Archive for the ‘ networking ’ Category

Why Networking is Worth It

Sorry for my unexplained absence. Kids and video cameras, a truly exhausting combination. I’ve got another 2 weeks with them, but hopefully I’ll be more functional now that I know what to expect. Thank you to everyone who’s stopped by to read in my absence. I was expecting to find my stats flatlined, and while they are much lower than when I was writing regularly a couple weeks ago, there have been visitors every day.

So, here I am today to give you a reason why networking (especially social networking) is really worth your time. I just got work on a second series because of my contact with the creator. I’ll publish details when things are more finalized, but it’s refreshing to know that barring serious unforeseen problems, I’ll have something new to work on. How did I meet the creator of this show? Her show started following my show on Twitter. I followed her show and her show followed me back. We then hooked up on Massify, which is a wonderful site for anyone looking to build a nice little portfolio of their video work.  So far we’ve solidified my interest and arranged a meeting through direct message on Twitter.

Know why it worked?  I’ve been talking to this creator over the span of a few months.  I am also quite a fan of her show, so the idea of editing it makes me very happy.  But the point is, even though we spent a lot of time talking about 80s music, we were still talking.  Good things happen from talking.

If you still haven’t jumped on the social networking bandwagon, I say to go for it.  Start small.  I think Twitter is a great place to start because it helps you really focus on your message: after all, only 140 characters to get it across.  There are tons of sites that create ways to introduce you to people.  I’m a fan of Mr. Tweet, myself.  There are also lots of sites that will help you monitor how you use Twitter and how you can be more effective.  As you get used to the idea, definitely expand out.  LinkedIn is a good professional social networking site, so it’s best used to connect with colleagues and friends working in other companies in your industry.  Facebook can be useful too, just be very careful with it.  It’s very easy to let your Facebook account sort of get away from you.  I sat down not too long ago and retamed it, taking out content that didn’t work for me anymore, and being a bit more critical of all my connections.

So yes, all the talk about social networking being good is true.  It just takes some effort on your part.  Although as you get the hang of using them, they don’t feel so much like work.  In fact, I have plenty of fun with my Twitter account.  And Facebook.  And it’s fun meeting people in my field on LinkedIn.  So go for it!  Good things can happen from social networking.

Networking to Find Solutions

Well, last post I was feeling very intimidated by Avid.  I posted as much on my Twitter account, and was happy to find support and advice from friends and other professionals who follow me.  In general, I found that few of them like Avid more than FCP – it’s just a necessary part of the job because it’s so prevalent.  They encouraged me to keep plugging away at it.

My friend Sean, who is also assistant director  of Issues, told me he understands the frustration, as he’s fought with both Avid and FCP in the past.  During an IM conversation, I told him my doubts about whether or not I could grasp this software without paying for Avid’s rather expensive training.  ($550 is quite a bit when you’re yearly salary is only about $12,000.)  I had thought that since Avid didn’t publish any training books, I wouldn’t be able to find one.  He urged me to go onto Amazon and look.  He knew there were books that would do what I wanted, just didn’t know their names.  After getting some sleep (Sean and I tend to have most of our conversations very late at night), I looked yesterday morning.  Low and behold, I found a highly rated beginner-to-intermediate training book on Avid MediaComposer, and it includes media to practice with.  The book is currently en route from it’s seller in Missouri, and I’ll have it by Monday.

For those who may be interested, the book I’ll be using is Avid Editing: A Guide for Beginning and Intermediate Users, and more information on it can be found at Barnes & Noble.  The book normally retails for around $50.  I found a private seller who was trying to get it off the shelf, and so got it for a bit less than that.

So I’ve found training for Avid, and only paid $30 for it.  Much more appetizing than the $550 I was originally looking at.  I feel more confident in my ability to learn the interface now that I have direction and specific projects to work on.  If I just fumble around on my own, I doubt I would learn as much, and I doubt I would enjoy it.  Instead, I like the feeling of accomplishment when I finish a project and see that it turned out exactly the way it should have.  It’s what keeps me going with Photoshop, and it’s what got me through my basic training in Motion, using the built-in tutorials.

In short, I’m beginning to shift my focus in social networking.  My Facebook is for friends only – mostly ones that I have met in person, though there is one exception.  Twitter is mainly becoming for my professional life.  I do follow and talk to friends on my Twitter feed.  But I spend far more time talking to other professionals.  In fact, the creator of Life After Lisa, a web-series based out of Balitmore, and I have been talking rather frequently.  I’m hoping to meet up with her next week when we’re both in New York for Internet Week.  (We plan to bond on both being turned down by a group we were hoping to get screened by.)  My network is making life easier for me, and more enjoyable.  I love talking to other people who do what I do.  I feel like we can often work in pretty isolating circumstances, so it’s always wonderful to be able to connect with them.

