BCPC: Now Over 10,000 Strong

On November 14, 2018, BCPC officially hit 10,000 members on Facebook, bringing our worldwide membership officially into 5 digits. Katie Hinsen shared an oral history of BCPC’s origins.

“In early 2014, I started a new job at a post house in New York. This idea had been brewing for some time... I wanted the younger people, the machine room operators, the assistants, the online editors and interns from different facilities to meet each other, because I knew they had a lot in common but never a chance to meet. 

James Reyes started the same week as me, so I asked him to invite his old colleagues, I'd invite my old colleagues, and we'd invite our new team to drinks at a bar pretty equidistant to all the post houses. 

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When drafting the email, I called it "Blue Collar Post Alliance". Blue collar refers to the fact that these people in particular are usually not invited to other events, nor do they have opportunities to professionally network. The so-called Blue Collar workers are those who get it done and aren't fancy, often overlooked for their contribution. That original name is why this facebook group's URL is BCPANY.

The first meetup of 12 people was a huge hit. People knew folks at other facilities they wanted to invite. Soon we did it again, and the email invite was forwarded on. We had over 40 people at the second meetup. The email chain went all over town by the third one, and when almost 100 people showed up, we decided to try and manage this thing beyond the people we knew. 

I set up a Facebook group so people could hear about the meetups without knowing me or James or the original few people personally. We put together a little committee of Michael HernandezJames ReyesJanis Vogel, Pat Gerrity, Matt Levy and myself. Matt saw one of my tattoos and suggested it would make a cool logo... 

After an article about this rapidly-growing, underground club of young post professionals ran in POST MAGAZINE, we had some challenges. We were getting big, and wildly successful, and that meant we were seen as a threat to some groups. This forced us to change our name to Blue Collar Post Collective, formalize our structure to be above board and legally sound, and dig our heels in with a strong determination to not be scared off doing something we truly believed in. I'll never forget Thanksgiving weekend 2014, being so upset and angry and fiercely determined to let nobody take this away and nothing stand in the way of this wonderful thing we had going. For a while though, it was really hard. Most of the original committee were unable to remain officially involved because being part of BCPC made you a target of industry bullies. 

Me and Janis Vogel pushed on, and we officially launched as a formal organization in February 2015. 

Shortly after, one of our members, Alex Etienne, was invited to present a technical paper he wrote to the SMPTE conference in Los Angeles. What nobody there knew was that he was an intern in New York, and couldn't afford to go to the conference. Missing out on what could have been a career-making opportunity because of the barrier of cost alone was something I never wanted to happen to anyone ever again. I wanted to start raising money to send people like Alex to every damn conference to change the face of "experts". To do that I had to go through the process of making BCPC a 501c3 non-profit, which was a long and difficult legal process that we had to do ourselves as we had no money for legal help. With the help of Grace Ryan I quickly became a bit of an expert on tax and non-profit law! That work allowed us to begin the PDAP program.

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BCPC has since grown exponentially, and under the leaderships of Janis VogelKylee PeñaChris VisserSiân FeverChelsea Taylor - our board and various committees, we are now on the ground in New York, Los Angeles and London. We have members worldwide on every continent (including those who have worked in Antarctica). BCPC facilitates over 20 programs to make the industry more accessible and inclusive, and from 12 people in a bar in Manhattan, we now have 10,000 members in our Facebook group. 

The thing I'm most proud of about Blue Collar Post Collective is that it's started a movement of making our industry more open, kind, generous and friendly. This movement has inspired companies and organizations across our industry to think about diversity, including folks from a wider range of backgrounds and valuing those who are younger, older, and otherwise traditionally overlooked. 

I had this idea to start a thing. What it has become is beyond what I ever dreamed it could be. The community has inspired and contributed, and BCPC is 100% the product of what its members have made it. It's a really amazing thing, it's the love of my life, the greatest thing I've ever done and I love sitting back these days, watching it grow and do so much good in our little world.”

BCPC Get Moving Interview with Abby Clinton

BCPC Get Moving Interview with Abby Clinton

I started this “Get Moving” interview series in what feels like a long overdue fashion. After having many approach me about my own moving blog and how helpful it was to have another experience to read about or relate to, it sparked me to interview others in our industry who have made a move somewhere for their own work.

My next story is from Abby Clinton, who is working as a Post Production Coordinator at A24 in New York and training to be an Assistant Editor. She grew up in Joliet, IL then moved to Austin, TX for college, traveled in Europe for a time, moved over to San Francisco, CA for 6 months, and finally landed in Brooklyn, NY.

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BCPC Get Moving Interview with Andy Young

BCPC Get Moving Interview with Andy Young

I started this “Get Moving” interview series in what feels like a long overdue fashion. After having many approach me about my own moving blog and how helpful it was to have another experience to read about or relate to, it sparked me to interview others in our industry who have made a move somewhere for their own work.

My first story is from Andy Young, a director and video editor, primarily working in comedy. He’s 27 years old and moved from Austin, TX to Los Angeles, CA back in 2016.

