Command+Edit Podcast

The post-production podcast that goes beyond the desk


Finding Your Path from Student to Professional Editor with Grace Novak : Episode 86

Nick MontgomeryComment
Finding Your Path from Student to Professional Editor with Grace Novak


This episode is brought to you by Studio Network Solutions and their EVO Shared Storage unit. Every EVO includes their easy to use media management software for organizing, tagging, and finding your media across all of your storage devices—even external, local, and cloud services.

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Josh interviews Grace Novak, a film student and freelance video editor, about her journey into the professional ranks. They discuss her networking strategies, what she is taking away from internships, how to adjust to the professional world, setting up a great website and demo reel, and much more.

Links Mentioned:


Song used in this episode was Standing On The Edge by Jaxon Hargrove. Get royalty-free stock music from Soundstripe! Use the code COMMANDEDIT for 10% off!

Taking the leap into FREELANCING : Cmd+Edit 047

Nick MontgomeryComment
Taking the leap to freelance film and video editing Episode 47 of Command Edit Podcast

Josh has an announcement to make: he is taking the leap to being a freelance editor!

On this podcast we've discussed the differences between freelance and contract/full-time positions, with Josh and Nick representing both sides of the coin. However now...all that is about to change.

This decision has been long in the making and there has been much thought put into this move. This episode we get to capture what goes on in the mind of an editor as they make this transition. So for editors who are considering going freelance, this will be a great episode to know how to best prepare yourself for it.

Thanks to our listeners!

Be sure to subscribe below and share this episode with your circle of friends.

Because if you're a freelancer then you're probably working at home right now and have a tab open to Facebook right now, right?...

Make a KILLER Plan: How to work towards your goal like Riddick

Nick Montgomery3 Comments

Sometimes you can find great life lessons in the story of a brilliant, bloodythirsty killer.

When the sci-fi horror movie Pitch Black came out back in 2000 (holy crap, 16 years?) I was completely man-crushing on Vin Diesel's character of Riddick. If you haven't seen it, think of if Hannibal Lector and the Rock had a baby. A character that could just as easily get inside your head through psychological mind-games as he could with his bare hands.

The newest chapter of the space convict's story (just titled Riddick) came out in 2013 and I fell in love with the character again. It wasn't until I rewatched it recently that I realized why I found the character so appealing and...well...inspiring. (please hold off on alerting the authorities, I'm going somewhere with this and it has nothing to do with murderous tendencies).

Riddick is one of the best troubleshooters and plan-builders ever put to screen.

How he establishes his goal and with laser-like precision and determination sets out to accomplish it is incredibly admirable.

The first act of the movie quickly sets the stage (Riddick is stranded on a desert planet where many of the things there just LOVE to kill anything that moves). He's got to adapt and survive.

He locates an abandoned bunker some distance from him. The only catch: in order to reach it he has to go through a narrow pass between two mountains where a particularly nasty creature resides. Observing how the creature attacks and the deadly venom it uses to take down its prey, he wastes no time in formulating a plan.

Honest to god, the first 30 minutes of this movie are all about Riddick trying to make it to this bunker. There's no dialogue (other than some internal monologue here and there) but you see how he's thinking through his situation.

Set Goal: To survive this sh*t planet of death.

How will I achieve this goal?: By reaching the supply bunker beyond the mountains where Mr. Pinchy lives.

Aww, aren't you so cute!!!

Aww, aren't you so cute!!!


Make Plan: Riddick's got his goal and knows what stands in his way. The creature attacks with a venom that instantly paralyzes its prey. So he captures a baby Mr. Pinchy, takes its venom and microdoses himself with it building an immunity. Problem solved.

Next, he observes how the creature attacks: It distracts/lures with its tail and then SURPRISE leaps out and strikes. So he prepares to lure the creature into attacking him so that he can counter and kill it. Problem solved.

During this sequence, Riddick is thinking of nothing else. There is only one goal on his mind and nothing else distracting him. He is determined in his strategy.

When he goes to confront the creature, he is ready. The creature attacks, he is immune to its venom and Riddick takes it down. After passing safely through the mountains, he reaches the bunker...and then the rest of the story happens. But I'm not going to spoil the whole thing for you here.

It's a glorious payoff moment after seeing him calmly assess his situation, figure out what he needs to do and then puts his plan into motion. And it's so simple.

And not only that, it's only a sub-goal of his for eventually getting off of the planet in one piece. A smaller part of a bigger plan that he broke down into even smaller steps.

