Ben Laffin (Alum, January 2008)
On-line Editor, My Perestroika (Grand Jury Prize Nominee, Sundance 2010)
Not all that long ago, I had a desperate desire to pursue a career in editing, but what I did not have were: a) editing skills and b) connections. Nonetheless, I was confident that I could get past these rather significant deficiencies through pluck and chutzpah, figuring out Final Cut on the fly and charming my way straight to the top. Turns out it doesn't work that way. As I scrolled through page after page of craigslist ads offering unpaid editing work, it slowly dawned on me that desire alone wasn't going to turn me into an editor. I was going to need to learn to edit, and meet people who could help me get started.
So I took the Edit Center's six-week class.
From the first minute of class I was struck by the teachers' complete lack of pretension -- they were truly eager to help us. Without their supportive guidance and feedback I never could have waded through the vastness of Final Cut Pro's functions. When I walked in I had no experience, but the method was so thorough that I never felt left behind. Throughout the six weeks I continued to learn more about editing through the myriad opportunities the class provides: one on one sessions with teachers, group lectures, guest visits, field trips, watching classmates' work, all in addition to the time spent working on my own. By the end of class I felt confident enough to apply for any of those craigslist jobs...but I didn't need to, because my former classmates and teachers were immediately aiding me in finding work. I'm now happily employed and using the skills I learned in the six-week class every day.