Meet Jamee Ranta

It is a pleasure to have the opportunity to introduce you to Executive Producer Jamee Ranta, an award winning film producer, and the CEO of Artifact Content. Her recent successes include producing Halsey’s “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power” film with international theatrical release via AMC Theaters and a streaming release on HBOMax. She’s most notably recognized for her work as a music video producer working with artists such as Justin Bieber, Cardi B, Selena Gomez, Kendrick Lamar, Halsey, Jennifer Lopez and Demi Lovato.

Los Angeles Post Production Group: You’ve executive produced so many well-known music videos and worked with many of music’s biggest stars. What part of the work gets you most excited?

Jamee Ranta: I am most excited about the initial ideation phase and the ‘why’ factor for each concept we bring into production. There are a lot of concepts that don’t make it to production, but when you find an idea that has a purpose, an intention, or a storyline that aligns with the product or tone and lyrics of a song, it fuels the creative vision and translates for all crew members both above and below the line, bringing unity and collaboration.

LAPPG: How is the role of the Executive Producer different for a music video versus say for a feature film?

JR: I’ve done both. They are very similar when I executive produce, as I am very involved with every shoot creatively. I realize some executive producers on films are more-so investors, but that is not always the case. On the music video side, it’s typically a representative of the company and the EP takes on the financial and legal liabilities and contracts with the label/agency.

LAPPG: What are the three most important qualities someone should have to become a successful Executive Producer and why?

JR: 1. The number one most important quality is having an understanding that structure and culture are separate, yet they are both equally important to a successful production. On the structural side, there are some fundamental business responsibilities & liabilities. A lot of younger producers want to start companies because of the cultural aspects, but they don’t want the responsibilities of what that entails, such as a robust and supportive cashflow, understanding insurance policies, financial planning with a finance team on staff, having a legal team and a sense of reading and understanding legal terms and contracts, preparing for taxes, and understanding union/labor laws and safety regulations. Having this knowledge is fundamental to the longevity of your career, your employees and your company.

2. The second most important quality of an EP is having knowledge of budgeting, project planning, and overall personal & social skills on how to manage a team. I find that quality staff and longevity of creating healthy sustainable relationships are just as valuable than the artwork itself.

3. The third most important quality is having an understanding of the complete filmmaking process from ideation to delivery. Understanding the storytelling process, character arcs and cycles, understanding how to visually and audibly create emotional pulls, understanding the psychology and the juxtaposition of shots linked together and the message it portrays is critical to the filmmaking process. Also having an understanding of focal lengths, and framing as well as light and shadow to tell a story or idea, helps you to be a better filmmaker, which can help in the decision making process when it comes to hiring crew, moving money from line to line and putting it where it matters on a per project basis.

LAPPG: What obstacles did you face in the early part of your career?

JR: One of the fundamental obstacles I faced was my naivety and lack of discernment in my business relationships. I trusted everyone and never watched my blind side. While this is an ideal way to view things, it’s not always how life and business works. This industry is so exciting, and it can be full of positive and healthy environments and transactions, but it’s also full of fraud and false promises. Having a focus on a goal and a strong discernment of character before making business commitments is invaluable.

LAPPG: I’ve heard you speak about a producer having a responsibility as well as performing a service to society. Can you share an example of this with us from your career?

JR: A lot of producers agree to jobs based on budget or on the subject matter of a project.

I won’t get into specifics, but overall, it’s important to pay attention to the messages you are sending, and just like any piece of artwork, others may interpret it with their own perspective and their own lens and not necessarily as the artist intends. One thing we can do in the production phase, is to consider all perspectives on how others may receive the information displayed and do your best to create art that is mindful of the artist’s intention and express it with as much intention as possible. I strive to communicate with the artists I’m working with to make sure I’m following their vision within the constraints of budget and time.

LAPPG: You said, “I failed my way to the top,” in an article I read. Can you share an example of that and also how you use your failures to grow?

JR: Life is what you make it. Unfortunate things happen, and how you handle it is what builds character. I have failed many times and at many things in order to get where I am at today. Everything is either a blessing or a lesson. If you view life in this way, rather than good or bad, you’ll start to experience it differently. Failures are lessons intended to teach you something, and opportunities to grow.

LAPPG: I believe you mentioned that you didn’t necessarily have a mentor, but you work with Filmmakers Academy teaching production and serving as a mentor. Can you tell us why this is important for you to do?

JR: I had to learn a lot of hard lessons through trial and error and distant observations, and it was a painful process. While experience is how you grow, it’s also beneficial to start the growth process by learning under someone who has the previous experience and knowledge of the craft of producing. Having a solid mentor is a cheat code. Looking back on my experience, I wish I had a better understanding of the industry and business aspects of filmmaking. I have joined the team at Filmmakers Academy hoping to provide mentorship to up-and-coming filmmakers, offering them knowledge and tools to help ease the process.

