ep186-yvette-amirian

Ep186: Unscripted vs Scripted…Is It Possible To Balance Both? And With Kids??? | with Yvette Amirian, ACE

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Yvette M. Amirian, ACE is an award-nominated film and television editor who’s recent credits include Animal Planet’s Whale Wars, John Singleton’s L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later, and most recently the scripted feature for critically acclaimed filmmaker Robert Machoian, The Integrity of Joseph Chambers. She’s spent most of her career bouncing back and forth between editing scripted and unscripted documentary content, a feat that is coveted by many editors and creatives. (And in case you missed it, my conversation with Stephanie Filo is another shining example of someone who balances the unscripted and scripted worlds very successfully).

No one wants to be pigeonholed, whether you are an editor, an actor, a writer, a director or any other creative professional. Many of us would love the opportunity to stretch our creative muscles and jump across genres and formats with ease. But how many of us really understand what it takes to be able to do so? How many of us know the different challenges that arise and different skills that are needed in each discipline? How many of us assume that since we are good storytellers that should automatically make us good at whatever genre or format we want to work in?

Yes, being a good storyteller and good at your craft is an essential piece of the puzzle. But it’s just one small piece. And as Yvette tells us in this conversation, each discipline has its own language and you need to learn the vocabulary before you can be fluent in speaking it. If you are someone who has been trying to make a career transition or wanting to diversify your experience and grow your creative skills, this conversation is what you’ve been waiting for…especially if you’re terrified that it can’t be done if you’re also raising a family (Spoiler alert: It can totally be done!).

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How Yvette has been able to switch between unscripted and scripted editing
  • Telling your story so that people see how your skills are transferable
  • The power of saying no to the wrong projects
  • What to do when your intuition and logic disagree
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: A fulfilling life comes from solving problems you enjoy solving
  • What it takes to be able to bounce back and forth between scripted and unscripted
  • The key differences between the two editing worlds
  • How Yvette proved she was the right person to edit her latest film that went to Tribeca Film Festival
  • Navigating parenting while editing
  • Agents and publicists: What they will and won’t do for you and your career
  • Important questions to ask at every job interview
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Know your list of non-negotiables for every project you take


Useful Resources Mentioned:

Panel with me, Yvette, & Dan Lebental moderated by Norman Hollyn:

Tackling New Projects – Part 1 of 2 – YouTube 

Tackling New Projects – Part 2 of 2 – YouTube

Yvette’s Web Page

Yvette’s Facebook Page

Yvette’s IMDB Page

Yvette’s Instagram Page

Yvette’s Linked in Page

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

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

Ep104: How to Keep Working As An Editor (After You’ve Made the Transition From AE) | with Susan Vaill, ACE

Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold

My guest today is Yvette Amirian, who's an award nominated film and television editor whose recent credits include Animal Planet's Whale Wars, John Singleton's LA Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later, and most recently, the scripted feature for critically acclaimed filmmaker Robert Machoian, The Integrity of Joseph Chambers, that has spent most of her career bouncing back and forth between editing scripted and unscripted documentary content, frankly a feat that is coveted by many editors and creatives alike. And by the way, in case you missed it in my previous episode with Stephanie Filo, she is another shining example of somebody who balances the unscripted and scripted worlds very, very successfully. Listen, nobody wants to be pigeonholed. Whether you are an editor or an actor, or writer, or director, or frankly, any other creative professional doing any craft. Many of us would love the opportunity to stretch our creative muscles, and jump across genres and formats with ease. But how many of us really understand what it takes to be able to do all of that? How many of us know the different challenges that arise in different skills that are needed in each discipline? How many of us assume that since we're good storytellers, well, that should automatically make us good at whatever genre or format we want to work in? Yes, being a good storyteller and being good at your craft is an essential piece of the puzzle. But it's just one piece, and as Yvette tells us in this conversation, each discipline has its own language, and you need to learn the vocabulary before you can be fluent in speaking it. If you're somebody who's been trying to make a career transition, or wanting to diversify your experience, and grow your creative skills, this conversation is definitely what you've been waiting for especially by the way, if you're terrified that it cannot be done. If you're also raising a family. Quick, spoiler alert, it can totally be done. So on that note, without further ado, here's my conversation with ACE editor, Yvette Amirian. To access the show notes for this episode with all the bonus links and resources discussed today as well as to subscribe, leave a review and more, simply visit optimizeyourself.me/episode186. I am here today with Yvette Amirian who is an award nominated film and television editor. She's a proud member of the Motion Picture Editors Guild, the Academy of TV Arts and Sciences, and ACE. And I would like to add you are a distinguished member of a very small selective group of people that I like to call a friend. Oh, likewise, Yvette welcome back to the show.

Yvette Amirian

Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Zack Arnold

For anybody that's wondering why I'm saying welcome back, if they dig a little bit into the archives, not terribly deep. But you are a member of a panel that I did give or take year, a year and a half ago, kind of at the height of the unknowns of COVID fairly early into the pandemic talking about the challenges of navigating the pandemic and also the industry in general, as a parent, that is going to be a theme and topic we certainly talked about more today. But if somebody wants to dive a little bit deeper, and really hear how we've been workshopping as a community dealing with being parents in this post pandemic reality, we're going to put a link to the show notes. But that having been said today, it's just you and me that you can't lean on everybody else on the panel. It's just so and I know that this is uncharted, unknown territory for you and I being on a zoom call just the two of us talking very privately and intimately. Is it not? Yeah. So I say that is a just so people understand the context that you and I have known each other for years. We are both fellow instructors. I'm a former instructor, but we both taught film and editing specifically at USC. And you and I have been working together very, very closely as clients for a To be honest, I've kind of forgotten how long it's been. But it just seems like it's been a fairly regular thing on the calendar that you and I chat about life and work and challenges and limiting beliefs and publicists and agents and everything that goes along with how in the world? Do I reinvent myself and make this major career transition? Yeah, so we're going to talk all about that today. But I want to give people a little bit more background and framing. We don't necessarily need it to be beat by beat, we can do the CliffsNotes version. But if I wanted your origin story for breaking into the industry and becoming a successful, unscripted editor, what would that story look like?

Yvette Amirian

Uh, gosh. Well, I guess I should start by saying the first thing the first like exposure that I had to the industry was in high school, I went to a program, a high school that had like a film program like a media program. And one of the parents owned a post house in Burbank and actually donated an avid to the school an old version of avid so that I learned on an avid that was like one of my first exposures to editing. And then it wasn't until I got to USC that I started working with film so I had sort of this backwards experience with it. But in the process just fell in love not only with cutting but telling stories. So from a very young age, I think I knew that I wanted to cut but then going into college to USC, which is where I went to the film school I experienced experimented a lot with like writing, directing, production design costume design, like I tried Everything just to see what I liked. And I came back to editing. And as soon as I graduated, I started assisting anything I can get my hands on, you know, short films, TV series, and very quickly worked my way up to editing initially in documentaries and unscripted TV. And then as I moved up to editing, I found my way to scripted series and eventually script narrative, to narrative features, and hit in the past couple of years have gone back and forth between narrative features and documentary features.

Zack Arnold

There's a lot going on in there all kinds of I mean, I could make an entire show about little tiny bits of that here and there. And I want to, you know, maybe dig into a couple of them. But the first one that I want to dig into, which I think would be relevant to perhaps some of the people that are listening today, is that you are Armenian. I am. And I would guess that at some point in you growing up, you're going to your parents saying, I'm an Armenian female, and I'd like to get into Hollywood film editing, I would guess that the expectations didn't necessarily align with what they expected of you,

Yvette Amirian

you know, my parents generally, at least compared to other Armenian parents, in my experience, and that's a generalization. I don't want to say like all Armenian parents are like this. But mine in particular, were very supportive. But they were very confused about how I was going to do it. And what that meant, I think, my dad, I don't think either of them really has an understanding of what I do for a living now, like, my husband barely understands it. But I think my dad, I think my parents had this idea, like, Oh, she's going to graduate, and she's going to get some big job at like Disney, or, you know, whatever was the big thing back then, you know, we didn't have Netflix, we didn't have Amazon, we didn't have all these streaming services that we have now. And that didn't happen, obviously. So then having to explain to them like I'm a freelancer, and what does that mean, and what does that look like? I mean, thankfully, I had that success really early on where I was consistently working. So I think they understood very quickly that I knew what I was doing, and that I was good at it. But but it was, it was hard to get them on board for sure. And like I said, I still don't think they quite understand what it is that I do

Zack Arnold

was there ever a moment where there was. And it sounds like you had certainly a lot of encouragement to do what you felt you should be doing. But was there ever a moment? Well, I mean, you could just be a doctor, there is just that option.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah. Yeah, for sure. Yeah, for sure. I mean, there was a lot of at one point, I thought about going to law school I hadn't studied for the LSAT. I don't think I've even told you that. But I didn't end up doing it. Because I got my first like assistant editing job that summer after I graduated from college. But yeah, I mean, certainly there was a lot of pushing, I think, you know, I mean, look, I'm a parent to your parents to it, it comes from a good place. Like I think about my own kid getting involved with this industry. And I'm like, um, I don't know, might want to think twice about this. And that, because I understand now the inner workings of it. And I understand how challenging it is. And it's not that I would discourage him, but I have the tools to help explain to him like, here's the difficulties, here's the challenges, here's the great things about it. But really not knowing anybody in the business and not knowing myself how to navigate it. Like I don't even think I had a clear idea that I was going to graduate and I was gonna be freelance, like, nobody really spelled that out. For me. It wasn't until I started doing it. But yeah, there was definitely moments of like, I think from my mom. And I understand now that I'm a mom, it was coming from a place of like, how are you going to balance that with with being a mom? Like, don't you want to be a mom eventually? And I did. I knew that from a young age. So that was definitely a part of it. How are you going to do both of these things? Can you do both of these things? Will there be travel involved? There were a lot of those types of questions. So

Zack Arnold

as a parent, I can very much relate to the whole idea of a kid very much wanting to get into the industry because my son, absolutely no question wants to get into entertainment has no interest in editing whatsoever. But I think that's a little bit of rebellion. Because at his age, I never going to be a teacher ever, ever, ever. I'm like, Oh, look, I'm building an entire business to be a teacher. Like, you know, it was inevitable. My parents knew that teaching is in my blood. It's been in my family for generations. Right? So he might change his mind eventually. But I think even though from the outside the reason the the objection sounds the same, oh, I don't know, you should really think about another career path. The reasons are very different from the perspective of perhaps your parents or maybe mine or you know, whether he come from and again, I want to avoid all stereotypes, but specifically people coming from Indian families, Asian families, it's a lot of No, we want you to do something steady, right?

