Ep140: Using the Athlete’s Mindset to Hone Your Creativity & Productivity | with Vashi Nedomansky, ACE

» Click to read the full transcript

Many people assume that career goals and health goals have to be mutually exclusive (waiting for the next hiatus to start a diet or exercise program? That’s what I thought). What I have found through years of coaching students in the Optimizer coaching & mentorship program is that once a general baseline of health and good habits are set, lifestyle and career goals can absolutely work hand in hand.

Today’s guest, editor Vashi Nedomansky, ACE lends a unique perspective on this topic. Before he was editing and consulting on projects such as Sharknado 2, DeadpoolHouse of Cards, and Gone Girl, he was playing professional hockey in the NHL for the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings. This unusual career path has taught him the skills and mindsets to keep his body and mind in top condition while also honing his creative and mental faculties to meet the demands of working in Hollywood editing bays.

This conversation reveals the similarities in maintaining a balanced life in two seemingly disparate professional careers while highlighting the common habits and routines necessary for that balance. If you are tired of sacrificing your health every time you are on a job, this episode is going to give you some easy tools and tips for building fitness into your workday. And if you are hoping to increase your value as an editor, gain speed to get the job done faster, and improve your mental energy so you have more time outside of work, Vashi is a wealth of information. That’s why despite this being an older interview pulled from the Fitness In Post archives I chose to share it with you because it provides just as much (if not even more) value today.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • Why he likes editing all different types of projects, formats, and genres.
  • Vashi’s background of how he defected from Czech Republic with his parents as a kid and grew up watching movies with his mom.
  • How he simultaneously played hockey in high school and college while making short films with a VHS camera that weighed 40 pounds.
  • The uncanny similarities in Vashi’s introduction to editing to my own personal story.
  • He always had the mindset that he had to train physically and mentally to expand his horizons and give himself options.
  • Vashi’s process of consciously living with his footage before he even starts editing.
  • How the demands of professional hockey compare to film editing.
  • The one word that makes the difference in being successful in your career (HINT: it’s not talent).
  • Ways to systematize your editing workflow to gain efficiency and speed.
  • Exercise is a way of life for Vashi and he prioritizes it every day.
  • The different ways he exercises his brain and keeps his mental skills up to task.
  • His role on Deadpool and Gone Girl helping to set up the Adobe Premiere Pro work flow.
  • He values sharing and showing things with no agenda.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: You only need to focus on the NEXT most important thing to do.
  • How inner confidence plays a role in your career and your well being.
  • Fitness tools he keeps in his office to keep in shape during the day.
  • PRO TIP: ‘Greasing the groove’ by doing small bouts of exercise during the day will eliminate the guilt of not having time to do a “workout” after a long day of editing.

Useful Resources Mentioned:


VHS player

FiP Podcast Ep60: Legendary Film Editor Walter Murch on Surviving 50+ Years In Post

How to Establish a Morning Routine

TED Talk: Amy Cuddy – Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are

‘Captain of Crush’ grip strengthener set


Healthy You® Spiky Massage Ball 3.15″ / 8cm – Orange

Ep123: The Solution to Your Sedentary Lifestyle | with Ben Greenfield

Pavel Tsatsouline – Wikipedia


The Naked Warrior

Amazon.com : power tower pull up bar

What Happened When I Replaced Coffee With 30 Seconds of Exercise

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:02

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

Hello, and welcome to the Optimize Yourself podcast. If you're a brand new optimizer, I welcome you and I sincerely hope that you enjoy today's conversation. If you're inspired to take action after listening today, why not tell a friend about this show and help spread the love. And if you're a longtime listener, and optimizer O.G. Welcome back. Whether you're brand new, or you're a seasoned vet, if you have just 10 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you clicked the subscribe button in your podcast app of choice, because the more people that subscribe, the more that iTunes and the other platforms can recognize this show, and thus the more people that you and I can inspire to step outside their comfort zones to reach their greatest potential. And now on to today's show. Many people assume that career goals and health goals have to be mutually exclusive. Hey, maybe you're waiting for the next hiatus to start a diet or an exercise program. Yeah, that's what I thought. What I found through years of coaching students in my optimizer coaching and mentorship program is that once a general baseline of health and good habits are set, lifestyle and career goals can absolutely work hand in hand. Today's guest editor Vashi Nedomansky, lends a unique perspective on this topic. Before he was editing and consulting on projects such as Sharknado 2, Deadpool, House of Cards, and Gone Girl, he was playing professional hockey in the NHL for the New York Islanders and the Los Angeles Kings. His unusual career path has taught him the skills and the mindsets to keep both his body and his mind in top condition, while also honing his creative and mental faculties to meet the demands of working in Hollywood edit bays. This conversation today reveals the similarities in maintaining a balanced life in two seemingly disparate professional careers, while highlighting the common habits and routines that are necessary for balance. If you too are tired of sacrificing your health every time you're on the job. This episode gives you some really cool tools, tips and tactics for building fitness into your workday. And if you're hoping to increase your value as an editor, gain speed so you can get the same job done faster, and improve your mental energy so you have more time outside of work, Vashi is a wealth of information. And that's why despite this being an older interview that I pulled from the fitness and post archives, I chose to share it with you because it provides just as much and frankly even more value today. Now if you're struggling with creative burnout right now, or you find yourself sacrificing time away from family, when you know deep down that it doesn't have to be this way that I invite you to download my Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity and Avoiding Burnout, which offers over 50 pages of my best tips, tricks and strategies to consistently stay focused and energized throughout your long work days. When you're trapped in a dark room that most likely has no windows, you can download my ultimate guide 100% free at optimizeyourself.me/UltimateGuide. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with American cinema editors member Vashi Nedomansky made possible today by our amazing sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven who are going to be featured just a bit later in today's interview to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview. Please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast.

I'm here today with editor Vashi Nedomansky and I can definitively say that you are the first former NHL player that I've had on my podcast talking about editing. So I'm really, really excited about today's episode. So Vashi thank you so much for being on the show.

Vashi Nedomansky 4:34

Dude. Zach, thank you so much for having me. I know this has been a long time coming. It's we're just talking about it earlier that we have so much in common that it's surprising that we haven't crossed paths, you know, at some earlier point and I'm really happy to be on I'm really happy to be able to contribute to a conversation that's really important to your all editors and all creatives in general.

Zack Arnold 4:52

Yeah, well, it's it really is kind of creepy that when I go to your website, which is vashivisuals.com, which I highly recommend any editor goes to because you have some really unique and creative insights into the world of editing that you don't see on a lot of other blogs. But when I read your about page, if you erased the parts about being a Czech defector, and having a background and you know, living in the east, and playing hockey, it literally I swear to God, it's my own bio page is really, really scary, where you talk about how you got really interested in editing by hooking up to VHS recorders. And for the younger viewers, I'll have show notes that will tell you what a VHS player is

Vashi Nedomansky 5:32

They have to know, come on.

Zack Arnold 5:33

Yeah, I'm sure they do. I joke, but every once in a while people like what are you talking about? Right. But then on top of that, you went to the University of Michigan in the film studies program. So the aside from our genetic backgrounds, and our heritage, we have so much stuff in common, which is really, really cool. So I guess where I want to start is just I want to give people a little bit of background, and what kind of stuff you edit, because you're working on some really big stuff now. But you have like me, again, a very eclectic resume, to get where you are now, or you could easily look at it and say I don't understand this path. And I don't know how to follow it, which is the response I get all the time. And then we'll kind of go more into your background as a professional athlete, because as you know, I love the idea of combining the mentality of an athlete with an editor to be the best editor that you can be. But let's just go ahead and start with a little bit of background now what you do now, and kind of how you got where you are.

