Norm Video Edit Suite

Boundaries Are Not Restrictions, They Are Starting Points

MIG Employee Spotlight Blog, Tips and Tricks

MIG EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT

MIG sat down with resident Senior Video Digital Editor of MIGStudios, Norm Freitag to learn where his passion for video editing began, and why Stanley Kubrick inspires him. But before we go there, what exactly does Norm do? Norm is the guy who takes the raw footage (provided by the client or the shooters), the audio, and the Norm Freitag graphics — and assembles and transforms it all into a cohesive story.

But of course, there’s more to his story than that…

MIG
When did your passion for video editing begin?

NORM
I took a class in TV production in high school to get out of English class. And I loved it. It taught me to write, to direct. Then after my freshman year in college, I switched from being a psych major to Electronic Media. Once again, I absolutely loved it. I loved being hands on in making stuff and telling stories, using the same tools and equipment as filmmakers.

MIG
Which led you to now?

NORM
I knew I didn’t want to go to Los Angeles or New York, because I liked the Midwest. So knowing that, I knew I’d never be a filmmaker, although I did make two films. One was called ‘Road to Emmaus, PA’ about a group of somewhat skeptical friends who take a road trip in a haggard RV reenacting an ancient Biblical pilgrimage, and the other one was, ‘Hitting the Nuts’ – which I was thrilled to work on in 2009 considering there was a major recession going on. (MIG side note: Hitting the Nuts is a “true story” of the annual illegal poker championship in Scott Country, Indiana.)

MIG
What about the medium do you find interesting?

NORM
I like being able to impart wisdom, excitement, feelings and emotions with an audience –and just help people tell their stories maybe a little better than they can do on their own.Video Production Suite

The best piece of advice I ever got was, “At the end of the poem if the reader doesn’t get it, that’s your fault, that’s your responsibility.”Norm Freitag
MIG
Where do you draw inspiration?

NORM
Inspiration comes from everywhere. It’s not just movies and TV programs. It can be art, music, and poetry. The best piece of advice I ever got was, “At the end of the poem if the reader doesn’t get it, that’s your fault, that’s your responsibility.” So inspiration can really come from anywhere. I think as a creative person you always have to have your eyes and ears open to every little thing around you that you can see and experience. I recently read how the President of ILM stayed current. He said, “I work 8 hours a day, and then I consume media for 8 hours a day. I get my hands on every trade magazine and consume as much media as much I possibly can.” For example, even though I suck at Call of Duty, I still appreciate the artistry of it.

MIG
As a creative person in a corporate environment, how do you navigate client needs and boundaries?

NORM
Someone once said that only when you know your boundaries, could the creativity begin. I don’t see boundaries as boundaries; they’re more like starting points. Logos, fonts, do’s and don’ts. Boundaries are not restrictive for me; they’re starting points.


Client Video Edit Production SuiteMIG

What are some of the biggest challenges you face in your line of work?

NORM
One always seems to be time restraints. If a client wants a three-minute video it has to be three. The other one is trying to understand what the client really wants – because sometimes they don’t know it themselves, they can’t always express it, or they don’t know what they like until they see something they don’t like. The second challenge is the ever-changing digital world; everything is changing and advancing so fast and you have to keep up with it.

MIG
Are there any specific movie directors or editors that you follow?

NORM
I really like the editing in American Beauty. I have examples that I like. I like the work of the Cohen Brothers, Stanley Kubrick. I saw Clockwork Orange when I was a teenager, and then I saw it again as an adult and it was a completely different movie. In fact, every time I watch it I get something new out of it.

MIG
Did you see yourself doing this for a long time?

Video editing is the creation of the final project. It’s the difference between being the artist or the owner of an art gallery. Sure, the gallery owner is out there meeting and greeting, but he’s not the one responsible for creating the actual product. Norm Freitag

NORM
I see myself being a video editor probably for the rest of my life because for me, video editing is the creation of the final project. It’s the difference between being the artist or the owner of an art gallery. Sure, the gallery owner is out there meeting and greeting, but he’s not the one responsible for creating the actual product.

MIG
Thank you so much for your time.

NORM
Thank you.

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