Whenever I see a producer freaking out about a piece of missing footage or an editor stressing about a deadline, I always remind myself that in the grand scheme of things what we do for a living is ultimately of little importance in the world as a whole.  We’re not curing cancer, we’re not feeding homeless children, we’re not lobbying for legislation that will transform the health care system for millions of Americans.  We simply make entertainment, and sometimes it’s easy to forget that.

That being said, I think it’s important to let loose every once in a while and not take our jobs too seriously.  With April Fools Day coming up tomorrow, here are a few practical jokes to bring smiles to the faces of your coworkers.  Just make sure they don’t have an impending producer screening or network output, or you may find that the joke’s on you.  Without further ado, I present to you – April Fools Jokes for Editors.

  • Change his color scheme to something embarrassing or impractical – all pink or all light blue come to mind.  You can even go with all black so that none of the buttons are readable.
  • Remap his keyboard.  You can either go crazy with a lot of major changes, or be more subtle and see how long it takes him to figure out what’s wrong.  For instance, switch the “J” and “L” keys and “I” and “O” keys and watch him struggle to complete a single edit.
  • Replace an important music track with something humorous in the editor’s timeline.  Make sure you change the clip name to match the original track.  What better way to kill the emotional impact of a serious love scene than “Achy Breaky Heart” unexpectedly blasting in the background.
  • Along the same lines, unplug the Avid connection to the mixer board and replace it with a hidden iPod playing an embarrassing song on repeat.  When the editor raises the Avid sliders to listen to his cut, he’ll hear the Jonas Brothers instead.
  • Unlink a frequently used master clip, and redigitize it with ridiculous footage.  Then every time in the editor’s sequence that he cuts to that closeup of the subject’s face, he will instead see this or this.
  • When he goes to take a break near the end of the day, lock his edit bay door and watch him try to break in to get his stuff and go home.
  • Create a fake “.lck” file for every one of the editor’s work bins so he has to create all new bins to save his work.
  • Randomly change a few lower-thirds throughout the editor’s cut to say absurd things.  For instance, “Jay Nathanson, CEO of American Mutual Banking” can become “Jay Nathanson, Inventor of the Solar Powered Flashlight” or “Jay Nathanson, Spokesperson for Adult Bedwetters of America.”
  • Change the editor’s computer name so that every bin he opens on the Unity will say something embarrassing next to it.  If his name is Frank, change his computer name to “Frank sucks” and watch the other editors snicker.  Any editor who was never an assistant may not even know how to change this back!
  • Replace voiceover narration with your own commentary.
  • Put a cheesy transition (star wipes, vertical blinds, etc.) between every shot.  The “Apply to all transitions in-to-out” checkbox makes this a breeze.
  • Cut in tone media at strategic places in the editor’s cut, along the lines of Jimmy Kimmel’s “Unnecessary Censorship.”

Have fun and don’t go too crazy!


The following commands were used in the above screen shot to spell “April Fools,” if you feel inclined to do so yourself.

1.  Add Page (Script menu)
2.  Render In/Out
3.  Load Filler
4.  Record
5.  Record
6.  Loop Selected
7-15.  Hardware