What Our Members Do: Rachel Wilson, Logger

Rachel Wilson.

Where are you currently (or were you recently) employed?

Most recently, I worked as a logger for the reality television show “Survivor.”

Current Project?

I just wrapped on “Survivor” and am not currently working on anything except my own ideas!

Describe Your Job. 

During my time at “Survivor,” I was responsible for watching and sub-clipping tapes of unedited raw footage of the show, then briefly describing the content of each clip in order to help the assistant editors find specific footage for the editors. After summarizing the clip in a few short sentences, I would pull out the topics that seemed most important and use that information in the clip title, using any keywords necessary.

How did you first become interested in this line of work?

Although I am looking to eventually try my hand at production, post- has always interested me, especially with a reality show like “Survivor.” It’s absolutely amazing how the editors are able to take thousands of hours of footage shot over the span of 39 days and weave it into a story that resonates with so many people. Getting to be a part of that process has been an absolute blessing!

Who gave you your first break?

As logging was my first job in post, I’d say “Survivor” gave me my first break.

Before “Survivor,” I was working as a production assistant at NBCUniversal’s “Maury.” I knew I wanted to make the move to Los Angeles, however, and had contacts out here for support. Once I made the move, a friend (now co-worker) helped me take the steps to secure my logging position.

What was your first union job?

Logging was my first union job.

What credits or projects are you proudest of, and why?

I’ve only been in the industry for around two years, and during that time, I’ve received two credits. Though I’m proud of the hard work I put in during my time as a production assistant at “Maury,” I’m proudest of my credits as a logger with “Survivor.” Until then, I didn’t know what logging was or why it was necessary. Now I see that the show would be practically impossible to edit without loggers, and I’m incredibly proud to be an integral part of that  process.

What was your biggest challenge in your job (or on a particular project) and how did you overcome/solve it? 

During my time working at “Maury,” I overcame numerous obstacles. Whether it was handling travel issues with guests or problems that arose during recording of the live shows, the job as a whole was a challenge that I worked incredibly hard to overcome. I did so by doing my best to remain positive, persevere, and remember that I had a great group of co-workers to rely on for help when/if needed.

What was the most fun you’ve had at work?

I was a huge fan of ”Survivor” before I started working there, so my entire experience in the office was always so much fun! Getting to see how my favorite television show is made and all the work and care that goes into creating it has been awesome!

Jobwise, what do you hope to be doing five years from now?

I’m not sure, but I think I’d like to produce reality television. I came to Los Angeles intending to pursue writing for scripted television, but my time at ”Survivor” made me reevaluate and realize how much I enjoy working in reality television. However, I do have a passion for episodic dramas, so maybe in five years I’ll have found my way into that area of the industry.

What are your outside activities, hobbies, passions?

Outside of work, I love to read and write. I also enjoy kickboxing, hiking, and trying new restaurants with friends.

Favorite movie(s)? Why?

I’m more of a television fan, but most of my favorite movies are from Disney/Pixar, like “Wreck-It Ralph,” “Tangled,” and “Coco,” or are a part of the MCU [Marvel Cinematic Universe] like “Captain America: The Winter Soldier,” “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” and “Thor: Ragnarok.” My favorite movies change all the time, and I’m the type of person to say my favorite movie is whichever one I saw most recently in theaters and loved.

Favorite TV program(s)?  Why?

I have so many favorite TV shows, I always lose count! ”Survivor” has always been on the list, but outside of reality television, I really love dramas (and the occasional comedy). My favorite television show of all time is “Prison Break” for its incredible writing and complete suspense every episode. I also love “White Collar,” “Stranger Things,” “Bob’s Burgers,” and “The Office.”

Do you have an industry mentor?

I don’t have an industry mentor, but a lot of lovely people have helped me immensely!

What advice would you offer to someone interested in pursuing your line of work?

I’d advise anyone pursuing my line of work (or really any line of work) to keep your head up and go after exactly what it is that you want! It’s not always easy, but anything that you feel passionate about is worth the hard work and dedication.

Was there ever a circumstance when you had to rely on the Guild for help or assistance?

I’ve only just recently become a member so not yet, but I’m grateful to know it’s there for me!

Is there anything you’d like to say to your fellow Guild members, some words of encouragement?

We’re all in this together, and it’s a beautiful thing to have a group of people to support you if you need it.

Compiled by David Bruskin

Editor’s Note: To recommend a member (including yourself) to be featured on CineMontage.org and the home page of the Editors Guild website, please contact davidnbruskin@gmail.com 

This story appeared in the Q4 2019 print edition of CineMontage.