with less thinking, you know, human beings are really visual. That's our it's our primary sense. some could argue that a little that maybe it's your hearing, but we're primarily visual communicators. And video is a global communication literacy. It's comes after reading and writing. And yet, we've only had it for 100 years, as opposed to, you know, 1000s of years like we've had writing. But if we're ever going to have some sort of universal worldwide language, it's going to be video. Video is critical for businesses, for entertainment, and for personal expression, video shares caught your culture, it shares a universal emotion which all people sort of have similar facial expressions when they feel things. So video is essential for everyone. And yet, society views what we do what you do, certainly every day, as being a highly specialized skill only for experts, that takes years and decades to master. And in fact, normally when we're talking about editing, that's what we're, that's what we're talking about. That's what I thought about my whole life is what is the top the best, the biggest movie the toughest, special effect. But if you look, with your head, the other direction, around the world, there are hundreds of millions of hours of video created every day that are not that. And those people need to become video literate. In order to be able to advance, just in this century, just the just the same way that you need to know how to read and write. To be a successful person in any field, you will need to know how to create a video to be a successful person in any field.

Zack Arnold 14:27

So you're saying that Walter Mirch and Billy Goldenberg and Geoffrey Ford are probably not your target market.

Misha Tennenbaum 14:34

I'm not trying to train Walter Mirch I won't make a court call.

Zack Arnold 14:39

I I love that. You're pointing that out. Because I think that in our little bubble of the industry, and I know that you've you've you've kind of escaped that bubble and you're still connected to it, but you deal a lot more with educational institutions, and you're not working with middle schoolers and high schools and college students. It's so easy in the Hollywood industry bubble to think that this is where all the editing is done. And of course It's all about Media Composer. And then you look at user share of software. And you're like, Oh, my God, Final Cut is used everywhere. And there's millions and millions of seats. It's because there's soccer moms and dads that are making videos. And there's people that have their YouTube channels that have no formal education and film. And they don't make a living in film, but they make a living doing something else. Like, let's say that somebody has an online Etsy business, making charm bracelets, but they need videos to sell it, and they have no idea how video works. And I've had multiple people just so not too much of a tangent, but a little bit of a tangent. But one of the things that happened with me entering the American Ninja Warrior community is I came in there wanting to learn from them. And then they all saw my audition video, and they're like, Oh, my God, how did you do that? Do that for me? My Videos suck. And like, Oh, well, if I wanted to start a business editing audition videos, I could I don't want to. But it was it's just a whole different level of how they approach it. Because they just they don't know any better than throwing a bunch of clips into a sequence. And it just they're like, Oh my god, it took me days just to get this and like, it's just because it's something you don't do all the time. And you don't know how to speak that language. And I wouldn't know where to send them if I if there was no Editmentor, and they said, How do I be a better editor? I'm like, I guess go look up some stuff on YouTube. But it's not not the ideal solution. But I would say that Editmentor is probably the first thing I would consider a pretty practical solution for somebody that has never done it before.

Misha Tennenbaum 16:22

Yeah, that's exactly right. And if so, statistically speaking, I'm just going to throw two sort of wild statistics out at you. One is that 90%, nine zero percent of people who come to buy a product on a website, look for and watch an explainer video 90% that's more than the people who read the text on the site. Right. The other kind of wild statistic, which I'm sure you'll understand, as soon as I say it is 98% of advertisers who start using video, use it forever, and never like decide that video is no longer a good form of communication for them. And the other kind of, I guess we should view it as an alarming thought is that society's expectation for the quality of video that a person would produce is so much lower than the quality we expect from them when they write something. So I bet you that on that American Ninja application, it said your video doesn't have to be good. It just needs to show you doing

something. But did it didn't say that in the written text

Zack Arnold 17:30

Almost almost word for word. It says that like big bold letters, like, don't worry about adding music or titles, we just want to know your story. All they say is make sure we can hear you and see your face. Because people know so little about it, that you can't hear them because they have no mic, and they don't light anything. So you're like, I can't hear or see anything you're saying. But all they care about is story. And they do they say in big bold letters. We don't care if your videos good. But it also doesn't hurt.

Misha Tennenbaum 17:58

Now, let me ask you something you're applying not just because you're applying for a TV show, but you're buying a product, you're looking for a restaurant, you're doing any of the things, you know your consumer things that you want to do. They may say, don't spend a lot of time on your video. But what are they going to watch and judge you on? Right. And you know, that's just because it is the fastest way to learn about you. And they wouldn't say that about the texts that you wrote, and you wouldn't write garbage text, you wouldn't just write stream of consciousness and say, This is good enough, you would think about your you would organize your thoughts, you would edit them shorter, you know, you would use the best bits. And that's what the next skill that the next generation of people forever on or for at least until, you know, we can just imagine this in our brains all the time, need to acquire that skill. So actually our courses that we're developing for the future, after we finished this film course, in fact, we were kind of eliminating the term editor, which is which is funny where even because we're called Editmentor, we're actually trying to talk about people as a filmmaker or business owner or social media poster we're trying to, you know, editing is the pen and paper of a video. But if you talk about it only as you're an editor now, we're sort of putting people in this specialized box. And we're kind of trying to no longer do that.

Zack Arnold 19:29

Gotcha. And I would the buzzword and I say buzzword because it's the popular one. But I think it really would be a great way to encapsulate the people I think you're talking to, is maybe not the filmmaker or the business owner or the entrepreneur, I think who you're really catering to is the up and coming content creator. Yeah. content creator. Yeah, you're totally right. Because there's so many people that are creating content. And if you own a restaurant and you want to put up a website that shows the ambiance and some of the food, you're now a content creator in the sense that you're creating that video for Your site. But at the same time, I also believe and this is something that you can either correct me or you can agree with me as we get a little bit more into the weeds and the details that from what I've seen about Editmentor, and you've been showing me the things since it was like wireframes. And stills like your I remember a couple of meetings we had, you're like, I've got this idea, you've got to see this thing like super rudimentary, but I could see, I could see the idea. There was no execution, but I could see where it was going. And knowing you, I knew that you were going to basically bend over backwards and kill yourself until this thing was perfect, of which now you're getting very close to that. And you know, it's going to be available for for real people to try out. But what I don't want to do is scare away people that say, I want to learn to be an editor, because I think you also do a really good job of catering to them too. But it's a lot broader. So it's not where you're saying, Well, I'm using Editstock, because I want to build a demo reel. And I'm already learning how to cut these dailies. And now I want to learn how to be a better editor. Editmentor certainly can do that. But you just have a broader range of people that you can help as well to learn this language.

