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Sound Bites - Issue #44 - April 2017

On the Cover
Walt Louie - The Road to Editing Begins Here!

Walt Louie, AVID instructor, in lecture Walt Louie, AVID instructor, in lecture

Walt Louie teaching Avid Media Composer Exam Prep WorkshopWalt Louie teaching Avid Media Composer Exam Prep Workshop

Sumo Boy characterAvid is the industry standard for professional editing

Avid Media Composer is the industry standard when it comes to professional editing of feature films, documentaries and all forms of broadcast digital media. In fact, all of this year's Oscar nominees for Best Picture relied on Avid tools, and in the Best Film Editing category, all nominated editors cut their films using Avid Media Composer.

That's why last year Community Ed's SMC Extension launched courses to help individuals obtain the highly regarded Avid User Certification. And the culmination of those classes is the upcoming and intensive Avid Media Composer Exam Prep Workshop.

The instructor of the workshop, Walt Louie, could not be a better choice. A full-time Entertainment Technology professor in SMC's academic program and a Community Ed instructor, he has edited on Avid dozens of TV movies, documentaries, reality series, DVD content, commercials, promos, and feature film trailers (more on his bio later).

Why is Avid certification so important for those seeking careers in editing?

The Avid Media Composer editing application is used currently in the majority of feature films, broadcast television in both series and reality programs, and documentaries. The advantage of Avid is that it has been the industry standard for decades and it is considered a more difficult application to master, compared to the other editing applications available.

The strength of the Avid system is its great media management capabilities and the ease in which so many different users can share the elements of the same project. This becomes very crucial in projects where there are many elements and many different departments such as visual effects, sound design, music, graphics, and dialog; where teams of people are all working on the same end product have to have access concurrently. For those who want to enter into this very competitive work force and set themselves apart from the rest of the applicants, to be a certified user of this application by Avid is a major accomplishment.

The Exam Prep Workshop is intensive - three weekly sessions from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. each day. What does the exam itself entail?

This exam is in two parts, each of which consists of 50 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 60 minutes. Passing requires at least 40 or more correct answers. These online exams are given during the Prep course, and the results are immediate. Two attempts per exam are allowed within the Prep course. Upon successful completion of both exams, the student will get a certificate directly from Avid.

Tell us about your current work in Avid editing.

I currently own Flash/Cuts, a post-production studio catering to makers of independent features and documentaries. Currently all the edit bays are using Avid Media Composers. A brief sample of some of my work can be found here.

What are some of the projects you have worked on?

A 2015 Ford Mustang commercial, the special feature for the film "The Bounty Hunter" starring Jennifer Aniston and Gerard Butler, and Behind the Scenes Special for the TV show "Desperate Housewives."

How did you get into this field?

I started my media career in San Francisco, with my first job in television at the local PBS station. I was also attending a graduate program in TV Broadcasting at San Francisco State University at the same time, and when I finished my course work after two years, I also started directing and producing local programs at the station.

I eventually got a full-time job as an editor at the local CBS affiliate and helped create a weekly half-hour teen reality program, which was awarded a regional Emmy. I've been in Los Angeles since the early 80's and have primarily worked as a freelance editor between a few staff jobs.

I have worked mainly on Avid Media Composer since the early 90's when it became the leading editing software. I have edited TV movies, documentaries, reality series, DVD content, commercials, promos, and feature film trailers over the years, and worked as an Associate Director on sitcoms and live sports coverage, and directed short films. I have worked on productions around the country and internationally including productions in China, Japan, and in Europe.

The Avid Media Composer Exam Prep Workshop will be offered June 24-July 15. Online registration is open. For additional information, call (310) 434-3400 (option #2) or email

What's New
The Web of Communities in Community Ed

Alice Meyering

SMC Classified EmployeesSMC Classified Employees

Our students come from many kinds of communitiesOur students come from many kinds of communities

from the desk of Alice Meyering

In the five years since coming on board this program, I have given a lot of thought to the word "community," particularly in the context of SMC Community Education.

