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Looking Through a Freelance Editor’s Software Toolkit

The typical two-hour movie that audiences enjoy across the world daily is the culmination of a year or multi-year process. Projects fit for the big screen or the flat screen take months to put together once filming starts, but by the time it hits the desk of freelance colorist and finishing editor Mike Nuget, it is expected to be finished within days.

Nuget gets films fit for viewing by perfecting audio, color, and other fine edits. This can be an extremely pressure-packed job, and with ever-changing technology, Nuget has continually had to adapt to the tools at his disposal.

“If I’m not thinking about my job then I’m falling behind in a way,” he said. “I’m constantly learning something, whether it’s just watching a tutorial online about software that I already know and it’s just tips and tricks from somebody else, or it’s a completely different software that I’ve never heard of that I want to learn about.”

An editor’s toolkit is essential for not only quality work, but an efficient workflow. Though there are many, Nuget cited Cinedeck’s cineXtools specifically as one of his favorites and calls it an indispensable program for saving time and increasing efficiency. CineXtools allows editors to make small changes to an exported file without having to completely rerender the final piece. He estimated that the ability to insert an edit into a file using Cinedeck’s software once saved him at least 21 hours on a project, which carried the added benefit of reducing costs for his client as well.

The ability to stay sharp and in tune with new pieces of equipment keeps Nuget in demand by some of the largest names in television and film. With a portfolio that includes work for HBO, Netflix, ABC, NBC, ESPN, and Hulu among other major networks, he said his flexibility on multiple editing platforms, coupled with 20 years of experience, keep him busy.

While there is pressure to learn quickly and turnaround projects sometimes within the same week, Nuget takes time to enjoy learning the nuances of different editing software services while doing his job. He advises young editors to make YouTube their ‘best friend’ and puts together tutorials on basic editing tips to continue preparing the future of the workforce.