"Less starving, more artist" is the tagline for Manhattan Edit Workshop's Six-week Intensive course in the art and technique of editing. Manhattan Edit Workshop or MEWshop as they are known, is an Apple Authorized Training Center (AATC) located in New York City. Their signature Six-week Intensive program serves as a comprehensive jump-start for students who are serious about launching a career in post production.
Like all AATCs, MEWshop is constantly looking for new ways to connect students with employers, especially in these turbulent economic times. To this end, they launched their Manhattan Edit Workforce program. It's a simple plan. Each student in the Six Week Intensive Workshop cuts a demo reel over the course of the program. Each reel is paired with the student's resume and archived on a private web page. The reels and resumes are then shared with participating editing facilities. MEWshop recruits leading editing and post-production facilities to participate in the program. Currently, they have 17 New York area facilities taking part in this program, with plans to add at least as many West Coast and international companies by the end of 2009. As new reels are posted, each participating facility receives an email notification with login information.
"A certified FCP MEWshop grad is one of our trusted employees," said Zennia Barahona of Digital Arts. "His knowledge base and work ethic is invaluable to our team."
When an employer enters the site, a simple menu of student reels and resumes greets them. Resumes can be viewed on screen or downloaded. Reels can be viewed as high-quality H264 format QuickTime movies (which students learn to compress during the class). Employers can contact students directly or through MEWshop.
"The idea is to simplify the process for both employers reluctant to send out a blind listing on a web site, and for qualified graduates looking to stand out in a crowded field. We actively work for our students' success by constantly researching job opportunities. In fact, over two-thirds of our students find work within six months of graduation, many at such notable companies as Go Robot, Outpost Digital, Hybrid Films, @Radical Media, MTV, VH-1, US Open, MLB.com and Hallmark Channel."
- Josh Apter, MEWshop Owner
Students learn leading industry tools, including Apple's Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro from top editors. The Artist in Residence program is a core component of the Six Week course. Top editors join the class to screen and discuss students' work. Each class ends with a public event co-hosted by the Motion Picture Editors Guild. Past and present Resident Artists include some of the best in the business, such as Alan Heim (All that Jazz, Network), John Gilroy (Michael Clayton, Pride & Glory), Steven Rotter (The Right Stuff, Enchanted), Carol Littleton (E.T., The Manchurian Candidate), Christopher Tellefsen (Capote, The People vs. Larry Flint), Lee Percy (Reversal of Fortune, Boys Don't Cry), Tom Haneke (American Dream, He Makes Me Feel Like Dancinʼ) Jim Lyons (Far From Heaven, Safe), Keith Reamer (I Shot Andy Warhol, Suffering Man's Charity), Robert Lovett (The Cotton Club, The Taking of Pelham 123) and Bill Pankow (Drumline, The Untouchables).
"Of the connections I've made and the opportunities that have led me to editing work, almost 90% (I did the math) can be traced back to Manhattan Edit Workshop."
- Michael Slavins, Editor, Sam Adams and New York Sports Club.
As an Apple Authorized Training Center, MEWshop is also able to administer the Apple Certification exams to their students. Certification is yet another tool to help students differentiate themselves in a tight market. Most choose to earn Apple Certified Pro status. This allows them to use the Apple Certified logo on their resumes and business cards, as well as publish a listing on the Apple Certified Pro directory. Apple's comprehensive certification programs help validate a student's technical expertise. For details on the Pro Apps certification program, visit training.apple.com/certification/proapps.
"Certified editors must learn all aspects, so they have better Final Cut Pro vocabulary," said Evan Schechtman, owner of Outpost Digital and @Radical Media. "Even if they will never use some of the features, it becomes key for them to know what is possible and how to get there. It's also a matter of pride to be certified. People who take it seriously make it a point."
The ﬁrst week of the Six Week Intensive Workshop is spent learning core editing concepts with Final Cut Pro. Students also explore the history of editing from early silent ﬁlm to the most current editing techniques. Week two focuses on real-world exercises, followed by a ﬁeld trip to Outpost Digital, the largest Final Cut Studio facility in the country. Fast forward to the end of week six, when each participant finalizes and authors their reel, using DVD Studio Pro.
The program provides several advantages to students. In addition to sharing their reel with potential employers and earning Apple Certified Pro status, they also attend networking events where they meet producers and directors. Field trips to New York's top editing facilities help demystify the complex world of post-production. Students have a chance to talk to key players in the industry to learn how professionals "ﬁx it in post."
"FCP Certified editors generally have a better command of the application," said Zennia Barahona of Digital Arts. "They have a confidence in being able to do any given task in the most efficient manner."