Last Monday I had the opportunity to interview an acquaintance of mine, Matthew Melancon, who is the Video Market Specialist and Video Editor at Blade HQ in Salt Lake City, Utah. I met Matthew through a mutual friend group, and while I was visiting Utah this Spring for a wedding, he showed me his projects after I explained what I was studying in college. It was a quick preview of a couple videos, but even that was enough to show me that video editing for a company like his is a job I would absolutely love to have, so I thought that following up on that experience with a one on one interview with him would be very beneficial to me. The interview wasn’t long, it was about 30 minutes with a couple of pauses and side banter, but in that time I got a very good look into what goes on when making a video, and his role in the whole process. I had a basic idea of what it took to make a video, but there is lot that I didn’t realize was involved. Primarily I thought it was cool that he also had to research market trends and suggest videos based on those. I’m not sure if that’s a common practice for the editor to do, but I thought it was informative nonetheless. A huge thanks to Matthew for this experience!
Anyways, here’s the interview:
Me: “What is your job title and what are your primary responsibilities at Blade HQ?”
Matthew: “My title here is Video Marketing Specialist and Video Editor here at Blade HQ. I am responsible for all video content that Blade HQ releases. But since it’s a small marketing department I do a lot of stuff you don’t expect like make memes for our Instagram page and do other graphic design work, as well as research trends and keywords that we can focus our marketing and videos on.”
Me: You get paid to make memes?
Matthew: *laughs* Yeah, only sometimes.
Me: I understand you went to school for industrial design, right? How did that transfer over into your current profession?
Matthew: Wow, uh, good question. Well I actually went to school for product design, but that’s pretty much the same thing. I guess it taught me how to use programs like photoshop and illustrator which are also used here in video editing, but it also warmed me up to a creative problem solving mindset, brainstorming and creative ideas. Basically that whole creative field transitioned over for me.
Me: Do you have any personal projects in editing outside of your job at Blade HQ?
Matthew: Not really. I haven’t felt really any need to, and I’m pretty fatigued after work. After work I generally like watching them instead of making them, I think it’s a good break.
Me: So how did you find your job?
Matthew: Actually I just found it through Indeed.com It was a sponsored listing. Websites like that are actually very helpful.
Me: This is kind of a cliche question, I know, but what is your favorite part of your job?
Matthew: Well that’s a little broad but my favorite part is watching a finished product and seeing it all come together. That and the Youtube comment section, things can breakout into chaos and other times there are some good conversations had there. This job has a bunch of unexpected results.
Me: What is the production process like with the video you make? Give me a step by step walkthrough of what goes into making your videos.
Mathew: Ok, so first everyone gets together to brainstorm ideas. We have several types of videos that we go through such as our featured 12-15 minute videos, a talk show we do, and short films. We talk about what we can do, and what it would take to execute this video. After we get all that down we go into pre-production, here we go over who is in it, when we want to start setting up and start recording, where we need to do it, basically all the logistics. Then our videographer shoots it and brings it back to me and I start editing. I do a bunch of rough cuts and go over them to see whats working and what isn’t and then I repeat this until it’s finished and I have a final product. It’s all on a very tight schedule though, we release a video every week.
Me: What programs do you use to make your videos?
Matthew: I generally use Premiere and After Effects but sometimes I use DaVinci Resolve and other times I use Audition, but the audio we get is generally pretty good so I rarely use audition. But we also use basic office programs like google docs or excel.
Me: When making your videos you use a variety of sound effects, music, and photos, where do you get your resources?
Matthew: Well most of the photos we take ourselves, but sometimes we pay for a subscription for access to stock photos if we need them. Our music we get from Soundstripe, which is a subscription we pay for. As for our sound effects I generally just search youtube for sounds that I could use that are royalty free, or other websites that give royalty free sounds.
Me: Whats the most challenging project you have had while working here?
Matthew: Well there have been a few very challenging projects. Recently there was a project where a couple of guys went into the mountains and it dropped to freezing temperatures to test some knives, and they were getting really freaked out about building shelter so the camera man stopped filming to help, and the camera also stopped working due to these temperatures so there was a lot of missing footage. I had to figure out what I could do with what I had because there wasn’t a whole lot of it. It’s interesting to hear people say things like “Wow what a good video” or even when people critique it, because they really don’t know what goes into the development. Theres a lot of improv that is done when editing.
Me: What have you learned while working here?
Matthew: The most important thing I’ve learned while working here is that you won’t get everything originally from what you want. It’s taught me the importance of working with what you have and how to go out and get things you need in a tight situation.
Heres another video of theres. This is the one he talked about being a challenge in the video: