How To Actively Manage Your Post Production Career

August 24, 2023

Mixing Light contributors answer questions on practical ways to handle career choices, find enjoyable work and take side steps to get ahead.


Office Hours LIVE! Answering Member Questions – 2023 July 28

Mixing Light Contributors Katie Hinsen, Jason Bowdach, and Zeb Chadfield join host and Mixing Light CEO Patrick Inhofer in leading this lively Office Hours LIVE! discussion. They offer their observations, thoughts, and advice for members who feel underappreciated, bored, uninspired, or concerned about the longevity of their career paths. Today’s discussion includes:

  • Office Hours update – Why was there a break?
  • Mixing Light App is out of beta on iOS and Android
  • How to actively manage your post-production career
  • Understanding meandering career trajectories
  • The benefits of working at a small post-house
  • Why the appetite for risk and production budget are diametrically opposed – and how that effects smaller operators and freelancers
  • Side steps, backward steps, and leaving the industry entirely
  • Katie’s 3-factor method for making career choices
  • The joy of fixing terrible footage
  • Will A.I. eat all of our careers?

Quote of the Day:

Careers aren’t ladders. It’s rock climbing.

Katie Hinsen

Mentioned in this Insight

(Member questions in bold)

  • 00:00 – Intro and Mixing Light Updates
  • 30:35 – Patrick: Post-house years are more valuable than freelancing in terms of shortening learning curve
  • 04:35 – Yash M – Post house claiming short film experience doesn’t count during job interview as conform artist
  • 31:40 – What to do when you’re stuck in the limbo of the same clients and jobs
  • 06:12 – Katie Hinsen – Facilities that have high-budget projects can be very risk-averse
  • 32:03 – Katie on leveling up as a freelancer by attaching to a post house
  • 08:29 – Zeb Chadfield – You need to prove your abilities, watch out for exploitation, but side-ways steps deepen technical abilities
  • 34:43 – Zeb and Jason on investing not just in your career but your whole life
  • 11:07 – Jason Bowdach – Important to improve technical abilities but avoid steps backward
  • 37:27 – Patrick and Katie on leaving the industry entirely
  • 13:30 – Patrick Inhofer – Career building backward steps early on build valuable experience
  • 40:40 – Patrick on how work changes as the budget grows
  • 16:15 – Katie’s 3 factors for deciding if an opportunity is good for you?
  • 42:33 – Katie on risk aversion when $100 million is on the line
  • 17:58 – Post house asked for 2-year commitment – Red Flag?
  • 45:31 – Hager D. Like my stable job but thte work has devolved to only fixing things, rather than grades to be proud of
  • 18:24 – Zeb/Katie – Rationale for longer-term commitments
  • 46:18 – Zeb on fixing award-winning terrible pictures
  • 19:29 – Yash’s response – Data management vs color grading
  • 48:23 – Zeb on being anti-reel
  • 21:00 – Patrick on the value of learning everything you can
  • 48:54 – Jason on the current reality trend
  • 21:47 – Career trajectories: Post House vs Freelancing
  • 50:40 – Patrick on taking pride in the skill you have built
  • 22:05 – Jason on being irreplaceable
  • 52:09 – Zeb on being ‘invisible’ to elevate the images
  • 22:56 – Zeb value of learning in a smaller company by being surrounded by talented people
  • 53:06 – Grant M. – In light of generative AI, what career longevity does a colorist have?
  • 25:03 – Patrick find opportunity to explore different roles
  • 53:57 – Jason and Patrick on how AI will give you more time to do what you enjoy
  • 25:51 – Katie on the realities of the job market today, often want experienced freelancers to hire in-house
  • 57:28 – Katie on not underestimating humanity and overestimating technology
  • 28:39 – Zeb’s pathway into the industry
  • 60:00 – What is it like working in a small market? – Katie and Zeb on the power of social media and counting your blessings

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