I've come to think of community in many ways. We serve the geographic community of Santa Monica. Of the Westside. Of the larger Los Angeles area - yes, we actually have students come from as far away as the Antelope Valley and South Los Angeles.

But the makeup of "community" is not just a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common. It is also a group of people sharing common attitudes, interests and goals. It's a human collective with a belief in - and even a passion for - lifelong learning.

For us, there is also another important community - SMC faculty and classified staff members, whose head count is around 1,400. These employees are not only our colleagues, but they are often our students.

And so it was with pleasure that I recently accepted an invitation to speak to the classified employees (non-teaching workers that include everyone from custodians and administrative assistants to lab technicians and managers of various non-academic departments). These employees number more than 400 and, not surprisingly, have a keen interest in education.

Over the years many classified employees have taken our courses. And we want more to do so (with the 10 percent discount offered to all employees).

I told my audience that Community Ed provides a gateway to a healthier lifestyle, state of mind, or a more positive outlook on life. Ultimately, this is the raison d'etre of our program - we are here to provide affordable, accessible, and meaningful classes that help members of our entire community to stay curious and cultivate new interests and abilities that will add dimensions that can change lives. Healthier, happier, more curious employees make for a better college, and thus for a better community in the largest sense of the word.

We also provide practical, work-related training to our classified employees. Over the past couple of years, the SMC Classified Professional Committee has done an extraordinary job in involving Community Ed in on-the-job workshop trainings, such as Excel, to classified employees. The committee has worked very hard to target topics that classified staff members are interested in, and the Excel workshops we held in the winter provide a good example of partnership.

I am fond of saying that we put "community" back in Community Education, and we will continue to cultivate our unique sense of "community" in many ways.

Final Call:
Help Create the Cover of Our Fall Catalog

2016 Photo Contest winner - Dinnertime by Frank Damon2016 Photo Contest winner - "Dinnertime" by Frank Damon

2016 Photo Contest 1st Runner-up - Countryside by Laurie McCormick2016 Photo Contest 1st Runner-up "Countryside" by Laurie McCormick

2016 Photo Contest 2nd Runner-Up - Sailing in Ushuaia by Geri Ann Galanti2016 Photo Contest 2nd Runner-Up "Sailing in Ushuaia" by Geri Ann Galanti

Don't forget to enter our Third Annual Photo Contest, open to all current and former students. We've been so impressed with entries from previous years, and it is always difficult to judge which image deserves the top prizes. Deadline May 15!

Although all the information is available at the link above, we just want to remind you that the contest is open to all current and former Community Ed students. Also, the winning image will grace the cover of our Fall 2017 class schedule. And prizes will be awarded for the winner, first runner-up and second runner-up: $75, $50 and $25 credit vouchers, respectively, for Community Ed classes.

If you have questions, feel free to contact us at or (310) 434-3400 (option #2). Good luck!

Customer Service Students Hit a Home Run!

Michelle KingMichelle King, Director Career & Contract Ed.

Our first Customer Service with Computer Skills courseOur first Customer Service with Computer Skills course

Customer Service Training instructor Dyonne Woolen received flowers from her grateful studentsInstructor Dyonne Woolen received flowers from her grateful Customer Service students

I'm pleased to tell you we just completed our first "Cohort Training" of Customer Service with Computer Skills. In partnership with the local American Job and WorkSource centers, SMC Community Ed/SMC Extension was able to train 20 students. The students that completed the training have all successfully achieved their Guest Services Gold Certification.

The feedback from the students was overwhelmingly positive. Many stated that that the quality of the curriculum and the instructors far exceeded their expectations.

The second cohort started earlier this month and we hope to continue this partnership to train additional students in the near future.

We continue to do our best to offer practical, quick-turnaround career training in fields in which job opportunities are plentiful.

For more information about all our job training and other courses, please visit or call us at  (310) 434-3400 (option #2) or email

Warm regards,

Michelle King
Director of Career &
Contract Education