Misha Tennenbaum 21:04

Yeah, absolutely. Every course that we come out with has a basics course which is free. And then an advanced course which is taught by a master instructor. So we have the Film Editing basics course is free. But then the course that we're selling is called the Stephen Mark editing workshop. And Stephen is a very successful editor who edited Deadwood and The X Files and Hell on Wheels and Smallville in every movie and TV show you've ever heard of. He's been around for 30 years and teaches at Chapman University. So yeah, that anyone who thinks that we're like, just for beginners is way, way off base. I want to expand a little on this idea of what somebody gets out of the ability to make the video. Okay, what is the what is their superpower that they acquire? Okay, I actually you and I should talk about Have we ever talked about Mario plus flower equals firepower?

Zack Arnold 22:05

We haven't. But it certainly sounds interesting.

Misha Tennenbaum 22:06

Okay. Mario plus flower equals firepower is my favorite marketing axiom. I guess I forget where I read this. But basically, Mario is the customer. The flower is your product. And firepower is the the reason that they want the flower, right? It's the superpower that they get from using your product. They don't actually care if it's a flower, by the way, it could be a mushroom, it could be a hat, it could be a tail or a leaf. But there, but the point is they want the superpower. Right. So I just want to tell you a little bit about

what it is that we're trying to offer high school and middle school kids. Because while it can lead to a professional career in editing, what it really leads to is this self expression, intentional self expression. So you have a I judge a lot of student competitions, like high school competitions, and college competitions. And I get a lot of videos that students make that are like, you know, anti bullying ads, anti drinking, and driving ads. And those things are like, I get it, they're important, they're great. But a lot of times, the reason that the student makes that is because they look around at the adults, you know, in the room, and they want to make a message that makes them happy, you know, the adults happy. But the videos that always win these competitions, and that's always make me smile or make me cry or make me have a feeling is when a kid either shows something about their real life, or comes up with some wacky story that they just think is funny, and it has a beginning, middle and an end. It has a mission that the main character goes on. And you know, that, that that's what that's what matters, you know, and that's what we're trying to teach here. It's take an idea, consolidate it, be intentional with it, think about how its structured. And that information will follow the student wherever they go, whether they make a video or, or otherwise,

Zack Arnold 24:10

I love that there's a couple of things that I want to add on to this. And then I want to start digging into the weeds a little bit more. So people actually understand how powerful this tool is. The first one that I want to add on to is this idea of the Mario plus the flower equals fire power. There's another axiom. It's interesting because the The purpose of this axiom is identical to another one that I use all the time, but totally different items, when I really learned about understanding both how to sell something, but how to ensure that somebody understands the value that they get in it. The analogy that I was taught that totally clicked with me is that if you go to the hardware store to buy a drill, you're not buying a drill, you're buying the hole in the wall that you need to hang something, right. That's the part that we're where people don't really click is it? Yeah, you look at the features of the drill and this and that or the other thing but ultimately, nobody needs a drill. When I needed something to put holes in walls and makes it easier for me to hang things, or screw things, or put in bolts or whatever it might be right, the drill is irrelevant. It's the result that I want. And what I want to talk a little bit more about, and this is going to be less about Editmentor the tool. And I think more just my general philosophy of what editing really is. Because this is a hard question for people to understand is when people will say, well, explain to me what you do for a living or explain what the craft of editing is, as I'm sure you've heard a million times, especially if you're around family or people not in the industry, we're the people that take out the bad parts and make it shorter, right, because that's the concept of editing that people get. And even in the industry to people not in post production, they don't totally understand the nuance of what we do. And the best analogy that I have found to explain to people where clicks is we all understand what a painter does. a painter puts an image on a canvas to tell a story and convey an emotion. When we look at a painting the ideas we want to feel something when they explain what a cinematographer does they say a cinematographer paints but with light. So the way that a composition looks their their paint brushes, light and a camera lens, right? what we do as editors, we paint but with emotion. Our paintbrush creates feelings and the choices that we make about what shot goes first or last are where do I want the music to come in? Or do I want the sound effects to be objective or subjective. These are all intentional decisions and choices of which we make 1000s of them every single day. Because ultimately, we're painting with emotion. And we know that our job has been successful if we made people feel the right things at the right time. That to me is how you be you go from being a competent editor that can assemble pieces to being a great editor, because you know why I'm making a choice. Not that I can competently make sure that I don't break the 180 degree line. But I know when I need to break it if I want to create a certain emotion or a certain feeling at a certain time. And that's something I can't learn on YouTube. I can't say teach me how to choose the location of my close up, or the 180 degree year when what is the use of a dolly pushing shot or etc, etc, etc. You can read about some of this stuff in books, but like you said, you can read or watch all you want, you're never going to get good at it until you actually do it. But another thing that's a really big part of this that I'm so excited about talking about. And you and I have had this conversation before that we both agree that practice doesn't make perfect. Practice simply makes permanent. And if you're making the wrong choices on a regular basis, whether it's the wrong keystrokes, or you have a habit of always starting a scene in a wide shot, because that's just a convention, where you just practice that habit over and over and over without really thinking about Yeah, but why am I making this choice? And that's why I think Editmentor is really, really different. So what I want to understand now just walk me through the basics of if I'm on Editmentor, what is it? Is it just more video tutorials, but it's talking about theory, like, what is Editmentor? I don't get it yet.

Misha Tennenbaum 28:06

Okay, so, I love this. I'm so happy you asked this question. And I want to start by saying just I absolutely love the craft of editing. I have loved it since I was a kid, it still excites me to this day. I learned more about it every every time I sit in front of a computer and put something together. Okay, so in a video, let's say we're talking about selecting a shot, we're comparing a bunch of takes, and we're going to select a shot. And so you might get the advice. Usually you want to use the later takes because the later takes they've rehearsed what they're doing the cameras a little more competent, you know, like got got their movement down. The actors have their lines a little better memorized. And then of course when they got it they move on. So you're it's probably at the end right that they got it.

Zack Arnold 28:58

So don't even get me started with this right now. But continue your all your I'm so ready to pull a soap box into this room. Don't make me pull that soap box in the room. But anyway, continue.

