My Editing Playlist

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The right playlist, based on how you currently feel or how you want to feel, can definitely affect an editor during the creative process. There have been studies done to prove this by curious people like us storytellers. For example, Kellogg School of Management professor Derek Rucker and three of his colleagues, Loran Nordgren, Li Huang and Adam Galinsky set out to answer if the “right” kind of music made people feel more powerful or in control. They asked participants to listen to certain “pump up” songs, ones like 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This,” (YEAH, YEAH!) and then had them decide whether or not they’d like to go first or second in a debate. Those who listened to the high-powered playlist volunteered to go first almost twice as often as those who listened to a less powerful playlist. So, if you want to feel empowered or inspired, listening to your favorite jams that get you groovin’ in your seat might be the best way to go. Note: wear sunglasses for extra effect (and for migraine relief).

For me, it’s all about how I’m feeling that day, which I think is pertinent to achieving peak productivity. Personally, it doesn’t matter if it’s high-powered or low-powered funk, if I’m not feeling it, I’m not going to perform the best I can that day. I work best when I match my insides. But it’s not only my editing playlist that inspires me or provokes quality in my video editing. Take it a step further and my perfect editing environment consists of moody, dim lighting, with natural light peeking in and out from a nearby window treatment, all the snacks to my left (preferably a blueberry or apple cinnamon muffin), and a steamin’ cup o’ tea to my right. But if all I have are my headphones, video and photo work to be done, as well as an eight hour day of production ahead of me, it’s vital I make the most out of my playlist. Feeling out my current mood and vibe sets the tone.

When editing photos or subclipping video, my editing playlist varies, and sometimes how I’m feeling “that day” ends up spanning a few weeks, which means the same tunes or podcasts are often played over and over again. If I’m feeling saucy and energetic or if my attention span is waning, and I just want to focus on the art or let my mind run wild with creative ideas, I always go to music. Spotify is my choice platform these days, and I absolutely love their option to save a song or poem. I find a lot of music through Spotify, soaking in the suggested tunes that pair up with an artist I’ve been listening to. I’ve been happily surprised with their selection for me plenty of times. Not to mention, how cool is it to listen to some of your favorite dead poets through the same medium? The following are the songs/poets I’ve been spinning for the last couple of months:


Crawling After You- Bass Drum of Death

Clean Jeans- Sports

Hurricane- The Coathangers

Cardboard- Diet Cig

New Friends- Haybaby

Crying- ES

Nighttime Hunger- Overcoats

Drunk Text Romance- Cyberbully Mom Club

Tearing Down Posters- Jawbreaker Reunion

Glass Ceiling- Upset

Sleep When Dead- A Giant Dog

Secret Surprise- Joanna Gruesome

Bloom- Small Leaks Sink Ships

Lose your Mind- So Many Wizards

Plushgun- Freeze the Frame

Dead Poets:

Charles Bukowski

Sylvia Plath

As you might be able to tell, I dig fun, dance-and-shake-your-hair indie, grunge girl music, and indie, emo boy music, especially while I’m editing. I switch it up with the king and queen of dry, comical depression.

On the other hand, if my noodle is feeling exploratory, open, ready to soak in interesting stories, if I’m in need of a story relative to my life at the time, or if I want a familiar voice to keep me company, I hit play on my favorite podcasts. I’m a tad deep into the world of true crime, serial killers, women, adversity, and psychology. Currently coming in on top in my queue are the podcasts: My Favorite Murder, Sword and Scale, Strangers, Hidden Brain, and TED Radio Hour, although many more await their turn for attention. These podcasts are great for critical thinking and creating compassion and empathy, which as a storyteller, you need to come armed with enough to share.

And sometimes, when I’m just feeling quiet, I don’t listen to a thing.

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