Command+Edit Podcast

The post-production podcast that goes beyond the desk

Rise of the Sufferfests - Interview with the editor Erik Swanson: Episode 57

Nick MontgomeryComment
Command Edit Podcast interview with Erik Swanson editor of Rise of the Sufferfests documentary on OCR

We welcome editor Erik Swanson on the show, who recently completed work on his first feature length credit: Rise of the Sufferfests, a documentary that explores the rising trend of OCR (Obstacle Course Racing).

You may have heard me talk about OCR occasionally as it's become an obsession of mine in the past year. If you've heard of Tough Mudder, Spartan races or anything similar then you've probably thought one of two things: 1) "That sounds like fun!" or 2) "Why do people actually do this??"

Rise of the Sufferfests sets out to answer that latter question, as director Scott Keneally investigates the world of OCR using himself as a guinea pig and interviews with multiple racers.

Erik Swanson got started in filmmaking working mostly with sports editorial footage for 11 years before jumping into the world of freelancing and becoming attached to RotS with Scott and his group.

Documentary filmmaking is not for the faint of heart. It can involve insanely large amounts of dedicated time, endless hours of footage to sift through and a story to find. It's not like scripted content where you always start the timeline with some semblance of a story prepared. The editor has a lot of creative control when it comes to crafting the story of a doc, but it's also a huge responsibility.

Literally the only image of Erik Swanson that exists. And the only one needed.

Literally the only image of Erik Swanson that exists. And the only one needed.

In this episode Erik and I discussed:

  • how he rose to the challenge of editing Rise of the Sufferfests
  • how he looks for the story in the footage
  • how does documentary editing differ from scripted content
  • will he continue pursuing documentaries
  • and also will he be signing up for an obstacle course race in the future?

You can watch Rise of the Sufferfests right now (as of Sept 1st, 2016) on iTunes. Click the link here to purchase a digital copy instantly on iTunes for $14.99 or visit the store on the RotS website to purchase a t-shirt/movie bundle.

Check out more of Erik's work over on his website. And encourage him to get on Twitter.

Watch the movie already? Let us know what you thought of it. Leave a comment below or tweet us @CommandEdit.


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What happened to the summer blockbuster? : Episode 56

Nick MontgomeryComment
Episode 56 Command Edit Podcast What happened to the summer blockbuster?

We have a BUNCH of stuff to share with you! Let's see how much we can cram into this episode.

Throughout the week we collect links, useful tips and eyebrow-raising articles that we come across to discuss and now it's time to give them all to you. It's an AKS (All Kinds o' Shit) episode this week!

Instagram Stories or Snapchat

Are you using Instagram Stories or do you prefer Snapchat? There are people in either camp using these tools to provide video to their followers. I've been trying both out to see the differences and what kind of value can be provided to his followers. I like to show glimpses of my timeline progress, behind-the-scenes of sets that I'm on and of course multiple images of #CoffeePorn.

You can follow Nick on Snapchat (merc_media) or on Instagram (mercmedia) to see shots of his work and coffee. You can follow Josh (joshort) on Snapchat to see pics of how his vacation is going right now. Let us know which ones you use regularly and help us decide which one to stick with.

Mac OS Sierra coming this fall and Siri is coming to the desktop

Sierra OS for Mac users is coming this fall and the announced features range from the mildly interesting to the "meh". One update worth mentioning is that Siri is coming to the MacOS now. Click here to watch a breakdown of new features from a beta tester (

Ever search for an Adobe Premiere tutorial only to find ones that have way more talking to them than you'd like? Done With Dylan features a set of Premiere tutorials that get right to the point. No intro. No chit-chat. He just jumps right into the meat of the tutorial, gives you what you need and ends it. Go check it out (

*Thanks to PremiereBro for the link.

Suicide Squad and the Second Act Problem

Suicide Squad has been getting a lashing from both fans and critics alike. I watched it this past weekend, further adding fuel to the fire that Hollywood is losing its touch when it comes to making summer blockbusters. There is one theory being posited as to why this could be happening. It's referred to as the "Second Act Problem" because most of the scenes that end up on the cutting room floor for this already-lengthy films come from the 2nd act. The 2nd act of the story is arguably where most of the story and character development resides. Read up more on this theory and let us know if you agree with it. (

Sven Pape (aka This Guy Edits) posted a video that demonstrates the power of the editor when it comes to shaping the actor's performance. He breaks down how to approach editing a scene between two characters and gives 9 tips for how you can reshape an actor's performance. Just remember that with great power comes great responsibility. You can greatly alter how an actor behaves in a scene but that doesn't mean you always have to. Only if it will improve the scene (in your opinion).


