Name: Austin Scott
A handful of credits: I started as a union apprentice editor at 20th Television when I was 21, then moved up to an assistant about a year later. I've been an editor for about 7 years, currently cutting season 13 of Food Network Star. I like to work on a variety of projects - recent shows include Flipping Out, Project Runway Junior, and Caraoke Showdown with Craig Robinson.
Where are you from?
I grew up in Florida - the Keys when I was a kid, then Winter Park, a suburb of Orlando. I moved to LA right after high school to pursue a career in the entertainment industry... acting, actually.
So this is a first.
Usually I use this space to write about how I know the interviewee, but in Austin's case I don't know him!! BUT this one of the great things about this series on my blog, bringing people in our line of work together.
Austin reached out to me via social media after the Michael Chaskes interview. He sent me some links and an intro email and I thought he would be a perfect subject for this series.
Plus, look at this picture he sent, what a cute baby!! I'm always ready to listen to another parent in this industry because it's tough, heck, being a parent is tough by itself and being in reality TV is no picnic either.
Some background, Austin owns a post-production house here in Los Angeles. So, Austin, what is your day-to-day like?
I manage a team of remote offline editors who cut a variety of projects for me, mostly sizzle reels. We work with a number of independent producers, directors, production companies, and major studios.
For me, I work full-time in TV, so during the days I may take a phone call or two from clients but with the editors I'm pretty hands off. Once I get home I check in with all my guys and get progress reports and we go from there. When we get to finishing stage, I usually take a pass, then if needed we work with preferred vendors for online/mix/VFX etc.
What's a weird thing about Reality TV that no one thinks about?
Not one reality show I've ever cut has truly been "real". No matter how "docu-style" the project is, as soon as there's a film crew and the cameras start rolling, people morph into different versions of themselves.
I guess the only way to truly capture real life would to be to do it secretly, but that would lead to all kinds of issues: legal, ethical, and otherwise...
You're also an actor as well as a father! Are you still pursuing the acting dream? Is it hard to balance fatherhood and your professional life?
I'm a dad!
I have two ridiculously cute kids with my wife Ashley, a 2 1/2 year old girl named Reese and an 8 month old boy, Wilder. So life is pretty busy!
We are actually all represented by the same talent agency as a family - I'm not so interested in pursuing acting anymore but you may see me auditioning for commercials with my kids or wife as a real dad or husband! I figure if 2 or 3 of us book something it's worth taking the hour lunch to hit that audition, and it paid off last year when three of us booked a Whole Foods national!
Balancing everything can be tough. Ashley started her own interior decorating business last year, so two entrepreneurs, one working away from home full-time, and two kids that aren't quite in preschool yet... Yeah.
We are about at our wits' end. But parenting is by far the most amazing gift I've ever been given and I wouldn't trade it for anything!
I'm with ya! I've written about it before on this blog, but having kids and having less "free" time has probably made me more productive. Time seems more valuable, thus you treat it that way.
And what's the deal with your post-production facility?
I started Scott Post Company in 2014 so I could keep taking on freelance editing gigs without having to actually cut them myself!
I manage a roster of remote editors (many who also work full-time in TV) and creatively supervise, then do most of the finishing. It's worked out well for our clients, and I believe this is the way a large part of the industry will ultimately head - remote post production with entirely virtual communication.
How many of you want to be relaxing in a hammock in Kauai cutting a show open with all your footage streamed through the cloud? I know I do!
This whole thing has been a fantastic way to bring in extra revenue for my family while providing freelance gigs to editors who are out of work or looking for extra income as well. I also use Scott Post Co. as my loan-out corporation so that I'm able to save substantially on income taxes.
Just because you work long days in the industry doesn't mean you can't start a business. Figure out a way to use your expertise to your advantage, and stop working so many hours!
Life is too short.
I love this.
I'm now dreaming of story producing from my house in my pajamas, I mean, I already get to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work, but if I could find some way to work in basketball shorts...
Hopefully this was inspiring to the readers.
And Austin, I wouldn't be surprised if you got a couple of resumes to work at your facility off of this. Thank you for reaching out and for your thoughtful answers.
Hey Reality TV friends! I'd like to interview YOU! Please email me at TheHappenstances at gmail.com or message me on Facebook or whatever. THANK YOU!!!