Yvette Amirian

equal something that and I think a big part of that mentality comes from the fact that they're immigrants to the country, and they didn't you know, and my parents have, you know, I got it. My dad's a real estate agent, and he's incredibly successful. He actually even just put an Instagram post that he's like, voted number one for REMAX in the tri City area, which is like he's just I love my dad. He's a hard working person. I think I get a lot of my work ethic from him. But I can understand that you know, you're coming to this country where you don't speak the language and you don't know how to get your footing and they went to school here and they managed to create these amazing careers for themselves and wanting their kids to do the same thing and how do they know people are going to do that? I mean, there's Yeah, doctors are sure surefire path and lawyers a surefire path, maybe an engineer, maybe a real Estate Agent. You know, I don't know that. But yeah, certainly a career in entertainment was not something anybody was doing that they even knew. And I think it comes from a place of them wanting to help, and we don't know how to help you.

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And I think like you said, it comes from a place of stability and also understanding. They know what a lawyer does a doctor, an accountant, any professional real estate agent, but when they don't understand what you do it, it creates a lot of unknowns. And from my perspective, those are none of the objections, the objections are, I kind of know what this business really is. And I know what it's really going to do to you. And do I do I want to do I want to encourage that kind of knowing the path you're going down as opposed to it's an unknown path. For me, it's a very known path. And I'm like, I don't want to discourage my children from pursuing their dreams and their creative ambitions, but I kind of know where it's gonna end up to. Right. So that's the tough part for me is that it's one person to say, oh, no, no, no, you don't want to eat sausage. That's bad, as opposed to, you're gonna have the sausage, but I know how it's made. And I know what's in it. So be careful, right? Yeah. Yeah, literally. So what I'm curious about next, and we're going to talk a lot about the psychology of making career transitions, telling a different story, how you've navigated a lot of different things successfully. Let's talk just about the unscripted side of things first, and I know that even early in your career, you're bouncing around, but at least I would characterize the majority of your career up until fairly recently is primarily unscripted. Would you agree with that?

Yvette Amirian

Yes, I had a I had a middle portion of my career where I was strictly doing scripted. But then I eventually found myself. So like the I feel like I've had like three parts to my career. One was I was doing primarily unscripted editing. And then there was another part where I was doing scripted editing, and scripted producing and writing. And then in this latter half is when I've been bouncing back and forth between the two types of features,

Zack Arnold

right? So what I want to better understand is that if I don't have that context, if I were just to do a 32nd scan of IMDb Pro and look at everything, up to a couple of years ago, I'd make the assumption, oh, you're an unscripted editor. But I feel that with the credits you have and the accolades that you've collected, that could be your entire careers work. And you could walk away and say, nailed it. And you've done it at a very, very young age.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, thank you. That means a lot coming from

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I mean, you're you're, you're, it's this is kind of one of the most common conversations we have is I have to continually remind you how successful you have been. And there's always the caveat you have, but I'm like, Stop, Yeah, buddy yourself, you've done very, very well, you just want to do something different now. But what I want to better understand just to dig a little bit deeper into your process into your character into your approach. I'm not asking you this next question. This is a little handy dandy trick that I've learned, okay, I'm going to be asking somebody that you've worked with a lot in the past, I don't want you to picture somebody that you value primarily in the unscripted space that knows a fair amount of the work that you've done, whether it's an editor, supervising editor, producer, etc, etc. So I'm having a conversation with them. I'm interested in hiring event for my next series. Why should I do that? Because I have heard so many good things about her. I'm very impressed by her resume. What are the main character traits that Yvette possesses that have made her so successful up until this point?

Yvette Amirian

How would she answer that? I think I'm thinking of a female producer, she would say that I, I mean, from from a character perspective, I think what she would say is that I'm easy to work with, and that I care more about the outcome of the product than anything else. I don't come into it with an ego, I come in with a goal of telling the best story possible. And I think from a technical perspective, she would say that I understand how to tell a story. It's kind of like an innate way, it's like thing that I have, I can look at something and say, Okay, this has to go here, this has to go here. This has to be reshuffled, and, and that I'm really good with sound and music design.

Zack Arnold

Alright, so let me add on another layer here, and I'm going to get into the psychology of why we're having this really weird conversation in a second. Would you consider events to be a fixer, somebody that can come in to just kind of a giant pile of a mess of a disaster? And just help us like, because we're drowning, and we're dying? And I need somebody to fix that fix all this for us?

Yvette Amirian

Yes. Yeah, definitely.

Zack Arnold

Why do you think I asked your producer friend and not you this question.

Yvette Amirian

I don't know. I'm curious to see what you're where you're going with this.

Zack Arnold

The reason is, and this is has nothing to do with you personally. It's just the way that we're wired. If I had asked you this question, you would have gotten super embarrassed. Oh, gee, gosh, I don't know. I mean, I guess I'm okay, what I do, but I'm not that good. Right? It eliminates all of that, because we have a really difficult time talking about ourselves. And the reason I wanted you to answer this way is I want to dig deeper into the skills that you possess, such that we can better understand are you valuable to somebody that's doing scripted versus unscripted. Right. And what I didn't hear is that the most valuable skill that I possess is my ability to dig through and sift through seven different camera formats of documentary footage so I can construct the scene. Yeah, which you can do By the way, but that's not at the core being of why somebody would recommend you. Sure. Alright. So what I'm trying to do is frame here's all the value that you provide that has nothing to do with being an unscripted editor. Yeah, yeah. All right, because that's something you and I have worked on a lot is how do I tell my story, not just here's chronologically everything that I've done in the past and fingers crossed, you take a chance on me, as opposed to I can provide value to doing the work that you're doing next. And here's how because, as you said, it is not easy making the transition, especially your level, it almost hurts you how successful you've been in unscripted to make the move to scripted. So what we have to learn how to do is better tell the story of this is these are the transferable skills that I've earned over decades, that are still going to be equally valuable to you. And this is the part that so many people miss when they're making a major career transition.

Yvette Amirian

Right. Okay. I agree with you on that. Absolutely.

Zack Arnold

So, given the accolades that you've received, the projects that you've worked on, why did you decide, You know what, I'm gonna give up? The really steady work work? Like, I remember one of the first times that we talked about working together, working on a huge high profile project for Amazon. And yet, it wasn't about this is awesome. I've made it I'm super successful and unscripted, the main focus was, get me out of here. I need to know, I want to work in scripted. Why, why make the shift?

Yvette Amirian

Um, well, I'll say it this way, I never intended to work in unscripted. That was never the intention, I landed in it. And I always figured I'll do a little bit of this until eventually I can make this transition. Because in my mind, and the way that, especially coming out of school, the mentality was like, just get a job, just get a job and start working. And that was coming from the school that was coming from the professors I was with that was coming from my parents, obviously, I got married, I was very young, my husband and I got married a couple years out of college, we bought a house. So it was like, there were a lot of like, logistical things that kept me in that world. So that was a big, that was a big part of it. And I eventually got to the point where I said, Okay, I don't think I want to do this anymore. And it seems like if I want to go to scripted TV, I gotta go back to being an assistant. So I tried that. And no one would hire me because I was too experienced as an editor. And I think at that point I already had, it may have been right before I got the ace nomination. So there was this kind of like thing of like, well, why do you want to do that? Why would you want to do that? That's dumb. So I sort of, like allowed that to convince me to stay in it. And I did eventually make that transition to scripted I cut, I co edited a feature for lifetime, I cut a bunch of short films, and worked very closely with a scripted TV editor, who was wonderful and a great mentor to me, and then landed in scripted TV producing, and I started writing for that particular series. And that was a nice kind of like buffer because I was in a place in my life. I think that was maybe the first first time that you and I had connected, because like my son was only like two years old at the time. And it gave me a lot of flexibility. So it gave me a lot of flexibility in my schedule where I could like work from home, I could go into the office whenever I wanted. And that was a really nice, you know, thing to be able to do, and then just sort of realize, okay, no, I miss. And I think at that point, people were trying to push me in the direction of like a showrunner like, Oh, you'd be a great showrunner. Like you're, you've got a co executive, you got a supervising producer credit on this big Netflix, you know, reality series, you should be sure when or why do you want to get stuck being a supervising producer? And I very quickly realized, like, No, I don't want to do that I miss cutting. So in the process of getting back into cutting, I landed in documentary features, which was actually great. You know, I loved doing them. And I've worked on some that I'm very, very proud of including the Amazon one, I'm really, really proud of that one. But that that project in particular, I was doing, you know, I was four months postpartum with my second kid. It was a very, very hard transition. It was right before the pandemic. And then I had I think you and I have talked about I had like a health issue. So I had to take a break in the middle of it. So it was just a lot of things that made me go like, Is this really what I want to spend the rest of my life doing? No, that's not what I intended to do. And, and I just said, If I don't do it now, I'll never do it. And that was on the cusp of the pandemic. And that's when I really started looking into making that transition, which I know is not a great time to do it. But But I managed to do it somehow.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, well, I would say that either is the worst time or potentially, it was absolutely the best time ever to do it. And we can talk a little bit more about why. But if there's anybody that I've ever known personally, that personifies the following phrase, an idea that I teach in the program, is that you have to be very, very careful what you say yes to and what you say no to. Because if you're really good at what you do, and you're doing something that you don't want to be doing, that is not a blessing, that's a curse. And I think you have perhaps suffered some from the curse of being great at what you do.