How often do you set goals and establish a plan for yourself?

I'm going to guess almost never. Because we all know it's good practice and that we can benefit from it. We've all heard the advice to "write your goals down on paper" because then you'll stick to them. And yet, we almost never take the time to do it.

I'm guilty of this myself. I think of goals in my head which really are more like wishes ("I'm going to run 25km!" or most recently "I'm going to get a job assistant editing on this kickass TV show that I love!") and am getting used to writing them down along with the steps I need to take.

What's keeping you from taking 5 minutes to put your goal to paper?

You've reach the end of this article so you can't blame me for distracting you.

Do it now. Grab the nearest piece of paper and a pen, write down your goal as simply as you can put it, and put that sucker somewhere where you'll see it every day. On the side of your monitor, on your mirror...hell, stick it in your pocket for now.

For extra accountability, post your goal in the comments below. Like Tyler Durden I may check in on you occasionally to see how much progress you've made.

...okay, maybe I've got a problem relating myself to psychotic characters but you gotta admit, they get the job done!

Perform Better By Getting Into Your Zone

Nick MontgomeryComment

So I was at the gym the other day and had a revelation. 

Whenever I go there I always stock my phone with podcasts and audiobooks to listen to. It's a great way to digest some new info while running on the treadmill or cooling down (Hint: play them at 2x speed to rip through them faster…as long as you can follow along at that speed). 

One of the books in my queue recently was The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance written by Stephen Kotler (

Highly recommend this book to hear some inspiring stories of humans becoming temporarily "superhuman" in the heat of the moment. 

Highly recommend this book to hear some inspiring stories of humans becoming temporarily "superhuman" in the heat of the moment. 

In it Stephen explains what he defines as a "flow" state of mind and recounts several stories of mostly athletes who achieved it and thus pushed the boundaries of human limits.  Skateboarders who jumped the Great Wall of China, rock climbers who traversed unscalable mountain passes, surfers who used a crazy new technique to surf impossibly large (and deadly) waves. Each was a story where a person succeeded at something that was before thought impossible. And in all cases the subjects recounted what was going through their minds at the crucial moment when success-or-failure (or life-or-death) decisions had to be made in a split second. They all described this "flow" state of mind they were in where all distractions were eliminated and their minds were completely focused on the task before them.

Take a second to consider that state. Do you even recall a time when you had  100% uninterrupted, unwavering focus on the task before you?

At the time I was listening to this, one of the TVs in the gym was showing a movie, Wanted (also one of my favourite recent movies!).

"Shoot the wings off the fly." 

"Shoot the wings off the fly." 

In it, the main character Wesley (James McAvoy) is a schmuch of a man working a mind-numbing desk job when he gets told he is actually a member of an elite group of assassins. These people have the ability to achieve mind-bending moves like curving the trajectory of their fired bullets, all by their super-heightened focus.

This movie would have definitely been a lot different if Angelina turned out to be wrong about Wesley's abilities in this scene.

Now to bring this all back to reality for a moment, I know we aren't here to become Superman and we're not aiming to perform feats that defy physics, but here's the takeaway. Both of these stories, Rise of Superman and Wanted, illustrate the importance of achieving that state of mind where your focus is as sharp as it could possibly be. 

Both showed that when you are in your "flow" state of mind you will see you perform your best, make instinctual decisions that are on point and push your boundaries of what you thought you were capable of.

Two things happened for me as Stephen Kotler's speech about "flow" poured into my ears and Wesley curved his first bullet on the TV screen before me:

1) I turned off the audiobook and ignored the TV

2) I hit the weight rack and achieved a personal best for my deadlift (140lb) 

3) After finishing I went home, sat down at my computer and quickly cut together 4 new scenes for the comedy series I was working on.

That deadlift personal best is still remarkable to me because a shoulder injury often prevents me from putting too much weight on. That day, no pain. And the scenes I cut together? The director loved them and they changed very little for the final cut of those episodes. The pacing was right on for each of them.

After turning off the audiobook and quieting my mind I was able to focus wholeheartedly on my gym goal that day. And when I got home, I blocked distracting tabs on my browser like email, Facebook and Twitter and put my phone on silent. 

In those moments, I achieved a bit of this flow state of mind I had heard so much about. 

What's distracting you while you work? Right now, you might actually say it's this blog (ummm…touché) . But there are other things that may be distracting you externally (social media notifications, text messages, other colleagues dropping into your office or that cat sitting on your keyboard) or internally (What to make for dinner tonight? When should I call that person back? Gotta remember to pay that bill!).