Need for a Video Editor’s Online Meeting Place

Apologies for the silence.  The semester ends in 5 days (for all intents and purposes), so there is the final push to make sure the large, final assignments are finished.

I also apologize that my first entry in a while has nothing to do with the technology or technique of editing.  Instead, I feel the need to air an idea and grievance I have with the industry in the internet era.  That is, there’s no place I can go and find out what the industry as a whole is doing.  I’ll be joining 3 professional associations this month.  I’d never heard of them until I met a member or read a list that my college maintains of such associations.  I only found out about the NY Web TV Meet-Up because I happen to follow a participant on Twitter.  I found out about the Streaming Media East conference (which is in its 12th year), two days ago upon acceptance to the Film Professionals group in LinkedIn.  I already am scheduled to work for the duration of the conference and can not attend.

While I do work in all areas, I find that my involvement with Issues pulls me heavily into the web TV sphere.  But there are virtually no tools for the editing community in particular and the web television community in general to really exchange information.  Broadcast Assassin has tried to become a meeting place for the web television community, but is still relatively small and growing.  I’d love to see it really become the central venue for communication between creators of web shows.  Go join up!  Perhaps what we really need is a wiki for each group.  I’m thinking of setting up one at least for editing, perhaps one for web TV as well.  It seems like the industry is so fragmented that it’s hard to really start networking.  Because the web TV industry is really trying to promote networking and knowledge, I find myself thinking about web TV as a broader category more than I do about editors within the web TV community.

But editors have need of it to.  The reason I didn’t include an example of an editing event that I’ve missed out on is because I don’t know of any.  I know there are editing groups and associations.  There must be.  But I don’t have the first idea of where to start looking for them.  Anyone know of where to start?

Collecting Feedback to Drive Career Development

As an editor, there’s one interface I know very well – Final Cut Pro.  In fact, I’m in a minority that doesn’t think the next version of the program should have an interface overhaul because I’m so fast and efficient on the interface as it is.  However, I know I need a much more diverse skill set in order to be a serious contender for any post-production job.

I’m trying to collect feedback from as many sources as I can to help drive my professional development.  I’ve identified audio editing as my biggest weakness right now.  To fix that, I’ve lined up Soundtrack Pro to be the next program in Final Cut Studio that I devote significant time to learning.  I’m also taking an editing course next semester that will have me practicing advanced editing techniques, and focusing a great deal on audio editing and multi-cam.  What this means is that I expect to rapidly become more proficient in audio editing, which to me is an absolutely must have.

What I need to know is where else I should be focusing.  So I’m asking LinkedIn connections from production houses and major studios for feedback, and hoping I get some.  I’ll also be leveraging my connections on Twitter to get their feedback.  While I will still maintain responsibility for my professional development, I would be completely stupid not to be sensitive to the needs and trends of the industry as a whole.  Social networking gives me a window into so many places I couldn’t see before, and it is an amazing resource for someone who is trying to become successful.

The Value of LinkedIn in Networking

One of the first things you need to do before setting your career as an editor (or as anything else) in motion is to do lots and lots of research about the industry in general, and the companies you might look at working for in particular.  I, for instance, know a lot about editing, but I don’t really know how other people in the industry see editors.  My work on school and independent projects mean I’m usually more than just an editor.  For example, during Issues production, I served as director on a day the actual director couldn’t come.  I also have served as the webmaster of the show’s site since we launched our first promotional video.  All this means that the cast and crew don’t see me purely as an editor.

So I need to know what other people think about me and my field.  And how other editors view the field.  I’ve been using LinkedIn to find contacts at different companies.  Today, for example, I sent messages to a few NBC employees that I know from the Final Cut Pro Users group we are all a part of.  I asked them what essential qualities for editors at NBC are and what skills they would stress to people entering the field.  If I’m lucky, I’ll hear back from them with some very valuable insights.  I’ll be expanding that strategy in the coming days, starting conversations with contacts at many different companies to gain a better picture of the industry.  It’s an invaluable resource for anyone looking to start out in any field.

I’m sure I’ll post more about LinkedIn in the future as I keep using it.  My account there has been dormant for some time, but I’m investing the time to make it truly active.