Vashi Nedomansky 6:26

Sure, um, that's a long path. Very circuitous. But right now I'm a feature film editor, I've edited nine feature films, some of the latest stuff I've done was a documentary called That Which I Love Destroys Me, which is about PTSD, that was just picked up by participant media. And that's going to be coming out soon, they premiered at the US Capitol at the earlier this year. So I'm really, really proud of that one. And at the same time, I was also cutting Sharknado 2. And it's funny, because of nine films, a lot of them are independent films, some of them are comedies, they vary all over the place, but there's always like you say, Sharknado 2, and everyone goes, Oh, my God, I know that, that or the, and you get a lot of recognition for that. And it's funny, because like something like that will some people will poopoo it or say, Oh, it's a TV movie. It's this and that. But I've talked about it before. But I really learned a lot. I took that job for a couple reasons. And it was just to become a better editor to see how they at the asylum do their process, they put out like 24 movies a year, they've never missed a deadline, and they've never lost money. So as an editor, I think it was important for me to find out how they did it. So I can apply that into my own projects and share that knowledge with other people. So that's also another part of editing, which I'm sure we'll get into the business side, the collaborative side that has nothing to do with the creative, but deals completed with people. So I think that's important as an editor. But back to me back to me, that's arrogant. But you know what I mean, like back to my stuff from the nine feature films before that, like every other editor, I've cut the worst short films, horrible music videos, webisodes, and never saw the light of day short, like snippets of something for myself. But all of that made me a better editor day by day. Because once you start making those mistakes, and getting them out of the way, you can quickly whittle down to what you do need to do based on your experiences. So even though I've covered the gamut of almost every kind of editing out there, there is I mean, I've cut like 15 National spots that are for broadcast in between the movies that I do, I've cut short films, documentaries, mini documentaries, everything. But all of that speaks to me and helps me use different muscles when I'm on that project. And then I also like to switch gears like I can't imagine just doing feature films forever, like investing six months, nine months at a time, and then just, you know, disappearing off the grid for a couple months and coming back at it. I really do like taking smaller projects or commercials or ads or music videos, to just hit different muscle groups hit a different skill set, try out different technologies, try out different editing platforms and see you know where I'm at and how it works and what I can do with my creativity to keep everything fresh. And I think that's something editors also need to keep in mind. Because physically, you can get exhausted and hurt your body and hurt everything. But also mentally, creatively, you can get exhausted if you just keep grinding on the same thing. And I know you're such a hard worker, I don't know how you hit those deadlines. And I know on Burn Notice and Empire like those schedules and those times must be insane in terms of how much you have to do in such a short period of time and be creative and make it work. And keep everyone happy. Like I don't know how you do it. But uh, you have to tell us some at some point about that, because that's super impressive.

Zack Arnold 9:39

Yeah, well, it's funny because I'm actually developing an entire course that shows people step by step by step how I actually do it. And it really, I don't want to go into this too much because the show is definitely all about understanding your background and what you bring to the conversation but in a very short version of it. I tell people that I just learned how to manage my time but more importantly, I've learned how to manage my energy. Because people think the time management is just about oh, well, what do I have in my calendar? And what can I get done when and it's much more an art than it is just a science. But the more important level to that is I learned how to manage my creative energy. So rather than just hoping the flow hits me, and all of a sudden I'm in the zone, and I say, Oh, my God, I can't walk away, because I don't want to get out of the zone, like people are terrified, saying, well, I've been sitting here for three hours, but I'm in it right now. And if I walk away, I might not find it again the rest of the day. And I've just learned how to teach myself to snap my fingers and get in the zone for 60 to 90 minutes at a time. And when I do that, I can get a tremendous amount of work done in a short period. So it's just about managing energy, time and focus. And the course that I have that it's going to be releasing momentarily, or that is already released at the time of recording this. It's basically a step by step process to show people how to do that. Because it's not like I was innately born with these skills, I learned them. It's no different than learning how to be a professional athlete, so to speak. So that was a really, really smooth segue into wanting to talk about how in the world you went from growing up and being interested in editing and having a mother that was a photographer, then becoming an NHL player, and then becoming an editor, because that's where it gets really unique.

Vashi Nedomansky 11:16

Sure, sure. There is a lot of crossover. And we'll get into that in terms of athletes and teams and working in a team and having a role. And that definitely was something I learned in sports. But growing up my dad played in the NHL, he was the first hockey player to defect from a communist country, being Czechoslovakia, and then playing in the NHL, this is back in the 70s. So I defected when I was about four or five years old with them, they took me along, thankfully. And so I grew up in Toronto, and then Detroit before I went to the University of Michigan, and then after that, I started playing professional hockey. But growing up, my dad was always gone. You know, I didn't speak English right away. So my mom would just take me to movies all the time. And we were home alone. So I was five years old. And I was going with my mom to every movie that was out. And she favored, you know, European movies and Woody Allen movies, but of course, I would go see Star Wars and Jaws and all that stuff when it was coming out. But I was just a young guy watching movies. And that to me became like a second nature, I would like ask, and expect to go to the movies all the time, because that was something we could do together and learn some of the language and just be part of the popular culture, you know, as immigrants, you have to try and not fit in, but you want to get used to everything and assimilate. And that's what people did. And that was something that we could do together. So I was very lucky that you took me to all these movies. And I got in my head a very quick and early subconscious desire for movie, and moreso. Also for patterns and plots and things like that, because usually a five year old doesn't go see Annie Hall or something, you know. And I think being able to just absorb movies on all different types of movies and early age makes you comfortable with the medium, lets you again, see patterns that are occurring. And then you know, use that later in life. At the same time I was playing hockey because my dad was playing hockey. So I was playing hockey in the through the system from you know, five years old. Once I got to high school in Detroit, where I was living, there were many Junior teams and a lot of groups that that could get you into the NHL, Junior hockey is one way which is usually in Canada. And then college is the other way. So I applied and got into the University of Michigan. And I was there for four years playing division one hockey, and I was a walk on every all four years, which is interesting, because everyone assumed My dad was in the NHL, my dad was playing for the Red Wings that, oh, you're a good player. And I was a very good player. But you just, you know, let's give you a scholarship. I was the only kid on the team without a scholarship for four years. So I had to continually prove myself and become a better player than everyone else. Because I didn't have a scholarship. So how do you put someone on the ice that you're not paying, and you have these guys that are on scholarship, they're sitting in the stands watching. So it's again, I began to see politics and early age, in terms of you may be better than someone but if someone has a contract or a scholarship or something, they're going to be in the driver's seat. And I think you can relate to that in the Hollywood or film world or post production world where sometimes there are people that have opportunities and chances that you can say don't deserve it, but because of a relationship, they're going to get that chance. So it's something that I saw earlier, which definitely is helpful because if you just go on the merits of yourself and hard work and there are so many great editors and people that are talented and work hard, but there aren't getting that one break or that one chance or that one open door to pass into so you can get frustrated so it's something you have to take into consideration. While I was doing all this hockey, I was always like shooting short films and and writing scripts. And with the hockey career, you're often on a bus or on a plane for extended periods of times, you know, eight hours 10 hours so guys play cards, I play cards. I would write scripts, work on stories work on myself. Storytelling couldn't edit on the bus at that point. But before that, as you mentioned with the VCR, I think the core essence of my editing came from this moment my dad was playing in an NHL game, he was voted the best player of the game. And as a reward, he was given a Panasonic VHS, VCR and a video recorder that connected to it. I'm sure you remember it this, this camera probably weighed like 25 pounds shoulder mount had a long, thick cable that went to the VCR that was also on a shoulder mount. So you had a camera on one shoulder, huge cable, and then the VHS with the battery on the other shoulder and the combined weight was probably like 40 pounds. And it would probably last about half an hour on a battery charge. So I would shoot short projects and short films and I actually got in school I got to shoot. Instead of a book report, I shot a short film based on the book that I was assigned to read. And we shot it in my backyard in Detroit in the woods. It was a Vietnam book about rescuing some hostages and MIA guys. So I directed it cast, my guys shot it and edit it from one VCR to another meaning the stuff I shot on the main camera, I would play. And when I found the shot I wanted, I would hit record on the second VCR that was connected to it. And that way, I would just build little tiny pieces in order of the story and then go back with a microphone, add in sound effects, dubbing it like live with effects I had laying around. And then I got to show that in the classroom, instead of like turning in a book report or giving an auditory, like just talking about the book. And I got a really, really great response. And that for any filmmaker of any level is is all you want. If someone responds to it to your work, and they're enjoying it, that just makes you so excited that you just want to do it again right away. So that was the genesis of the editing. And with hockey, I was always doing in the background. So I've always of the mind that you have to do physical, we also have to do mental things. You can't just just I'm a hockey player, I just play hockey, the rest of the time, I'm just you know, playing video games and drinking beer. That's the conception or the preconception of a hockey player. But I think there's there's more than enough time to do other things. And just like with an editor, if you just edit all day, 20 hours a day and you don't do anything with your body or with people or go outside then you're going to run out of juice be you're not going to expand your horizons and you're not going to allow yourself opportunities to become smarter or better or sharper at other things that will only help you with editing. So I think it goes hand in hand. And before I ramble on too far, you can rein me in and focus me on something more specific. But that's an overall view of how I got into how hockey and editing started to come together and where it was living in my life.

