“Long days & sleepless nights” : Behind the scenes editing for major influencers like TimTheTatman & OpTic Gaming

“Long days & sleepless nights” : Behind the scenes editing for major influencers like TimTheTatman & OpTic Gaming

What’s life like behind the scenes working as a video editor for some of the biggest personalities in the influencer and gaming space? We talked to Ryan ‘Tru’ Smyth, a man who can count the likes of popular streamer TimTheTatman as a previous employer.

Ryan Smyth, aka ‘Tru,’ is a partnered Twitch streamer and video editor for OpTic Gaming, one of the most prominent esports and entertainment organizations in the world with teams currently competing in Halo, Apex Legends, and Call of Duty.

We got the chance to speak with Smyth about his job at OpTic and what it’s like working with major companies and creators — a career path he admits is “really fun,” even though it comes with its own particular brand of stressors.

“I feel fortunate enough that I get to choose who I get to work with at this point in my life, so I can really invest myself into creators I believe in and I resonate with,” he told us.

“There was definitely a lot of stress when I first started. I was terrified of screwing up, so I’d just stare at video titles to make sure they were correct or constantly scroll through the video to make sure something random hadn’t made its way in. However, over time, my confidence has grown alongside the belief I have in myself and my work. As a result, anxiety and stress has slowly faded and the imposter syndrome has gotten quieter, so those irrational fears are rarely a problem anymore.” 

Smyth got his first major break in 2018 when he began working for a production company called ZygoMedia. After picking up famed Twitch streamer TimTheTatman as a client, ZygoMedia went on to produce content for the likes of Netflix, Tyler ‘Ninja’ Blevins, and other big names — something Smyth helped lay the foundations for.

It wasn’t long after that Smyth became the lead editor for Kitboga, a streamer famous for exposing phone scammers by keeping them on the call as long as possible and frustrating them in the process. Smyth’s work helped take Kitboga’s YouTube channel from 600,000 subscribers to over 2.1 million, amassing over 150 million views, with a fair few of the streamer’s most-watched videos being ones he’s edited. 

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Smyth started working for OpTic in 2022, and has since had the opportunity to film some major projects with the org’s biggest players like Seth ‘Scump’ Abner and Davis ‘Hitch’ Edwards, the former of whom he’s the lead video editor and channel manager for. 

While some might think Smyth’s job would be extremely stressful given his clients’ prestige and legacy, the editor says he feels “blessed” that he gets the chance to do what he does, despite feeling the heat at the beginning of his career.

“I’m more excited than anything when an important project presents itself. I love the challenge, and I love when I have to step up my game. It ensures I’m always learning, getting better, and not being complacent.”

Smyth gets the chance to work with some of the biggest names in esports, including icons like Scump, Hitch, Shotzzy, Zlaner, and many more. We asked him about what it’s like working with big-time creators and what’s the most surprising thing fans might learn about spending time with influencers behind the scenes.

“Long days & sleepless nights” : Behind the scenes editing for major influencers like TimTheTatman & OpTic Gaming

Ryan ‘Tru’ Smyth has gotten the chance to work with some of esports’ top personalities, such as OpTic’s Blake, pictured left.

“Don’t underestimate” prominent content creators

In short, Smyth told us that despite their goofs and gaffs on camera, they’re serious about their work, telling us not to underestimate their passion for the gaming space.

“Don’t assume that because they’re goofballs on stream that they’re not passionate about their craft or knowledge,” he admitted. “They know their sh*t. They got to where they are for a reason. I use what they know, and add to it.”

Of course, it’s not every day that one gets the chance to film content with some of the biggest influencers on the net. It’s an enviable position and one that many hopefuls are looking to break into — but Smyth says candidates need more than possessing a viable skill set if they want a shot at becoming an editor for a major esports group.

“You can possess all the skills in the world, but if your heart and mindset aren’t right, then it’ll all be for nothing,” he told us. “This isn’t about you, and this isn’t about getting your name out there. There will be long days and sleepless nights sometimes, but that’s just part of the gig. In terms of practical advice, you want to be as ready as possible for when that opportunity comes along.”

For those looking to start out editing videos, he recommends creating your own highlight videos from your favorite creators to both practice and showcase your abilities.

“They’re a great example of an editor’s versatility and creativeness,” he said. “Just have a few made to show people when you’re applying for work. Don’t be afraid to ask creators you enjoy watching, who might not have any YouTube presence, if they would like help with that. You have to start somewhere, and getting into the rhythm of working for a creator will give you skills that will stand the test of time.

“Also, understanding their community will do wonders. Every community is different and responds differently to content and editing styles, so pay attention to that.”

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A post shared by Ryan | Tru (@trueditss)

Most of all, Smyth advised hopeful candidates to be patient and continue to work hard while preparing for the right opportunity. “In a world where we view success as numbers, it couldn’t be further from the truth,” he said. “It doesn’t matter whether the person you work for has 100 subscribers or 10 million. You’re creating stories that will forever be remembered for a community, so cherish every video and moment. Adopt that attitude and you’ll go far.”

Editing for the net’s biggest personalities can be “lonely” but rewarding

Smyth’s job isn’t an easy one. Like any profession, there are pros and cons — and working with massive creators as a video editor can have some pitfalls. Although Smyth loves his job and is grateful for the work he does, he acknowledges that being so caught up in work can have its consequences.

“To be completely honest, I get to do what I love for a living,” he said. “There isn’t a single thing I’d rather do. Now, it wasn’t easy to get here, and I had to work harder than I ever thought possible, sacrificing many many things in order to be able to do this, but the point still stands. I always try to keep that at the forefront of my mind if I ever start to feel burnt out or frustrated with things that aren’t really worth being frustrated about.

“However, one thing I’ve noticed throughout the years for me is that this can be a pretty lonely job. With my time zone, I’m at least six hours ahead of my ‘life.’ Even though I’m surrounded by amazing friends and people online, when you step away, it can hit you sometimes — something I’ve noticed even more since visiting the states multiple times over the years and then coming home. It’s not something that really gets talked about, especially in men, and something I’ve definitely grown to have to battle over the years, but I’m blessed beyond measure and I wouldn’t change a thing.”

In just the last year working with Scump, Smyth has helped the now-retired CoD pro garner over 55 million views on YouTube alone… but he says his long list of accomplishments in the editing space aren’t just the result of his own efforts.

“I want to make it very clear it’s a team effort,” he admitted. “I am surrounded by the best in the business who both enable and challenge me to be the best editor I can.”

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