Misha Tennenbaum 29:07

Okay. So that's what a video would give you. Okay, and there's a lot of good advice in there. Right? It doesn't apply to like every scenario, certainly it but there's advice in there. Okay. What edit mentor is, it's a browser based NLE, so there's nothing to download or install. It's not Adobe Premiere. It's not Final Cut Pro. It's not Media Composer. It is Editmentor. It's its own thing. So we might have a video where a teacher describes what they're looking for when selecting shots. Then down on the timeline, you'll see all of the dailies, and you'll watch them and then there will be a question a pop up question on top of it. And the questions will say things like how did this cut change from the How did this shot evolve from the first take to the last take? What was missing from the first take the last take How did the actor perform from the first take To the last take, what are the physical motions? Or, you know, what are lots of things right? Was this the biggest smile of the four? Was this the biggest laugh of the four? And after we do a lesson on analyzing the dailies will now say, you know, here's the sequence, we're looking for the biggest smile, which take would you use? And so you're applying that knowledge immediately. And you need to actually do something you need to cut it into the timeline. And then you could get it right or wrong, you submit your answer, and you'll actually get feedback within the system inside of flags that give you advice. All creative advice.

Zack Arnold 30:40

First of all, let me just say that I don't know of anywhere that I can actually learn Daley's analysis. Like I can't, I can't just go on to YouTube or LinkedIn learning and type in teach me how to analyze my raw footage, because it doesn't exist. And the only place that does exist is through the private mentoring that happens between an assistant editor and an editor. If the editors willing to teach it, if To be honest, they even understand how to do it because they were never taught how to do it. I remember I've had this experience with more than one of my assistants. And I also had this experience when I was teaching at USC, I was teaching a high level graduate program on editing. And I spent an entire session and I just put together what's called a camera roll. And for those that don't know what a camera is, it comes from the old days of the cam system, where you basically took the film and assembled all the dailies in a specific order, you just sat and watched them. And I explained to them this process, and we spent the whole class just watching the roll and talking about it. They're like, nobody's ever taught us how to actually watch and analyze dailies. We just went into the bins and started putting pieces together. And I said to them, how do you know what pieces to choose until you're familiar with all of the pieces, and you could just see the light bulbs going off, like, Oh my god, that never occurred to me. And I said, I wasn't gonna bring my soapbox in, but I'm going to for a minute,

Misha Tennenbaum 31:57

bring it in.

Zack Arnold 31:58

If you want to be a really efficient editor, and you want to meet your deadlines, watch just the last takes and cut from those. If you want to be an effective editor, you have to watch everything. And I know from experience having worked on multiple TV shows where I have a very different workflow than most but I'm working on the same show with the same actors with similar directors and the same showrunner similar scripts, where they all say, Oh my god, there's no way that there's enough time to watch all the dailies, like the deadlines are too tight, it's impossible. So what they do is they just cut from the last takes while I'm sitting on my couch all day long watching dailies. And then all of a sudden, my cuts are getting done quicker. And I'm getting way less notes and they can't figure it out. It's like, because nobody's going through and giving me performance based notes, because they know I watched everything and they trust my judgment. But they can tell you're just cutting from the last takes. And you haven't really asked yourself this one line in the scene. That's the pivotal turning point. Is that just the last take or is it the best take? So without even talking about the machinations of the editing process and ins and outs and inserts and overwrites just the fact that I get to learn how to analyze raw footage and make choices. That's a game changer for telling better stories and being a more effective storyteller.

Misha Tennenbaum 33:10

Yeah, totally. And you know, one of the problems is watching dailies doesn't come across well in a tutorial video, if you are to string out that cameraroll into an hour long lesson and just say to the class, okay, watch these dailies. And then next lesson, you know, we'll we'll analyze them. Everyone's just going right to that next lesson. You know, nobody watching someone else's dailies is like, somehow you'll just never get yourself to do it. But an Editmentor when it's your dailies, your film, and you're cutting it right there, of course, you're watching them, you know, and that's and we can, by the way, we can take that stuff out of the videos to make the videos more engaging. So it actually improves in both places.

Zack Arnold 33:54

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 34:16

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

Zack Arnold 34:39

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

Brad 34:44

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

Roger 35:12

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

Zack Arnold 35:24

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 35:30

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

Roger 35:46

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 36:01

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

So the fact that this is a browser based NLE in and of itself is just kind of crazy. And I know that it's taking you a long time to get to the point where I can just go in Chrome, and I can start editing stuff in NLE that looks and feels and performs very similar to I would say either Premiere or DaVinci. Which is to me amazing. The just, I don't know anything about programming or the tech of doing it. But they've got their own apps and their own teams developing them. And they're pretty bumpy. And all of a sudden, you're like, yeah, I'm just gonna do it in Chrome just gonna make it universal for everybody, which is, which is kind of nuts. But I remember when I tested it out, and it was a while ago, and I'm assuming that it's much better. It was just kind of like being in a Premiere Pro timeline, except I had somebody standing over my shoulder constantly asking me the right questions about my choices. So let's dive a little bit deeper. Now that we've talked about the scene analysis process, what are some of the other things that Editmentor is going to walk me through to help me be a more effective storyteller.

Misha Tennenbaum 37:19

So we ask you to do things. To get questions right or wrong, you might have to identify something by placing markers on clips, you might have to trim clips, you might have to delete clips, you might have to rearrange clips in a certain order to get them right or wrong. So there are a lot of interactive steps, you can take now where someday going to be an NLE like any other. But we're not trying to be a replacement for any professional editing software. Our the ambition of the reason that we are an NLE that's in the browser, is to be democratizing. You don't need to have any kind of computer to use that mentor, you can use a Chromebook, you can work on the library, you can sign out from the library, come home sign in, and just keep going. All of the processing power, it's actually done dynamically on our system, we check what kind of computer you have. And then our algorithm will either offload all of the heavy editing stuff to our servers, or if you have a powerful computer, your computer will do it. Either way, you're going to have the same experience. And the reason that we do that is we're primary or at least our my vision for this is to get editing and the power of creating videos to a younger and younger audience. There's so much of what we do that isn't magic that a lot of it is but so much of it so much of the core competency of editing can be understood at a really young age. You probably even though you're a master at it now

Zack Arnold 39:00

no don't use the term master gonna stop you they're not a master, not a master. So many more things to learn. I'm I'm proficient. I can proficiently edit, let's put it that way.

Misha Tennenbaum 39:09

We're also humble apparently. Well, you're skilled at this. But when you were in high school or or middle school, you were also making these same decisions. You just needed someone there to kind of say not left, right, you know, not the shot that shot and you were probably struggling to find someone who could give you that advice. So it was probably difficult to turn.

