6 Reasons Editors Should Attend Editors Retreat

 Photo by Adam Martray

Photo by Adam Martray

Editors Retreat 2016 was a mountaintop experience, both literally and figuratively. For those who were not able to attend, and for those who have their sights set on Editors Retreat 2017, this post is especially for you. It's true, Editors Retreat is an exclusive event, but Premiere Bro is about to blow the lid of Editors Retreat with these 6 Reasons Editors Should Attend Editors Retreat.


Video: Why Editors Should Go to Editors Retreat

Watch this compilation of interviews with Editors Retreat attendees. Watch on YouTube for video navigation in the description. Go to Premiere Bro's Editors Retreat 2016 YouTube Playlist to watch the original interviews, as well as EDITORS RETREAT — Rise of the Premiere Pro Hero.

1. The Friends

The most valuable takeaway from Editors Retreat is the contact info of the people you meet. (That rhymes!) Editors Retreat is usually limited to 80 people, so it's very possible to meet every attendee. In fact, Opening Intros is a dedicated time for attendees to introduce themselves to the group. (Hope that doesn't turn you off to going!) It's easy to make friends because everyone is on a first name basis from the very beginning. This is an essential characteristic of Editors Retreat. Monica Daniel, Assistant Editor for SuperGirl and Editors Retreat speaker, shared the value of having friends when it comes to surviving as a freelancer. She said the investments she's made in industry friendships is invaluable because those are the friends who will find you work. Don't take this the wrong way and think you can bring your resume to Editors Retreat. (Instead, think of yourself as an contributor!) However, the introductions you make at Editors Retreat are the beginning of long, productive friendships. Put a price tag on that!

2. The Exclusivety

Don't think Editors Retreat is just for cool narrative feature film editors who only cut in Avid. Editors Retreat is for all editors! Editors Retreat Master of Ceremonies, Jeff Greenberg said it best, "It's not what you cut, it's that you're cutting and you're doing it professionally." That's the catch, you have to be editing professionally in order to attend Editors Retreat. "This event is for those [editors] who are making a living, who have that passion for editorial. You need to have 3-5 years of experience. Everyone here is vetted." It has nothing to do with being snobbish or exclusive for exclusiveness' sake. The professional requirement for Editors Retreat is meant to preserve its very tangible sense of editorial camaraderie. Everyone at Editors Retreat is able to share in each other's hardships and successes because everyone know what it means to edit for paychecks. As an added bonus, Editors Retreat attendees are also given access to the Editors Retreat Facebook Group which is a closed group. Learn more about the history of Editors Retreat from Jeff Greenberg in the Premiere Bro interview below.

3. The Goodie Bag

The Goodie Bag is no shallow reason for attending Editors Retreat. In fact, it's a great way to bribe your company to cover your costs to attend. The 2016 Goodie Bag contained software, plugins, training and event discounts with a total value that exceeded $5000! How's that for a return on investment? Special thanks to all the awesome companies that donated to this year's Goodie Bag goodness.

4. The Locations

Editors Retreat is a roaming event; every year the location changes. So you get to see a variety of geography. More importantly, attendees represent all parts of the continental United States and beyond. Fellow retreaters can provide a good sense of how strong the post production industry is in their area, as well as what job opportunities are available. This goes back to the most valuable part of Editors Retreat being the people. Editor and long-time Editors Retreat attendee, Nicole Haddock, said it best, "I now have a network in every city ... every major city in America I know somebody." That's an incredible resource, especially when you're looking to relocate and want to get a pulse on a city's job market. Hear what else Nicole has to say about Editors Retreat in the Premiere Bro interview below.

5. The Keynote Speakers

The keynote speakers at Editors Retreat are the best. I don't mean that in the polite sense. I literally mean the best. Like, Oscar-winning-best. At Editors Retreat, attendees are able to mingle with high-profile Hollywood editors in a professional environment without the awkward fanboyishness... OK, maybe there's a still a little of that. 