Zack Arnold 17:39

Yeah, I love all of that. And once again, it's even creepier the parallels that you and I have, and our upward game because my introduction into the world of editing was had nothing to do with hockey. But my brother who was older than me came home one day, he's had just purchased his first Panasonic VHS camcorder that was on shoulder mount and said, Let's run around and shoot movies all day. And I was like, Alright, guess that'll be fun. And I hated it. I hated every minute of it. I'm like, really, this is it's so boring. Like I don't I don't understand what we're doing. And they showed me a copy of it at the end of the day, because he was doing the editing and camera. And I'm like, seriously, we've been running around for 12 hours and 90 degree heat. And this is what we have. But then two weeks later, he showed up and he had put the soundtrack of The Good, The Bad And The Ugly under it, Ace. And I was like, Oh my god, this is the coolest thing I've ever seen in my life. And that was it. And ever since then, I've been creating something editing from one VHS to another making highlight reels. And again, I remember very distinctly my freshman year of high school saying you know what, rather than doing this report that everybody else is doing, can I make a video, please? And I did. So it's I mean, it's

Vashi Nedomansky 18:46

literally identical. So just That's amazing. Yes,

Zack Arnold 18:49

yes, exactly.

Vashi Nedomansky 18:50

I don't think we're alone. I mean, so many editors I speak with they always mentioned the VCR to VCR I think either as a fluke, or as they saw someone else do it. Or they just saw that the opportunity existed to create something new from pre existing material that they could control. So, you know, it's amazing.

Zack Arnold 19:07

Yeah, it's a very, very common story. And I think that it'll be interesting to see what the story becomes intense. 20 years. Yeah, now that everybody is so inundated with media from a very young age, and anybody can literally edit a video in their phone, you can be five years old, and you can be editing on your phone. So I don't I don't know if that's going to be better if that's going to be worse. I don't want to make any preconceived projections about oh, well, it's not gonna be anything like you using VHS to VHS may be better. I don't know. I just think it's very interesting to see the way that the exposure to the ease of technology is going to change the thought process because there are a lot of things when you're doing linear editing. And most people are like, what is the linear even mean? But when you when you have to learn that way, and that's your introduction to telling stories. You really have to think a lot deeper about the decisions that you're making. And even though you're in a nonlinear world now of doing everything digitally, that stays with you. To a certain extent, so I'm really going to be very intrigued to see how things change in the next decade or two decades, when people that are in our positions came up in a completely digital world.

Unknown Speaker 20:09

Yeah, no, I was gonna be curious. I mean, it may may bring new different attitudes to editing at first. But also, I think it's going to affect you to the pace or the thought process. Because, obviously, you know, in general, movies are getting cut faster. And that obviously, that's genre specific, the action and whatnot. But I believe I know that there's going to be people shoot stuff, and then they basically just cut it and they don't shoot a lot. And then they just use what they have. And they're familiar with everything. I You and I are both used to hours upon hours upon hours of footage where you have to become accustomed to it before you start editing it. So you know, on your phone, you're not going to have 20 hours of footage, and then try and cut through that or scroll through it. I think it's for smaller projects, definitely. But I'm concerned about like the the feature or the TV long format editor if the attitudes change, and they're not like looking at everything. And that's a whole other discussion. Like I have to watch all my footage, like at least once or twice before I even start cutting, I got to let it like fester in my head, I have to let it I got to percolate on it. And I'm I don't cut till I'm like about to explode because I have so many options. And or I know exactly what I want to do. I don't just like poke around, just lay down there and be like, oh, let's try this. Or let's try that no, I consciously making decisions where I put it in the timeline. Only based on being so familiar with all the footage, that's for me, that's critical. That's the way I operate. And I think that attitude, and of like spending that time and living with the footage, and being in a calm place to absorb it all. I think that's the tendency and a trait of a good editor that that I know has always existed. And that I feel might not be happening in the future because people want to just get to it. And they just want to start cutting and they have the technologies were like, good, I could just Just do it. Now look, I can just put it in here. Look, we don't like it. Let's swap this out. Let's cut two frames off this cut two frames off that instead of thinking before you actually do it. So that's my thought on that. So who knows,

Zack Arnold 22:03

Once again, brothers from another mother because I say the same thing where no matter how crazy my deadline is, I have to sit and watch everything. And when I say everything, I mean that I have my assistant create what I call a camera roll, which is from the old idea of camera rolls in the film world. This is an idea I got from Walter Murch. And I have a 90 minute conversation with Walter in a previous episode. And I can put a show link to that if you want to. But basically, please do Yeah, but but what I did was I just have her string out everything, I don't have her take out the time before action. And after cut, I don't have her create a sequence where it's like will give me all these line readings and all these line readings. I watch it as if I were sitting on set seeing everything from the point they hit the red button until they hit the red button again. And there are so many times where during a moment in between takes or before take or after take wherever it is, I'll be like, ooh, I love that look on the person's face. And sometimes I'll build an entire scene around a moment that happened as soon as they put the camera on before they even picked the slate up. And somebody will be watching a scene like a director, producer. And they'll be like, Where did that come from? Like, okay, from this moment, they're like, I never would have thought to do that. I'm like, I actually built the whole scene around that one look in their eye. And that's what drove every decision around it. But you can't you can't get to that place unless you actually commit to watching the footage. And when I teach my students at USC this are like, Oh my god, you actually watch everything like you don't just scan through it and start cutting. I'm like, No, you have to know Yeah, material. So that that's a huge, huge pet peeve of mine. And I don't that that's literally we can talk about that an entire show. And that's a giant rabbit hole. But yes, that no matter what I watch all the footage and we're talking about, like 16 takes a second unit footage of a car skidding to a stop, I'll scroll through a two or three times speed because in that sense, it's not as nuanced as performance. Like that's a little bit different. But we're talking about actors giving a performance I just I watch everything, no matter how long it is. Yeah, which will sometimes drive an AP crazy because they're like, well, we have to get this out today. It's like yeah, it's not gonna happen. There's eight hours a dailies. Well, can't you just start cutting it? No, I can't sorry. It's gonna take me two days, like work around it. But anyway, I want to go back to this idea of what you've taken from being a professional athlete and now being an editor. So my first question is, which one do you think is harder being in the trenches as a hockey player or being in the trenches as an editor?

Vashi Nedomansky 24:23

I think they're both equally as difficult, like they both require and have insane demands at a professional level, which in hockey, you know, in the NHL, there's I think, 900 players. So there's 900 guys on the planet, that at any given point, are in the NHL, there's a lot of hockey players in the planet, just like in just like in editing, you know, if you list the top tier editors, and I know there's no way to quantify that, but let's say there's 1000 editors, you know, on the planet that are the go to guys that do everything at the highest level that has the regards of filmmakers and everything. I mean, that's such a small percentage. And what makes the athlete or the top editor different from a hockey player or an editor. And I think it's it's dedication, it's perseverance. It's a knowledge base of technical skills, and an incredible, mentally strong capacity. And I think the mental part in both hockey and editing is is what I took from it. Growing up, you have to work hard every every shift, you have to show your teammates that you're willing to sacrifice. And I was talking earlier about a hockey team, everyone has a role, you could be a goal scorer, you can be a defensive player, you could be a fighter, whatever role that is, if you're doing your role, and you're doing it with full energy levels of both physical and mental, like making smart plays, and committing, then your teammates will love you. And they will do anything that they can for you. If you're a goal scorer, and all of a sudden, you say I want to start fighting, you displace the entire map of the of the team unit that's working, that's getting you to the finish line. So once you step out of your role and say, Oh, I can do this now too. And I can do that. You rock the boat and you mess it up. As an editor you bring to the table your skills, you're hired based on your relationships, your past work, what you're expected of, if it's a certain genre, again, you're like, oh, you're the action editing guy, whatever it is, you have to come and do what is expected of you. And also try and get a little bit of yourself in there. Obviously creatively like you have to make decisions that stand out, once you've given them exactly what they want. At the end of the day, we're working for the director, we're working for the film, we're working for the project, it's not about us, it's about us bringing the best storytelling, concise, clean, straightforward, effective, all the pieces that were given and make it happen. So everyone can understand it, you can get an emotional response from everyone involved. And you can get called back for another job because they know what to expect out of you. So I think those two similarities of knowing your role delivering on your job in both sports and editing is what makes you a professional and makes you someone who's wanted on that team, be it a sports team, or post production team.

Zack Arnold 27:05

Yeah. And I think that one thing I really want to point out, we've really now gotten to the heart of the conversation that I want to have. And the reason why it's so great to have such a unique perspective like yours, is you saying you have editors at the top level and you have professional hockey players at the top level. And what I love about what you said, you listed all these different things that they have, what you didn't say was talent. And I love that you didn't say that the difference is talent, because I'm sure you can speak to this on both levels, but especially the athletic level, when you get to the NHL level, everybody has talent, if you didn't have talent, you wouldn't be there. So talent at a certain point becomes irrelevant. If you have talent as an editor, you're going to get further faster than people that just have no talent whatsoever. But once you start to rise up a little bit, and you start to be working amongst people, that all have some level of talent, talent is really no longer a factor. And that, to me is a huge mental barrier that so many people have where they say, Oh, I'm really, really good at what I do as an editor it's like, but that's so little of actually being a successful editor. And there's so many other components to be successful. And once you get to that top level, and we're not talking about the Michael Kohn level, because that's like the upper upper top echelon of editors, I'm just talking about people that are working on reality shows that are working on scripted TV shows that are cutting trailers, people that are doing what they do for a living on work that people are actually going to consume and see in public. Yeah, once you kind of get to that level, talent is going to help you maybe 10 or 20%. If you're amazingly one and you're one of a kind talent in editing, yes, you're going to rise to the top faster. Outside of that, if you're relying on talent alone, you're just not going to get anywhere. So I want to dig deeper into that, what you think some of the specific components are that people can take from your philosophies as an athlete and apply them to being an editor. And we can obviously get into the physical parts and the fitness parts in the activity and I want to go there, but I also just want to talk about the mental part because I feel like the mental part is much bigger than the physical.

Vashi Nedomansky 29:07

Yeah, totally. And I agree with you about the talent thing, like you know, at that higher level, like that should already be there that shouldn't even be discussed. There should be talent involved. But mental fortitude, like the mental toughness that a professional athlete has to do to play like not only like the fact that let's say I'm playing in front of 20,000 people, you know, there's a factor of you know, the editors sitting alone in a room and athletes on the ice is 20,000. people screaming, yelling, your coaches screaming and yelling, there's the other teams screaming yelling at you. There's so many distractions that just being able to focus is one consideration. And I think that noise that external noise of 20,000 people is equivalent to sitting in an edit bay and knowing that you have 200 hours of footage to look at that you just have to take your time that you just can't rush yourself. You can't get ahead of yourself. You have to be in the moment during the time that you're in the editor's chair, analyzing footage, becoming familiar with stuff and making your choices. On the ice a professional athlete, you have to block everything out, you have to say, what's the best choice I can make right now I have the puck, I have to go score a goal or make a pass to a player. What's the best option? Let me do it correctly. Let's not try and rush it. So even though they're completely different on the surface, and what it looks like, behind the scenes, the mental aspect and the decision making is identical, you have to make the right decision in hockey, otherwise, you're you'll get scored on or the coach will say you don't make good decisions. You can't be on this team and you get traded or sent down to the minor leagues. So the biggest difference in pro sports is the guys at the highest level, make the smartest mental decisions, and are extremely consistent. A professional athlete above any other kind of athlete is consistent. He has to be consistent, and make safe smart plays. It's not a question of athletics or strength, or how high you can jump or how hard you can shoot the puck. You have to be reliable, consistent, and smart, and part of that team unit that can be trusted. And I think as soon as you get into the word trust, we shift back into the editing world. What better feeling is it when your director trusts you, or the producer trusts you? or whoever's watching it that has decision making capabilities above your own, when they trust you, that is the most specialist place you can be. And you basically like earned it gives you some more creative leeway, because you've already shown them that you can do what they expect. And then it's up to you if you want to try and give them a little bit more, a little bit of your own flavor. But that trust is gained by long, hard hours of practice, which goes back again to sports so you can see the loop, the feedback loop that it creates, does that make sense?

Zack Arnold 31:37

Not only does it make sense, but this is exactly where I want it to go. And whenever somebody will say to me, Well, how did you make the rise that you did? Again, it's not about talent, the word that I always use, and I will tell people I say the one word secret is consistency. I have shown up on time, every single day, since I drove up from Ann Arbor 13 years ago, actually, my god almost 14 years ago now. I've been out here since six days after graduation. And I've shown up to work on time, every single day, always delivered always met my deadlines. And it's always been a consistently high level of quality. And that is what has gotten you rehired and helped me build a network of people that will consistently call and say I want you back on my project, like I've mentioned, and I did a guest post recently for Post Perspective, where I mentioned, here are the top five things that you need to do if you want to knock your editing gig out of the park. And then you can get asked back to do more editing gigs. And it's all about consistency with Empire. I didn't even have to interview for the job. The showrunner called me and said, hey, you're going to be cutting Empire with me. And I was like, great, what's Empire I had no idea or even heard of it. But it's because I was consistently delivering something all the time. And consistency is something that you have to practice and train for, which is exactly where I wanted to go with this conversation. And this is a mindset and a theory that I've had for years that I'm now developing into these programs and into fitness and post but for years, I just kind of kept it in my own head. I grew up as a martial artist. And what they teach you as a martial artist, is that when you are at in a point of combat, you don't have time to think you don't have time to say a punch is coming at me. Should I put my right foot forward? Or should I put my left foot forward? Should I be doing a four block and upward block? Should I be doing a parry? What am I supposed to be doing right now, you drill and you drill and you drill so it becomes automatic? I know this is something that you can relate to probably 100 times more as a professional athlete. Because when you're making that decision, you're not consciously thinking about it. you've trained yourself to be reactive to the point of instinct, where when the puck comes to you at a 1,000th of a second, you're not saying Oh, should I pass it to this person or that person? Should I shoot? Should I defend like it's just happening? instinctually Yeah, and I think that this is something that can very easily be applied to editing. But people don't think about that way. But I've actually trained the way that a professional athlete trains, I've trained that way as an editor, where I have taught myself hotkeys by just creating drills where I do them over and over and over and learn the the finger memory. And you know, just having these systems where I am repeatedly doing the same actions over and over again. So it does just become rote memory. So when I am in the thick of things, and the bullets are flying, I don't have to make decisions. I'm just snapping my fingers and stuff is happening. And two hours later, it's like wow, so that just happened and I don't even remember half of it. It's called being in the zone. So talk a little bit about and I know this is something you love to because you talk about this on your blog about the idea of drilling and shortcuts and all these systems to really get yourself to that point.

