by Roger Fenton
In January of this year I did something most human beings find terribly difficult: I took some advice! After several years of recurring neck and shoulder pain on my left side whenever I sat for too long in what I call the “computer-ready position,” I could stand it no longer. Nine A/B reels of digital Superman Returns footage could not wait for me to get physical therapy three times a week, so I prevailed upon Pivotal Post to raise my workstation up on cinder blocks. And so began my new life as a stand-up editor.
At first it was awkward––lots of foot-shuffling and arm-repositioning. And my monitors were too low, causing me to always be looking down. Three trim boxes holding a roll of leader under each monitor solved that problem (my insistence on holding on to old film equipment finally paid off! Anyone out there have any suggestions for old spring clamps?)
I endured a few jokes comparing me to Walter Murch (I should be so lucky), and people asking if they could refill my drink, since it looks a little like I am standing at a bar. The body positioning worked itself out, and I must admit to a significant decrease in back pain. That back pain will get you wishing you never sat at a desk, the pain can be indescribable at night when you lie down, it can be made even worse with a terrible mattress. A close friend of mine also had the same issue and checked out A Guide to Choosing the Correct Mattress for a bad Back as his workplace wouldn’t allow standing desks! I’m glad I was able to, plus, it is a breeze now when I have to crawl under the desk to fiddle with wires and cables.
The moral of this story is that I was an idiot for not trying this sooner. I heartily encourage anyone having problems sitting at their Avid for long periods to try this out. And a special thanks to Ed Abroms, ACE, for loaning me his tall film bench chair, which I use for short periods to give my feet a rest. And thanks also to Alan Holzman, ACE, for originally suggesting I get up off my butt and think on my feet!