LAPPG: What are some of the benefits to membership in an online learning platform like Filmmakers Academy?

JR: There are many benefits to online learning platforms. Some of the benefits are having the flexibility to learn on your own time, the opportunity to review the information over and over instead of a one-time opportunity, and there’s also the option to ask questions and receive feedback through online platforms.

LAPPG: What do you enjoy doing or bring your life balance outside of work?

JR: Spending time with my family and friends. At the end of the day, relationships and the human connection is why we live.

Meet Peter J. Devlin

Cinema Audio Society‘s 2023 Career Achievement Award winner and Oscar® nominated production sound mixer, Peter J. Devlin spent time with us answering some questions about his long and successful career. With over 70 films to date, Devlin has worked closely with some of the top directors, including Michael Bay, Ron Howard, and Patty Jenkins. We had the chance to speak with Devlin about his work on Black Panther: Wakanda Forever from earlier this year.

Los Angeles Post Production Group: You’ve spent your career on sets mixing sound, have the changes in technology  made things better and easier, or faster and more intensive, or both?

Peter Devlin: The changes in technology has given production sound mixers advantages regarding  preserving actors performance, in difficult on set situations. This has certainly allowed our colleagues in editorial to keep that performance as recorded, through post production, and thereby minimizing ADR, which is always our end goal.

Being able to record multiple tracks and the evolution of radio mic technology has been the most significant change for my workflow on set. Having all the tools that today’s technology offers can only take you so far. It’s the experience of your fellow team members of boom operators, utilities,1st assistant sound, and 2nd assistant sound that make a huge difference.

LAPPG: Tell us about the dynamics of working closely with a cinematographer, during a shoot.

PD: I’ll give you an early example here from 1999, working with cinematographer Sal  Totino on the Oliver Stone film Any Given Sunday which was incredibly rewarding. This was Sal’s first time working with Oliver. Despite the pressures of that, each and every time where camera choices could negatively impact the work that we had to do as a sound department, Sal would understand and work with us to effect a solution. That’s true collaboration.

In pre-production for my most current project Atlas, our DP John Schwartzman was talking about the physical FX on set that could impact the soundtrack. He was looking for solutions well ahead of time. That concern and consideration allows us all to do so much better work.

LAPPG: You’ve worked on some of the biggest movies to come out of Hollywood, it looks  like Black Panther: Wakanda Forever is another huge hit, were there particular challenges recording that film?

PD: Every on set environment was noisy. Having worked on the first Black Panther, I knew we would be dealing with the same obtrusive backgrounds. Our main location was next to Atlanta’s I-85, so traffic noise was always a concern on exteriors. The location certainly didn’t give the aural signature of Wakanda! Our main priority was always signal to noise and to record our actors at a level that gave our colleagues in post a chance to use every noise reduction system available to preserve even the quietest of scenes. 

The funeral sequence for T’Challa was emotional for all those that knew Chadwick and had worked on the first film. We had a large sound crew so that we could provide music playback and also record live vocals from Senegal singer Baba Malla. It was one of those scenes that you carry with you long after you recorded it, and now as I watch how it impacts an audience in the finished film, it speaks to the truth in performance that can be captured on set.  

Photo Credit: Dan Scott

LAPPG: Congrats on receiving the Cinema Audio Society’s Career Achievement Award!  How does a career spanning award like this make you feel? 

PD: I’ve been amazed at how the last 20 years have flown by, and that I’ve worked on films that have been well received by audiences and critics alike. I’m incredibly appreciative of being chosen by the CAS, and very aware of the great work that the CAS has done from those early days in the 60’s to the organization it is today.

LAPPG: Can you share with us some of your career highlights – projects or scenes that were  particularly meaningful?

PD: There are so many meaningful scenes that I have loved recording over the years, but I will say that I was a Star Trek fan as a kid, watching those movies and the TV show at home in Belfast. Meeting Leonard Nimoy and recording his last scenes as Spock was something that will always be incredibly significant.

LAPPG: Do you have any advice for the novice just starting out?

PD: Find your passion in the arts whether it be in movies, television or theatre. Find that area you want to specialize in and learn as much as you can about it. The internet can be a great tool and allow you to reach out to those whose work you admire. It was a letter that I wrote to Michael Mann in 1987 asking to visit the set of Miami Vice that changed the course of my life. 

Meet Tara Paul

We want to introduce you to an accomplished re-recording mixer, Tara Paul, CAS.  Having worked 10 seasons on a little show known as “The Simpsons”, Tara shares insights into how episodes of this show were mixed, as well as her work on the Board of Directors of the Cinema Audio Society, and what she finds is the most challenging aspect of mixing.