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Can You Be Fired for Being Sick?: Episode 55

Nick Montgomery2 Comments
Can you be fired from your job for being sick or calling in a sick day

Can you be fired for being sick?

This started as a Twitter discussion from a question Scott Simmons posed earlier. There were many different opinions shared and it's not a simple yes/no question.

So we're here to discuss it further, what are your rights as a freelancer and how should you balance out the responsibilities of the job and your own health?

Do you think an assistant can be rightfully fired for calling in sick?

Do you have a story about coming down with a serious illness and having to push through on a deadline? Let us know in the comments about it.



[4:30] What have Josh and Nick been working on this week?...

[11:25] Scott Simmons (@EditBlog) asked his Twitter followers if his assistant editor should be replaced because he was sick and didn't show for work. It generated an interesting discussion on Twitter and inspired this week's episode. What is your opinion? Leave it in a comment below and we'll respond to it.

[16:04] The difference between a freelancer and a full-timer when it comes to sick days...



EDIT: Scott wrote on Pro Video Coalition after this Twitter discussion and included a follow-up to this story with the sick AE and how the rest of the project went. Worth noting is the tail section of the article where he gleans some advice for working for/with someone new for the first time. Check out the full article here for 6 tips for working as an assistant for someone new.


Quitting the business! : Cmd+Edit 054

Nick MontgomeryComment
Command Edit Podcast Episode 54 Post Production Editor When to quit the filmmaking industry

Welcome to Episode 54 of Command+Edit Podcast!

We all inevitably reach a point in our careers when we start to really question if this industry is for you. Let's face it, it's not for everyone. It means long hours, a lot of pressure, making deadlines, unsteady financial status and dealing with a lot of other factors that make your job difficult.

This came about recently when a colorist/editor that we follow, Ben Brainerd, announced on Twitter that he was hanging up his hat and switching careers entirely. You can read all about his decisions, how he arrived at them and his reasons for settling on this new path (and a completely different address!).

Follow Ben Brainerd on Twitter and join us in wishing him well on his journey.

If you have ever reached a point where you seriously considered getting out of the filmmaking business entirely, then we would like to hear your story. Email us ( or tweet us (

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How much does a video cost? : Cmd+Edit 053

Nick MontgomeryComment
Command Edit Podcast Episode 53 How much does a video cost budgeting estimate

We are often asked the question "How much does a video cost?" The short answer: It depends.

As a comparison you could ask "How much does a house cost?" and then point out the many factors that affect the cost of a house: location, size, materials, how quickly it needs to be built, etc.

A video production can cost many things many prices

You want to ask specifics from the client early on to determine what kind of video they are expecting to receive, but you also don't want to scare them off with an overwhelming inquisition. You want to ask the right questions to just get the information you need to produce an accurate quote or estimate. That way you ensure that you are giving an accurate number for your services and your client can rest easy that that number won't change (much) during production.

Some standard questions that you can ask a client are:

  • Who is the audience?
  • Will a script be provided?
  • What materials are already produced and available (graphics, stock footage...)?
  • Will we require actors or spokespersons from the company on-screen?
  • Will their be voiceover or narration needed?
  • Do we have to licence music?
Be up front with the client and avoid confusing them with several questions

In building your quote there are two ways to go about it: create a flat rate for the entire project or list off line items (similar to ordering off a menu). Each freelancer develops their own way of building a quote and you will have to, as well.


  • Audio Network is a plugin for Adobe Premiere Pro that allows you to browse, preview and purchase music tracks for your edit ALL WITHOUT LEAVING YOUR PROJECT. It embeds a panel directly into the Premiere interface making the music licensing process completely seamless. Sign up and give it a try. (
  • How to Quote a Video Production? via Sound and Vision Media

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Codecs, Containers and Compression : Cmd+Edit 052

Nick MontgomeryComment
Episode 52 of Command Edit Podcast Codec Containers and Compression

After the briefest of hiatuses we are BACK! Did you miss us?

This episode Josh and Nick get into the topic of codecs:

  • When to use which ones?
  • How to optimize your encoding settings for faster exports/higher quality videos.
  • How to establish delivery specs with clients early on
  • And some other goodie topics for you

As well there a number of links you should click on this week.

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