Interview with Video Editor AshleyakaFlipper2

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There's nothing like finding a montage that fits your feelings about an event, fits your love for a gymnast, or takes you on an emotional roller coaster in the same way a competition does. Ashley is one of those amazing editors who can evoke so much emotion in me in a 4 minute video. Since Classics in May, Ashley has already made more than 12 montages! I had the chance to learn a little bit more about her and here's what she said. Links to Ashley's accounts/twitter are at the end of the article as well as some info on her latest hit video Team USA. YOU VERSUS...

Tell us about yourself.
My name is Ashley, I'm 20 years old and a rising junior in college. My hobbies include coaching, going on dates with the love of my life, running, working out, shopping, listening to music, editing (of course), reading, boating, swimming… pretty much anything.

**I did gymnastics for 6 months when I was 16. It was a great experience and I had a lot of fun. I was training up to level 8 on floor, level 7 on beam and vault, and level 5 on bars…I never competed so I was training different levels on each event. I obviously trained all the level 5 routines in case I was going to compete but I never did. I’ve been tumbling since I was 7 and a cheerleader since I was 10. A career ending injury ended my cheerleading career last year (age 19) so I’m not an athlete anymore.

How long have you been making montages?
My first montage was of Vanessa Atler was posted on November 25, 2006 (VanessA AtleR. I GOT NERVE!) I’m pretty sure I made that montage the same day. So I’ve been making montages for about 5 years!

How would you describe your style?
My style changes with every single montage! It depends on what I’m trying to convey. I really just lose myself in the song and the idea. Whatever I think when I hear the music is what I edit.

What inspired you to make your first montage and what was it about?
When I was 14 I went to a website called I’m not even sure if it is still around! She makes a bunch of montages and I downloaded and watched every single one hundreds of times. I became really frustrated when I watched her montages because the clips didn’t go with the words sometimes. I became obsessed with montages and eventually figured out what YouTube was. I would actually mute the audio of the montage on YouTube and play a different song in the background just so I could see if it fit better. That’s when I discovered I could actually just make the montages myself. I emailed ShanFan and asked her if I could download clips and use them in montages (she had a lot of routines on her website that I could download). She said yes and I found Windows Movie Maker and haven’t stopped editing since.

What programs do you use for editing?
I have used Windows Movie Maker, Ulead Video Studio. Sony Vegas Movie Studio Platinum 7.0, and now Sony Vegas Pro 11. I got the Pro 11 by a complete mistake. I had ordered an upgrade for the Platinum 7.0 that was like $50 and they shipped me the Pro 11! I never paid for it. I emailed them and they said the upgrade I ordered was out of stock so they just sent me the next best thing which was a $600 program! It was the best day of my life lol.

How long does it take you, on average, to make a montage?
I can make a montage (like Shawn Johnson. I Gave you All. [in honor of Shawn's retirement]) in 2 hours. Or it can take me 2 days or 2 months or 2 years. It depends how motivated I am to make it, what events have happened, what footage I have. For example, I started my 2012 Olympic Trials montage around Christmas and it hasn’t even happened yet lol.

How do you find your inspiration for subject matter and music?
Music is the HARDEST thing about montages. I have a trillion awesome ideas but it I don’t have good music then the montage will be horrible. I spend hours on YouTube and Pandora and listening to the radio and my iPod, my brother’s iPod, my sister’s iPod. It also goes the other way…I may have great music but can’t find a theme to go with it. It is a very tricky balancing act but when I find music and a subject that go together really well it motivates me so much.

What has been your favorite montage you have made and why?
This is a tough question…I have different favorites for different reasons.

Watch on youtube here
- My first favorite is my "Elite Gymnastics" one that has almost 2 million views!! I spelled “gymnastics” wrong on the title page and the editing is horrible. I wish I could do it all over again but it really shows how far I’ve come and it let a lot of people see how hard gymnastics really is.

- Britt Reusche. Reaching for Heaven. This one of Britt Reusche is a sentimental favorite for me because I got to work with her mother who was living in Peru to get the footage and they are such a lovely family! It was awesome getting to work with them. [I couldn't find much on Reusche. She didn't make the 2010 YOG and she wasn't at the Test Event. The last bit of information I could find was from the 2010 South American Games where she made Peru's team.]
- Seven Devils. Johnson, Liukin, Wieber, Raisman, Sacramone, Vega, Maroney, Ross, Bross My seven devils one I love! [One of my favorites! This one of those fall montages that break your heart and then ends on a totally different note that coincides with the music. Go watch!]

Watch on youtube here
- "Shawn Johnson. Safe & Sound" is probably my favorite one I’ve ever done of her and I seriously cannot watch it without crying. My other favorite Shawn one is this one (Shawn Johnson. Darkness before the Dawn.) I love love love it! [Both of these are very well done and the editing is phenomenal!]

