One of the things about working in the post production industry is that a huge opportunity can suddenly come knocking without any notice. It certainly has happened to me.
On episode 21 of the Hollywood Editing Mentor podcast, editor/assistant editor Chris Cavanagh joins me to talk about the importance of putting in the work to prepare ourselves for big opportunities, which he recently got when he was asked if he was ready to co-edit an episode of the hit Netflix show, Narcos: Mexico. We’ll hear all about his experience and some cool stories from the past 5 years because that’s how long I’ve known Chris.
It was five years ago that Chris and I landed in Los Angeles and started our journey to transition from unscripted to scripted television. We met at a networking event not long after we both arrived in LA from New York City and instantly connected and became friends. We supported each other during this transitional period, eventually broke into scripted television editorial in Hollywood, and now we actually got a chance to work together on Narcos: Mexico. Chris was my assistant editor on season 3 and we ended up co-editing an episode. So now that he’s getting his first scripted co-editing credit, Chris is also going to share his strategy for making his way to the editing chair full time.
Chris and I will also be discussing ideas that can help you get out of your comfort zone in order to achieve your goals, how you can take ownership of your career and develop a vision for your future, ways to build trust with colleagues, the importance of putting yourself out there and communicating your interests, how we can find emotional support by being part of a community, why it’s important to give a job 100% effort even if you know it’s not suited for you, saying ‘no’ to work that is not going to lead us down the right career path, and much more practical advice and stories from two people that made a career change to pursue their dreams.
Other topics discussed in this episode include:
- How Chris learned Spanish to prepare for working on season 3 of Narcos: Mexico
- Creating a financial plan to make a career change when you have a family and move to a new city
- How Chris got his first big break in scripted television as an assistant editor on the hit Netflix series, Cobra Kai
- Character-building moments at a Spartan Race
- Getting hired on a scripted television series even though you don’t have the right experience
- Not being an expert at a job, but being able to find solutions to problems
- Making mistakes at work doesn’t define who you are
- Doing everything possible to not make the same mistake twice
- Learning new skills by simply talking to people and asking questions
- How episode 2 with Auggie Rexach influenced Chris
- Finding support through mentorship
- Chris’ experience working on season 3 of Narcos: Mexico
- Incorporating yourself into a new post production team
- Negotiating a co-editing credit as an assistant editor