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

Roger 35:00

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

Zack Arnold 35:24

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

Brad 35:29

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

Roger 35:56

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

Zack Arnold 36:09

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

Brad 36:15

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

Roger 36:31

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

Zack Arnold 36:45

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

Vashi Nedomansky 37:09

Yeah, I couldn't agree more with you. It's like in hockey, your body is your tool. And so you have to hone that tool and get it so it is, again, you're not thinking about it, you've done it so many times, you've practiced something so many times that at the moment of truth, you just do it, it just happens. And it's not an accident because you've done it 1000s and 1000s of times. And I know you talked about it and I talked about a lot, even with something as simple as keyboard shortcuts to map out much beyond the presets that come with any NLP. Like I like to make things close in an area on my left and right hand so I can do as much as I can from the keyboard, eliminate as much mousing as I can, because I know I'm going to be doing certain gestures or certain like motions or combinations 1000s of times a day, why would I want to move a mouse click drag, instead of just hitting one key. So I map out something really specific on my keyboard. A friend of mine, Dylan Osborne just made one that covers every preset for Premiere Pro, which was great, just to know and he made a beautiful like graphic, huge PDF that has the keyboard and shows it because there's like you know, more than 300 functions that you can map to a keyboard granted 90% of editing is probably six or seven functions be marking in out inserting deleting jkl, there's probably six or seven things that that will do all day. But it's all the other ones. It's all the other ones trimming three frames off the end of the tail of a shot. And and rippled, deleting the the gap that was left, they're like things like that like that. You don't know how many you're going to do how many frames or whatever, but you're just like, I just want to take one or two. And I don't want to make cuts, and then grab the part in between and delete that. Like why do four button clicks when one button click will do it. So anything that can help me become more efficient, do things faster, and not fatigue me are things that I'm trying to always apply into my workflow. And it's always an ongoing process what I thought worked great last year, I have now ruled out as inefficient, inefficient, and I'm doing something that's better this year. And I think it's incremental things that you can fix, tweak or improve in your workflow that will give you a much better result at the end. And that better result can be a better quality product, less tired or fatigued brain or body at the end of the day. Or just more time for yourself at the end of the day. Because you finished your work for the day. You don't have to if you finish your work at five. And sure there's other things you can do. But if you just need to bolt get out of there, you get out of there. If you're doing the same job till eight o'clock at night because you're not being efficient. You just wasted three hours that you can give yourself to do something else. And that's that's when you hurt yourself or that's when you hurt your family by not being there or you know, it's just bad dude, why would you do that? So I definitely try and find any kind of shortcut short tip. Anything to help me become quicker, faster, more efficient, I have to incorporate into my timeline because it's just giving me More Options more time.

Zack Arnold 40:01

Yeah, I think that that that really got to kind of goes back to the earlier thing that I mentioned at the beginning of the show about how when you said, Well, I don't know how you balance everything is because I, I budget my energy as much as I budget my time. So it's really about energy management. And that's one of the ways that I manage my energy is minimizing decisions throughout the day, because as editors, you literally have a post about this where you posted a timeline, and said, there are over 2700 decisions made in this timeline. And that's what we do all day long is make decisions. And they've actually measured that when you're making a conscious decision, it is requiring your brain to burn calories, your brain is about 5% of your body's total weight, but it's consuming 25% of the energy of your body. But nobody's thinking about how can I actually optimize my brain function so I can make those decisions and make more of them. So what you have to do is create these routines in your life, whether it's the way they use the keyboard, whether it's the morning routine you have and I can put a link in the show notes to my entire morning routine. I did a recent blog post about that. But I'm never thinking about it as Oh, well. sure it'd be nice if I could have all these things done for me in the morning. I'm always thinking, I'm going to be in a timeline for 12 hours. And I want to get out of there as quickly as possible. So I can put my kids to bed. How do I do that? Well, I maximize and budget my energy. So I can have everything I need to make conscious decisions. So I've eliminated all the decision making outside of that, like that's one of my routines. So what are some examples of routines or systems that you have, whether it's exercise or things for mental clarity? Like what are some of the things that you've taken from the professional athlete world and translate it because you're still very fit and very much in shape? And it's not like all of a sudden, your 300 pound editor?

Vashi Nedomansky 41:43

Well, I think it's very kind of you Yes, very kind of, you know, but uh, I think a lot of the stuff I take is, for me, the athleticism or the sports is a way of life, it's not something I have to do or I'm forced to do or I begrudgingly do something that I have to do that I want to do that I love to do. Like as soon as we finish this interview, I'm playing hockey in like an hour. So I have to got to drive over there play hockey, my friends play for an hour and a half. It's like I try it. And I do like one set of exercises every day. If I go play hockey for an hour and a half, that's that's good for the day. If I just go for a hike for 45 minutes, that's great. If I want to take my dog for 45 minute walk around the block, that's fine. It doesn't have to be something where it's crazy, I have to do it all the time. But I try and set aside like at least one hour a day where I go exercise at some point, like the hockey is, is extremely difficult. Like it's like hardcore, it's like just like playing professional, you're exerting the same amount of energy, you're dripping with sweat within five minutes. After you're exhausted, like you can barely move. But that's what I need. I need to cleanse my body. And I know I'm cleansing toxins I know I'm cleansing like bad feelings. I know I'm cleansing things out of my body that you could physically see like leaving. But it's also mental clarity. Like you shake it up, you're giving yourself something completely opposite from what you're doing in the editing chair for me. And so I need to go get a sweat, I need to go feel the sunshine on my face, I need to go do something that's polar opposite to what I'm doing in dark cave. And that like resets my clock. And if I go a couple of days without exercise, I guarantee you I can feel it. I'm grumpy and grouchy, I'm snapping because I haven't like cleanse my body and body and brain go hand in hand as you know, and you have to take care of both them. So for the body part I have to exercise besides hockey, I play a lot of tennis. I like to hike I do a lot of Pilates actually retired from professional hockey, because I have three herniated discs in my lower back, L three L four L five, last three lumbar vertebrae. And I actually cracked one of those in the game and had to heal. But I'm fine. I'm completely mobile and flexible. And I'm actually probably more flexible now than when I played because when you're in the thick of things, there's you're just playing and playing and playing and your body's being deteriorated, there's very little time to rehab it to a certain level. So I do Pilates all the time to just maintain my back and keep everything loose and limber and keep my core strong. But these are all things that you have to do. You can't sit in a chair for goddamn 12 hours. And you know, I know that you you stand and you're on a treadmill, which is insane. That's awesome. And I haven't gotten to that point yet. But if I am sitting then I just try and get up like every hour I have to go like walk around take a break force myself to take a break. Even though there are times I'm sitting in a chair for like five hours because again, you're in the zone and you don't want to mess with that flow. And you know, you could pay the price price later you go to sleep you wake up can't move. You're like why did I do that to myself. So there's a horrible trade off that you have to decide on. Physically, I force myself to be conscious that I have to go exercise and then as soon as you start the exercise, you know you just feel great. And so that's something you can't take away you just know sometimes it is hard, you're like okay, I'm gonna go do this. But as soon as you start it you know you feel better and later you do feel better mentally when it comes to training things I honestly I like to read a lot I like to just keep my brain working. I do a lot of puzzles from crossword puzzle. To sudoko goes to all sorts of stuff that just keep activating my brain keep, like pinging it. Because once again, if I step away, and I'm not editing for a week, let's say when you sit down, it's like you're a foreigner in a foreign land, reading Chinese, and I don't speak Chinese or read or write Chinese, the keyboards foreign to me, I'm slow. decision making is not working. So I always like to keep the brain active with different tasks, puzzles, all sorts of things. That and I watch a lot of movies, I watch a lot of movies just to, I think, subconsciously, to stay in some kind of flow, where you're watching a movie, and it's often movies I've already seen, but I watch movies and just inherently like feel the flow, feel the pace of the film, see certain decisions, you know, kind of like analyzing it in the background. It's really, really weird. I'm sure a lot of other editors do it, you know, but it's just like, it's like you're living in that world for that moment. You're just feeling the vibe of the film. And I'm trying to take away something from that, to capture the spirit of it. As opposed to fit, you know, tactically break it down the film, I'm trying to get the source code of what the flow is, if that makes any sense.

Zack Arnold 46:09

It not only does it make sense, once again, another level of creepy, I do exactly the same thing where I'm always trying to extract the essence of why a decision is made. I don't say alright, well, this cut was eight frames, and this cut was 12 frames, and I'm going to do the same thing. I'm thinking, why did they make this decision? And what is the outcome of making this decision? And how can I make similar decisions without actually doing what they did? That's the mindset I have when I analyze something. So seriously, I'm going to like check my birth records, because this is getting really crazy. But anyway, I want to go back a little bit talking about this idea of how you do Pilates and how you do exercise and how you'll you do all these things to keep your brain sharp because I know that the first question and the number one barrier that everyone in this industry has. And I know this now for a fact, because I've talked to hundreds and hundreds of people around the world about this this topic. And the number one barrier is I just don't have the time. So how do you find the time if you're in the middle of Sharknado? Or are we allowed to talk about Deadpool as well?