Yvette Amirian

I listen to it. I think it's hard for us like you said, it's hard for us to say yes, I'm good at what I do, and I'm good at what I do. I'm really good at taking nothing and turning it into something I'm really good at, you know, taking a piece of story that doesn't work and figuring out how to fix it. And I've done that for years on my own projects, I do that now with my students, it's probably like, my favorite part of being a teacher is just being able to look at it and go, No, this is how you have to do it, and then have it then then having that light bulb moment of like, oh my gosh, like, how did she just know how to do that? And the process, they learn how to do it. And so I'm losing my train of thought here. But it but yes, I have been really blessed with amazing projects. I think I've also been blessed with just really amazing filmmakers that I've worked with. I mean, so many of the filmmakers that I've worked with on those projects I'm still really close friends with and they have potential narrative projects that, you know, we're speaking about. So they've been incredible experiences and connections. And I, I honestly don't think I would be a good editor or be a good storyteller if I hadn't had that experience early on in my life, because that really forces you to figure out solutions that you would never in a million years have to think of if you were just doing you know, narrative series or features you would but in a different way. Anybody who's who's done those types of big shows, especially the ones with multiple cameras, tons of footage, tons of audio, you have to listen to I mean, you're really doing like three or four people's work. So. So as a result of that, yes, I've gotten really good at it. But I got to a point where I realized there's things about it that I really love, I enjoy the challenge of it, I enjoy the people that I work with, and the companies that I'm working with, but the process isn't what I had wanted to do. And it wasn't what I had envisioned my life looking like. And I was right. And when I finally got a chance I had, like I said, I had done narrative projects. But when I got a chance to do this last feature that I did, and then subsequently got to do two narrative shorts. It was like, oh, okay, yeah, this is what I meant to be doing. And this is what I was missing. So So

Zack Arnold

I would say that there's, there's a lot of logic going on in there as far as the craft, and here's what I enjoy. And I There are a lot of things about the lifestyle, the expectations, the process of documentary, but there's also a deeper level of intuition and emotion. And I know that you and I have kind of in those two have been fighting for a long time, like, well, I should probably just do this and it makes more sense. And it's gonna be easier versus Yeah, but what is your gut really telling you? What is your intuition? And you just kind of said it, but I want to go even deeper into like, no, it's worth all the crap I'm going through right now. Because there's no question, this is what I need to be doing. So how, how are you balancing being able to listen to that, knowing that it's making your life a lot harder right now?

Yvette Amirian

Well, thankfully, I've had a lot of experience with you talking me through it? No, I mean, I'm getting I'm getting calls. And you know, we people reaching out to me all the time, I am not at all opposed to doing a doc series or a doc feature, if it's the right subject and something that really touches my heart. Or, and this is one of the things that I've been experimenting with a little bit more, I'll have like independent doc features come to me and say, Hey, are you available to cut this project? And I'll say no, because I don't I'm not looking to cut a documentary feature, because I personally know how intense that that experience is going to be. But I'm open to supervising or producing or in some fashion, because that's something that I do really well is come in. And like I said, take a look and say, no, no, this is all out of order. This is what you need to do to fix it or being able to take a pass. So I'm not in any way opposed to that if it's the right subject or the right team. But moving forward, my goal is to continue to cutting more narrative features, because the experience of doing the ones that I have done so far has really instilled in me like it's a hard feeling to describe. It's just like, I just love what I'm doing every day. And I didn't have that as much when I was cutting unscripted, maybe it became a little monotonous maybe because the process is so challenging, maybe because the schedules a little bit different. But the process of cutting the last few narrative projects that I did, as challenging as they were because they were as you know, they weren't without challenges. It was just like, I was so excited to get up every morning and work. It didn't feel like work. That's the only way I can explain it.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I don't think that you, you certainly don't have to explain it to me, you probably don't have to explain it to most of everybody that's listening to this because I think anybody that's creative can relate. And one thing that I want to make clear that maybe I should have said a little bit earlier, I don't want to give any sense that there's a feeling of being ungrateful for all the things that happened or it was the wrong path. And I want to be very, very clear, because this has come up before and I don't feel this way at all, but I never want it to come off as well. There's unscripted, but scripted is so much better. Like I just had a recent conversation that may actually release it around the same time as yours. talking to somebody that has an equal level of experience and unscripted versus scripted, just talking about the differences, whether they're better or worse, they're very different. And essentially, what I found in this is kind of getting a little bit more existential and meta about life. And I didn't discover this and I'm the first one ever, it's just I discovered it on my own. And I found that there are many other people that have already discovered it and written about it. So it's not any new idea, but what I found is that at least for me, the most fulfilling version of my My life is not one that's without problems. It's where I'm solving problems that I enjoy solving. Yeah, so my life is riddled with problems right now I could list 100 different problems and obstacles in my life. But man, am I excited to figure them out and solve them. Whereas there are other versions of my career path or what my day might look like, or Mike, is my entire existence based on solving all of these problems. Oh, God, this sucks, right? So I think in a way, you've just decided I want different problems.

Yvette Amirian

That's a really good way of putting it. I like that. And I appreciate the fact that you said that because I am in no way ungrateful and I, I, in many ways, and I think some people might argue with me on this, I think unscripted is in some ways, much harder to do, because like I said, you're not just making decisions and cutting, you're telling a story, you're figuring out how to solve something that doesn't exist. In some cases, you're figuring out multiple types of, you know, media, and how do they fit together, and, and all in all of that. And that's a really good way of putting it because it is really a different type of problem solving. I just feel like I am enjoying that type of problem solving a little bit more right now, at this point in my life.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, there. There are other problems that we're going to talk about that are different on each side that have to do with work life balance, and parenting and whatnot. We'll get there in a little bit. But I want to kind of stick with the creative and the craft side for a second, and better understand how, and we've kind of already gotten into this. But how anybody that's listening that feels like well, I've I've just been doing unscripted. And you and I've talked about the word just more than once, right? Got to eliminate it from your vocabulary, I just work in unscripted, and I want to go into scripted. And then people look as unscripted as it's not as good. And we both agree that they're different crafts. There's a conversation that's been going around on multiple hot seats, we did a mastermind q&a. And I even brought this up for another another editor that I just interviewed last week, which again, hasn't come out but most likely will be out by the time this one, you'll you'll like this one. But it's very specific to unscripted versus scripted. And talking about this might seem like it's a tangent, but I think it's going to better help people that are making a career transition better learn how to tell their stories and provide value even though they might sound like different skill sets. But the question is going to sound unrelated and I promise it's not okay. But I'm not going to give any context other than I'm going to make a statement and I want to know what your responses. Okay. Unscripted, is harder for editors than scripted? Because scripted is paint by numbers.

Yvette Amirian

I completely disagree with that. Why? Because scripted editing has a lot of nuances that yes, on the surface, it might seem like, you know, paint by numbers, it's absolutely not. You have to you know, it's it's, I thought I thought of an analogy the other day, and I thought it was a really good one. And I was because I was trying to explain it to someone now it has to come to me. You have to give me a second to think about it. But no, I absolutely disagree with that.

Zack Arnold

Who are you talking to? Maybe that'll trigger you remember, it wasn't you wasn't me. You and I haven't talked for a while?

