10 Minutes With LaFleur Video Editor Liz Morrison
Written by Steven Thomas Kent
Liz Morrison joined the LaFleur team full-time in 2019 after partnering with us as a freelancer. A videographer with almost a decade of experience, she loves crafting visual narratives that highlight our clients’ unique stories.
Before she came to LaFleur, Liz received her bachelor’s degree in graphic design and photography from Kendall College of Art and Design, attained a color-grading certification in Da Vinci Resolve, and even worked as a camera production assistant on a feature film, County Line (2017).
We sat down with Liz to find out how she juggles the many hats of the video editing process and check on how she’s adjusting to life as a dual-role creative professional and new mother.
LaFleur: Tell me about what you do here at LaFleur.
Liz Morrison: I’m a video editor and producer here at LaFleur, and I edit videos that we create for various clients, do motion graphics, and put together client testimonials… basically, I put together stories for our clients.
LF: What do you like about it?
LM: I love that there are so many different facets of it. You’re working not only in picture but in graphics, design, audio, music — there’s a whole bunch of different things that go into video, and that’s really fun for me.
LF: That’s the first thing that really occurred to me is that you really have to be kind of a jack-of-all trades. I’ve not worked with video myself, but when you think about it — I mean, people are professional photographers and they just worry about the image. That’s a whole lifelong career unto itself. So how do you balance needing expertise in all those different areas?
LM: I kind of just take it one piece at a time. When you’re storyboarding, you kind of get the idea for what you’re going to have in the end, and you kind of work with the image first. But then, I don’t know — in practice, you often have to work with everything at the same time [laughs]. Now that you ask me, I’m not sure I know how I balance it.
LF: Do you feel like each part requires a different part of your brain?
LM: I think so, yeah. Because there’s a lot of logistics when you’re trying to find that story, but then also you have to be creative. So you have to make it visually appealing on a moment-to-moment level as well.
LF: You’ve brought up the term “story” a few times already. Are stories something you’re passionate about, and is that what brought you to video?
LM: Yeah. That, and I love pretty pictures [laughs].
LF: Did you study video editing in school?
LM: I went to college for photography, and my last semester in college I took a video course and decided, “Oh, this is what I want to do!”
LF: I feel like that’s often the case, especially with people in art school.
LM: Definitely. So, after that I did an internship with a company in town, shot a lot of weddings, and got really interested in doing color grading for videos. I ended up going back to my school and worked there as a designer, but I was also building their video program at the same time, so I got experience doing that. Then, I went off after three years to freelance, and LaFleur was actually my first client.
LF: Wow. First time’s a charm.
LM: Yeah. So I freelanced for LaFleur, but then one of my other clients took me on full-time. But then this opening with LaFleur came up during my maternity leave, and I jumped on it.
LF: Oh, so you’re a new parent. First time?
LM: Yep. First time. His name’s Owen, and he’s five months old now.
LF: Oh, what a fun age.
LM: Yeah, the newborn life is crazy. Very little sleep.
LF: Were you prepared for it? Is it possible to be prepared for it?
LM: I thought I was prepared, but I was not. I’ve never had so little sleep and still been functioning.
LF: I guess you learn what you’re physically capable of, right?
LM: Oh, definitely. I feel like I’ve grown so much in the past five months. It’s tough, but he’s awesome.
LF: Okay, so back to the video editing side of you, just for a bit. Are you a film person?
LM: Absolutely. I’m not like a film buff. I can’t do a bunch of quotes for you, but I love good cinematography.
LF: Are there any movies that really made a mark on you, just from a visual standpoint?
LM: Any Wes Anderson film.
LF: Do you have a particular favorite?
LM: I would say The Life Aquatic.
LF: Why that one?
LM: That was the first one I watched, and it just really drew me into that world. All the color coordination and how there are so many layers. Every time I see that movie, I discover something new in it.
LF: Have you always been more of a visual person?
LM: Definitely. I was interested in photography going all the way back to high school and did that for fun. I took graphic design classes and tech classes outside of high school, and I’ve also been drawing since a young age.
LF: Do you still get time to do that kind of stuff for yourself?
LM: Not as much as I’d like since the baby, but I do try and squeeze it in.
LF: What kinds of things do you like to explore?
LM: A lot of nature. It’s just really peaceful.
LF: What else goes on in your life?
LM: I always enjoy a good cup of coffee. I love all the different brewing methods. I have pour-overs, presses. I’ve been doing the organic Aldi coffees lately.
LF: I just became aware recently that there’s like, a cult of Aldi. My mom is kind of getting into it.
LM: I love Aldi. It’s cheap but it’s non-GMO, and you find a lot of cool things. But they come in and out, so when they’re there, you have to snatch ‘em up.
LF: So it’s kind of about never knowing what you’ll find when you go in there.
LF: What do you and your husband like to do together? I guess pre-baby, since I assume the answer right now is pretty limited.
LM: We like to check out new restaurants, travel — we haven’t been able to do a lot of traveling together, but we’ve taken little trips to Northern Michigan. Music is really big in both our lives. He’s actually an electronic musician, and I’ve been playing music since I was five. I played the violin for several years, and now I play the oboe.
LF: What music are you into right now?
LM: I like a lot of music from different cultures. I go from classical to death metal pretty quickly. It depends on my mood. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Cuban jazz. [My son] Owen actually seems to like it. I put it on in the car and it calms him down, which is interesting. I also love Indian music, especially the kind of droning stuff, which helps me to focus. My favorite band, though, has always been the Beatles.
LF: Do you get to play your oboe much?
LM: Not too much right now, but I try to keep up with it.
LF: I played the saxophone for quite a while, but I found it’s hard to keep it up later in life. Unless you’re super into improvising jazz and blues solos or something, you’re kind of an ensemble instrument that wandered off on its own. It’s not like the piano or guitar where you can play all kinds of harmonies.
LM: It is kind of hard. I used to be in community orchestras in high school, but once I got out of that, it did become harder.
LF: Well, kudos to you for keeping up with it.
LM: I would love to get back into a community orchestra at some point.
LF: Well, I hope you do.