Los Angeles Post Production Group: Can you talk about how you worked your way up the ladder from night receptionist to being a re-recording mixer at Sony? What was your path and what do you think you did right along the way?

Tara Paul: Oh wow. What a crazy trip. I did work really hard and I am inherently a persistent person, but I was also incredibly blessed with the people I was surrounded by and the circumstances in which I found myself. It was also a bit of a different world back then.

I was trying to go to college and work retail–which I hated–and I knew I wanted to be a mixer. (When I was a teenager my Dad had observed my proclivity for sound, and I loved messing around with any new audio stuff he got. One day he suggested I become a recording engineer. I didn’t even know what that was. He introduced me to a neighbor on our street who was a mixer, and he gave me some broad pointers on how to break in. It basically started with making coffee.) I had gone to a local vocational school to study sound engineering. Interestingly, what I remember most is on the very first day the instructor asked the class, “What do you do when the sound is too loud?” Of course we were all looking at console signal flow charts that looked like Greek so no one was brave enough to answer. The instructor supplied, “Turn it down.” That stuck. It’s amazing to me how many people seem to forget that one basic rule.

Based on the advice from the neighbor I grabbed the Yellow Pages–the actual book–and sent out fancy paper resumes with cover letters detailing my retail experience and desire to get into sound. (I weighed heavily on my experience in customer service. To this day that is still one of the most valuable skills I have gained.) I think I got two responses. I ended up taking the night-reception gig at a Burbank post facility. I knew nothing about post. I made some good friends there..people that really supported my desire to learn and gave me opportunities to assist in a whole bunch of different ways. From time to time I run into a Dolby engineer who taught me how to stripe 1” digital back in the day. I did overnight ADR cueing, assisted in recording sessions, learned how to coil cables and place mics…and made a lot of coffee. When I left there I worked as a runner for the Village Recorder for a bit, and then got a job at a little music studio in Hollywood as a receptionist/ops manager/scheduler. That was a great place–the people there were really supportive and I was able to learn quite a bit after hours. I would take any gig that was thrown my way–and if I didn’t know the gear I stayed up all night reading the manual! I taught myself Sonic Solutions and started taking small editing assignments. I never said no to a job no matter how terrified I was of falling on my face. And I made a lot of coffee. I left there to join some old coworkers at their boutique post house in Burbank. We did absolutely everything there–dialogue editing, sound design, foley walking, ADR recording, and mixing. The complete package. There were only a few of us so we also handled IT, client services, scheduling, building maintenance, and engineering. And made a lot of coffee. The thread that runs through all of these instances is the people that I met and who grew to trust me. I would not have gotten anywhere without people that believed in me and were willing to give me a chance or recommend me for a job. I have lost touch with a lot of people over the years but I am still eternally grateful to everyone who took a chance on me.

LAPPG: I know you have experience in music mixing and mastering. How does that inform your work as a re-recording mixer for film and television?

TP: I’ve found that having some background in music is incredibly beneficial to the role of a post audio mixer. The ear and brain have already been trained to hear a combination of elements both individually and as a blend. It’s a difficult thing to teach–how various sounds play with and against one another and how they can be manipulated to achieve an emotional response. When I am working with hopeful new editors or mixers I often find that the people with some sort of musical background have the most success. They already have “the ear.” The technical stuff can be taught.

Music mixing, and to some degree mastering, is an extension of the music-creation process. For me there is very little difference between mixing musical elements and mixing sound effects and dialogue.

LAPPG: Being part of the mix team for 10 seasons on The Simpsons sounds like an incredible experience and by now the team must be a well-oiled machine! Can you break down the process mixing an episode, how the team is positioned and how you fit into the process including what you are responsible for?

TP: I started mixing The Simpsons in 2010. I took over for the previous FX mixer, the late Alan Decker, who had been my mentor for years. I am still honored that he trusted me enough to hand me his show. My mix partner, Mark Linden, handles dialogue, ADR, and music while I mix FX, Foley, and backgrounds. At this point, the mix on that show really is like the proverbial well-oiled machine. Some episodes can still be pretty challenging. The style relies a lot on dynamic sound effects and music, but the dialogue still has to be forward–and all the while we have to stay within a -6 peak spec. There are days where the limiters have to limp home.

Tara Paul, CAS mixing and episode of "The Simpsons."

photo credit: Al Jean

LAPPG: How is mixing different for you when you approach a live action project vs. an animation project? Is the workflow different in terms of mixing SFX?