Yvette Amirian

Oh, I know I did. I did like an interview. It was like a publication should probably open it up and read it. I think what I said was that I think with, with scripted, you just sort of like dive in and you do it and you keep doing it. It's sort of like chiseling away at it until you have something that works. And then a lot of people come in and give notes and it sort of evolves, evolves, evolves, it's very much like painting or sculpting or whatever, with unscripted, you have to start backwards, you have to think about the whole story first. And then you have to put together these little sequences. And then once that sequence is done, and once this one is done, you put it together, and you kind of have to shape it at that point. So I feel like they're both extremely challenging because they have the same process. I just think unscripted in some ways takes longer, because with scripted, somebody else has gone out and shot that material for you. They've acted in it, they've shot it, they you know, costume design, that they production, design it with unscripted, let's say you're talking about a documentary feature, what are the elements that your director, your producers has gone out and shot, you know, Veritate footage, you know, if it's a concert doc, like the one that I did, there's concert footage, that's a tremendous amount of material to sift through. There's interviews, there's archival, there's photos, there's historical, so it's just a lot more elements to deal with. And no one has written it for you. Yeah, you have a writer maybe that you work with or a story producer, but you're very involved in that process. And more often than not, you don't you know, sometimes you don't even have that position on an independent film. So it just takes a lot longer to craft it. And I think that makes it in some ways more challenging, maybe because it is very time consuming. But I certainly don't think it's like blanket, you know, harder or one is harder or one is easier. And I don't know where this mentality came from. Because I do think that it's something that has persisted in the industry that oh, one is better than the other. I'm not sure where that came from. I certainly don't think that's the case. Just the fact that I've done both and I continue to do both and I you know, like yes, in this immediate kind of future I hope to be able to continue doing more narrative because that's what I'm enjoying now, but I'm not at all opposed to going back and doing you know, a narrative or I'm The documentary so yeah, yeah,

Zack Arnold

I think that one of the reasons and I don't know why I'm just totally speculating, but the word unscripted is just thrown around like it could be anything. And as soon as you see it scripted, oh, sure you work on the Kardashians and Jersey Shore. And, like, kind of the the reality shows that a lot of people, they know, they're entertaining, and they're successful, but they're like, Yeah, I mean, but isn't real television like, you know, it's just kind of mindless entertainment, which again, that's an opinion, those are hard to cut to, oh, they're very, very hard to cut. And to be honest, I have multiple editors on those shows that are members of this community. But I also know they've come to this community because they're looking to do something else, because they're like, been there done that I want to tell different kinds of stories. And in general, people are seeking out scripted, but again, it's not about better or worse, it's about different. The reason I want to dig into this a little bit further, is I want to both help build people's confidence, but also give them the realities of what it means to make a transition not just from unscripted to scripted, but from one thing to another. It doesn't matter what it is. There's a reality to it. So the what I want to dig into next, and I guess it's going to be another blanket question where I'm going to get your answer, Sir, can I assume that by default, if you're great as an unscripted editor, you're going to be a great scripted editor?

Yvette Amirian

I don't know. I think that really depends on the person. It's sort of like saying, you know, because I have friends who have strictly done comedy, and they want to do drama, or friends who have gotten, you know, stuck, or whatever in animation, they want to do live action. I think you have to try it first. And I think a big part of this is like, you can't expect someone to just give you that chance, you have to go out and look for it. So for me, one of the big things that I did was cutting shorts and the realization that like, Oh, yes, no, yeah, I know how to do this. Obviously, I know how to do this. And I'm good at it. And the people who I was working with could see I was good at it. And then another part of it was starting to teach at USC, which obviously like I'm teaching everything, and I'm really good at it. So put first I think a big part of it first is proving it to yourself and believing it yourself. And if you've done that, and you have the work to show for it, then yes, absolutely. They absolutely can.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, believing in yourself, obviously, is a huge foundation of a lot of the work that I do with people in this program, including yourself. Because if you don't believe you're a scripted editor, you're not going to convince anybody else that you're a scripted editor, right. But when it comes to this idea of making the transition between A and B, and in this instance, unscripted editing, to scripted editing, but I want to make sure that this is about going from A to B, there's kind of two extremes. One of them is and this is coming from the the outside perspective. Well, if you're an unscripted editor, you can't do scripted, you stay in your lane, you get hired for those jobs, but we're not going to take a chance on you. Because unscripted people can't do scripted. But then the opposite end of that is, I'm a storyteller. I'm an editor and I tell a story. So by default, that means that I can edit anything. I believe there's a there's something in the middle, I'm curious what you think

Yvette Amirian

I agree with you on that absolutely agree with you I've had, I mean, look, I won't name the show or the or the project. But there was an unscripted project that I was on, where we had some scripted editors come in and try to do it, and they, they had a really hard time doing it. So it is a hard thing to do. And if you haven't, if your brain hasn't been trained that way, if you don't know how to look at that much footage, and tell that kind of story, it comes by practice, I didn't know how to cut that show when I first started it, and I was an unscripted editor, but I had to, I had to learn it. And I'm really good at absorbing information, I'm really good at looking at the style of a show or looking at the style of a project that maybe like the pilot editor has put together or whatever. And and mimicking that, but bringing my own spin to it. So I think a lot of that comes from from practice. And I think on the the other end of it, I don't I hate that idea of like, well, you can't do it. There is it's it's just a matter of like, are you willing to give that person a chance. I mean, we all know somebody who has gotten that chance, and they've taken off, you know, like they've they've had a tremendous career, but someone had to give them that opportunity first. And for me, that's an important thing. That's one of the reasons why I really like if I can like to give my TAs opportunities as my assistants are, you know, like that kind of thing. So that's something that I'm really big on because I want to make sure that I'm paying it forward and giving people those chances.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, I'm very much in agreement and that there's a middle ground. And there's a lot of nuance to that, which is one of my biggest pet peeves ever since I've been not working in the industry because I spent the first seven or eight years working by myself with no network and didn't know anybody. And then all of a sudden kind of ingratiating myself in the community and going to panels and meetup groups and once I started ingratiate myself into the community of this industry, just hearing the blatant disrespect for Oh yeah, well, you know, if you do this, you can't do that. Right. It's like it just drives me crazy. I know. And so it's like I said, it's not about editors. I'm sure that their first ad is that or like, but I get direct yeah, stay in your lane and be a first ad or, you know, camera operator to dp. It's pretty much a universal conversation. But what I'm trying to caution people Bill against is always falling back on Yeah, but I'm a storyteller. So I can do anything, you kind of can't. And you still need to develop a different skill set, just editing versus editing trailers versus editing, music videos versus editing, unscripted versus editing, scripted, those are different languages, you have the foundational skill set as a storyteller. And you know, the Anneli, and you know, the buttons, depress, but you can't just ride on the fact that I'm a storyteller, there's still nuances to each specific craft, and the language that's spoken that you have to learn. So I'm trying to help people find that middle ground between everybody says, I can't do it, versus I can absolutely do it as an editor, as an editor,

Yvette Amirian

I think you have to be able to have something to show that you're capable of doing it. I mean, I don't think I would have landed the last feature that I have done if I hadn't had all of this experience leading up to it. And I'm grateful I What's that saying? You always have it, it's not luck. It's like the intersection

Zack Arnold

Yeah luck is the intersection of hard work and opportunity.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, I feel like maybe like when you finally get like that project that you think is going to make the difference. Like, it's easy to think like, oh, that person is lucky, or that person, whatever. But no, if I hadn't had all of this experience, leading me up to that point, I wouldn't have been able to do it. And I'm grateful that I had, you know, someone like you helping guide me through it and everything. So, you know, yeah, I think a big part of it is like, you have to also create opportunities for you to have that work to showcase so that when that opportunity finally comes up, it's like, oh, look, here's this other thing that I've done. Here's these other things that I've done, that I've done to show you that I'm capable of doing this, if you'll just give me that chance.

Zack Arnold

Alright, so this is what we call in the industry, the perfect segue, because you mentioned the film, the independent film that you just cut. And I think that one of the main questions that people are wanting to know is, how did you make the transition from unscripted back to scripted? We don't have to list the 157 outreach emails that you and I have throughout the process. But if we were to give them the shorter version, that and it's so funny, bring up luck, because I've had an in depth meta, you know, conversation about those of like four people now. And I want to clarify something very, very quickly. If you've listened to a few others, you've already heard me say this, if you haven't, and needs to be said, it's not that I don't believe luck doesn't exist. Luck exists. But I think that we give it far too much credit. And I think luck can be ascribed to things that absolutely have no control whatsoever. Just this random thing happens in the universe. But that it's only luck, if you are prepared for that moment that happened. Right. So it's not that it doesn't exist, but I think people give far too much credit to that person's lucky never gonna happen to me. So why should I try?

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, right. Yeah. Yeah, totally. There's a lot of like meetings or, you know, people that I met along the way that when I look back, and I think like, oh, gosh, like, I didn't get that opportunity, or I, I didn't offer it to me, it's like what I've really been prepared to handle it at that point in my life, probably not, you know, and it only takes that, you know, that knowledge, wisdom, whatever, right, in retrospect to realize that,

Zack Arnold

right. So kind of going back to my earlier question before I you know, hit the brakes and had to get on my soapbox for 90 seconds about the concept of luck. We don't have to workshop all 157 outreach message messages again. But if somebody wanted to know, how did you make this transition to not only getting a scripted project, but you were being led to the Tribeca Film Festival, one of the feature projects, how in the world did all this come about?

Yvette Amirian

So one of the producers was a mutual friend of mine, like, talk about like, kind of random stories. He was someone who was like, a manager at a restaurant that my husband and I used to frequent and we became really good friends with him and came to realize like, Oh, he's a producer and a screenwriter. And he found that I was an editor. And we kept in touch over the years. And there was like one other project that didn't quite work out. And then this one came came my way. And I asked if they'd be willing to introduce me to the director, which they did had a great conversation with one of the other producers and then eventually with the director, and, you know, somehow convinced them to let me cut it. I don't know. No, it was a it felt very serendipitous. Robert Metallian is the director. He's incredibly talented. He did a movie that played at Sundance in 2020, called the killing of two lovers. It's gotten a lot of amazing critical acclaim as it should. And he directed and edited that himself. So I was the most thing I was most nervous about was coming into a project where he had worked with other editors before, but it was someone who was his, like, co directing partner. So that was an interesting transition for me, but thankfully turned out really, really wonderfully because he's collaborative and kind and just a great person to work with.

