Posts Tagged ‘ research ’

Filmmaker IQ: One-Stop Shopping for Education and Training

By now, you’ve probably noticed that most of what I tend to write about relates to training.  Given that this is the summer in which I’m beginning the process of completely revamping my skills set, it’s what I can speak about most effectively right now.

Today, I’m presenting a site that I’ve used frequently myself, and that the Issues team uses even more frequently in our work with the show.  It’s usefully for all stages of a project, from sitting down to right, to executing that distribution plan I know you made before you started actually taping (right?).  The site is called Filmmaker IQ, and it is heaven for anyone working in independent moving pictures (be it film, video, or pure digital).  The featured articles on their homepage at the moment are: 155 Screenplay Formatting Tutorials, 404 Avid Tutorials, 505 Behind the Scenes Videos, 111 Free Filmmaking Tools, and 588 Free Film Contracts and Forms.  And those are just the 5 most recent before hitting the scroll down button.

Avid happens to be the most recent post-production tool they’ve compiled a mind-numbingly large list of tutorials and resources for.  Scrolling down the full set of featured articles, similar lists can be found for Final Cut Pro, Blender, Premier Pro, Maya, AfterEffects, and Veags.  There’s also an equally impressive lists of plug-ins for AfterEffects in there.  And to reiterate, those are just the featured articles, mostly filtered by me to present results for post-production.

I’ve barely scratched the surface of this site yet, and I’ve visited it several times.  All the resources they present are free to use, so it’s valuable to anyone.  I strongly recommend taking a look over there whether you’re ready to dive into a new piece of software, or if you’ve been banging your head against a wall trying to figure out how to create a light-saber effect in Vegas.  An absolutely amazing resource for everyone, for free.

I can’t even begin to think of a way to thank the people over at that site for all the help they’ve provided to me and everyone else I know who has used their site.  Be sure to check them out.

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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.

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