TP: I learned an incredible amount working on The Simpsons. The show has a very counterintuitive sound style for any mixer coming in from live-action style mixing. We make sound choices that we could never, ever, get away with on a live-action show. When I started, Al Jean, one of the showrunners, and Matt Groening (pronounced GRAY-NING) would ask for things that made absolutely no sense to me. I’d execute the move and would repeatedly be blown away by how it changed the comedic timing of the moment. I learned how to use a lack of sound to accentuate impact moments. There are techniques that I picked up mixing The Simpsons that I have also applied to live-action comedy and it translates well.

LAPPG: What are the most challenging aspects of working as a re-recording mixer? And what might people not know about that you do?

TP: The most challenging aspect of mixing, for me at least, has to be the process of making decisions for hours on end. For years I couldn’t figure out why I always felt sort of numb and drained when I got home at the end of a long day–and then I realized that the whole process of mixing is one of decision-making on an epic scale: each level adjustment, figuring out whether something can be improved with some sort of treatment, whether something is working with the music or dialogue, positioning, whether to even play something or not…it’s stream-of-conscious decision making. On top of this you could arguably add the multi-tasking necessary to (politely) interface with the clients. It’s a lot of brain work.

LAPPG: What was one of the craziest things you had to mix SFX for?

TP: I remember mixing the first season of Preacher with Sam Catlin, Seth Rogen, and Evan Goldberg. I loved mixing that show. They are such creative people–they would brainstorm the most outrageous concepts and then let us loose. The crew used to joke about how much of that series actually happened off camera.

Sam Catlin in particular has a very unique way of describing what he is hoping to achieve with sound. I remember a scene in which the camera is panning across the office of an evil stockyard owner. Sam wanted to hear the cows offstage, but he didn’t want the viewer to register them as cows right away. He went on to describe how it should sound like souls in hell and as the camera continued panning the sounds would become clearer and more discernible as cows–”like cows in hell”, until it was established that it was a stockyard. The sound designer was sending me tons of adds and we spent hours trying to achieve the sound of cows in hell.

LAPPG: I understand you sit on the board of Cinema Audio Society. What led you to become involved with organization? What sorts of things do you do for CAS in this leadership capacity and why is the organization so vital to this industry?

TP: I’ve been a member of CAS since 2007 but I only started serving on the Board of Directors last year. An old friend who has been on the Board for a long time reached out to me to ask if I would be interested in joining and I was really honored by the invitation! I know post production can be very insular so an organization like CAS can be crucial in providing connection for people–especially in an industry where that can be really difficult because of intense and irregular schedules.

As a non-profit, CAS also offers a way to give something back to the craft–we are able to encourage people who are trying to get into the business and also offer acknowledgment to those who have done outstanding work. I was fortunate enough to win a CAS Award in 2006 and it is still so incredibly meaningful to me. The fact that it was my peers who selected my work was, and still is, so humbling.

Serving on the board truly is that–serving. The people on the Board of Directors work so hard to keep the organization running. I head the committee which handles new membership applications. It’s actually fun but there are times when it can get a little intense!

LAPPG: What advice do you have for those starting out in this industry who may want to become a mixer some day?

TP: I have been asked many times by young people how to get into the business. The question I think I get most often is “should I go to school for it?’ I usually encourage students to get a traditional degree, maybe with some focus on sound or film. Pinning career hopes so precisely on sound can end up being limiting in the long run. I really encourage people to get a more well-rounded education. If someday they decide they want to do something that doesn’t involve ProTools they will have a greater knowledge base from which to draw.

The other advice I can offer is: don’t take yourself too seriously. Nobody is too good to make coffee or go find some notepads for the clients. A successful mixer is one who makes the people around them feel heard and valued.

LAPPG: I’ve read that you’ve said that mixing is 20% technical expertise and 80% psychology. Can you tell us what you mean by that?

TP: Mixers work with a lot of different personalities and most of the people that we work with are creative in their own right.  I have found that having satisfied clients relies just as much on having the ability to achieve what they want as well as making them feel heard, understood and respected. I have a couple of  incredibly talented, creative clients–true artists– for whom communicating what is in their head can be difficult and frustrating for them. I really have to be patient and respectful as they attempt to convey their vision. One thing that I always have to keep in mind is that my clients have been living and breathing this project for a long time. When they make decisions that I wouldn’t necessarily make, or that I may even find distasteful or distracting, I have to remember that the project is their baby. I only have it for a short period of time. I am there to help them put the finishing touches on their art, not force my opinion on them. I have several clients about whom I had been warned that they were difficult or mean. 99% of the time those clients turn out to be my favorite ones–they are usually the hardest workers in the room and simply have a low tolerance for ego or obstinacy. That is where psychology comes in. So much of what I do is trying to connect with my client. They are always people first to me, and then filmmakers.

LAPPG: Is there any type or kind of show would you like to work on that you haven’t yet done? Or directors you’d like to work with?