Zack Arnold

So given how serendipitous this was, it's just seems like it go flies in the face of everything I just said about luck. And all of a sudden, you're, you're lucky and this guy showed up in your life. So it seems to me that all the time we spent learning, networking and outreach and the psychology of finding the right projects like what a waste of time you could have sat around, stared at the wall and this opportunity would have fallen in your lap.

Yvette Amirian

No And it did it. And it didn't, because that particular relationship was something that was developed over time, and then getting a chance to connect with him. Like I said, you know, it was, it was having him see all the work that I'd done, actually, you know what I think was one of the things that convinced him, do you remember that? It wasn't a podcast, you remember that panel that you and Dan and I did with Norman Hollen, like way back, I said something in that panel, and he happened to find that online, and he liked something that I had said, and I think he told me at one point that that's part of what convinced him so again, it was like these years and years of experience and, and being able to have that in my in my work history that I think really convinced him. And of course, he looked at some of my other work and everything, I think maybe like the primary thing that convinced him that it would be a good partnership was a phone call that we had, and I and this is true, I genuinely believe this. But as an editor, my number one goal is to help execute the director's vision. It's not my movie, it's not something I wrote and directed. You know, I have different ideas about it coming in, because I'm my own person. And I think what he was really excited about and gave me a lot of freedom with was he wanted to see what I brought to the table, he wants to see what my first pass on, it would look like before he kind of stepped in and you know, gave his perspective.

Zack Arnold

So I don't want to spend the rest of the call and the rest of this interview doing nothing but giving you kudos, and it's going to take me some restraint to do that. But one of the things that I want to point out that I think is so important about this that you kind of sort of touched upon, but I don't think you hit it as hard as really needs to be emphasized to understand how challenging it was to move into this role. Yeah, the initial discussion, was it just kind of need somebody to help me assemble the pieces, and I'm gonna kind of sort of do it myself. Maybe I will, maybe I won't. It's so it wasn't just a matter of I can cut, you really had to step in there and prove your worth.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, no, there was at one point, there was discussions about like, maybe he wanted to be involved in the edit. And even early on, I think I even like sent him a hard drive with an avid project. And I said, if you want to step in, you know, I was willing to share an editing credit with him if he wanted to. But I think within the first, you know, we couple weeks or so of me assembling it, because I got him involved very early, I think there was a realization of like, okay, she knows what she's doing. And she's actually really good. And there was one moment in particular, there was like one part of the film that I mean, at this point, we like had pretty much all that I had assembled. But there was one part of the movie that wasn't working the way that I had been written. And this is where like, my unscripted brain came in. And I was like, can you just leave me alone with this for a couple days? And mind you, this is like, in the middle of the pandemic, we're not working together one on one. So that was challenging, you know, he lives in Utah, I live in LA. So I did my magic with that and sent it back to him. And I think I even kept the text. He was like, wow, how did you? How did you do that? Like, I can't believe it actually works and flows better than I thought it would. So I think like after that, it was sort of like, okay, like, you know, there was nothing, not that there was like nothing more to prove. But you know what I mean? And I think that's the case on every project, though. I think that that's the case on any project that you work on, like anytime you're working with someone for the first time, unscripted documentary, scripted, whatever, TV series movie, there's always like this moment of like, oh, okay, like, they actually know what they're doing. And that I remember distinctly one time that happening on an unscripted series, not one that I'm like, particularly proud of. But there was a really heavy scene, like a really heavy scene. And I ended up with that episode somehow. And I remember the supervising editor who like, wasn't really, I don't know, just didn't really seem confident that I could do it was like, I mean, just super, super impressed. So I feel like that's always the case on projects. But there's always like this moment for me. And I think that's the most frustrating part of like, maybe being a freelancer, not so much an editor, but it constantly feels like you have to like prove yourself over and over and over again.

Zack Arnold

Yeah, it's exhausting. Yeah, we all have to do it. Right. You, you think I've been doing this for 20 years. But what's the nature of the gig economy, even though it feels like a quote unquote, full time job for four months or eight months, or whatever the length of it is? You're working with brand new people with a different workflow in a different environment telling different stories? Yeah. So there's always that feeling of proving yourself I even remember doing that when I started Cobra Kai. I'm like, it's like I hit the reset button. And I got to work long hours and prove myself again, the nice thing is that with people that really know what they're doing, it doesn't take long, right? It's like once they see a first editors cutter a director's cut, it's like, Okay, nevermind, right. This person understands what they're doing. However, you said, Isn't it that always always the way that it works? The caveat is, you feel that way, because that's always the way that it works with you. It doesn't always work that way with everybody else, because a lot of people and I've seen this from the other end of things where they're confident they can do it. And then you realize, and they realize, oh, maybe you can't and this isn't the best fit.

Yvette Amirian

Sure. Oh, I see. Yeah. Yeah.

Zack Arnold

So I've been on both ends of that one. I worked on a show where I realized this isn't really my thing. Three weeks later, they saw a few cuts are like, Yeah, this isn't a good fit for us. We're gonna let you go. Right. And I've always joked that like, you haven't really made it in Hollywood until you've been fired. I was like, Alright, I made it.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, well, I have I mean, like, I've certainly been on projects where I'm like, I'm not really into this now so much that I can't do it, or I'm not capable of doing it. But I mean, thankfully, those haven't lasted too long. Or they, you know, I mean, one of the nice things about working on series that I actually really miss is when we were on multiple, you know, seasons of like, I did multiple seasons of the series called Whale Wars, for example, like that was something that I got very comfortable with, that's a hard show to cut, anybody who's done it knows that it's a really, really challenging show to cut. And it was so nice, because every season, you knew, I'm going to be coming back. And I know how to do this, you know, you felt very confident in your ability. So I do I do miss that a little bit with series, I imagine with Cobra Kai, maybe that's the case. Now you've settled into a little

Zack Arnold

very settled, never comfortable,

Yvette Amirian

Never comfortable, but very settled. So I do I do miss that a little bit about series for sure. Because now and maybe I've been feeling that more with the idea of proving yourself because the majority of what I've been doing for the past, I don't know, since like, what are we now 2222. So like, almost seven, eight years has been primarily like features, or long form projects,

Zack Arnold

what we've alluded to this, in the previous parts of the episode, I put a pin in it, I'm gonna take that pin out. And we're just going to dig right into this. Okay, which is understanding and being very honest about how challenging this transition is being a parent,

Yvette Amirian

anything in this industry is hard being a parent. But transitions are particularly challenging.

Zack Arnold

So once again, I kind of go back to a similar question through a very different lens. You had a maid you're working on these great projects and unscripted, getting paid really well. You've got people begging you to be a showrunner. You've got two young kids at home, why not just write it out? Maybe it's not comfortable? But it sure would have been a lot easier.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, um, I think I don't know what being a showrunner would have been easier, because I would have had to do a lot more traveling. And that was part of what stopped me from going down that that road, but certainly being like a supervising editor, or supervising producer was very comfortable position on those shows, because it gave me a lot of flexibility. I wasn't the one physically at the controls. And of course, this is pre pandemic, when we were having to, like physically go into an office, I think there's two things. There's two things for me, personally, and I think it'll change as they get older. For context, I have an 11 year old and a three year old. So the three year old will be in school this year. And I think that'll make things infinitely easier.

Zack Arnold

Did I just see confetti go off in the background? I thought I saw like a big confetti thing. Like you just won the Super Bowl. Maybe that's just a glitch in the video?

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, yeah, no, no, I mean, look, it's it's hard, I think. So I don't know how people do it. When there's like two parents working in the industry, I give those people like immense, just I don't know. But you know, one of the hard things for us is I never know, when the next job is coming from, I never know how long it's gonna last, I don't know what the culture or the schedule is going to be like. So anytime my husband and I, for example, have tried to talk about like a schedule. He, he knows, like, he knows now because we've been together, since we were in high school, like, okay, when she takes a job, things are just gonna kind of like, explode, you know, he knows I'm gonna need him more. So for me, what's worked is being a little more selective with the projects that I take. So really doing the things that, you know, are either going to benefit me in the sense that, you know, it's maybe a network or a streaming service that I haven't done before, I really want to get it on my resume, or it's a filmmaker that I really want to work with, or it's a project that would help me kind of reach my goal. So I'm trying to be a little more selective with what I'm choosing, and maybe not working 50 weeks a year, like I used to, because that, unfortunately, at this point in my life is not a possibility. And it took me a very long time to get to the point where I sort of recognized that and accepted it and you know, said, okay, and trying to find people to work with who are whatever you want to call it, like family friendly, I don't know, Robert is a husband and a father. And so he just kind of got it. And he was super flexible with my schedule. So we had this great thing where, you know, I would get up at the crack of dawn and just like work until around three o'clock, and then I'd have to stop down or teach or whatever it is I had to do. And then I could come back on in the evening. And he was a night owl too. So that worked really, really well for us. So I think those things like being more selective, finding people who kind of get it have been really helpful for me. And then as far as like having a, um, you need a support system. I mean, if you're going to work these kinds of crazy hours, which sort of it is what it is, yes, we have to find ways to create balance. And that's like a bigger discussion. But you know, when you're going into a project, you know, that it's going to be very, very time consuming. So making sure there's someone to pick up the kids making sure there's some sort of schedule in place, making sure I have either a nanny or the kids are in school next year, all of those things, it's a lot to juggle, I think that's the big thing is a lot of people don't realize that it's like, it's, it's, it's like having two jobs because you have your work that you have to schedule and be committed to, and you have these humans to keep alive. And then there's the house. So it's a lot. It's a lot, but I'm finding ways to make it work. Because ultimately, I feel like if I wasn't doing it, I wouldn't be as happy a person. I love what I do. I feel genuinely like grateful that I love what I do. And I'm happy when I'm working. And I'm grateful that I have people around me that support me during that