Zack Arnold 39:34

I can't even imagine how different my life would have turned out if Editmentor existed when I was 13 years old. Because I'm that quintessential story you hear over and over about, you know generation extra that the xennials before the millennials they all have the same story. I was just shooting some stuff run around with a camera and then I took one VHS tape and connected it with another VCR instead of hitting playing record. My mind was blown. And that was me with two VCRs For years, and the younger listeners, you know, we'll put what a VCR is in the shownotes. on Wikipedia, the point being, that it was just me figuring it out by trial and error. And if I could have had that process of trial and error, but in a browser based NLE with professional material, and somebody saying, Hey, you know, what, if you want a little bit more impact, what if you try to close up? I didn't learn that stuff until I was either in college or already in the industry, or just you learn it intuitively, it's the difference that one of the things that I talked about so much, when it's a matter of you want to work on a specific project with specific people, it's not just you go into the interview, and you say, Yes, I can proficiently use Avid Media Composer, you need to make sure you speak the same language, because film is a language. And if you were to just immerse yourself and say I want to learn Mandarin Chinese, yeah, I can read books about it. And I can use pimsleur, or you know, Rosetta Stone, those are all great, you want to learn it fast, just plop yourself in the middle of nowhere in China, you're going to learn it by immersing yourself. And that's essentially how I learned film I couldn't have said to people, this is why a close up makes you more emotional even realize that it did. But I just watch movies so much that you just intuitively learn the language. But I really didn't learn how to speak it. Until I started putting two tapes together and hitting playing record and making stupid errors. And a wall jack can't start the music there. That's dumb, or just all these things that you learn. But had I had guidance to go through that my learning curve would have skyrocketed?

Misha Tennenbaum 41:25

Yeah. So let's talk about the learning curve. And I'm going to call this segment of the show the value of a teacher. What is it that teachers do? I mean, what what is it that's their, their primary mission? You know, is it to teach you everything that there is to know about a subject. And so what what I would argue is teachers are there, they have several primary jobs, the number one is to instill passion, that's actually I think, more important than any bit of information is to make people want to do it. The second thing is to set good habits. The third thing is to set accountability, and make you do things a lot. I mean, that's that's the whole thing. Because while you were practicing on your own, and learning a lot of things with a guide, not only could you have gotten there faster, but you wouldn't have gained any bad habits that you probably had to unwind later on. And I know you believe these things I've heard

Zack Arnold 42:32

I believe them. And then some it's funny because my wife is also an educator, my mom is an educator, my dad is an educator, my sister is an educator. So I remember my dad saying to me, I don't remember how old I was for probably in my teens. And he says something along the lines of you know, you're going to be a teacher someday, oh, my God, I'll never be a teacher, are you crazy. And here I am changing my entire career path. Because ultimately, I'm a teacher at heart. And, you know, I'm not that in a classroom all day long. And I'm doing it online and coaching and mentoring and writing and podcasting. But essentially, I've just decided to find my own version of being a teacher for a living. And I've had this conversation with my wife more than once. And I'm gonna be very humble, and I'm gonna do my best to be humble for her. But she's one like, you know, Teacher of the Year for, you know, like Southern California and the Wonder Woman award like she's, she's a very decorated teacher for LAUSD, and has won multiple high level awards. And I've told her, I'm like, you're not a great teacher, because you know a lot about civics or geography or math, she teaches third grade. So it's fairly rudimentary subjects, right? She is fine at providing the information, what she's really good at, is connecting with students, getting them passionate about learning, and making them feel safe and listened to. And because of that, she has numerous students that will reach out to her nine years later and say, You need to be at my high school graduation, because you're the teacher that inspired me to be here and accomplish this. That's what makes a great teacher, a good teacher can provide information and they can help you, you know, shorten the learning curve or over overcome a hump or two, but really, it's helping guide you along the path provide that inspiration, the accountability is huge. But I think the piece that so many people miss and take for granted, like you said, is making sure you're establishing the right habits goes back to this idea of practice doesn't make perfect, it makes permanent. And there are so many editors now that I've worked with having been in the industry for 20 years now, where I look at a piece of paper and I look at a resume and I look at their experience. And I say this person must be amazing. And then I will work with them or be you know, exposed to them on some level. And I'm seeing their earlier versions and like, this person can edit their way out of a paper bag, how in the world that they get here. They've been working 20 or 30 years, but they've just been repeating all the same bad habits. So I get really annoyed when people say, Oh, they have so much experience. I don't care. Do they have the right amount of experience? Do they have the right habits, right? Or is it somebody that's just been doing this over and over and over? That's kind of failed forwards or failed upwards. That doesn't mean that they're great at what they do. They're just doing the same habits. It's like another one that I've talked to people about when you really understand the learning process is from the age of 15 to 16, you learn a tremendous amount about what it means to drive a car, you go from really not knowing anything to be incompetent. And then from 16 to 18, or 16, to, let's say, 20, the learning curve also expands a lot, because now you're getting experience. But from the age of 20 to 40, how much better do you really get at driving? You don't, you're just repeating the same habits for the next 20 years. So being a driver that's 40 years old, you're not that much better at driving than a 20 year old, unless you actively say, you know what, I'm going to go out on the weekends, I'm going to get better my right turns, I'm going to go learn how to you know, drive and donuts or whatever it might be, you just keep doing the same basic skills over and over and over. And I feel like editors fall into that trap, too. Once again, going back to Editmentor, is why I think it's so important to have a tool that helps you identify, these are the questions I need to be asking myself, and these are the better habits that I need to build. Because again, you just you can't go on YouTube tutorials to know what are the things that I don't know? I don't know.

Misha Tennenbaum 46:12

Yeah, it might actually be making yourself worse. Yes, I mean, not not just not better, but actually worse. Because you're not even factoring in that cars change, streets change, you know, like things change. And if you're still exactly the same way, you might even be driving the same car. You really, you might not even know what you don't know, when you think about

what classes what courses, what lessons, excite students, and get them passionate. A lot of times it's the arts, right? It's music and video and painting and performing arts that gets kids, myself included, to want to go to school to eager to finish that project eager to put in those hours. And I think that if we as a society, change our perspective of creating videos from from one where we view it as an art that people do for fun. Or maybe someday possibly they'll have some sort of artistic or freelance career. And instead view it as for what it is, which is a valid form of communication. Not much different than reading and writing. If we just thought of video, the way we think of reading and writing, and we separated the classes just think we had it I'm not talking about having a class on high art and video, I'm talking about having a class called like media literacy, which is a popular subject being taught now, where we literally just teach competence of video, this is how you create one, this is how you take out the extra stuff. This is how you organize your thoughts turn in a video like it would be an English paper, you know, which we see as a critical tool. You know, an English paper is a critical tool to teaching you how to write an email or how to, you know, do one of a number of them we think of it as so critical that we're willing to teach poetry and you know, other forms of writing, because we also see them as valid forms of communication. But like video, for some reason, we still see as this like, other artsy thing that isn't necessarily for everyone, which it is clearly

