A Digital Convergence With Chris Fenwick
Chris Fenwick is one of those rare breeds—a naturally “cool guy.”
I first learned about Chris through Carl Olson’s Digital Convergence Podcast, which I’ve referred to several times in the past and was a guest on the show a few months ago.
Chris is a freelance editor with Slice in the Bay Area and also maintains an outstanding website devoted to editing that is filled with great and easy to understand tutorials at chrisfenwick.com
Chris is now a co-host on the podcast along with Mitch Aunger of Planet5D.com, one of the best DSLR photography and filmmaking sites on the web.
On the podcast Chris and Carl are always referring to Atlanta Cutters and SF Cutters, once-a-month meet-ups for amateur and professional editors. I’ve been very curious about these, as I find editing to be the most fascinating, complex, baffling and obsessive aspect of the filmmaking process. Since SF Cutters meetings are held in the Adobe building in San Francisco, only 90 miles away from me in Sacramento, I finally was able to arrange my hours at work in order to attend a meeting. And as fate would have it, this meeting turned out to feature a presentation by the one-and-only Chris Fenwick.
I can only say that if you are ever able to attend one of Chris Fenwick’s presentations—do it! Chris is a treat! He’s like an animated cartoon character, full of energy, his hands moving all the time illustrating what he’s saying. He’s filled with nearly thirty years of professional experience, insight and wisdom. And he makes the presentation fun.
For this SF Cutters event Chris was talking about a major editing project for BMW Mini cars and presented several of his various cuts of the project, how they changed and why they changed and how to work with clients. He also showed what his time line looked like so we could see exactly what his work project looked like. Chris talked for half an hour and it seemed to go by in five minutes!
Afterwards he was shouldering his back pack to leave and I approached him. “Chris, I wanted to say hi.”
“Yeah. Hey, it’s good to see you.”
“I’m Mike Carroll.”
“Yeah, I know—your pictures are all over your website. I’m glad you were able to make it.”
Then we went on talking for almost the next hour.
He started by telling me about how crazy his past couple of weeks have been riding across the U.S. and cutting 24 short videos about the Mini Takes The States 2012 cross-country trek, to which I said, “Yeah, I was listening to it on the show on the drive in.”
As it turns out, Chris got his start at a TV station 27 years ago and I started shooting TV news 29 years ago, so we have a lot of the early gear and technology (of its time) in common.
During Chris’ presentation he also said something that resonated with me. He talked about how when he got started in the business he was excited about everything he did, then it waned over the years, but now it’s back and he’s energized and reinvigorated by it. I feel the same way. I started out shooting news and got into learning the craft and regarding it as a different form of filmmaking. Then I went through a period of disenchantment. However, for the last several years it has seemed as if a fog has lifted and I’ve been able to see what I do and how I do it in a new light. It’s fun again.
I attribute much of this, frankly, to the Digital Revolution and being able to independently explore filmmaking and my own take on cinema without being under anybody’s thumb. And having outlets, through the internet and Amazon, to distribute this to the world. But that’s talking about me. This post is about Chris.
It was great to finally meet Chris and have a more direct, personal connection with the Digital Convergence Podcast, which has become one of my favorite hour or so of the week to listen to.
Chris is incredibly outgoing, receptive, and passionate about what he does. You can tell that he lives and breathes editing. And anyone that has that still has that kind of passion for doing what they’re doing inspires me.
For more on Chris Fenwick and his adventures of the past few weeks please follow this link to download Carl Olson’s Digital Convergence Podcast with Chris.