The possibilities are seemingly vast at Now, which is not just an editorial outfit but a platform for furthering his creative exploits, which include creating video art and curating the downright dazzling "Electrical Retrospectacle," an annual screening of avant-garde shorts from the late '20s through the '80s. "I'm focused on keeping it diverse because I think that's what makes whatever you do better," he believes. The company's main role, of course, is editing commercials, Plotkin's undeniable forte. His reel is as expansive as his interests. It includes Cliff Freeman comedy like the recent Fox Sports Net campaign featuring out-of-place un-extreme athletes; the lovably randy Staples "Sno-Bot"; and Hollywood Video "Resurrection," where, in a perfectly timed moment, a Hollywood clerk crashes a wake to rouse a corpse from eternal rest. There are also MTV-style cuts for the Army, quirky portraiture for Mastercard and cinematic storytelling involving a flea in PBS' "Circus." Currently, he's onto spots for SBC, directed by Alan Coulter, and more Mastercard via Peter Care.
"It's like swimming and flying," he says of editing. "You swim with the film, then you fly above it. Then you dive back in again and swim with it." Come again? Well, when it comes to cutting people-focused work, which makes up much of his reel, "everything you do affects performance. Everything ripples. If it's a single-take spot, then you're there to find the moment. If it's got cuts in it, you're shaping the performance but you still have to find a way not to fuck it. That's why you have to swim with it, but fly above to see the shape of the whole thing. Even if it's a non-linear piece, everything moves in one way, one direction. It still has a beginning and an end, and every step along the way is affecting the next step, and the cumulative effect is what you're shaping." In the midst of all this swimming and flying, however, "I think it's important to stay off balance," he insists. "Because then you're open to possibilities. You can't know it all and have it all figured out. Mistakes, fuckups, taking chances, not being safe, pushing yourself - that makes you a better contributor, makes you more valuable."