Unknown Speaker 47:13

Yeah, yeah, no, I was gonna bring that up. I did a really bad introduction, where I mentioned like one thing and then started rambling off in a circle. But yeah, like I worked on Deadpool over the last they've been an editorial I think they just locked I think it's been about 10 months. So I was on and off it over that stretch, you know, I would come in and go as it were, my role and john Deadpool for example, it was I came in at the start and I taught the entire post production team, Premiere Pro and my workflow and help them establish their workflow and help optimize everything so they were comfortable because the entire post production team was was on avid before this. On the previous project. This all of Deadpool was on Premiere Pro and After Effects and dynamic linking exactly the same as the Gone Girl workflow that I also was brought in to on ventures film to teach both Kirk Baxter and Angus Wall before I guess, left, I taught them both Premiere Pro and as they were setting up to do House of Cards and into Gone Girl, so they were comfortable with that. So that's another element that happens is like Adobe knows my experience on Premiere Pro. And because I'm working editor that doesn't work for the company, when I go in to meet with Fincher or his team or the Deadpool team. I'm not coming as a salesman, I'm coming as a working editor that just happens to be fluent in the software that they are. They're wanting to use. So it's coming from a place where if there's something I don't like I say that if I say something I like I show them that. But it's just to make them help make the transition. I think that again, comes back from like, being a hockey player, a team player, just being helpful being courteous being sharing and showing things with no agenda. Like I think that gets you a lot further than, than the forceful things or the nefarious sneaky ways people try and get into situations.

Zack Arnold 48:58

Sure. Well, that having been said, Now looking at just the wide array of all these things that you're involved with in any given time, you're not just somebody that goes to the same facility sits in front of the same workstation and goes home, you have a lot of balls that you have in the air, you're spending a lot of plates, once again, all things I can relate to more more than you would ever know. So when you're saying, Well, I do Pilates, and I go for hikes, and I play hockey, and I do all these other things. How are you managing your time to actually make that happen?

Vashi Nedomansky 49:25

I have to set aside the time like before, like the usually at night, at the end of the day, when I'm winding down, I'll just plan out my next day. I'm horrible in planning out like long term things away from like editing. Like if there's an editing when there's a timeline in a schedule, I'm fine with that. But personally, like if something is more than two or three days away, I don't even know what day of the week it is half the time. But I know when something is due. So the night before I'll always say okay, tomorrow, I'm doing this and then I'm just going to work out from this time at that time. I just make it happen. I don't like start and then like cut into that exercise time and say Oh, just make it up. Tomorrow, I have to stop what I'm doing. And I budget my time so I can make that fit into my work schedule. So it's just a conscious effort, a conscious decision that forces it to happen, because I know that I'm going to benefit from that action that I take during that hour. And what's an hour who can't find one hour in their day, it's, you know, I mean, the time we waste on either Twitter or Instagram or whatever, like social media, really, that's fine. I love it, too. If there's downtime, I'm just plowing through stuff looking at stuff. Sure. But I could be doing burpees or push ups or sit ups or crunches or something during that time. But I always just make that time, just a quick parallel in hockey, which is very similar to hockey, we often don't know what day of the week it is, or anything, all we know is, when's our next like group established time, if it's a meeting, if it's a bus to the rink, if it's a flight, if it's a practice, everyone's just talking, right? It's eight hours till the bus, that'll take us to the rink, it's four hours, the flight. So you're just looking at the one important thing in front of you that's coming up next. And you just live around that. So you never know what day it is. Tomorrow, we're going to be here, just the buses at 10 o'clock, you know, I think is important about that is it just for focuses makes you focus at the at the moment, what's the most important thing at that specific moment. And also, what it taught me was, and you spoke to that with you saying that you were never late, the biggest travesty you can do on a hockey team, like off the ice is if you're late for a meeting or a bus because everyone's got to wait for you. And that's just unacceptable. And you're basically saying that you're one of 25 guys, and if you're late for a bus, you're basically saying I don't care about any of you guys, I'm just doing my own stuff. I'm on my own program. 24 guys are waiting, and I just show up whenever I want. And that's just unacceptable as a teammate, like us so much respect for someone who's late, unless there's some whatever excuse the worst is all I overslept, really then set for alarm set five alarms, there's no over oversleeping excuse, the bus will leave. And so if you're a professional, then that's a critical mistake you can't make And that applies to both of both professional world and post production on any level can't be late. You have to have respect for people. And that's a another correlative. So again, I'm rambling. But you know,

Zack Arnold 52:13

If we could only teach that to directors and producers, it would be so much easier. They're on there, they're in a completely different world, like we can only control our schedule, and we can only control our behavior. So I'm not going to go down that rabbit hole. But I'm sure that every editor is just nodding their heads and yes, yes. But so yeah, well, I won't go along on that tangent. But what I do really want to hit here is the heart of the psychology behind how it is you're able to find the time because This to me is one of the core reasons that people are unable to actually stick with something like an exercise habit. And this is actually the foundation of the entire course that I've built is it's not just Oh, hey, here are a bunch of activity routines. And here's how you can do burpees and push ups in your office. There is stuff like that, but that those are like the that's like the sprinkling, that's the you know that that's the frosting on the cake. That's not the foundation of cake is actually a really bad analogy, I probably shouldn't have used that.

Vashi Nedomansky 53:05

I'm hungry. Now. I want cake. Right?

Zack Arnold 53:07

So I'll have my editor cut that out. Actually, I won't. But you get the idea. It's really bad analogy. But the idea is that you need a foundation of psychology to shift your mindset to make these things happen. And what people need to understand it, you hit it right at the top of your sentence, you said, I have a calendar, and I schedule it. And there is a high performance coach. He's actually one of the top coaches in the world, right alongside Tony Robbins, his name is Brendon Burchard. And he has a line, it's one of the best lines I've ever heard. He said that ambition sucks without a calendar, you can have all of these amazing ideas and plans. But if you don't have a calendar, and you're not putting that in your calendar, you might as well and the end of every sentence that you have in your mind with the word "someday". So you say, Well, I'm an exercise someday, I'm going to get healthier someday. But if you want to actually make it happen, you need to schedule it, you need to say not just Well, my goal is I want to be healthier and more active. Well, great. That's not a goal. That's a dream. That's vague, you need to be specific. So what you do is you say, I am going to be more active by walking 15 minutes a day, five days a week. Okay, great. That's a more specific goal. When you're going to do it, is it on your calendar? No, we'll then put it on your calendar. That's actually something that I do is in my calendar, I have a category of what what is my activity look like for the day, and I'll actually have it scheduled where it says 430 go for a walk, which means that I get an alert 15 minutes before telling me that I need to go for a walk. And I'm scheduling around it and looking at my calendar saying Alright, I wake up around 5:45am or 6am in the morning, and I have a morning routine that I go through. And again, it's all in the the blog post that I'll link to Part of that is 30 minutes of high intensity exercise. Some days. I don't do it because my schedule doesn't allow it because I prioritize sleep over it. But that's in my calendar. I know that it's there. I know that it's getting And that I know exactly the workout that I'm going to do. And then during the day, I have different areas where it's like, I know generally from somewhere around 1115, or 1130, I'm going to take an activity break, I know that I'm going to take a walk around 430. And when I'm building my calendar for the day, saying, alright, I have this task and this task and this meeting, Oh, you know what, I'm not going to be able to do this task because I have my walk scheduled, or I can't schedule this meeting this time, or I need to move my walk. But it becomes something that's a priority. And once you develop that mindset, then again, it becomes one of those things that's routine. So it's not, oh, I have to get the willpower exercise today. You just do it. It's rote memory, and you just walk into your exercise room wearing your exercise clothes, you're like, Oh, I guess I'm exercising now. And it becomes memories.

Vashi Nedomansky 55:44

And it's just like the shortcut like keyboard shortcuts and stuff, it's something you do so often that you don't even realize it at some point, you're just like, Oh, I'm gonna go do this, it's the last thing it is hard to get started. And, and like I said before, it has to be, it's a lifestyle choice, it's not something that you have to do where you're like, Oh, I'm just gonna go exercise because I have two notes, you should want to, you want to better yourself. And coming from me, like, I'll tell you to be completely honest, a lot of it's vanity, I don't want to be the fat editor in a big chair. Like, since I've, I've put on maybe like five pounds since I retired from hockey like 12 years ago, and I'm fine, like, I look the same, I feel the same I exercise and take care of my body. And that's like, a lot of it is vanity, you know, right? You know, I don't want to be the fat editor. Like, it's horrible. So that's coming from another spot, like, that's arrogant professional athlete, mindset, you know that, that has to exist for you to be successful. At that point, you have to think that you're better than people. And but you have to not show that externally, you know, you have to have that have that inner confidence that allows you to remain at that level. I think that translates also, like, you know, not that you have to think you're the best, but you have to have supreme confidence in yourself. And that's backed up by your interactions with people and how you're treated. And if you're hired again, for for a job by the same producer, the same post production team, and who wants to interact with you. That's direct feedback to how you present yourself.