Michael Knue — Due to inclement weather, a missed connecting flight, and a long night in DFW airport, Premiere Bro was not able to attend Michael Knue's opening keynote. Here are several Tweets highlighting what was missed.

Maryann Brandon - Unfortunately, Maryann was not able to join Editors Retreat in person. However, the highly skilled Editors Retreat technical support team (you know who you are!) was able to pipe in Maryann via Skype. Hearing from Maryann was no less incredible than you'd imagine talking to an Oscar-nominated Editor would be.

Creative control is an issue for every filmmaker and it's certainly something directors and editors face in the editing room. This explains why many of the best directors have established long working relationships with editors they trust. Such is the case with JJ Abrams and co-editors Maryann Brandon and Mary Jo Markey on Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens. Maryann shared the key is keeping the success of the story in the forefront of creative decisions and, while people will have different opinions, believing no one is intentionally trying to sabotage the story. She also shared her thoughts on BB8 as an actor.

Editing is not an exact science; it's a creative process. However, there are rules that govern editing in a general sense and there are creative rules which are contextually established in the story by the editor. Both of these types of rules can be broken to advance the story. Maryann shared her feelings towards editing rules and affirmed breaking them is a powerful editing technique.

Michael Tronick - When listening to Michael Tronick, even just a short while, one quickly realizes his expertise and humility. Michael Tronick has risen so high on the Hollywood ladder that studios hire him to fix the work of other Hollywood editors. Such a task could only be executed by an editor with tremendous talent and tremendous lack of ego.

Straight Outta Compton is an example of Michael Tronick being hired by the studio to provide "another perspective" on an edit. He shared some insights on cutting down the total run time from 3+ hours to 2 hours and 27 minutes, while maintaining the integrity of the music in the film. He also said that he is one of the few who can refer to Ice Cube as "Cube".

Not many people understand or appreciate the depth of creative and technical expertise that is required to be an editor. And as editors, we're OK with that. Michael Tronick profoundly stated the true reward of being an editor is having an emotional connection with the material. Storytelling is the reward for an editor.

6. The Premiere Pro Presence

This is the part in the post where Premiere Bro goes total fanboy. Adobe Premiere Pro had a huge presence at Editors Retreat 2016. From attendees who cut in Premiere Pro, to the presentations that featured it; Premiere Pro was all over the place! Premiere Pro Master Trainer and founder of premierepro.net, Jarle Leirpoll hosted the Premiere Pro training sessions at Editors Retreat. Watch the Premiere Bro interview with Jarle and check out some of his advanced Premiere Pro tips below.

Scott Simmons, editor and author of The Edit Blog on Pro Video Coalition, shared advanced tips for multicam editing workflows. His wasn't a Premiere Pro presentation per se but, as far as screen time percentage, Premiere Pro CC upstaged the other NLEs. Check out some of Scott's Premiere Pro CC multicam editing tips below.

It's true, Editor's Retreat is NLE agnostic, as it should be. But Premiere Bro has to point out that, as far as representation of the major editing systems, only one was unaccounted for. I won't say which — *cough* Avid *cough* — but I can tell you it certainly wasn't Adobe Premiere Pro. Senior Product Manager, Al Mooney was onsite for most of the event, including group activities and field trips. (Al was even featured on horseback in the 15 second film competition!) Does this make Premiere Pro CC a better NLE than Avid Media Composer or FCPX? Of course not. BUT, it says a lot for Adobe's superior pursuit of customer interaction and engagement. (I personally saw Al listening to critical feedback from Editors Retreat attendees.) Adobe is doing it right when it comes to product management and the results can be seen all over the industry. Feature films like Deadpool and Hail, Caesar! being edited in Premiere Pro CC are just the icing on the cake. The bigger achievement is seeing Premiere Pro transcending all industry barriers and becoming the NLE of choice for amateurs and professionals alike.


Thanks for reading! For more information about Editors Retreat, visit editorsretreat.com.


Thanks to Future Media Concepts and Adobe for sponsoring Premiere Bro to attend Editors Retreat.