TP: I honestly can’t think of a genre that I haven’t had a chance to dabble in! These days I tend to enjoy the shows with the best crews over any particular opportunity to play with sound. We work hard, long hours–and when we are in the trenches with the clients it’s always best when everyone gets along well. I love being able to do shows like Preacher or Future Man, where sound is such an important player. I have been fortunate enough to have had clients who allow us to really explore. Though I also have a lot of shows that are character and dialogue driven–and those are actually harder to mix from an FX perspective. When the client doesn’t want anything to distract from onscreen conversation, how do I build a sonic world that will subtly support and enhance the action, that will give the dialogue somewhere to sit and breathe, and allow the music to lead the emotion? It’s really challenging mixing the seemingly room-tone-only scenes.

LAPPG: After a long day of mixing or after a very stressful project, what things do you do to bring balance to your life? Are there stress busters or hobbies that help keep you stay centered?

TP: My family is my anchor. A weekend surfing with my daughter, or an evening just folding laundry with my wife help me keep some perspective through stressful times. And on really tough weeks I do extreme gardening.

Meet Robert Ochshorn

It’s our pleasure to introduce you to Robert Ochshorn, co-founder of Reduct, a collaborative transcript-based video platform where everyone can review, search, highlight and edit video, as easily as text. In our conversation we got to chat about Robert’s educational journey as well as how Reduct was born and what his goals are when developing software. 

Los Angeles Post Production Group: You are very accomplished as a software engineer, cultural theorist, and media researcher. Can you tell us about each of these roles and what drove you to study computer science at Cornell University?

Robert Ochshorn:
Disciplinary boundaries have always felt artificial to me, and especially so in media. In the late 1970s, MIT Media Lab founder Nicolas Negroponte constructed a Venn diagram proposing a space of overlap between computing, publishing, and broadcasting. Today this convergence is self-evident in the products and media we consume and produce.

Writing software, thinking about how a culture operates, and observing forms of mediation … for me, these are rather continuous, not discrete roles. Perhaps this is unusual, but I’ve never understood it any other way.

I studied Computer Science at Cornell (while taking courses in Fine Art, Film Studies, and Critical Theory). The CS major was academic, oriented towards mathematical foundations and proofs. It was exciting to see the early outlines of how new mathematical theories could connect to new social forms and possibilities.

LAPPG:  Can you explain what Gentle is and why you created it?

RO: Gentle takes an audio-video file and a written transcript, and aligns each word (and phoneme) in the transcript with its position in the audio, with 10ms accuracy.

When a computer transcribes text, it does so by analyzing the audio over time and determining what might be said at any given moment. So it’s possible to extract the timing, and not only the text. The idea of Gentle was to get the timing out of a computer model, but for an existing transcript. There were tools called “Forced Aligners” that did this for small utterances of speech if the transcript was perfect. Gentle was designed to work on longer transcripts and to tolerate some inconsistencies between the transcript and the audio. This makes a whole new class of tools possible.

Last year, I wrote up some of the history:

LAPPG: What are some of the projects you are currently working on?

RO: Oh, there’s always too much I’m working on. So much is possible! And I love collaborating, trying to share a glimpse of these possibilities with others. Lately almost everything I do touches Reduct in one way or another. From the outside, Reduct might look like a single product or tool, but it’s actually more like a platform. This means that two video editing interfaces that look completely different could both be built on top of Reduct’s infrastructure.

LAPPG: How did the birth of Reduct come about?

RO: A couple years after releasing Gentle, I caught up with an old friend from high school, Prabhas Pokharel. He was wrapping up grad school at Stanford, where he took some courses on “need-finding.” When he saw Gentle and some of my other video and search interfaces, he was immediately convinced that the hours upon hours he spent cutting down stakeholder and user interview footage had been wasted time, that we could do better. We holed up in his garage for a few days and put together a preliminary version of Reduct, stitching together some of my old experiments. When he showed the prototype to an alum from his program the next day, the response was ecstatic and we had our first signed contract the next day.

LAPPG: Can you share with us how you helped with Reduct for the “Walk the Talk” project?

RO: I’ve been collaborating with the LA Poverty Department for many years now. In the process of co-designing the inaugural exhibition at the Skid Row History Museum and Archive in 2015, I inadvertently kicked off a digital archive for the group. We had been talking since then about how and when to bring some of it to the public, online.

During the early days of COVID, the group’s biannual Walk The Talk celebration of community activists was moved online to Zoom, and we decided that this would be a good moment to release an archive. We organized past oral histories and performances in Reduct, and designed a custom public interface to the group’s Reduct project.

One of the most exciting elements of the project has been inviting other scholars, activists, and artists to respond to the archive. They use Reduct to edit a new video out of the collection, which we then add into the public collection.

LAPPG: What is your overall goal for the software you develop?