Zack Arnold 48:23

Well, the idea of this being about media literacy and being for everybody, I think is going to be the perfect segue for where I want to go next. What I want to kind of reiterate and point out, first of all, is this idea that Editmentor is not a browser based NLE that's going to compete with Premiere and Avid and DaVinci. And Final Cut 10. And it's not going to be something that's just for the professional editors, it's for everyone for the soccer moms, the dads, the middle schoolers, the high schoolers, however, let's just be brutally honest, none of them are listening to this podcast, because they're not my audience, and they haven't found me. So what I want people that are listening to better understand is if they are either somebody that's breaking into the industry, or they are somebody that even has some experience, I'm not saying necessarily editing, you know, top level streaming network television or, you know, theatrical level films. But if there's somebody that's still learning how to be literate and create these emotions, and get better at storytelling, is Editmentor, just something that is for the soccer moms, and it's not for me, or can I learn from it,

Misha Tennenbaum 49:25

I think, dare I say, but I think you could learn from it and I think everyone can learn from it. So the course that we're releasing, should be July 10 is our target date. taught by Stephen is one where the students get all the dailies to a movie that is now a short film that won the 2019 Jury Prize at Tribeca sorry, not the Jury Prize, the Audience Award which means the the movie that the audience picked as their favorite from the festival. It now streams on HBO. You get all of the dailies to this movie. And then you have Stephen Mark, explaining to starting with what is a story, which is so fascinating. Actually, we should talk about that next starts with what is the story? Then we go to watching and selecting all the footage running through the script. What's the key moment of every scene? What is a key moment? What are the obstacles in each scene? What are ticking clocks, it gets, it gets really in depth. I mean, we break down every scene in the movie, as you go, as you go through it. I just want to give you two examples from the course that will excite your audience, I think one is what is the story. So this is how Stephen describes it. A story is when the pattern of your life changes in some way, and you have a big reaction to it to the change. So the the example, he gives us some mundane thing happening, you come home and your partner has rearranged all the furniture in your house. So you know how you set up your house, how you set up your day, your those are your routines, those, that's what you expect the world to be like every day, now you come home, and the furniture has been rearranged. Again, this is Stephens story. So I'm not trying to take credit for it. If you walk in, and you just say, Oh, that's fine, I like how it looks, then there's no story because a story happens, not just when the pattern breaks. But when you have a reaction to it, that causes you to change to do something to get out of your comfort zone, whether you want to or not, you can have a story where someone is very happy with their life, and is forced out of it, or someone who's miserable in their life, and all of a sudden has an opportunity to change it. But the thing that stays is the change. So if you walk in, and you hate your furniture, and it causes a big fight, and then you get kicked out of the house. And that leads to another action and another action and another action.

Zack Arnold 52:08

That is a story. And what I what I think is so important to point out about this craft in general and why what basically what I'm trying to do is not so subtly persuade people that are listening to this right now that are either already seasoned professionals, or you know, they've got a film degree, and they're maybe you know, a couple years into the industry. And they're thinking, Oh, Editmentor. It sounds cute. And it sounds like something for the beginners and the newbies and the non industry professionals. But it's not really for me. What I really want to impress upon them is that this isn't learning math. In math, there are right answers and there are wrong answers and you progress and you learn more complicated math. With editing. There aren't right and wrong answers, there are choices. And for me as somebody that's dedicated most of my life to learning the craft of editing, literally starting at the age of nine with VHS tapes and shooting my own footage and just learning by doing. I've been doing this for over 30 years now. I guarantee that if I were to take a class from Stephen Mark about how he edits, I'm going to walk away with something new that I've never done before. Oh, it never occurred to me that when I'm doing scene analysis, I should look for this one thing, because even though I understand scene analysis, or Daley's analysis, I have my own approach. And when I see other professionals to take their own approaches, it's not a matter of Oh, well, Stephen was right and I'm wrong. It's Oh, he does it differently. And he sees it through a different perspective. And it doesn't fundamentally change the way that I edit. But I'm adding another question or another, you know, viewpoint or perspective to my own toolset. And I think that's what's so important and so cool and nuanced about Editmentor, is that it's not just all right, kids. Today, we're going to learn about how to use close ups and wide shots that is there. But when you can have somebody like Steven Mark teaching the much more nuanced layers, anybody is going to become better at their craft from learning from it. Even if they haven't doing it for 30 years, I would bet you that Geoffrey Ford and Walter Mirch would learn something new.

Misha Tennenbaum 54:04

I would be honored if they did. The Yeah, Stephens approach that we teach in the course is he calls it editing moment by moment. So what he's doing is he's reading the script, and he's breaking it down by story beats, and he's thinking to himself, what is you know, the the top four lines of this scene, that's, that's a beat. Now I'm going to watch all of my clips, I'm going to mark an in and out around, this is really what he does. For every single page of the script. He marks and in and out around those same four lines that he's identified as a beat, he watches all of them back to back to back, compares them picks one and puts it into his timeline. So he's actually doing like, almost like a Final Cut process from the beginning. You know, even though he's gonna go back and revise it and change it, every shot that he picks to put in on the very first pass. He's aiming for a homerun, you know, he's aiming to Pick the exact right one right away, which to me was a different approach. Because I was until I started going until I met Steven and started going through this class, much more of a throw it all in and kind of work the timeline a little bit more to figure it out.

Zack Arnold 55:15

Oh my I love I love talking about this, I'm totally interrupting you because this oh my god, I love this this topic of conversation. The way that I've explained this to my students when this come up, and you can totally steal this and use it as as you need to, is, I believe there are fundamentally two different types or styles of editor. There are sculptors and there are builders, when I break down everybody's process about how they approach the scene from dailies to cutting it, everybody has their own little unique interest intricacies and how they organize a name stuff. But fundamentally, I think they belong in two categories, sculptors and builders, the way that you approached it was the sculptor, you take a giant lump of clay, that's a big mess that has no image whatsoever, you throw it into the timeline, and you take all the pieces away that you don't need to eventually find the finished product underneath. That's a sculptor, editor. The builder is what Stephens doing, which is my approach, which is in my preview window or whatever your NLE calls it and it's different in all the wherever you're watching your raw dailies, I find the exact in point to the frame and the exact point that the frame of my first shot based on the output of my first shot, what's the point of my next one, and I assembled my entire scene with what I believe is frame accuracy, chronologically, linearly. And then I go back, and I polish and refine. And some people have watched this and they're like, How the hell do you edit like this? That's the way my brain works.