Zack Arnold 57:04

Yeah. And I think that's another key place to go to. And even if you're somebody that's not a vain, arrogant NHL hockey player that wants to look amazing. And obviously, I'm being sarcastic, but a lot of editors to say, Wow, who cares? Like I'm an editor, I don't care how I look, I just I just want them to look at my reel and say, I can get the job done. But if what you really want is to move up in the editorial food chain, and you want to work on bigger stuff, and you want to work on better stuff, but you're not taking care of yourself, and you're 50 pounds overweight, which is not an exaggeration in this industry. If you're going to be going into an interview, and your posture is poor, and you're not really standing up, right, and you're slouching in your chair, and you just feel kind of sluggish, that's going to affect people's perception of you infinitely more than you may think they're going to look at your reel, they're going to look at other people's reels. And they're going to say, Alright, I have five people here that have similar resumes, similar reels, this guy's a little bit better than this guy. But usually they're going to pick people that are in a similar level of talent once again. But if you have somebody that comes in with poise, and confidence that holds themselves together, and believes in who they are, and looks the part, they're going to be head and shoulders above you, and you're not going to get as many jobs because of the way that you carry yourself. And I will link to a TED talk by a woman named Amy Cuddy that talks about how you can literally affect the hormone balance in your body just by changing your posture. So this is one of the reasons that I actually recommend that you stand more often, I don't think people should stand all day, every day, people like Well, I don't want to stand for 12 hours. And I say don't it's a stupid idea, you shouldn't do it. But if you stand more often, you're actually increasing the level of hormones that are good for you and lowering your stress level hormones. And people actually subconsciously pick up on those hormones and on your better posture. So it literally will lead you to getting more jobs and better jobs if you're taking care of yourself. And it's not a vain industry that we're in where they're not solely judging you the way that they would if you're on a casting call for you know, being an actor or an actress in a show. But this is a superficial industry on every single level. So if you're going to move up the food chain, that is something you need to think about is how you carry yourself and you don't have to be, you know, literally a former NHL hockey player that's svelte and really well taken care of. But you should take care of yourself enough that when you walk in the room, they're not going to say, God is, this guy even going to survive for nine months on this movie, like, right, I'm kind of worried he's gonna die of a heart attack because that actually happens.

Vashi Nedomansky 59:36

Oh, yeah, I know, I've heard horror stories from some of my, like mentors and stuff that I worked with. And yeah, it's horrible. And it's, I mean, it's now Now is the time to make it. People have the opportunity to have the change and I know that you're spearheading this, you know, over the last couple years and it is very important and it should be a consideration and I love the fact that like you bring your own food to the to the gig and you bring your own special items that you need to be productive, and to be efficient and to be healthy. And I know I've listened to some of them where you're like, I just, I just thought, This is what I need. Otherwise, I'm basically not gonna take the job and they're not gonna, they're gonna take care of you because they want they know that they're going to get an amazing product from you. So it behooves all producers and stuff to take our, our requests, you know, under consideration, and actually just do them, just do it. We're not there to just to be slaves, we're there to help everything move smoothly, and help tell the story. And what just give us the tools?

Zack Arnold 1:00:31

Well, and I'm so glad that you just went to tools, I swear to God, you're you're looking at my question list right now, when you had said, well, it's so cool that you kind of bring your own items and say, this is just the way that I'm going to do it. Because yes, I am very forward with people saying, Listen, this is the way that I work, you have to be okay with it. And it was harder when I was younger, because I'm sure there are young people saying Well, I don't have a resume, where I have Empire and Burn Notice. And I can't just walk in and make these demands. I couldn't either. But I slowly started to integrate more of these things. And it's not like I was saying, Listen, I need to have a hookah in my office, and I'm gonna smoke all day, I was saying, Listen, I just I really want to have a standing workstation, and they would accommodate and now it's becoming infinitely easier to do that just about everywhere. But I've surrounded myself with all kinds of different tools to keep me active. And that's another module of the course is showing people how can you move and change your environment and bringing these different tools that just promote activity and trigger more activity with just being becoming habitual and not something you have to think about? So are there things that you do in your office that just like whether it's literally as small as a hand gripper or something that you have in your office, it just kind of promotes activity and keeps you moving? So you're just not sitting for 12 hours a day?

Vashi Nedomansky 1:01:40

Yeah, no, I have a, I have an Iron Gym that will pull up bar that you put in a doorway. And so I'll do like pull ups on that during the day. And literally, if I walk through the door, I'll just do a couple just so incrementally over the day, I'll get to 100 volts or something ridiculous like that. But also from that Iron Gym, I'll hang so I can stretch out my back. And so I'll just hang from the thing so I can loosen up my spine. And because I have a pre existing condition of like three herniated discs, anytime I can loosen that up, that really helps. And then I'll also when I'm hanging, I'll just like bring my knees up and just like contract my core. So it looks stupid that I'm hanging in a doorway, half the day or when I pass through it, but screw it like if it works for me, then I'm going to do that, that and I have I'm looking I'm holding them right now, these two like orange spiky tennis balls that you put feet, that you can roll in the arches of your feet. And I know that's supposed to stimulate some, you know, some kind of nerve reaction that goes to your body, but it just feels good. So it's very calming. So I have the orange spiky tennis balls on under my bare feet, and I'm hanging in a doorway. So there you go. There's a nice vision for you.

Zack Arnold 1:02:43

You don't need to paint the vision for me because it's once again, creepy. That's exactly I have a chin up bar that it's just kind of one of those rules. And I talked about this in a previous episode with Ben Greenfield. It's an idea called greasing the groove. Where and this is an idea that came from Pavel scottoline. Who is the Russian that brought kettlebells to the west. And I would guess you probably Oh yeah, I know something about Powell and about kettlebells. Yeah. But he has this concept in the book called The Naked warrior that's called greasing the groove. And it's a little bit more scientific as far as strength building in the book. But Ben Greenfield has kind of repurposed it more into the general population. And the idea is, rather than killing yourself on a high intensity workout, trying to bust out 50 pull ups, if you just do five pull ups 10 times throughout the day, you're not exerting yourself to the maximum output where you're exhausting yourself and ruining your form, you're just kind of doing a few here and there, you're actually training your body to be able to do those things better with better form. And you're actually going to be able to do more max pull ups or push ups or whatever the exercise is over a shorter period of time because you're not maxing yourself out. So you can just create all these different triggers in your head. And again, this is another one of those things that I go through and teach people how to do in the course is how to create an activity trigger. One of them is if I walk through a doorway, and I might pull a bar, I'll just do 12345 pull ups, whatever I feel like or I hang. And when I was at the last TV show that I did before Empire, which is Blackbox I had the pull up bar there and I can't have it an empire because of the doorway and literally the first day I showed up in my job. I said where's my office and they pointed to it and the first thing I said was I damn it, I can't put a pull up bar there. So I was really upset about that. But I had one of my old show and people used it all day long. They loved it so it's not like you're gonna feel weird or an outcast people are like, oh pull up bar, I want to go try it. Yeah, every once in a while you have to shut your door because you have to cut because people want to do pull ups all day. But these things are actually fun and encourage group activity rather than feeling like you're going to be the outcast but I also have a lacrosse ball under my feet that I'm rolling at any given time I have my topo mat and I did a whole episode about the guys that designed the the anti fatigue mat that I now use and absolutely love and recommend to everybody. You know I've got hand grippers I've got rubber bands that are specifically formulated for doing the opposite action that I have gripper does. Because if you are at a computer all day long, and you're doing repetitive actions with the keyboard with a mouse with a click pad, however you work, most people think, oh, if I want to get strong, I just want to grip my hands. And that's one motion. But trying to expand your hands under tension is completely a different one. So I have a set of rubber bands, where if I'm just watching footage, I'm just opening my hands all day long, where you just kind of put them around your fingertips. Yeah, it's great. And I'll put a link in the show notes to the this this set that I use, but it's not the kind of thing where say, oh, I've got to do my hand grippers. Now I don't even think about it, I'll just be watching dailies, I'm like, Oh, I got the hand grippers in my hand again. But these things really start to add up throughout the day. And the goal for me and the goal for my course. And what I want to teach people is that by the end of a 12 hour day, editing in front of a computer, you can be so active, that you can get home and say you know what, maybe I should exercise. But I don't need to I just kind of a bonus prize, but I don't you don't feel guilty anymore. Because you say to yourself, you wake up in the morning, oh, I have to exercise today. And then you don't, because you're too busy. Then you go to work all day long, you cut for 12 hours, you get home at 10pm, your brain is fried, you're totally exhausted. And you look at the treadmill or the elliptical and you're like, it's just not gonna happen, I'm just going to drink some beer and watch Netflix and I'm going to unwind and I'm going to go to bed. And then you repeat that cycle over and over and over. But if you can use the time where you're already in your edit suite for those 12 hours, and become super active without it affecting your work, and it actually will affect your work in a positive way. That to me is the that's the holy grail that I've been working on developing. And I literally, I had lunch with a colleague, I won't give this person's name out. Because they haven't said it's okay to give it out. But I showed them my Fitbit stats for the day, from the day before I just short a 15,000 steps, about 7.5 miles. Wow. And I didn't do any exercise. And I was in front of my computer from 5:45am until 10:30pm. And I have 15,000 steps with no exercise. It's crazy. And they were like That's impossible. You're lying. Like it's actually not that hard. And at the end of the day, if somebody had asked me why, what did you do today, I would have said, I didn't do anything I was working all day.

