After watching Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 video review, I wrote to Drew Scanlon, here on Giant Bomb, to congratulate him on his fine work. What started as a simple thanks, turned into a little conversation/interview about making the review and video production in Whiskey Media in general.
Me: Hey Drew. Just wanted to congratulate you on the awesome job you did while working on the Modern Warfare 3 video review. As someone who has to edit videos from time to time, I can imagine the amount of work that went into making that video. A very good job.
Drew: Thanks duder! Yeah, the montages took a bit of doing, but I'm glad you enjoyed it!
Me: I guess so, since the game is not that long to begin with, and you included a lot of explosions, you must of edited footage almost of the whole game. How long did it take for you to make that video review?
Drew: Yeah, most of the clips are from the middle of the game. Overall, the review took me around three days to edit. And now you know why video reviews are kind of rare!
Me: Well, I kind of figured it out myself. Considering, that not all the game come in time for you guys to review it and then make a video review of it. Plus, I can imagine there are more useful ways to use yours and Vinny's time, as a review looses its value after the game has been already out for some time. By the way, is there a clear difference in what you do, and what Vinny does, ore you both edit and film the same stuff?
Drew: Vinny oversees all of Whiskey Media's video production, so sometimes that means he's editing stuff that doesn't go up on Giant Bomb. I, on the other hand, edit for Giant Bomb almost exclusively. I do most of the Quick Looks, Video Reviews, and until recently I Love Mondays, which our intern Thomas has taken over. When we have an off-site appointment, I'm usually the one to take a camera to it and edit it afterward. During live shows, Vinny usually runs the control board and I run the audio mixer. This is the case for all live shows, regardless of what site it's for. Often, however, Vinny is busy during the live shows, so in that case it usually falls to me and occasionally another producer (Joey, Ana, or Thomas). Thomas generally helps out wherever he is needed, so he's done a bit of everything. Who edits what isn't really set in stone, though. Our schedule is changing constantly, so it really comes down to who has the time!
Me: So, before editing or shooting, when is the last moment that things can be changed and someone else does it? A day before or couple of hours?
Drew: Things change all the time. Sometimes I'll have to get Thomas to come over and monitor audio levels while we're recording a Quick Look while I go edit another one, then, if I'm still busy, Thomas will take over the editing for that Quick Look. Generally, though, once a larger project like a Video Review starts the editing process, it rarely changes hands. FYI, the "posted by" name on the video page refers to the person who edited the video, and generally they are the ones who write the deck (the video description) and choose the still (the video thumbnail image).
Me: Speaking of interns, is hard for a new video intern to get the hold of things, or is it a pretty straightforward and easy to understand process?
Drew: We take our video intern candidates through a pretty rigorous interview process. They kind of have to know their stuff before applying. Thomas has been editing video for years and knows Final Cut Pro. From there all he needed was to be brought up to speed on our workflow, which didn't take more than a few days.
Me: And how much do you expect for a potential intern? How much did Steve know, before he became a video intern?
Drew: They have to be pretty proficient in filming and editing software, so that we don't have to spend time training them. I had seen Steve's work in the Question of the Week segments, so I knew he could film and edit, but he still had to pass our interview process. The "video intern" job description has changed a bit since then, however. It's less a grunt work position and more an assistant producer position, which requires a lot more know-how and responsibility.
Me: Well, filming and editing is one, but how much does your and intern jobs require knowledge of audio and other hardware? How much equipment does Whiskey Media use?
Drew: We use a lot of weird capture stuff that people won't likely be familiar with unless they come from a video capture background. In addition, we have a lot of audio gear, but most of it is pretty standard (mixers, compressors, etc.), so that stuff should be pretty familiar to anyone who has audio production experience. I should stress here: we are currently not looking to hire any video interns! Last time we posted a job posting, we got literally hundreds of responses!
Me: What would you say is your typical workday, if there is one that can be called like that?
Drew: We usually have a meeting about what video features we're doing that day, then it's just a matter of dividing up the work and doing it! For me specifically, that can include, but is not limited to, setting up studio spaces for recording or filming, running the camera/capture equipment and monitoring audio levels, editing, going out for an off-site shoot, and running part of a live broadcast.
So here you have it! I hope this gave you an idea about the video production process here in Whiskey Media and you found it interesting. I would like to thank Drew once again for this.