AMA with Dashiell Reinhardt - Partner/Head of Post at HLG Studios

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #21

Well, I think in the front end of post the tedium can be frustrating. When you’re sifting through hours of footage and spending a ton of syncing and organizing sometimes you just want to create a you shaped hole in the wall and never come back.

But those initial stages are super important, and me being the semi-OCD person I am, I’ve learned to enjoy the process and definitely enjoy the puzzle-solving feeling of seeing all the pieces come together in the perfect way.

So there’s an aspect of discipline you need to train yourself into, but really I think it’s about mindset. About seeing each project as a puzzle to solve and how you can add your own artistry to the experience.

(Ghetto Nerd Girl) #22

Hi Dashiell!

Welcome! What is your NLE application of choice and why?

(Bri Castellini) #23

I think this one got a little lost in the shuffle!

(Jane) #24

Also, Any color correcting tips for people with no idea how to tell if it looks right? It’s like I can’t tell until it’s uploaded and I know it looks bad

(Jaime Lancaster) #25

Thanks Bri!

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #26

I’d say the best thing I’ve learned is how to let people play to their own strengths. When you’ve got a talented person, sometimes the best thing you can do is get out of their way and let them do their thing.

I think it’s best to talk things out from the start to get on the same page in terms of vision, then get working and create an environment fostering open creativity and feedback.

I’ve been fortunate enough to work with some very talented people, so often I just start us off with a guideline of where we’re trying to get, then let everyone start working to get there. Then it’s just about checking in regularly to keep us all on point.

There’s a lot of back and forth in the process and you can sometimes get curveballs thrown at you. So it’s best to surround yourself with people who know how to adapt and communicate openly.

(Bri Castellini) #27

How do you tend to go about getting everyone on the same page? I’ve found sometimes you can have a meeting, think you’ve been clear, then realize something slipped and then you’re constantly playing catch up.

(Gabriel Reiter) #28

From your experience, can you think of any specific tips from an editorial perspective to encourage viewership / engagement of original online content? TRT, Youtube end cards, ‘coming up next’, ‘last week on…’, etc?

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #29

You know, we were weirdly fortunate with how we all fell into our roles. In the early stages we all sort of did everything, but as time went on we started falling in line with our strengths and realized they complemented each other very well.

We’ve never really had any issues or arguments. Sometimes some creative difference here and there, but we’ve always been very good about making the process semi-democratic and making sure everyone is heard.

If someone is helming the project then we’ll usually defer to their vision, but we all make our ideas known and if the majority agrees on something we usually lean to that.

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #30

Hey Meg, great question.

For the Binge we actually didn’t have a budget at all. It was all self funded and involved calling in a lot of favors.

Granted we’ve been at this for a long time so we’ve got access to equipment/locations/talent/etc that not everyone has. But I’d say that while not having a budget is definitely limiting, there’s always workarounds and it really depends on the story you want to tell and how you want to present it.

Something I’ve learned in this business is that no matter what you’re doing there’s basically never going to be enough time and money. Even huge productions with huge directors, you’ll often hear stories about how they had to get scrappy to make something work.

And one of the best lessons I think you can learn as an artist and a filmmaker is how to turn your adversity into advantage.

In this business you need to be able to constantly adapt and learn to make the most out of what you’ve got, even if it’s very little.

So while you might not be able to shoot a scene with a unicorn in space, you can figure out a story you want to tell and how you can tell it within the confines of a limited budget.

You just have to be willing to put in the time and work and find other people who want to create that are willing to do it with you (easier said then done sometimes I know).

So all that said, I’d say it goes back to that same concept I was saying earlier about mindset. You see each project as a puzzle and learn to enjoy the process of solving it.

As just a random example, in our original web series Break a Leg, we had a location that called for something an espionage headquarters. We lost the location we had planned on and didn’t have the budget to get anything else so we ended up renting a Uhaul and creating a mobile espionage station out of the back of it. It ended up creating a pretty hilarious visual and a memorable location and we never would have thought of that had we not been placed in the position where we needed to.

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #31

So I suppose my answer might be a bit different then most. As a Partner I’m generally involved from the start in all aspects of our productions. I’d say that’s not necessary for someone in post, but I do think it definitely helps and is something I find useful in my own process.

Getting involved early on helps get you in line with the overall vision of the project and being on set lets you get a feel for what’s working and what isn’t, as well as the talent’s style.

Depending on what role you’re taking on and the level of your involvement, it might not always make sense to do. And I don’t think you need to be there for the whole run. But I’d say it’s always a good idea to get involved early on and get a feel for the material. You want to retain a certain level of objectivity so you can come at the material fresh, but being on set can be extremely helpful in knowing what you’re going to be working with.

(Blair Hunter) #32

YES I DIDN’T MISS IT!! A lot of my questions have been answered already, but I’m also curious if you’ve noticed any common editing mistakes new editors tend to make?

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #33

Whoops! So it did.

Which is a great question and there’s no single answer to it.

I’d say the best piece of advice I can give is to make something you love that means something to you. If you’re not creating something you’re passionate about then it’s pretty doubtful other people will be passionate about it as well.

Past that I’d say just to try to look around at what’s happening in the world and what the themes and trends are you see.

With Binge we were already sold because it was a personal and meaningful story of Angela’s, but we also saw something timely in it. A story that wasn’t being told in a time when stories like it were often ignored or passed over. It was a personal challenge to tell a story that was both funny and brutally honest with subject matter that lot of people are ignorant of.

With everything going on in the world lately, it’s those kind of stories that I think really need to be told.

But really it just comes down to doing something you love and trying to feel out what will resonate with an audience, even if it’s a nice one.

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #34

Hahah, well SLJane, I’ve definitely been there. Best tip I’d say is to take the time to get the right perspective. It’s like saying the same word 50 times in a row, eventually it loses all meaning and people look at you like you’re crazy.

If you stare at something for too long you get lost in it.

best thing you can do for color is to do an initial pass and move on, then come back to it. Compare it to something with a similar feel of what you’re going for and also get another set of eyes on it.

I’ve found with just about everything post, sometimes just being in the room with another person watching it will let you feel out what’s working and what isn’t.

So short answer, perspective. Feel out the process you need to be able to take a step back and look at it fresh. Sometimes that just means walking away from the computer for a bit and doing something else to reset your mind.

(Bri Castellini) #35

Alright folks, that’s our hour. HUGE big thanks to @DashiellR for being here today and giving such thoughtful, hopeful answers to all our terror-filled questions! Be sure to check out his work with HLG Studios!

(Jaime Lancaster) #36

Thank you!!

(Meg Carroway) #37

Thanks, Dashiell!

(Dashiell Reinhardt) #38

Hi Gabriel.

There are a ton of practices you can read up on. Especially with digital content there are basically formulas for how to keep people hooked or drive viewers.

Everything you just listed can work if incorporated well, it really depends on your project.

You essentially want to hook people off the bat and then make sure you end in a way that makes them come back.

So eye-catching thumbnail images, end teases, intriguing titles, strong initial premises, etc.

Ultimately I’d say the content speaks for itself and if you’ve got something strong and engaging people will want to keep watching.

But you can’t deny the power of marketing, so anything you can do to come up with a clever hook or something that’ll draw people’s attention, you should be doing it.

Wish I had something more specific to give you, but there’s no one answer and every project is different.

(Jane) #39


(Dashiell Reinhardt) #40

Thanks everyone, it was fun! Hope you all found my answers helpful. Looking forward to seeing all of your work in future projects.

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