RO: I’ve been thinking for a long time about how a documentary filmmaker could invite their audience into the editing room. How then an audience can bring their own questions into a well-organized cache of material.

Most people watch much more video than that they produce. This has been changing on the recording and short-form distribution end, but editing is where so much meaning is produced and it’s still such a rarefied skill, especially compared to the impact of video in the world. I’m interested in video editing being normalized into a basic skill known and used by all sorts of professionals in the course of their life and work.

LAPPG: It looks like you are a filmmaker yourself having worked on a project with filmmaker Eyal Sivan. Can you tell us about the documentary you worked on and some of the challenges you ran into?

RO: I worked with Eyal Sivan on Montage Interdit for the 2012 Berlin Documentary Forum. This was a complex project, involving detailed tagging of hundreds of hours of films and interviews.

There were many challenges on that project. First of all, we were working on a very compressed timeframe. Then, we were building all of the tagging and editing interfaces as we were going. They were very rough, and it took a big leap of faith for the professional video editor on the project to go along outside of her familiar tools. Finally, web video in 2012 was much newer and full of rough edges.

I melted my laptop encoding video for that project.

LAPPG: What advice do you have for someone making their first documentary?

RO: Don’t dumb it down.

LAPPG: You seem to always be creating. What is your next project?

RO: Reduct isn’t done just yet! That’s very much still in the foreground for me, but some ideas are starting to kick around in the background. Stay tuned!

Meet Editor Sarah Katz

We are excited to introduce you to Sarah Katz, editor at, an Adobe Company. Sarah details for us some of her early work experience –  including 8 internships(!) and offers practical advice for people trying to get into this business. She also peels back the curtain and shares the workflow she uses when working on projects for and with, the market driver for cloud-based video review and collaboration. Enjoy meeting Sarah!

LAPPG: It looks like you had a bunch of internships starting out. What led you to choose the path leading to post-production.

Sarah Katz: I actually had eight internships in college and four of them were at Viacom, now called Paramount Global. The first one at Viacom Catalyst, where they did all their creative services, really influenced me because I learned Final Cut and Photoshop. They taught me everything I knew and took a big chance on me. Even though I was a Media Studies Major at Queens College and took editing classes, the people who worked hard with me at Viacom was where I got my real education.

I was very conscious of the fact that I needed an actual skill set on my resume. My parents had hardwired into my sisters and me the importance of financial independence and security, so I felt I needed a skillset that people were going to latch onto. As I started editing, I realized that I was pretty solid at it and that skillset would be the one that stood out. At the time, I also worked heavily with Photoshop and After Effects and considered the design route, but with the way my brain works, I liked the movement of it all. I landed my first job two weeks before graduation at (Viacom’s)TV Land marketing team. I actually got it through an internal internship fair, which I ended up running the booth for every year after that. It’s a good Viacom success story—from intern to eventually producer/editor.

But back to my first job at TV Land: I was assigned to be the PA on the final season of Hot in Cleveland and I would take initiative in my spare time and just start editing little things. Like, I knew that Mario Lopez was going to be in an episode, and I knew he was in an episode of Golden Girls. I thought, let me see if I can make a hybrid promo and see how that works. And it did. And they aired it that week as their promo!

For me, it was more about getting a solid foot in the door. I just wanted to do something creative and I didn’t want to limit my options. I know a lot of people go into it with the headspace of “I want to be a director, so I’m going to be a director.” But that wasn’t my head space at all.

LAPPG: So now that you’ve been an editor for a while, what is your favorite part of the editing process?

SK: My favorite part of editing is that first pass because that’s really your baby. Everything after that is when I say goodbye to it, because rarely does a spot get approved on the first pass. And sure, there are a lot of people’s notes, and I welcome those because it’s how you grow!

Sarah standing at workstation
Sarah in her element at an standing edit workstation.

LAPPG: As you’ve worked your way up, and you went from New York to LA, it seems like short form is where you landed. So what skills or traits do you think working in short form requires and what do you like about short form?

SK: Well first, I don’t think you need to be in LA, per se. The reason I moved was because I got a job at Hulu and they moved me out here. It was one of those things where it’s like, if I don’t take that job, I’m always going to wonder what if… so I took the job. I’m still kind of bi-coastal—my whole family is in NY so I’m back and forth all the time.

When you’re thinking about short form—let’s say you’re telling a case studies type of story—you need to think about “What is the goal of this piece and how can you say it in the simplest, but most impactful way?” So as you’re screening the footage, you’re listening out for those lines and moments.

If it’s a three-minute piece, if it’s a :30 piece, I can review it over and over and over again, soaking it in the way the viewer would to see if what I’m doing is working. They’re little digestible pieces of content and I can get into my viewers’ headspace a bit.

