One of the best places to get your video, film, animation or multimedia work exhibited and known by distributors and the public is at a film or media festival. There are hundreds such events around the world each year that welcome, most often for an entry fee, new work by young media professionals. Your first efforts may not qualify for a Sundance or Cannes event. But there are many others such as the Chicago Underground Film Festival which might just be the ticket. Also check out local cafes, coffeehouses, and independent movie houses. They sometimes host monthly screenings. There is also the Internet where independent film and media producers are increasingly exhibiting their work.

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This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. is a Los Angeles based film and video editor. Ken Loge recently interviewed his friend for the Proscenia Newsletter. Mr. Ross is a graduate of the Montana State University Motion Picture Video and Theater program in Bozeman.

KL:What are the responsibilities of a film or video editor?

SR: We cut out all the bad parts. Ha ha. (Sorry, couldn't resist). Actually, it is our responsibility to assemble the film, look at all the footage, and take out the good stuff. Find the story, help shape it into what the director envisioned. To ensure that the story flows, that it has a cohesiveness that keeps the audience drawn in. You never want to lose the audience. One bad cut, one bad story point, and you've distracted the viewer. That is the narrative form. In documentary (in it's purest form), you try to find out what the story is, amongst all the footage obtained. Many times the story the director wanted to tell is not what they got while shooting, but actually something else. And that something else can be even more interesting. It is said that the editor performs the last re-write of the script. That is true. We eliminate scenes that don't fit, or don't add to the story (with the director's approval, of course).

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  1. Determine as much as possible the exact song title, songwriter, music publisher, and performing rights organization for each song you are interested in using. Most CD booklets or cassette j-cards include some—if not all—of this information. Get as much of this information for each song prior to calling BMI or ASCAP.

  2. Contact the appropriate performing rights organization to get the name, address and phone number of the publisher who controls the copyright to the music you are interested in using.

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The reproduction of copyrighted materials such as videos, articles, photographs, audio recordings, technical journals, and other materials without the permission of the copyright owner and without paying the appropriate fees, may be unlawful and could be costly to you or a company for which you work.

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