Misha Tennenbaum 56:40

So so let me tell you as a as a sculptor, or at least more, more that way, that certainly used to be the only way that I, first of all, why did I gain that approach? Because I had no guidance. Right? I mean, that this is like, I don't know that there was any intention behind it other than it seems like a normal thing to do you want things in the timeline. So you kind of throw them in there, right? I mean, eventually, they got to be there anyone. The feeling that that person gets the sculptor gets when they watch you do it is Why are you so slow? Why is it taking so long, right. And it's true that the sculptor person can get something assembled much quicker, but then they're going to go over it and over it and over it and over a million times. And you're going to get, you could even possibly get to the end much quicker, just because you've already your and your process makes you much more familiar with the footage in general.

Zack Arnold 57:38

Exactly. And I would actually, I would argue, and this is this may be a game that you and I are gonna have to play someday, I would argue that in general, the builder is going to be faster. And it's one of the reasons that I think I gravitated towards it because it's more efficient, because you're forced to make decisions faster and make less of them. And I think part of the reason I gravitated towards it is that I get very paralyzed by having too many decisions as part of the part and parcel that comes with having ADD is that when you have too many decisions your brain shuts down. And as a sculptor, for example, when I've talked to comedy editors, and they talk about well, my process is my assistant editor, they take all of the the takes from this angle, and they string it together with line one, then there's line two, then there's line three, I look at the timeline and my head explodes on my I'm out there, I just can't I can't deal with that it's too much information. But if I just do it one little clip at a time, and I just worked my way along chronologically from one shot to the next, my brain can handle that. So again, I'm not saying I'm right, and I'm wrong. But I do believe in general that it's probably a little bit faster. But you could definitely prove me wrong.

Misha Tennenbaum 58:41

I could totally do it exactly that way. The builder is it seems to be when I talk to more successful people or people doing work that I really respect that is the approach that they take.

Zack Arnold 58:56

And I think part of it is at least if you're in the TV world, I think it's more necessity because of the amount of time that you have to get stuff done. And I think in the feature world, it's more common because you can really craft a scene like you have weeks or even months to cut 90 minutes. And I'll have a week and a half to cut 45 minutes. So just when you're in this was one of the things that I really honed and refined when I worked in TV because the first time I worked on Burn Notice it was just massive shell shock deer in headlights, how fast you need an editor's cut, this is gonna be a typo on the calendar. Nope, you got two days after dailies to give us a refined and polished editors cut them, I got to figure out a better way to do this. Because I can't laboriously watch and put it on the timeline and do it like I just got to make a decision and go and make another decision and go. But again, I know we're going a little bit off of a tangent here. But the reason that I want to point this out is we're talking about better habits, better processes that ultimately allow us to create better emotions. And again, those are things that you're not getting in other tutorials in other videos and you have this software that's walking you through it step by step. So, you know, it's it's great for the beginners that have never learned any of these concepts. But I really believe that more seasoned professionals are going to be able to get better at what they do. And like for somebody that goes to Editmentor, and they're like, I didn't even know that building was a thing. It's just when I worked as an assistant editor, this is how my editor taught me, I thought this was the only way to approach it. Because there isn't a right answer is whatever works best for you.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:00:26

That's exactly that's exactly right. You know, there's a lot of psychology that goes into the method of education that we picked, one of the reasons that we painted is gamification. And, and having these the reward of finishing a course and scoring points, and seeing if you can improve your score and watching a completion bar, move across the screen, those things are really motivating. And I mean, we're not doing it for our own benefit, we're doing it for your benefit, not like we benefit anymore. If you complete or don't complete a lesson, you know, but you are much more likely to complete the lesson if you got an 85 on it the first time and you're going to really want to redo it. Right? And especially if you're a kid, and you're getting that's literally your grade in the class.

Zack Arnold 1:01:17

Exactly. It's I'm so glad you brought up gamification because this brings up the next thing that I wanted to talk about. And I remember you and I have in this cause of conversation very early. And you would ask me, What are my thoughts and whatever. And I'm like, I think all this is great. But there's one problem above all that you're going to need to fix. And that's the biggest objection that somebody is going to have. And I guarantee you somebody listening have this objection. What do you mean gamification? What do you mean, you're going to score me? How is it that you think you have the right to tell me what's the right choice or a wrong choice? Who are you to tell me this is supposed to be a close up? This is an art form. And I'm expressing myself, you said it yourself. This is self expression. So how are you going to score me and tell me something is right or wrong?

Misha Tennenbaum 1:02:00

That is a challenge. And first of all, it's important that there be a score. And there is a then there are more right ways and more wrong ways to do things. And there are examples that you can build or questions that you can ask that there is a more right answer. In Editmentor, there are right answers, wrong answers and partially correct answers. And the partially correct answers, you can score the same number of points as a correct answer. So for example, in the Stephen Mark course, we might have you compare five cakes, two of them might be bad, because the actor flub the line, two of them are going to be partially correct, where you'll actually score full points if you pick them, but one of them will be correct, because that's the one Stephen picked. Now, you may or may not agree with that that's the correct one, you're gonna score the full points. But that's the one that Stephen chose. He's the instructor. So that's the correct answer. No, we have over the last year or about eight months. So Editmentor has actually launched in schools. And we have customers from Purdue University, you know, huge University, to middle schools and high schools and community colleges. So we actually have a very wide range of users already. And that feedback that they give us, we use to rework our questions to make them more precise. Sometimes students will argue an answer with us, and we'll adjust it in our curriculum to make it like, okay, we see your point. So we're going to give you a partially correct and we're going to give you half points if you if you got that one. But also in Editmentor, there are no yes or no answers. There's nothing that just says you got it right, or you got it wrong, everything says because, and it lists a reason. This is the one that Stephen picked, because he was looking at the way that the head turns or the brightest spot in the shot, or he was looking for a performance that was less emotive or, you know, because this person's not the main character, and they're coming across a little too acty, or whatever the reason is that he gives. That's what we put into the answer.

Zack Arnold 1:04:08

Yeah. And I think that it's important to really point out the nuance of it. Because if it was yes or no answers, I can see anybody that's brand new to this wouldn't know any better. They'd say, Oh, I'm not allowed to use a close up at the beginning of a scene. I didn't realize that wasn't allowed. And that's a rule. And anybody that's been doing it for years would say, That's not a rule. That's a choice, right? It's like if you tell somebody you were just showing me beforehand, how you know, it can talk to you through understanding the 180 degree line, for example. And in general, the 180 degree line exists for a reason. But it's not a rule. It's a guideline, right, watch an episode of 24 and tell me how much they adhere to the 180 degree rule that shows all over the place. They break the line all the time, but breaking it creates a very specific visceral emotion and it often creates disorientation. And if you want to create that disoriention Breaking the rule is the right answer. So the fact that you've incorporated nuance is really important for me to point out, because I don't want people to think, who's Misha to tell me what my score is of this scene?