LAPPG: What advice do you offer for people trying to get into the business?

SK: You need to start somewhere and get your foot in the door, which means you have to have a wide range of skills and be open to different entry-level opportunities. Don’t be too narrowed-in at the beginning, because there’s so much time to pivot. So, that’s my first piece of advice. And my second piece is don’t have a five-year goal. People always ask me in interviews what my five- year goal is and there isn’t one because this industry is so consistently changing that I don’t want to disappoint myself. I’d rather ride the wave and see where it takes me, with the consistent underlying goal of growing my skillset and progressing forward.

For example, landing at, making content to market products that I fully endorse and would have loved to use at Viacom and Hulu is something I’m so grateful for, but never would have imagined was part of my road map five years ago. It’s kind of a meta experience because we’re editing for ourselves. We are our target audience. We’re those industry folks who would use for production and post at our jobs even before we worked at We all have previous experience from our careers that directly impact how we build the technology for our peers.

LAPPG: So having a job with an industry leading company, like as an editor, sounds like a dream job. Can you tell us about the work you do there? And can you give us an example of a workflow for project you find challenging, but are particularly proud of?

SK: It really is a dream job because we’re using our own product every day to create productions that we use to market to customers like us. People who don’t use it and see my editor workflow at are like, “Oh my God, we don’t work that fast. We’ve never done it that fast.” To me, I just think this is the way everyone’s doing it, but I’m wrong. Working for makes me an early adopter of the future of editor workflows and I’m honored to be a part of it.

This all really hit me when we were planning our NAB shoot because we had three weeks from the day we wrapped production for this piece to be finalized. I was on set with Michael{Cioni} for a 3-day shoot and he was directing. By using our Camera to Cloud workflow, I was editing on set all three days which meant post was happening simultaneously with the shoot. I had my assistant editor there, and we were set up to Lucid Link so that we could both be in Premiere Productions at the same time to organize dailies, etc. The shoot was Wednesday to Friday. By the time we wrapped on Friday we were 75% done with the edit.

Sarah is able to start editing on set.

By Monday, we technically had a first pass to share, but we didn’t have time on [ co- founder] Emery Wells’ calendar yet. When we started the shoot, we’d calculated Camera to Cloud giving us a head start that would give us a cut to share by Wednesday, which meant that we beat our own predictions! We ended up showing Emery on Tuesday and then from Tuesday to the following Tuesday, I’d say I had like 25 passes back and forth to get picture lock.

We had a lot of music choices that everyone had different opinions about, and at the same time we had animation and VFX that needed to be placed in, and then color correction and mix. So it was a super hefty project.

We used Frame to organize the versions for all the different departments, so, like #Animation001, #Animation002, etc. The same for VFX and the rest, so we could send the versions out to all the different disciplines, including color. They’d see the 001, 002, 003 and all the spots in the piece that they needed, which meant that we were able to split it into two lanes of continuing posts, but I could keep my focus on the cut.

We delivered in three weeks, and it was awesome and incredible because Camera to Cloud gave us that time advantage. In the past, I was always waiting around for a drive, which meant that I couldn’t work during the production and that was wasted time. I feel weird because it sounds like I’ve drunk the Kool-Aid, but it really does save a ton of time!

What was also amazing was that because I was cutting while they were shooting, I could work with Michael to answer any questions we might have while we were on set. We were doing a lot to link up different shots and make it look continuous, so having that reference was incredibly valuable. Did we shoot it fast enough to match the shot before? Did we need another angle or an insert? We would be able to go back and forth and figure that out while we were still there. And then, when they were setting up for a new shot, Michael could come over to me and check out my progress.

LAPPG: Speaking of Michael Cioni, Sr. Director of Global Innovation at Adobe, he seems to be this incredible blend of creative and technical and quite an industry leader. What has been your experience working with him?

SK: Yeah. He’s a visionary through and through. You watch things about visionaries, you see them on TV or in documentaries, but I’m actually working with one, which is pretty wild. Not that he would ever call himself one and that’s not how he sees himself, but you have to understand that this man knows every single element of production, every single element of post, and he can give you notes on every aspect.

Director Michael Cioni and Editor Sarah Katz take a moment onset.

And it’s not just, oh, he’s dabbling in it. He’s an actual expert in everything that he does, so there are so many ways I can learn from him. At that same NAB we did the video for, I got a chance to present about Camera to Cloud. It was my first time presenting, and I really tried to emulate some of the ways that Michael speaks. He’s a role model for me in so many ways and I feel so lucky.

Michael Cioni and Sarah Katz working on set.

I’m always trying to keep up with his speed but sometimes I have to remember that he’s a superhuman in every possible way, and you just can’t always keep up.

Sarah Katz presenting at NAB 2022.