- Jordyn Wieber. Viktoria Komova. Eyes on Fire. Another one of my favorites is the Jordyn and Komova montage I’ve been wanting to use that song for so long and it turned out to be a hundred times more better than I ever thought. Editing wise I think it is my best one. [This is probably my favorite. I love the editing and the way it highlighted the essential parts of the competition. It was the first montage I featured in Montage Monday because it was so amazing!]

Watch on youtube here
LIGHTS. Mckayla Maroney, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman.
- Lights with McKayla, Aly, and Jordyn is one of my top 2 favorite montages because McKayla helped me pick the song and they all have seen it and loved it! They all posted it on their Facebook’s and it was great to see that they enjoyed it.

- Shawn Johnson "Passion has a Funny Way of Trumping Logic". Shawn Johnson Passion has a Funny Way of Trumping Logic is another one of my all time favorites. I love the voice over [from a Shawn Johnson interview, a commercial about underdogs, and the movie, Pursuit of Happyness] and I finally got to use my own footage of her. [Ashley got to see her compete at the 2011 US Classic and both days of 2011 Nationals.] Seeing her compete live is something I will never forget.

Watch on youtube here.
Shawn Johnson & Chellsie Memmel. Undone.
- My newest one is my all time favorite right now. I worked so hard on this and it turned out so much better then I hoped it would! [This one's great and emotional, especially considering all that has recently happened in USA Gymnastics.]

Do your family and friends know that you make montages? What do they think of it?
My cousin, my immediate family, and my boyfriend are the only people who know I make montages! None of my friends or coworkers know. I don’t know why I decided to keep it a secret. It was just easier not to tell people. I never wanted to be known for making montages, I didn’t want to be teased for it…I just wanted to be me. I always say I have two sides the AshleyakaFlipper side which is online and making montages then I have the real me which has nothing to do with gymnastics. It keeps me sane and helps me separate the two. My cousin, my mom, and my boyfriend are the most supportive people in the world. They always want to see my latest montage and I can always talk gymnastics with them. The other members of my family are supportive too but I don’t think they really care about gymnastics haha.

What’s your favorite montage made by someone else and why?
I don’t really watch other people’s montages. Whenever I have free time I am usually editing.

What would you say to those just starting to make montages?
Do not try to copy anyone else’s style. Make it your own. If you just try to make a montage exactly like someone else’s nobody will watch it.

What is the hardest part about making montages?
When my first account AshleyakaFlipper got 2 copyright strikes and I had to switch to AshleyakaFlipper2 (otherwise my first account would be deleted when I got the 3rd strike). I went from 4,000+ subscribers to like 200 (now 700+). I have like 7 videos that have over 100,000 views and 60+ montages that have over 10,000 views on my AshleyakaFlipper account. Now I have 2 videos on my AshleyakaFlipper2 account that have 10,000+ views. So it’s really hard making that adjustment. I want a lot of people to see these montages because I do spend so much time on them so it’s hard when it drops that much. It makes me feel like nobody really wants to see the montages but I have to remember that the people who really want to see them will watch. I’ve gone through a lot these past few years and there have been dozens of times when I have wanted to give up but all the people who follow me have been so supportive and it really makes it worth it when a gymnast gets to see the montage I made for them.

Favorite music = Florence & the Machine, Adele
Favorite TV show = Breaking Pointe, So You Think You Can Dance, Wildfire, Dance Moms
Favorite movie= Twilight Saga, Hunger Games, Snow White & the Huntsman, Winnie the Pooh
Favorite 2 gymnasts = currently competing McKayla Maroney and Bailie Key. Retired – Shawn Johnson
Favorite event to watch = It depends on the gymnast. Usually floor then bars is my second favorite.
Favorite floor exercise to watch = Shawn Johnson World Championships All Around 2007.
Favorite 2 countries = USA and  Great Britain
Favorite gymnastics moments = Shawn Johnson making the Olympic team in 2008, Kerri Strug’s vault & 1996 Team Gold, Alicia finishing her floor routine at the 2007 worlds team finals and the celebration when team USA found out they won.

Thanks Ashley for all the great insight! Can't wait to see what else you come up with in the Olympic Year and in the future!

AshleyakaFlipper - her 1st account with over 150 videos
AshleyakaFlipper2 - Ashley's current account. Make sure to subscribe!
@Ashley_Flipper on twitter
Follow her, subscribe, like her videos, and comment :)

Watch Ashley's most recent video here or below.

I've been working on the audio since October 2011. It's a mixture of like 6 different instrumental tracks and the audio piece which I got from a commercial I found on YouTube. McKayla Maroney was the very first person to retweet [share with her 22,000 followers] my montage on twitter about 30 seconds after I posted the montage. It's definitely the most popular video I've had in a while! I'm just so grateful that people have been watching it and loving it. I'm really proud of this video. It's one of my favorites by far. I worked really hard on it and I'm just glad it turned out the way I hoped :)