Misha Tennenbaum 1:05:12

So here's an example of a question that does have a right or wrong answer. Which shot in this timeline breaks the 180 degree rule? That is like completely either does or it doesn't, right, you can argue the merits. Is it good? Should you do it? Should you not do it? And we have a lesson on that we have a lesson called discontinuity, or we talked about crossing the line when you might want to do that and talk about jump cuts. But we also we describe the 180 degree rule for the line of action as something that is something that is to be noticed not to it's not that it like you said, it's a rule. It's not even it's not a rule. It's a it just exists. And you should be aware of it that because it exists, and because you can manipulate it. You You should.

Zack Arnold 1:05:59

Yeah, I see, I see certain things like the 180 degree line, very similar to story structure. If you were going to be a screenwriter, you need to understand basic three act structure, what did the first act does the second act, the turning point, you know, act to climax, you need to understand the basics. If you're going to write Pulp Fiction, Pulp Fiction is all over the place. But guess what, it still has a pretty standard three act structure if you break it down. But you have to learn the conventions. Before you can break the conventions. And the 180 degree rule, you have to know how it works and how to use it. So you can use it to your advantage and break it when necessary. Or, as is more often the case when people don't get you the right coverage. And you need to figure out how to cut your way out of a paper bag. And it seemed that doesn't work because the director of the DP don't understand the 180 degree line. Right. But if you understand how it works, then you can learn how to manipulate it to your advantage when necessary.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:06:49

Totally, exactly. Yeah.

Zack Arnold 1:06:51

So on that note, I don't want to take up too much more of your time. And I feel like we've we've talked a lot about how this really is going to help somebody better understand why they're making the choices that they're making, dive deeper into scene analysis and whatnot. But talk a little bit more about what the process looks like if I get done with this podcast. And I want to dive into this. And I want to learn more, you've mentioned a little bit about your free course. And let's just make it very clear, this is not like Oh, you do something for five minutes. And now you have to pay, you've put months and months into the development of free material. So let's assume I dive down that rabbit hole. And then I want to go further walk me through the entire package and all the different things that I can get. And you know how it works if I really want to dig into this deeper,

Misha Tennenbaum 1:07:32

so again, in early July, or by mid July, certainly, you got to Editmentor.com you'll sign up. And there's a free course there with 14 lessons that will take you it's probably 14 hours of content, maybe 12 to 14 hours of content. And you can replay those lessons as much as you want. They talk about subjects like we have three lessons on continuity, we talked about production terms, we talked about, we have two lessons on trimming, we have lessons on story structure. So it really is you know, where you actually have to identify a beginning a middle and an end, you've got to identify the quest, you have to identify obstacles. So we dive you know, it's, it's certainly it's deeper than you think it's pretty, it's pretty good stuff. It took us seven months to make. I mean, it was not easy to make this course. And by the way, it's not even just that we had to gather material in the universe that already existed, you know, just culminated are our chopped down, we had to invent a whole process of how to teach it because there is no other Editmentor. So how do we ask this question? No? How do you ask a question about the 180 degree rule where someone has to interact and do something to get it right or wrong? It was really difficult to come? How do you create a question where students have to compare dailies. And along that line, while we were building the course, we were building the technology, because as cool as Editmentor is that it, you know, it's in your browser, it connects to learning management systems that have actually, that is the flower, not the superpower, you know, the superpower is the thing you get out of it, which is an understanding a feeling of confidence, and you know, the learning of this material, you know, and that and that's what our goal is. Now if you want to go farther than that, we have paid classes. And the free account will come with all the free classes that we generate in the future, not just this one, there will be an endless stream of free classes. We have a curriculum team, designing a free class as we speak, which will be a nonfiction class in some way, which is the majority of videos, you know, an interview with B roll on top. And so we'll be talking about that. And then we'll break it out to specialized classes like Okay, now that you know the basics of this stuff, here's a stud documentarian, who is going to take you through how to build a documentary.

Zack Arnold 1:10:08

And how about integrations with Editstock?

Misha Tennenbaum 1:10:11

Yes. So Editmentor was going to be Editstock, it was not actually going to be its own thing that was going to be one thing. And for a long time, that's what I was trying to do. I was building it myself, we had one part time programmer working on it, we thought it would take three months to get to a beta test. Three months, I thought it would take three months, I set aside what at the time felt like a large sum of money, but now feels like paltry to, to come up with this demo. And basically, we got to like, I can show it to someone, but they can't touch it. It you know, within that time, and when we showed it to people, it it was really eye opening for both of us. And we started gain where we were where we were going, I lost track of your original question.

Zack Arnold 1:11:03

Well, what I'm what I'm trying to better understand is, is there some form of integration? Where if the reason I came to you originally is I want to use Editstock, and I want access to dailies, which now just seems like oh, yeah, I can't access to raw dailies. People don't understand how impossible that was five or 10 years ago, before you came along. And now it's just a thing. Somebody asked a question on Facebook. Anybody know how I can practice raw dailies? Yeah, that's simple. Go to Editstock.com. wasn't that easy. But my point being that if I want to get access to raw dailies, and I want to cut some stuff from my demo reel, but not just make my own choices, but use it as a learning experience, is there an integration where I can use your material on Editstock in Editmentor?

Misha Tennenbaum 1:11:41

Yes, actually. So that's a great question that the short answer right now is that the lessons themselves use films from Editstock that we break down and walk you through? Like, for example, we have a movie called city lights, where we talk about what's you know, what's going on? And scene one, why is it built the way that it is? How could you put it together that way, and then you can buy the daily separately, to edit that movie on Editstock. In the future, you will be able to just click, edit this movie directly in Editmentor, you won't have to download anything, you won't have to buy anything you want to have to, you know, you'll just be able to click like, edit movie, and all the dailies that will be there, and you'll just start working away. And and that's it. That's how a student could gain the experience of editing a project. Just how amazing would that be?