Nowadays "flow" also goes by a different name: mindfulness.

Whatever you call it, you can achieve it by recognizing what is distracting you and taking steps to block it from your mind.

You may not always be able to achieve it (unless you truly are superhuman…) but for those times that you do, you may surprise yourself with what you're able to accomplish. 

We want to hear from you! 

What steps do you take regularly to achieve your "flow"? 

E-mail us or tweet us with your tips on focusing your mind.

Share this post by clicking the link below to distract your fellow colleagues. 

How to Set Up Your 2016 Goals : Cmd+Edit 028

Nick MontgomeryComment
Episode 28 of Command Edit Podcast Goal Setting for 2016 New Year as an Entrepreneur or Freelancer
"The new year stands before us, like a chapter in a book, waiting to be written. We can help write that story by setting goals."

Around this time of year you start thinking of your New Year's resolutions. Actually...let's be're most likely thinking about how bogus New Year's resolutions are.


They are there for people to set, attempt for the month of January and then completely abandon without guilt. When's the last time you a heard from a friend of yours who actually saw one of their resolution through to the end of the year?

But setting goals for yourself is a very important part of learning and improvement. And there are ways you can establish your goals so that you are more likely to succeed at them.

In this episode we talk about a few ways that you can set yourself up for success with your own goals for the next year. They are simple but very essential to getting yourself to the next level.


Also as we end this year, we can't thank our listeners enough! (That would be you).

This podcast started as a shared goal between Josh and myself, as we mention in the episode, and along the way has turned its focus to the goals of the listeners.

What do you want to learn about post-production that will help you in your career?

What other ways are you looking to improve your physical and mental health?

What else would help give you that boost that you need to become more confident with yourself?

We have a lot planned for the Command+Edit Podcast for 2016. Listen to the episode to find out what our goals are and how we plan to achieve them.

Thanks to the kind folk over at Art of the Guillotine for putting our Star Wars episode front and centre on their page. Check out AotG for tons of resources on the filmmaking industry updated daily.


Share them with us by tweeting @CommandEdit. Literally takes 3 seconds using this handy button below. Once you'd tweeted it, you're one step closer to achieving it. And we will then hound you with progress updates.


Even editors need a vacation

Nick MontgomeryComment
Josh doing an obligatory selfie in front of the Ghost Dog of Christmas Past

Josh doing an obligatory selfie in front of the Ghost Dog of Christmas Past

#PostDontStop is just a hashtag. We all know that everyone needs to get away to recharge the batteries. Otherwise you risk overworking yourself which leads to burnout, and then your work will surely suffer. Either that or you become easily irritable and become no fun to be around, which your workmates and clients will surely notice. Because of this you should never neglect your mental or physical health and should allow yourself a break when you need it.

If you have a contract or permanent position then your employer should allow for vacation time, but if you are a freelancer then you have both the freedom and responsibility of choosing the right time to go on vacation.

Before you pack up and leave, you should leave your business in good order so that you're ready to operate when you get back. Here is my own 4-point mental checklist for going away:

 • Contact your clients

A simple email to your current clients to tell them when you're gone and what time you'll be returning is all it takes to cover your arse. Allow them enough time to ask any important questions before you leave. They'll appreciate that you took the time to let them know.

Update your co-workers and assistants

Any members of shared projects should be aware that you're taking off, and you should make sure that they have everything they need to do their work without you. The last thing you want is an email from a panicked co-worker who needs files off of your computer and no access to it.

Upload files for yourself that you wil need

If I ever feel like there are project elements that I may (even in an emergency) need to get at, they go up to a Dropbox/Google Drive folder or I email them to myself. You never know.

Write up a To-Do List for when you return

I don't want to be thinking of work while I'm away, so anything I need to remind myself of goes into a Return To-Do List. This list doesn't get looked at until I'm back in the office. That way it's out of my mind and I can relax without worry.

Nick in BC doing an obligatory beard-selfie on a hike. 

Nick in BC doing an obligatory beard-selfie on a hike. 

Coincidentally both Josh and myself planned vacations for ourselves at the same time. He's over in Japan while I'm over in BC. 

But worry not! We left the Cmd+Edit offices on autorun, with new episodes to go out each Monday morning. Even vacation doesn't keep the podcast from running. So I guess there still is a bit of truth to #PostDontStop even when work does go on pause.