I’m still amazed when I hear from followers. It’s the reason I keep doing this, even if my posts are few and far between, you all keep me coming back. I received a super sweet and encouraging message from a reader named Stephanie, who enjoyed a recent post about my path to TV Post Production (here). She asked me to elaborate further on my journey. She specifically wanted to know of any challenges I may have encountered along the way, workflow differences over the years and also what my favorite part of the job is. Stephanie, I have answers for ya!
You may expect me to say that being a woman, especially a woman of color might be a challenge in my industry. Well, you’re right. It is. At least, it was. I’ve certainly had my fair share of colleagues underestimating me, disrespecting me and trying to put me in what they think is my place. It has happened, but thankfully those experiences have been few and far between. I don’t play. I think because I look young (I am not) and I’m into fashion and pretty things, some people assume that I’m not smart or that I don’t know what I’m doing in my position. They are quick to judge my book by it’s cover. In order to combat that, I have developed a real tough cookie attitude. Nobody puts Baby in a corner! I’m still nice and fun but I’m extra strong because I have to be. I also feel like I have gained the respect of others over the years by just putting my head down and getting the work done, no matter what. I’ve always had to work harder and longer than anyone else. Which sort of leads me to another challenge…
LONG HOURS! If you’re in television you better love it because you will live it. If TV was an exercise class, the song “9 to 5” would just be the warm up! I’ve worked 24 hours straight on several occasions. It gets real from time to time. I do try my best to have a social life outside of work, it keeps me going, it’s my fuel. It is hard though. I end up missing out on a lot of opportunities because I’m always working. I’m not complaining, I love it BUT it is hard.
One last hurdle to chat about will also address Stephanie’s second question. The workflow is constantly changing in Post. With technology moving at the speed of light, we must always keep up. Each show, each season, each network and team will have their own way of doing things. Not gonna lie, Post Production manuals are maddening to read at times. You thought IKEA was bad?! Yo, you have no idea. Once a season is up and running, it becomes more of a well oiled machine but getting to that is quite the challenge and definitely my least favorite part of the gig.
Now for the fun! My favorite part of the job is easily the list of creative responsibilities I have. When I was coming up, I always thought that Post was the most boring part of the process. False. It’s arguably one of the most exciting. Post is where you get to see the show come together, before anyone else, might I add! Producers come to Editorial to rewrite the story, many of them call it the real final draft of the script. On my current show, “Queen Sugar” I am very involved in that process. I’ve been lucky to find Showrunners who trust me to be a creative voice. It’s really a dream. As a team we put all of the finishing touches on the show. That includes things like editing, sound mix, ADR and loop group (recording and re-recording actors to enhance the sound of the show) and color correction, all experiences I enjoy immensely. One of the coolest things I get to do is select music for the show, which means working with two incredibly talented women. Our Composer and a brilliant artist in her own right, Meshell Ndegeocello and Music Supervisor and uber cool DJ on KCRW, Liza Richardson. It’s a pretty special collaboration. Not as much on this show but on others, I get to work with a great VFX team to create worlds and imaginary creatures! It is a lot of work but how dope is THAT?! This is all wonderful and a blast but my very favorite thing about my job is the people I get to work with. I have the most talented, hardworking, fun and kind group of coworkers that I like to call family. They are absolutely, hands down, the best part of my job. I look forward to coming to work with them each day and I already have separation anxiety for the day that I no longer get to work with them. Truly love them.
Well, that’s the skinny, Stephanie! Hope I shared everything you wanted to know. Thank you again for reaching out! To everyone else, I love hearing from you, so please keep the requests coming! Ciao for now!
Photos by Rebecca Pimm.
This post was written while listening to Youth by Haux.