Zack Arnold 1:12:35

Yeah, I can't even imagine having a resource like this when I was in college or coming out of college, and I wanted to build a reel of scripted work, or if somebody wants to get into unscripted saying, oh, all I have to do is make the investment of time and money to buy the raw footage, go through the tutorials and learn. And then when I'm done, I click a button and I can put this on a portfolio website. That was unheard of just a few years ago. Now you can already do that with Editstock. And it sounds like very soon, there's gonna essentially be what we all joke about, which is the edit button. And now you can just put it all together in one place without having to invest in any other technology. If what you're trying to do is show people I have the skills and the abilities, even if I don't have the experience, which ultimately is really one of the foundational things that I teach now is people come to me and they say I want to either break in or I want to make a transition into something else. But I'm at this catch 22 spot where everybody says I need the experience. And I don't have the experience, but I need the experience to get the experience. And what I always tell them is you need to get better at telling your own story. And conveying I have the skills and the abilities to do the job. Even though I don't have the experience yet. And here's why you need to take a chance on me. But if you don't have access to something like Editstock or Editmentor, well, then you're just ripping a bunch of crap off a YouTube and kind of sort of figuring it out, as opposed to here's me putting together the best version of a professional portfolio showing that I've developed the skills and the abilities that you need to have the trust to hire me.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:14:03

Absolutely. That's absolutely right. Can I leave you with a thought?

Zack Arnold 1:14:07

Yes, please absolutely leave me with a thought leave us all with just a brilliant musing.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:14:13

Okay, what is the power of a video. And just remember, this is a universal language, one video made by anyone can change the world. And that is our fundamental belief that the ability, you know, to be able to understand how images can affect your audience is a fundamental skill that all people need to learn.

Zack Arnold 1:14:43

And not only that, but I would add to it that given where the world is going with technology and artificial intelligence and automation. The only thing that's going to be left on the table, I believe in our lifetimes is creativity. Computers haven't figured out creativity and I think it's going to be a long time. So if you You're going into an industry where all you're doing is something repetitive, where a simple program or an algorithm could eventually replace you, you got to be careful. If you have to make creative decisions, your job is safe for a long time. And that's, again, why I love what you're teaching. Because I can go to multiple tutorials and learn how do I sync and group clips in Adobe Premiere? Or how do I do this tool or that tool, and they're all great now. But I bet if we went back 15 years, it looked a lot of the tutorials of what they were teaching for the nuts and bolts of editing. I bet computers and automation and simple little third party apps are doing it for us without human intervention. Creativity is not going away. And that's why I love this product and why I want people to know about it. Because you're teaching people how to be more creative and more expressive.

I don't know where else to find that right now. So that's why this is so unique, and why I'm so excited about it.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:15:47

Thank you so much, Zack.

Zack Arnold 1:15:49

You bet. So I know this is probably a fairly simple question. We've said it already. But just to recap, how to feet people find this and how do they get started,

Misha Tennenbaum 1:15:58

you just visit editmentor.com sign up, it's free. And you get you will be starting in one minute. Once you enter the app,

Zack Arnold 1:16:07

I love it. You couldn't have made it simpler. And it was so simple to get there. Right? Not a problem at all. It's just like, did the three months put together a little bit of programming? And here we are easy?

Misha Tennenbaum 1:16:15

Totally. Yeah, we had that one minute walkthrough in space down 18 months ago. Yeah. It's amazing. You know, have you ever heard that? Have you ever heard that? Think it's a Mark Twain. line where where he's like, I didn't have time to write you a short letter. So I wrote you a long one? Uh huh. That that's exactly what, what the process of building software is like, you know, it takes a long time to get down to that one button that does exactly the thing that you want it to do.

Zack Arnold 1:16:48

Yeah, exactly. And I know that you had alluded to this and all this kind of close with this idea. Just because I think it's, it's commendable. And maybe it doesn't have a whole lot to do with the product itself. But the fact that you were not only putting this together, but you had to build something that didn't exist, is just, frankly, outright terrifying. And the best analogy I can think for me is that I spent the last five to seven years, learning how to be a coach and a mentor and put together all these educational materials to help people more so they can be more productive and better manage their time and learn how to better network and sell themselves and tell their stories. But imagine if I were doing all that and simultaneously designing the zoom software, so I could communicate with my students shoot me in the face, right? I already had zoom, I had all of the the membership sites and I just had to plug and play and templates. You had to build the entire infrastructure to do what you're doing, and build the product, which to me is just bad. Crazy.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:17:45

Yeah. And actually, zoom isn't even a totally good analogy, because that exists. Like this was just the outside to think it up, right?

Zack Arnold 1:17:53

That's my point is that Imagine if I said, I want to be an online coaching instructor, so I need to invent video telecommunication, while developing my curriculum and my methods. Like, exactly, it's impossible, I can barely keep up with the stuff I'm doing now. And I already have all the tools because other people have built them for me. So it's, to me, it's just it's commendable. And just outright crazy what you've been able to accomplish. And I know it seems like a while. But it's a very short period of time in the grand scheme of things, what you've been able to build and the the innovations that you brought to our industry.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:18:24

Thank you. I'm really excited. I'm really excited to have, you know, millions of people learning this way.

Zack Arnold 1:18:30

Yeah, this is going to be pretty awesome. So I'm excited about it for you, I implore everybody, no matter if you're in college, fresh out of college, you've been doing this for five years, or 20. Do yourself a favor and improve at least one thing about the way that you're already doing your craft and your job by going to Editmentor and just learning a little bit more from some of the professionals that are there. So, on that note, Misha, I'm glad that we were finally able to get this conversation on the record. And I'm super excited for your launch to finally happen.

Misha Tennenbaum 1:18:58

Thank you. Thank you so much, Zack, it's a real honor to be here. Whenever I get to come.

Zack Arnold 1:19:03

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

Kit Perkins 1:19:28

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

Zack Arnold 1:19:49

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 1:19:54

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

Zack Arnold 1:20:28

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

Kit Perkins 1:20:46

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

Zack Arnold 1:21:00

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

Thank you for listening to this episode of the Optimize Yourself podcast. to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss future interviews just like this one, please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. And a special thanks to our sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven for making today's interview possible. To learn more about how to collaborate remotely without missing a frame and to get your real time demo of Evercast in action visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast. And to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations the Topomat, visit optimizeyourself.me/topo, that's t o p o and to learn more about Ergodriven and their brand new product that I'm super excited about New Standard Whole Protein, visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well.

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Guest Bio:


Misha Tenenbaum

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Before founding EditStock and EditMentor, Misha Tenenbaum was a film and television editor. He edited shows for the Speed Channel, Food Network, and indie films. He joined the Editor’s Guild in 2011 and worked as an Assistant Editor on shows like American Horror Story, JOBS, the biopic about Steve Jobs starring Ashton Kutcher, the Fox show Wayward Pines, and Quarry for Cinemax.

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).”