We had the good fortune of connecting with Scott Ash and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Scott, what habits do you feel play an important role in your life?
Always be working, always be looking, always be learning. It takes a ton of hustle to succeed in any creative field. As a video editor clients always want to see a very specific work sample that pertains to their project before they’ll consider hiring you. I’ve developed a habit, for better or for worse, of taking on new jobs constantly and casting my net as wide as I can. This way, I’m continually getting exposure to new video genres and styles. It makes me a more versatile candidate when searching for new gigs. But you have to be selective about the jobs you take on, time is our most valuable asset and you don’t want to waste it on a gig that’s not pushing you forward. My personal rule of thumb is I won’t accept a job unless it offers me one of the following; Exceptional content for my portfolio, an invaluable learning opportunity, awesome pay, or great connections. Searching, there’s another habit. I’m always looking for new work opportunities as well as networking opportunities. It’s rare that life changing jobs and connections will just fall into your lap, it does happen, but if you’re always on the lookout those opportunities will come more often. I’m constantly trying to level myself up as well, learning new techniques, skills, programs, anything that will make me more marketable, and improve the quality of my work. Letting people know you’re available, or touching base with old connections to let them know you’re open and what you’ve recently achieved, is a great way to stay in touch and hopefully drum up some more work.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Getting to where I am in my career today was not an easy path. I’ve known I wanted to work in video production since 9th grade when I took at TV/Film class that my high school offered. Making short films and music videos was one of the few things I was passionate about in school. This passion helped keep me on track and get me into college where I majored in Video Production and Film Studies. Post college life was a roller coaster of emotional strife, unpaid internships, PA gigs, waiting tables, and all sorts of random pro bono work shooting and editing. Building myself a portfolio with my pro bono work and videos I had made in college helped me land my first creative job as a “Video Production Specialist” in the marketing department of a company in Portland wearing multiple hats from pre-production to post. This job wasn’t glamorous nor did it pay all that well but it was exactly what I needed at the time. It gave me the ability to hone my skills and build up my portfolio all while saving to move to LA. I taught myself motion graphics design and compositing on the job which has been an extremely valuable skill set throughout my career. After a couple years I couldn’t put it off any longer or I knew I’d get stuck in Portland, so in 2015 I quit my job and took a leap into the unknown, I moved to LA with no work lined up. Luckily I had the opportunity to move into a house with a friend and 3 other guys. One of my roommates happened to be a producer at a production company and he got me editing and motion graphics work which kicked off my career in LA. Since then I’ve been working non-stop, always striving to improve my skills, and always looking for new opportunities and connections. My experience has taught me that growth isn’t something that’s just handed to you, it has to be sought out. Whether that means doing an unpaid internship getting coffee and corndogs for the post-productions staff, or living on a ranch making a horse training video series for no pay just so you can have something to showcase in your reel. It might feel like a complete waste of time in the moment but as long as those efforts progress you to the next step then they’re probably worth the pain to your ego.
Pandemic aside, the past few years have been the most exciting of my career. I’ve kept a steady stream of clients, I’ve worked on projects featuring big names like Tony Hawk, John Legend, and Simone Biles, I just edited a commercial featuring Joel Kinnaman doing Jiu Jitsu, I even won a James Beard Media award along with my team for a cooking class I edited. It’s been a long and challenging road but I’m excited for what the future holds.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
– A hike up to Griffith observatory Spend a day at Venice beach then head to the Whaler for drinks
– Grab dinner at the amazing Thai restaurant Jitlada in Hollywood
– Introduce them to LA’s best Al Pastor tacos at Leo’s Taco truck on La Brea
– Catch a show at the Comedy Store
– Watch them ride the mechanical bull at Saddle Ranch on Sunset
– Show them that LA can do pizza right at the Elbow Room in Hollywood then roll next door for a good time singing along at Tramp Stamp Grannies
– On Sunday we rummage through the piles of $1 clothing at Jet Rag on La Brea, then we head over to the Melrose trading post for coffee, live music, and those perfect vintage finds.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There are a huge amount of people who have helped me progress in my career but since I can’t name them all (like my parents and my partner) so I’ll leave it at two. The first being Evan Sorlien, my very close college friend and an outstanding editor/director. We made a lot of short films in college together, developed our crafts, and made it into our first film festival together. He got me my first film industry job as a PA on a movie in Portland. He also played a big part in me moving to LA, getting me a room in his house in Culver City, and giving me a lot of helpful insight and advice.
The other person I’d like to shoutout is D’Ambour Lewis, an extremely talented Creative Producer. D’Ambour and I have been a team on a number of jobs and projects, we’ve overcome some wild challenges together. She’s helped me navigate my career in this city countless times, and she’s been such a great friend. It’s an incredible opportunity to work with your friends, it makes the industry so much more enjoyable!
– Demi Lovato: Fabletics
– Joel Kinnaman: Oatlaws
– John Legend: Propper Daley