Vashi Nedomansky 1:07:12

I was cutting, just cutting.

Zack Arnold 1:07:14

I was just I literally I was just cutting as you know, a lot of writing a lot of blog posting a lot of websites up but I was just in front of my workstation for 14 hours. And I thought man, I really haven't done anything. Today I looked at my phone, I was just short a 15,000 steps. I'm like, Whoa, this stuff is really starting to work. Like it even surprised me. Because it's become so habitual that I don't think about it that I was kind of shocked that I was like wait, is my Fitbit broken? Like how did I get 15,000 steps today. And then I thought about it just went through all those little five minute breaks and all the little triggers I'd set up. I was like, oh, wow, now I see how this works, it's really starting to come together. So it's all those little things that you start to accumulate over the course of 30 or 60 days, you can start to learn, it's very, very doable without ever even having to say I need to schedule an extra hour of my day, you can just do it at work.

Vashi Nedomansky 1:08:05

Yeah, and that's the same thing like with, I'll take that Iron Gym that you throw in the doorway with me. But at home in my home office where I have like three edit bays, I have one of those towers of power that you get it on Amazon for like 150 bucks, it's just the pull up bar that has like the dips on it, and you do push ups or just hang from it, you know, because it is like seven feet high. And I just love looking at that thing. I just want to jump on it, like loosen up. So that's at home, you know, just because it is stable, and it's it's a little better than a doorway. But you can jump on that and do so many different things. And like you said incrementally during the day, just crank out something here something there. And you do realize at the end of the day, you've made a huge impact on on your self and like how you feel and and eventually how you look over an extended period of time when it starts working for you.

Zack Arnold 1:08:48

Yeah, and it's amazing what you can do in the space that it requires to put a yoga mat on the floor. Oh yeah, if you have zero equipment, and you don't even have the yoga mat, just imagine the space required for a yoga mat. If that's all you have, you can bust your ass with that amount of space and no equipment whatsoever, just doing bodyweight exercises completely. And that to me like for the one of the reasons that I look at that specifically like a bodyweight exercise, there's a study and I can put a link to this study, where they said that doing 30 seconds of high intensity exercise is the equivalent of drinking a cup of coffee. So if it's 230 in the afternoon, and you're starting to hit that dip, and you're thinking Oh, so I'm on Starbucks time, take 30 seconds, do as many pushups as possible. Do as many bodyweight squats as possible, do jumping jacks, you're going to have the same physiological effect on your body that that coffee would except it's going to be way better for you and you're no longer going to need the coffee. And unfortunately, most likely all the crap that's going to be in your coffee, because I would guess the chances are you're not getting black coffee.

Vashi Nedomansky 1:09:49

Right right right now.

Zack Arnold 1:09:50

So that being the case, I know that you have a hockey game to get to I usually don't say that the end of my podcast, but my guest has a hockey game to get to so I don't want to leave you literally I feel like we've barely scratched the surface. So I know this is gonna be, this will be a recurring interview because I know that we have a lot more places to go. And I still need to dig into the the birth records and find out where you and I are directly related to tech.

Vashi Nedomansky 1:10:11

Yeah, please crazy.

Zack Arnold 1:10:14

But if people wanted to learn more about you connect with you because you have so many great resources about understanding patterns and editing, you have a very unique perspective. So where can I send people and how can they contact you?

Unknown Speaker 1:10:25

My website is vashivisuals.com. If you go to the blog page, which is just vashivisuals.com, backslash blog, I try to update it at least once a week there I put like just my my musings on filmmaking and anything that comes to mind at that moment. And I do like to talk about patterns or average shot links or things that may apply or may not apply to the bigger picture. But I just things that I find interesting, I have no agenda, I have no idea what I'm doing. I just like to throw up stuff that I find interesting. I'm at vashikoo V A S H I K O O on Twitter, and on Instagram, and Facebook, I have just vashivisuals, and there's different stuff on different platforms. So it's not all the same. There, you can get a little better idea of like, what I do, what's going through my coconut and you know what I'm working on, which is always a lot of stuff, which I'm very happy for that.

Zack Arnold 1:11:17

Well, I highly encourage my listeners to go check that out. And without further ado, I'm gonna let you go bust somebody's teeth out. So

Vashi Nedomansky 1:11:24

I'm gonna bust some skulls. I'm gonna bust some sticks and maybe a couple teeth. My own? Yeah.

Zack Arnold 1:11:30

Do you actually have all your teeth? I was gonna be one of my questions I

Vashi Nedomansky 1:11:32

have I have teeth in my head. Yeah, no, I have all my teeth. Yeah, no. All up in there. And it's good.

Zack Arnold 1:11:38

All right. Well, thank you so much for being on the show. This has been tremendous. And I guarantee that you're going to be back in the future exact

Vashi Nedomansky 1:11:42

Thank you so very much. It is really, really an amazing time. And yeah, like you said, We literally just scratch the surface. There's so much to talk about. Awesome. Well, thank you so much. Okay, ciao. For now.

Zack Arnold 1:11:53

This episode was made possible for you by you guessed it Ergodriven the creators of the Topo mat, my number one recommended product if you are interested in moving more and not having sore feet, your height adjustable or standing workstation. Almost every new person that I meet in this industry starts our conversation with, Hey, I got a topo map because of you. It's changed my life. Thank you. Listen, standing desks are only great if you're actually standing well. Otherwise, you're just fighting fatigue and chronic pain. Not like any other anti fatigue mat. The Topo is scientifically proven to help you move more throughout your day, which helps reduce discomfort and also increases your focus and your productivity. I'm literally standing on one as I read this, and I don't go to a single job without it. And if you're smaller and concerned, the Topo Mat might be too big, or you simply don't have the floorspace well there's a Topo mini for that. To learn more visit optimizeyourself.me/topo that's t o p o

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Optimize Yourself Podcast to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss future interviews just like this one. Please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. And as a quick reminder, if you want my 50 Plus page Ultimate Guide to optimizing your creativity, which contains a multitude of recommendations to help you move more, eat better, improve sleep and so much more. Visit optimizeyourself.me/UltimateGuide. And a special thanks to our sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven for making today's interview possible to learn more about how to collaborate remotely without missing a frame. And to get your real time demo of Evercast an action visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast and to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations to topo mat visit optimizeyourself.me/topo that's t o p o and to learn more about Ergodriven and they're brand new product that I am super excited about New Standard Whole Protein visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well.

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Guest Bio:


Vashi Nedomansky

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Vashi Nedomansky is the first professional hockey player to become a Hollywood film editor with 9 feature films to date. Owner of VashiVisuals.com he shares his filmmaking experiences from the trenches and his love of cinema. Editor of Sharknado 2 and worked on Gone Girl, Deadpool and lover of exercise and potato vodka.

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).”