Zack Arnold

I'm exhausted, just listening to all that. It's exhausting, right. Like I've I've made it very, very clear. And I hope that I made it clear to her and I'm sure I haven't done a good enough job because I'm the man and I'm a husband. There's no way I could have done what I've done without my wife. And it's not just because she's a great person. It's because her lifestyle is very different. She's a teacher, which means that as of 225, every day, she gets to be a mom, it's never I've got to do overtime today, or we've got it, there's no running around figuring things out. She said the exact same schedule in the exact same life, since the first semester out of college, right been the same thing for 20 years. So she's the rock, we can count on this, we know that we have a certain amount of income coming in, she teaches for LAUSD, so certainly not a lot. But the point being that that is stable, and we build around it such that you can focus on the job of being the parents, I can be part of the support system. But if we were to rely on me to make sure that they get the Boy Scouts and the gymnastics, actually, I do take my daughter to gymnastics three times Wait, but that's a different story. I can do that now that I work from home. But the point being that, like you said, it takes a support system, but even given all the support systems, your parents, your husband and everything else. I know the answer to this, and I'll let you go as deep or shallow as you want. Have you questioned whether it's even worth it making this transition specifically? Because you're a parent?

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, yes. Because I feel like I would have like, not I don't know if the right were just like presented myself, but like, I would have been angry with myself for not trying it. And I will say I had the I don't know what the right way to say it. So for like, we've been married, this end of the month is our 15 year wedding anniversary.

Zack Arnold

Great gratulations. We just had my 15 year like, three weeks ago,

Yvette Amirian

I feel like you and I did all the same like things. Yes. And we have kids the same age. So you know, for a good chunk of our marriage, I was the one who was like working. And he was kind of trying to figure out his business. He's a businessman, and trying to get things to be a little more stable, and really just in the past, like, you know, two or three years that he's managed to achieve that. And I've been very supportive of him doing that. And he's been very supportive of me and my career. And so now I feel like I have a little more a little more freedom to be able to pick and choose and not have to say yes to every project that's coming my way. And I'm really, really, really grateful to him for that, because I didn't have that five years ago. And now that I do it felt like, you know, if I don't do it now, I'll never do it, because then I'll get too comfortable. And I'll keep doing the same types of projects. And yes, like, yeah, I've gotten a lot of these great accolades. And those are, you know, hopefully, hopefully, those would keep coming. And it would make it that much harder to be able to move forward. And eventually it would get to a point where I would look back and say, Oh, well, if only I had done it, it's it's been challenging to make that transition with kids. But at the same time, it's actually been kind of great, because independent projects in particular, are a lot easier to do from home and a lot easier to do remotely or to be able to do kind of on your own schedule, because they don't have as much of the restrictions that we do for a big streaming service, or, you know, for a big network series or something like that. So in some ways, it's actually been a really, really great time to do it. And I kind of like being in this independent independent pocket, I hope to do bigger projects moving forward, obviously. I mean, that's always the goal to be able to move to bigger projects, but I've really enjoyed it, and it's worked for my lifestyle right now.

Zack Arnold

Alright, so then let's assume that the head of post production at searchlight is listening to this conversation says, Oh, my God, I have to hire a vet on this total prestige Andy with a $15 million budget and an accelerated schedule. How are you going to respond to that? If they want to hire you?

Yvette Amirian

I would do it, I would find a way to do it.

Zack Arnold

Okay, so let's talk about that. You didn't even hesitate in your answer. Let me tell you know, How challenging is going to be

Yvette Amirian

because my husband might just had this conversation. So look, I mean, realistically, like, once they're in school, you know, that's going to be a game changer for me, I think. And I mean, let's, let's look at the fact that like I managed to I mean, for context, you know, the the movie that I did that went to Tribeca, we cut it in. I started it with both kids home, and my husband home, but my husband was working. So let's, you know, I had no babysitter. I had no parents. It was like January of 2021. So this is like pre vaccines or anything. And I was teaching at the same time, twice a week at nights. I got the harddrive on January 19. And I had a cut to him on February 10. So I'm really fast and I am very, very zoned in when I'm working. And then we had everything finished by I think it was like the end of March. So I'm capable of doing an accelerated schedule like me myself. And as long as I have all the other things around me set, it's it's doable. The thing is that it's not forever, right, you're not taking on that project for with an accelerated schedule and saying, honey, I'm going to do this for the next, you know, three years, I'm going to be traveling for the next six months. No, it's a very limited amount of time. So that's something that he and I have talked a lot about is that when that next project comes, we're going to find a way to do it with the understanding that it's going to be like one project at a time. If there's an opportunity to roll into another one. That's a different discussion. But it always has to sort of be like one project at a time. And that's what's going to work for us now.

Zack Arnold

Well, it sounds like you've got it all figured out. And you've made the transition from unscripted and scripted, and you're all good. You got your film and Tribeca. So done, right, like you are on easy street going forwards or you know, what, what do you mean?

Yvette Amirian

No, I mean, look, it's I was, I was talking to another girlfriend. She's a phenomenal editor. And she's one of my role models, truly. And she just did a huge film, I can't remember it was for Netflix, or Hulu. But we were talking about the fact that like, when you're not working, it's like more work, because you're constantly hustling. Yeah, I have an agent. Yeah, I have a publicist, yeah, I have all these other things. But at the end of the day, you're your own brand, You're your own person, like putting yourself out there. So you see an opportunity come up, you're submitting for that job, you find someone you want to reach out to you, the person who's reaching out for them to them. So it's always about, you know, like being able to constantly move yourself forward. And I think actually, there's like a lot more pressure coming out of Tribeca because it feels like, Okay, this is very fresh, and very new. And we've gotten all these really great reviews. So I have to act on it now. Because in six months in a year, it's last year's film, right? So that's a big part of it, too, is just constantly wanting to push that forward. While it's while it's happening. And it's a lot of work. But you know, for me, it's worthwhile, because I know that it's what I want to do. And I love the experience so much that I want to do it again, I wouldn't want to do it again, if the last few projects that I had done weren't great, you know.

Zack Arnold

So you just jumped over the best part, you yatta yatta, the best part? What was it, I've got an agent and publicist made it sound so simple. Like, you know, we didn't deliberate these things for weeks upon weeks upon weeks, upon weeks upon weeks. So if I'm listening to this, for the first time, I'm in a similar position, Jack, now you're telling me I need an agent and a publicist to get my next job, like, let's talk about this.

Yvette Amirian

They didn't get me this job, I got myself this job.

Zack Arnold

I'm very glad you said that. But the assumption is, well, now that you've got this team, you just sit back and they give me all my work.

Yvette Amirian

So I want to say my agent, my publicist are both phenomenal, and I love them. But my agent and publicist both came after I got that project. So looking forward to what the next thing is going to be. I am working with them to try and figure out how to make that that happen. But the process of getting an agent is not an easy one. I mean, you know, I've been at this for many, many, many years. I mean, that's like a whole other story that I can tell that took, I think the first time I got in contact with my agency was 2016, I want to say, and it took like six years now. And before that I had reached out to multiple other agencies, of course,

Zack Arnold

and not to mention the months and months of deliberations between the two of us about do I need an agent? And if so how do I reach out? How do I connect? How do I set up the meeting? I've got the meeting, how do I pitch them? Like we've we've had many a conversation about it. So like I said, You yada yada the best part? But having said that, do you feel that for somebody that's in a similar position as you now where and this is, it has nothing to do with the fact that it's an indie film, but just in general, one of the most common challenges you hear people say, and all crass, it is harder getting the second credit than getting the first and I know technically, it's not your first scripted credit, but in the world that you're getting into of prestige Indies and moving into the studio space. It's kind of sort of your first credit in that realm. And everybody says it's harder to get the second than the first. So if I'm in a similar position, do I have to get an agent and a publicist?

Yvette Amirian

I don't know. I mean, I I like having both of those people. For me. They're a wonderful support system, like my publicist was really amazing helping me navigate Tribeca because that was like my first big festival experience. And I don't think I would have been able to manage it without him. And my agent has just been like a great sounding board for like, do I take this project? Do I not take this project, and there have been other ones that have come my way that I actually one of them, I turned down in December, which you and I talked about a lot because the timing was just awful. But I enjoy having that support system and I enjoy having that team. For me initially looking for an agent was really more about like a hated negotiating my own deals, and constantly felt like I was missing something. And so I'm really grateful that she's been able to like take on that part of it for me, but it has developed into more because it's developed into a really great friendship and relationship and I really trust her and I know that she has my best interests at heart and wanting to help You get that next project?