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BCPC Member Highlight: Quincy Ledbetter ( New York City)

BCPC Member Highlight: Quincy Ledbetter ( New York City)

Meet filmmaker Quincy Ledbetter of #NYC. Quincy has made documentaries about ageism and climate change, Islamaphobia, suicide amongs LGBTQ youth and tiny homes - the list goes on and so does the list of his roles. Check out his journey from artist on-the-side, to being the current Video Director & Senior Video Editor at HuffPost.

Give a brief summary of your trajectory into film in New York City.

This is a very long story, but I'll try to keep it as concise as possible.

I was living in Northern Virginia working normal 9-to-5 jobs and doing photography and music on the side trying to pursue my dreams full time.  I started to feel like I had peaked in the DC Metro area as a musician and I realized that I couldn't go much further if I stayed in my hometown.  The problem was I was too afraid to leave.

One day I was at work and thought about the place where I was the most afraid to live and that was New York City, so I decided that I would move there at the top of the next year.  6 months later I was gone.

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BCPC Member Highlight: Rachael Knudsen (New York)

BCPC Member Highlight: Rachael Knudsen (New York)

10 years ago I was a producer on the show 16 & Pregnant and so was Rachael Knudsen. We had desks facing each other and became fast friends. As we both grew professionally, I really wanted to continue working with her, but if we were both producers that wouldn't happen. I was drawn to editing and the bonus of my career switch was that I could be a team with my best friend crafting stories together. And that's exactly what happened. So, now I have the pleasure of sharing her experience as a producer over the past decade with all of you!

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Give a brief summary of your trajectory into post in New York City...

I've worked as a producer in television for over a decade in NYC, both producing and directing in field and in post. But one of the first jobs I got after college was an associate producer gig on a weekly Food Network web series, where I was on a two-person team developing, producing, shooting, and editing short behind-the-scenes spots for the network every week. I'm still not sure how or why I got this job, but it truly was a great bootcamp. I had taken some Final Cut editing classes in college, however Food Network was Avid based. And I remember thinking, "Avid can't be that different from Final Cut, right? I'll just say I have 'some' experience with Avid and figure it out." I basically spent the next year, pulling all-nighters learning how to stumble my way through the software. I don't know how much I'd promote fibbing on your resume to get ahead, but I was willing to put in the extra hours and never delivered anything short of what I promised, so in this case, my "fake it until you make it" worked out. Over the next ten years, I produced shows for MTV, Lifetime, LMN, Animal Planet, (mostly docu-series) and now, I'm currently producing at Viceland.

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BCPC Member Highlight: Ann Collins (New York)

BCPC Member Highlight: Ann Collins (New York)

I met Ann Collins at Sight, Sound & Story this year. She discussed the art of documentary storytelling on a panel and I was very inspired by her description of the patience she exercises in allowing a story to unfold. A great way to approach many hours of footage. I will never forget that advice and wanted to share her wisdom with all of you. Of course it helps that she is incredibly talented in winding a tale - her latest film is Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold. She has recently joined the BCPC - let's give her a big welcome!

- Give a brief summary of your trajectory into post in New York City...

I went to film school at NYU as an undergraduate. I kind of stumbled into the program; I wasn’t a student who passionately went in wanting to direct feature films, I was just curious about what they were doing in film school, and I must admit, I was a bit lost. Everyone wanted to be directors or cinematographers. I really enjoyed screenwriting classes and cinema studies classes, but I wasn’t sure what was going to happen to me once I graduated, how I was going to find a foothold in the film industry based on the fact that I liked writing dialogue and watching movies. In my senior year, Ian Maitland, a professor who taught a senior level production class, came up the aisle to where I was sitting in a very large theater-style classroom to hand me back a paper I had written for him. “You know, Ann,” he said, “I think you are an editor. You’re such a nice person, and you have all these ideas about story, and that’s what an editor is. I know – because I’m an editor, and editors are always the nicest people.”

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Luck: A True Hollywood Story | BCPC Member Story

Luck: A True Hollywood Story | BCPC Member Story

“It’s all about who you know.” It’s the phrase anyone who’s ever expressed interest in working in show biz has heard. But what if you don't know anyone? What if you dream of making it in Hollywood and don’t have anyone in your extended network who can help you meet the right people to make that dream come true? Sounds like a situation that is totally out of your control, right? Not exactly. There’s a formula for breaking into the business that everyone can use. I used it to secure a job in one of the most competitive industries on the planet.

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BCPC Member Highlight: Milli Lo (London)

BCPC Member Highlight: Milli Lo (London)

BCPC is a community that encompasses all of post production, all over the world. Some of our members are lively on Facebook, some are lurkers, and many are dedicated volunteers within one of our many programs. Every two weeks we introduce a member from somewhere in the world, to highlight and celebrate members of this amazing community.

Today, we're meeting the wonderful Milli Lo, who has recently joined the BCPC London committee.

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