LAPPG: How has your work changed since using

SK: Well, first, there is literally no point in using email anymore. I mean, I use it to get invites for meetings. Slack is how I communicate about little things and is how I communicate everything that applies to the actual work. And if I’m sending a link it’s over Slack, because we’re sending someone to the project. They would know where to go to get back to that spot. gives you organized, localized notes, but it also lets you draw right on the specific video frame. I’m not a mind reader, so if you want the punch in a little to the left and you can draw the placement for me, I can see exactly what you want. Or if you want a portion of a spot sped up, let’s say, you can make a range-based comment so I know from exactly what part to what part you want sped up. These notes make it so much clearer and easier for me and it saves a few rounds back and forth.

LAPPG: And where are most of these pieces you’re editing, airing?

SK: Obviously YouTube is a big one and our social outlets. A lot of them also go onto the website. So the, “What is” video that we just completed a few weeks before this NAB piece is the first thing you see {on the website}—it’s like, “Oh, you want to know how this works—watch this video.”

Sales uses them a lot. If we’re trying to sell to an agency and we can show how an agency uses, it’s a very useful sales tool. Honestly, we get requests for video content from lots of parts of the business, from Sales to creating ads for Marketing to doing testimonials, to instructional videos and presentations.

LAPPG: How do you see Camera to Cloud contributing to future of filmmaking?

SK: It is the future of filmmaking. I mean, a friend of mine who doesn’t have a huge budget is shooting a movie and I got him a Teradek Cube to give him access to And now they can have the editor making sure that they’re capturing exactly what they need while they’re shooting, which is tremendous. They get to save money on the editor. They get to show the people who invested in the movie what’s happening quicker. This technology changes more than just the speed at which you work—it changes the way you work. You can reshoot something immediately if you need to.

I think never losing the footage is another. When you’re shooting and your footage is going immediately into the cloud, you never have to worry about losing a drive. And then there’s the ability for news footage to be immediately available. For example, when Steph Curry shot his record-breaking three-pointer? That was Camera to Cloud proxies that got put up on Twitter in 15 minutes. And the only reason it took that long was that they wanted to use the locker room footage afterwards and there wasn’t a mic directed at his mouth, so they needed to put captions on and make sure they were accurate. That’s what took the 15 minutes. But the proxies were there immediately.

I think about what it’s going to do for news, what it’s going to do for sports, what it’s going to do for archival purposes around the world. And now that Filmic Pro is integrated with Camera to Cloud, I think about things like social media. It’s so fast and so easy. An editor or an AE can just edit it and post it, especially since you can get 4K video proxy files and full-bandwidth audio to the cloud immediately.

I think Camera to Cloud for filmmaking will be tremendous, as well, because why would you want to have to ship hard drives? What about if you’re shooting in Australia and you want to use an editor who’s in Europe? It’s no longer about location, it’s about getting the best talent available. In my opinion, that’s what Camera to Cloud is going to enable for features.

LAPPG: In what way are both sides of the playing field – production and post affected by using Camera to Cloud?

SK: Basically, Camera to Cloud is about giving the people who need access to the content an easy way to get it. For production, if there’s a shoot going on, you don’t have to crowd around video village. The producer could be running around but can watch the shoot on their phone and check to make sure what shots have been recorded. Or the producers or clients don’t even have to be near the set, and they can see what’s going on. As the editor, I’m able to download the footage and start cutting. As the director, Michael can use [the integration with] ZoeLog so he can keep markers on the takes he likes and tag me. And I can get a notification from on my watch or phone.

And then beyond the production, it’s the way for all your teammates or clients to find everything in one centralized location. That’s what’s really amazing.

Sarah onset with the production team.

LAPPG: So on a more personal level, how do you maintain the work-life balance, especially working from home and do you have hobbies or any special things that you do for self-care.

SK: Yeah, it’s important, especially when working from home. I do have a separate room for my editing station, which I know is lucky. Not everyone can do that, but having that separate room, that’s my office space so mentally I can close that door. My living room’s for relaxing. My bedroom’s for sleeping. That’s super helpful.

Living in LA the weather is beautiful and I live right by Runyon so I run and have it down to a tight half hour loop that I can do in between meetings. Exercise is super helpful. I also have a standing desk, so I’m not just sitting the whole day editing.

I love music, so anytime I can go out and just hear some live music or go to a good concert, that’s always a good break from it all. Whether it’s a jazz bar or, I’m a big classic rock person, I like it all. I also love TV. I started in TV, so while movies are amazing and I do appreciate a good movie, there’s something about the storytelling of TV.

Work is a huge part of my life and I’m not upset about that. It brings me joy. At the place I am in my personal life, I have the space to give more to it. That might not always be the case, but it is right now.

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