Friday, 26 October 2012

50% of shooting video is waiting...

While I wait for my Talent to finish his "Real Job" I am working on some crafts. This Smaug-Lock is the only non-gift that I am working on, so it's the only thing I'm going to post. For now. He is based on an illustration I was given during the Hobbit craft-swap I participated in earlier this year. He's awesome. For those unfamiliar with the cast of the upcoming Hobbit movie, Smaug is voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, who plays Sherlock Holmes in BBC adaptation of Sherlock. Bilbo is being played by Martin Freeman, or Dr. John Watson in the same series.

Things have been both extremely busy and kind of slow. There are days that drag on because I'm doing something boring, but necessary, such as keeping my spreadsheets up to date and there are days where it feels like I can't get any one thing accomplished because I am trying to do 5 things at once. Shooting days are both kinds of day at once. I spend a good chunk of my day waiting for The Talent to get ready but once we start shooting there are 5 things to do at once.

With our set-up I am fortunate to only have to wait for one person. If we had a bigger crew there would be more people to organize and there would probably be a lot more waiting. I'm not very good with waiting so I have these crafts and my spreadsheets to keep me "busy."

Monday, 15 October 2012


Do you know what the best part about being a producer is? The spreadsheets. Ok, I’m lying but not really. I have found that my best organizational tool is an old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet. I can keep track of what I have to shoot, when I’m going to shoot it, what parts are on the shot list, what parts I have ordered, what part I have yet to order, how much everything costs, what I have to edit, when it was edited, what the embed code is, what shoots had problems, what those problems were, etc... All that on just one spreadsheet! I have many more that have key pieces of data that I need to understand for any particular video.

That said, the hardest (read; most boring, tedious, time-consuming) part of my job is updating the spreadsheets. When I had an assistant it was easier but now that I’m a one woman operation I have to actually update all of the spreadsheets myself. And as I update the spreadsheets, I get crazy ideas about new spreadsheets to keep track of more specific pieces of information and it all just snowballs until I look at the clock and realize I haven’t even started to cut today’s video.

The strangest part? I have no idea how to properly use Excel. Our HR/Accounting super-hero has to set everything up for me. And then I ask her to do crazy impossible things like “Count all the videos that have an embed code and no edited on date” and she can actually show me how to do it. I am starting to suspect that Excel runs on some sort of magic.

That’s the glamorous life of a repair video producer. My mornings are spent emailing, meeting, thinking, reviewing, spread-sheeting (it’s a verb now) and occasionally script-writing. My afternoons are spent in the glorious realm of editing where time does not exist (video editors know exactly what I mean). None of this would be possible without my spreadsheets. I would be completely lost and have no way of finding myself without them.

One of these days I will actually learn how to use them.