Zack Arnold

Yeah. And one of the conversations that you and I had multiple times and I kept just badgering you with this question over and over, essentially trying to deduce down, do you want an agent for the right reasons or the wrong ones? Sure, because there's a wrong reason to want an agent. And as we talked about, what's the wrong reason to want to get an agent,

Yvette Amirian

you think they're gonna get you jobs?

Zack Arnold

I don't know anybody, and I can't open any doors. Once I have an agent, they're gonna get my work for me and do the work that I don't want to do.

Yvette Amirian

They will. I mean, she puts me up for things all the time. And but a lot of it is also like, you know, she helped me redo my resume and kind of making sure all those things were correct. But ultimately, it's about being able to get in the room, and that's what they're gonna be able to do. And then you have to be able to sell yourself for that next, whatever that project is.

Zack Arnold

And I think that also one of the things we've talked about, and alluding to the 157 outreach, emails will be workshopped. You can't outsource building your network to an agent. Yeah, they're going to know they're going to know what's hot. And hey, this one movie is looking for editors, and they're submitting all the agencies, we want to put you up for it, those things are going to happen. But ultimately, if there are projects that you want to work on, and you want to guide the owner, you're very specific and unique path for what you want your resume to look like. Most agents aren't going to focus on that they want to make sure that you are employed. And in order to carve your own path, even with an agent, this is another thing we've discussed. You have to be very judicious with your use of the word no. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And I think that that's something that you have learned how to navigate very well. But it's been a challenge, just as if it is for everybody. Because man, it is enticing to want to say yes to that thing, because it solves all the financial issues. And it's not going to be that hard. And I already know how to do it. So what has been the the main thing like what is the thought that always pops in your head when you're like, I really want to say yes, but I have to say no, what's what's the thought that always allows you to summon that courage?

Yvette Amirian

You I can't remember the phrase you taught me, but you always told me like, is this going to help me get one step closer to my goal? And usually the answer is no. Because yeah, in some cases, it's like, yes, okay, this gives me like a network or streaming service or something that maybe I don't have on my resume before. But like, is it going to help me get closer to that goal? No, because this person is not going to be able to help me get like the next narrative feature. They're not working within that world. Yeah, it'll be a great story. Maybe it'll be up for like me contention or something like that. But is that my goal? No, my goal is to be able to tell the specific types of stories and work within this specific world, at least right now. Like, that's my goal. And that could change as as goals do. But right now, that's what I want to be doing.

Zack Arnold

Alright, so then what's the plan next,

Yvette Amirian

the plan next is to hopefully find another narrative feature or narrative series. But ideally, I'd like to stay in the world of features. I actually after Roberts project, I cut two incredible short films, narrative short films that I'm really proud of one of them, the directors currently, pitching it around to different or sending it around to different festivals. And the other one is developing it into a feature and looking to get financing. So that's a very viable option. There's a few other independent features that I'm in the process of talking to, but nothing's been solidified yet. And I will say this is one of the hard things with independent features is that things will get pushed around a lot. So you'll get a project and then it'll get pushed, and then you find something else. And then it conflicts so so that's been a little bit challenging, but I'm looking forward to whatever that next thing is. And hopefully, with integrity of Joseph chambers, hopefully we'll get news on distribution shoots soon, which will also help kind of make that next leap. Because I feel like that's the thing that's missing is it hasn't been like as highly publicized yet, even as much as his last film, which landed at NEON. So hopefully that will help help move things along as well.

Zack Arnold

All right, so five years from now, what's on your resume? And what is your career look like? Oh, Poppy sack you think I was gonna make this easy on your Did you you should know me well enough by now.

Yvette Amirian

Five years from now, I'm more narrative features in the independent landscape. But hopefully, like you said, the bigger ones, maybe a Fox Searchlight, maybe some of these bigger like Lionsgate, something like that. And or working on narrative series, which I'd really love to explore as well. There's a lot of really great series out there that I think I could be a great fit for. So who knows?

Zack Arnold

What are the non negotiable things that you have set his boundaries for making sure you don't lose sight of all the things in your life that can get lost when you hyper focus on only making sure that that goal becomes a reality?

Yvette Amirian

I think having very realistic conversations about what the day to day looks like on a project and I think a lot of that, at least on features comes from what the directors style is. So that's something that um, the last few interviews that I've done has been a big conversation that they even bring up. How do you want to work? Do you mind if we come to your house? Do you want us to set up an office space for you? And I prefer working from home but I find that there's a lot of value in being able to go somewhere as well. But you know, so far for me, it's been really doable. So I think having a having anybody who I'm working with, have an understanding of that balance or want that type of balance in their life, too, is something that I genuinely gravitate toward. And I think it's important to have those conversations, because if it turns out that they're the type of person who wants, you know, is expecting you to be there, you know, 1516 hours a day, I might be able to say yes to that. But I then I have to have a clear idea of like, how long is that going to last? And is my family going to be on board with this my support system going to be on board with it? And I think for the right projects, they absolutely would be because they know how much I want to be able to make this transition. And I do think, I do think a lot of it is like, when you get that first big one, then it becomes a little bit easier. And I I think maybe this was it, but I'm not I'm not sure yet. So

Zack Arnold

Well, as I talked about much earlier, I don't want you to fall into the trap. And I don't think you are but I'm just kind of elucidating this for anybody listening, having the fallacy in your mind, or the vision in your mind that as I climb the ladder, and I get bigger and better projects, my life becomes easier, and I have less problems, the problems become bigger and more complex, you just better enjoy solving them. So given all of that, you know what's ahead of you? Is there anything that's absolutely non negotiable, you draw the line in the sand, I don't care what this project is, or how much money you're going to pay me, based on my values and the most important things in my life. This is where I draw the line. And unfortunately, this is not a good fit.

Yvette Amirian

I don't know, I don't know that if I have an answer to that. I think sometimes, you know, certain projects will be done. And then they want you to keep going like that's a hard thing for me to always negotiate and say no to I maybe have to get better with that. But I, I tend to fall in love with the projects and people that I'm working with and just kind of want to people, please Like you said, and I care a lot about the project. So I always wanted to be the best that I can be

Zack Arnold

the reason I bring that up. And I realized I've kind of slipped into coach mode versus podcast mode for a second. But the reason that I brought that up, is because when you're really really good at what you do, and you climb the ladder, this is going to become a much more complex problem. Because people are going to want everything from you. And at some point, you're going to have to have a non negotiable line in the sand because everybody's going to test it. And if you don't have it, you're allowing the other people in your life to set boundaries for you. So I'm not saying you need an answer now. But this is the kind of thing that can happen relatively quickly, where in your mind if you're prepared with a non negotiables, it makes interviews and negotiating a lot easier rather than Oh, crap. I didn't see that coming. And I've lost the next year and a half of my life.

Yvette Amirian

Oh, yeah. No, I wouldn't have never let it go that far.

Zack Arnold

I don't think you don't think you would. But it happens more often than you would know to people that assume that's the same, which is why I've really had to be very, very clear about what are my boundaries and non negotiables. And I'm a very, very difficult negotiator when it comes to accepting projects, not by money. I mean, yes, with money, I still expect to be paid my value. But as far as time expectations when I'm available, when I'm not available, being able to do all the other things that I'm doing, I set very clear non negotiables. And I can picture them. So if somebody were to just come out of the blue and offer me an amazing show, alright, well, here are my non negotiables I don't have to think about it, if what they're asking of me is me 24/7.

Yvette Amirian

And so that's what yours are.

Zack Arnold

It's, it's, I don't want to go too deep into it. But it really has to do with boundaries around my time and my goals that are outside of being an editor. And I've been pretty honest with people on this show that if the words cobra or chi are not in the title, I'm probably unavailable. I'm pretty much universally turning everything down. And I've even when people have said to me if I've met at a party, whether it's industry related or not industry related, oh, what do you do? I started with and it took me by the way, three years to be able to say this out loud. I'm a recently retired Hollywood Film and Television editor. That's how I started the conversation. Doors still open for Cobra Kai, and maybe something that comes along. It's amazing. But we're talking about to crack. Right, right. So the non negotiables for me are if you expect enough of my time that I have to put a hold on everything I'm doing with this coaching program, it's an instant, no, it does not matter how much money you have the work and time that I've gone into building this community. And these resources and the vision that I have in my head of what I want it to become people look at it, they're like, Oh, this is so cool. I'm like, this is like version 1.1 of like version 10 of what it is that I ultimately want to build. I have at least five to 10 years of building this into what I really want it to be. And I don't want to keep stopping over and over and over to work on a TV show for 810 12 months at a time. So one of my non negotiables even on Cobra Kai and they've been more than accommodating is that I'm unavailable until 11am. So I can coach my students anything after 11 You owe me let's get this show down and let's figure it out. But they were willing to bend because they know that I'm very good at managing my time and I'm still going to deliver a great product the deadline Give me. So that's one of my non negotiables.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, I didn't realize you were thinking about something like that specific, because we talked a little bit about, like making sure that the project fits with what I want to do. I mean, I don't know that it's a non negotiable. But one of the things that I found most people have been very flexible with me on in the last few projects is allowing me to have flexibility with my time, particularly when I'm working from home. So the Amazon project that I did, actually, ironically, it was right before the pandemic, but because I was so like, it was just right after I had had the baby. They wanted me to come on that project. And I initially said no, and then they came back. And they asked again, because I think they wanted me to start in August, and he was born in May, the project didn't end up starting until October. And I said, you have to you have to let me work from home. So they set up a remote remote system that eventually ended up benefiting them during the pandemic just a few months later. But I was able to work from home a few days a week. And eventually I think they got to the point where they realize like, okay, yeah, we can trust her to work from home. And so they just let me work from home. So I think just being able to have a little bit of that flexibility, where at least I have some sort of hybrid situation is really important to me, because there are there I'm totally fine with being in an office. But I personally don't think that it's something that has to happen 100% of the time, at least on an independent feature doesn't

