Mark Viglione may be the new kid on the block, but so far he is off to a SMACKing start! Get to know how he found his way into post production!
Q: How have your first months been so far? Is everyone friendly? Any pranks on the new guy yet?
A: My time at MindSmack has been fantastic so far. For the first time in my career, I feel like I’m part of a team. Everyone is very friendly and my welcome was very warm. The best part is that I’m surrounded by people who enjoy their job and take pride in their work. When everyone has positive energy, it makes the workplace 1,000 times better and I enjoy going to work every day. No pranks on me yet, but fair warning, I can dish out some good pranks myself!
Q: We’ll be prepared! Take us on a journey: How did you decide to become an editor, and what led you to come work at MindSmack TV?
A: It was kind of a long process. I went to college not really knowing what I wanted to do. I probably had about 4 different majors until I took my first film class. I said wow this is cool, I can go to class to watch movies?! So I became a Communications Major. But then it became more than that. I started to learn film history and film theory and it really excited me when things became hands-on. Playing with cameras and lighting gear was fun. I was always pretty creative and I finally found the outlet for that developing ideas and actually executing them.
Moreover, I loved that what I created was something that people were able to watch and enjoy. And going from wanting to write, to wanting to direct, to wanting to shoot, I finally found the last part of the process, editing, very intriguing. Bringing everything together into the final product was something that I was naturally good at. Seeing what worked well together, what didn’t work well together, and seeing it eventually grow into something, is very rewarding.
Thankfully the stars aligned and my meeting with MindSmack was kind of serendipitous. They had a position to be filled, and I was finally ready to accelerate my career. I was really attracted by their model. Not only do they have an impressive client list, but they like to think outside the box and try to get their hands into different types of projects. Developing TV shows, producing films, and creating new technologies using social media is really cool and progressive. It’s not just about promos and they definitely don’t have all their eggs in one basket. Also, it seems like they choose their team carefully. Everyone at MindSmack is extremely talented, easy to work with, and fun to be around. There are no egos or power struggles. It’s a wonderful place to work and I’m thankful that they deemed me worthy to be part of that team!
Q: No, we’re not worthy! You seem to be a natural at your job. Do you have a specific mind for editing, or was it just hard work and practice for you?
A: Certainly hard work and practice helped me to hone my craft. As stated above, it took me a little while to figure out exactly what I wanted to do for a living but I always knew it had to be something creative as I was always creative as a kid. I loved to draw and paint and especially loved to build things such as puzzles and models.
I know it kind of sounds silly but now I relate those kinds of skills to editing. First off, it is an art, but taking a lot of little pieces of stuff and meticulously arranging them into something tangible is exactly what editing is about, just like a puzzle. But the beauty of it is that two different people can end up with two different products in the end. There is not necessarily a right and wrong way to do it. It also takes a lot of patience, which thankfully I have!
Q: What is the strangest project for which you’ve been hired? Was it strange in a good way?
A: Actually this was way before I was an editor… still a wee little intern doing everything I was told to do. I worked for a small post house that supported a local artist. He was an old school New Yorker and quite eccentric. He made video art of everyday things like blades of grass blowing in the wind, water dripping down the window on a rainy day, and traffic going down Broadway. I had to transfer all his VHS tapes (which were a lot) to DVDs and digital files and QC them all. The worst one however, was his video piece of paint drying on a wall and yes I had to QC that video in its entirety. Thus, I literally watched paint dry.
Q: That sounds like quite the internship! So why promo work in particular?
A: I like the challenge. Getting hours of footage and finding the best :30 seconds that tells a story is truly a skill that I’m proud of having and looking forward to developing further. Promos are quick and go by almost in the blink of an eye, but the amount of thought and creativity that goes into making one is quite remarkable. Perhaps sometimes a little too much thought goes into them, but they are ultimately an advertisement so it’s important to make sure they are doing their job properly and they are actually driving people to watch the show. If people like a show that I’ve created a promo for, then I’ve done my job well.
Q: What advice would you give to editors just now entering the industry?
A: Get out! Just kidding. Seriously though, it is kind of a cut throat industry. There is lots of competition. Make sure you are doing what you love and work your butt off. It may take time for people to see the value that you can bring to a project when you’re just starting out but be patient, don’t get discouraged, and be proactive about learning new tools and techniques. The recognition (and the money) will come, but the very first and perhaps the most important thing you need to achieve is trust. The more people that trust that you will do a good job, the more opportunities you will get. That will then help to build contacts, which is essential to your career’s growth. The more people that know and trust you, the easier it will be to get jobs throughout your career.
This post originally appeared on mindsmack.tv.