Zack Arnold

Okay, good. So now we're getting to we're getting into the nuances of better understanding non negotiables, this is certainly one of mine, I have a lot less flexibility than you do at this point. My situation is 98.7% work from home, not 100%. But over the course of the entire season of Cobra Kai, I went into the office once amazing one time, that was it. And that was great. The previous season, I think I went in five times, I'm totally fine with that if it facilitates the creative process, the collaborative process, happy to do it. If the expectation is that we are going to walk in the office, whether it's one day, a week, two days a week, five days a week, and your warm body needs to be at this desk, there's nothing else for me to negotiate, because that's non negotiable. Because again, number one, it takes me away from the things that I'm doing with my present goals that have to do with the business that have to do with helping others that are working towards their career dreams. But number two, I can't be a present parent. And my kids are now at that point where they're 12 and 10. And they're inching dangerously close. And it even happens once in a while, where they hate their parents. That moment of that sweet spot of enjoying time with each other and playing games and watching Stranger Things. That window was that close and fast. There is no credit or paycheck on the planet. This is going to allow me to miss that such that when I'm done in two years, both my kids hate me. Right? And that's non negotiable.

Yvette Amirian

Yeah, yeah. No, I agree with you on that. And I think just having that little bit of, you know, one of the things that working from home allows me, I mean, first of all, I get a lot more done, I think I'm just a more productive person when I'm able to work from home, but just the ability, like, stop down, be with them for a little bit, whether it's dinner time, or we just watch Stranger Things too

Zack Arnold

like everybody else on the planet.

Yvette Amirian

But it was like, but it was like our thing like his birthday cake he's born on Fourth of July was, you know, a stranger things cake. And it's like, it's the thing that he's into now. And it's something that we both enjoy. So being able to experience that together is something very special. He's 11. So we get that attitude quite a bit, too. We're on the verge of that window closing. So yes, I think that's absolutely, that's really important. And that was one of the best things that the pandemic brought for me was being able to work from home where I could stop down, be present for a little bit. And then I am a night owl. So like, I'll work from 10 until two and yeah, we can argue that that's not great for you in terms of like lack of sleep and stuff. But it works for me. Because I like it's the most productive time for me. And I'm able to like just do everything that I need to do and get it done. And I feel really, really good about what I've accomplished that day.

Zack Arnold

So the short version is there's still a lot to navigate. There's a lot more to learn more challenges to solve, but you're very much on the path. And I firmly believe and I know that every once in a while I have to kind of nudge you a little bit. But I firmly believe you will very much make this transition. And you are going to be at the level of a prestige scripted narrative editor, whether it's features or TV is yet to be seen. But I have no doubt you're going to be at that prestige level. At some point. I can't give you a timeline. I think it's going to be sooner than you think. But I also know that you're very impatient, and you want it to happen five years ago. But I am confident that it's going to happen because you're doing the action, you are doing the work. And inevitably, as long as that happens, and you don't give up i think it's going to happen. But what I want you to think about given that's the case is I want you to think at one point in this journey, whether it was a year ago, two years ago or 20 years ago, I'm not exactly sure which and you think that I'd be able to pinpoint it given how well I know the points but I don't know which one to pinpoint. But I want you to think about when you are at your most insecure and unsure about whether or not you should embrace the fear. You should go for these challenges. Can I even do this as a parent or as an Armenian woman or Fill in the blank, whatever the doubts or the fears were. Can you picture a moment that you would want to travel back in time? Yes. Okay. Are you? Okay, sharing what that moment is?

Yvette Amirian

Let me think about this. I think it was. I mean, if we're talking about like, was I sure if I wanted to, like keep going during the transition? I, I mean, I think we all sort of have questioned to some degree, right, like, you know, like, what are we doing next crazy business? You know, what are we even doing? No, I think it was when my first son was young. And we had hit a little bit of a, a difficult point in our marriage. And I was starting to see how much it was affecting our marriage and our family life and wanting to see where I wanted to make that transition. Did it make sense to keep to keep going the route that I was going, did it make sense to try and make a bigger transition, did it make sense to fall into producing so that was a little bit of where that producing came in.

Zack Arnold

Alright, so given that we have a picture of where that moment is in your life, you're gonna time travel back to that person, knowing what you know now, what advice you're going to give yourself to weather what's coming,

Yvette Amirian

just keep going. Just keep going and work hard. You know what, you have to work hard on everything in your life. And I had a girlfriend, when I was young, she she was, you know, she was married with one baby eventually ended up having a second kid that she would always tell me like, you have to work on your marriage, you have to work on being a parent, you have to just like you work on what we do. And I think we do. All of us are so passionate about what we do, like we love anybody who like does editing, like, I think in my opinion, most of us genuinely love what we do. And we have a lot of aspirations for where we want our careers to go. So I do think that we give a lot to our careers. And I think it's important to have that balance in your life, and to be able to dedicate the necessary amount of work to all those pieces, because it makes you a more complete person, it makes you a happier person. And if I hadn't spent the time doing those things, and fixing those things, because I have a wonderful marriage, and I now have another kid, you know, I'm a very, I'm a much happier person having those things in my life than if I had given all that up just to focus on my career. So I think, I think sometimes I wonder like, well, if I hadn't gotten married as young if I hadn't had kids as young. Yeah, yeah, I probably would have accomplished these things a lot sooner. But I also feel like I have a lot of those things that maybe other people don't have. And I'm very grateful for it.

Zack Arnold

And would you be as fulfilled? Have you achieved that career dream and just decided not to do anything else? Because it would have been easier?

Yvette Amirian

I mean, knowing what I know about being a parent, no, like, maybe if I didn't have that concept of context, it would be easy to answer. Yes. And I have no, you know, like, my sister doesn't want kids. My cousin doesn't want kids. I know plenty of professionals who have just made that decision, but they don't want children. But for me, having a family is really important. And it makes me a happier person. And I think it helps. I think it gives you a different perspective on life that you bring to your projects, ultimately, that that helps you address issues from a more compassionate place.

Zack Arnold

Clearly, I agree with all of the following. We are very much on the same page. So for anybody that is listening today that either is in a similar position, or is in a totally different position, but you have inspired them regardless, part A of the question, Are you open to connecting in part B? For somebody that's inspired? The wants to connect? How can they find you?

Yvette Amirian

Of course, yeah, I mean, I'm on social media, I have a private account. But I also have my email listed on my website. ymamirian.com

Zack Arnold

Awesome. Anything else that we missed the you want to share? Before we wrap it up,

Yvette Amirian

I just want to say thank you to you, because you have helped me a lot in my journey, especially the past few years. And I think that you do a tremendous amount for your community more than you probably know. And I want to thank you for that. Because I'm really grateful that you brought this incredible community of people together.

Zack Arnold

I very much appreciate that. And you're right, I think you and I suffer from the same affliction of our focus is 90%, on all of the things we have yet to do. Very hard for both of us to look in the rearview mirror. Yeah, right. So it's all about what are the 27 things that I need to do between now and next Saturday morning, as opposed to here are the things that I have accomplished? And this is an affliction that I constantly work on improving? So yes, I think you're you're accurate in that there are things that I've done that I probably don't even realize because I'm just focused on all the things that I still need to accomplish to achieve whatever this imaginary vision is in my mind. So but I appreciate that. And that means a lot to me and can't thank you enough for taking time out of your crazy, busy, hectic life to share your insights and a little bit of your life with everybody here today. So thank you.

Yvette Amirian

Thank you for having me.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai


Guest Bio:

yvette-amirian-bio

Yvette Amirian

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Yvette M. Amirian, ACE is an award-nominated film and television editor. After graduating from the University of Southern California’s (USC) School of Cinema-Television, she built a successful career and has been transitioning seamlessly between editing scripted and documentary content for the better part of two decades.

In 2011, she and her team received an Eddie Award nomination from the American Cinema Editors (ACE) for their work on Animal Planet’s Whale Wars. In 2017, she edited and produced John Singleton’s L.A. Burning: The Riots 25 Years Later for A&E, which was
nominated for a Primetime Emmy (Outstanding Documentary Special). Her most recent project is an upcoming scripted feature for critically acclaimed filmmaker Robert Machoian, The Integrity of Joseph Chambers. Yvette is a proud member of the Motion Picture Editor’s Guild, the Academy of TV Arts & Sciences, and ACE. She also teaches editing as an adjunct faculty member at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, and loves educating future generations of aspiring filmmakers. Yvette lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.

Show Credits:

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

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

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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).”