My Engineer has the Flu—WHAT DO I DO?

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My Engineer has the Flu—WHAT DO I DO?

SkyTech works with a network of Engineers, so there’s no chance everyone will be sick at the same time. If you’re not working with us, ask your tech support what they have set up to keep you covered if they get sick.

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Fiction Friday, "New Beginnings," Chapter 2

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Fiction Friday, "New Beginnings," Chapter 2

Jesse opened last quarter’s report and resaved it with the new date before he started making changes. Step one, use “replace” to change the names of all the months and, where necessary, the year. Save. Now, none of it is accurate, but it looks done. Wait. Change color scheme, pick shades of green, save again. Now it looks done and different.

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What Do I Need?

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What Do I Need?

There is a wide variety of products that fall into the category of digital media storage. Most include the ability for multiple users to access the same files, as shared storage is necessary for the various departments and stages to collaborate with one another and get the project done

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Fiction Friday, "Making Time," Chapter 5

“I know it hasn’t been two and a half weeks but I’m inserting myself,” Kristy announced as she came in to Caleb’s office. “Since we don’t have time for a meeting, ever, and this is about time, I made you this.”

“What’s this you’re showing me?” Caleb asked, the legal size packet landing on top of his keyboard.

“A spreadsheet,” Kristy answered. “A concise, hard-to-argue-with spreadsheet. Something that will make my point in the fewest seconds possible.”

“I’m in favor already,” Caleb answered. “Walk me through it so I can get back to work.”

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A Shout-Out to the Booth

I would like to raise a glass, tip my hat, and offer a small bow to the invisible ones—the teams of creative people who work tirelessly and without attention to make the films we enjoy as perfect as they can be. The next time you watch a film, stay through the credits, and try to picture the post production team at work. When they were in high school, those were the kids in the booth, and they deserve a hug.

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Solo Together

Depending on the available space and access to technology, some creative teams are working in open concept spaces while some are compartmentalized in separate soundproof rooms. Open concept feels so team-like to outsiders, who see rows of friends wearing headphones staring at their screens and leave with the feeling that everyone is working together. Separate offices are something we have come to expect in the working world, so it doesn’t seem odd, but it does have a “corporate” feel.

What is ideal?

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Fiction Friday, "Making Time," Chapter 4

“I know this is a total first world problem,” Wally admitted, “but I’m thinking of going somewhere else because I’m tired of spending half of my day doing nothing.”

Eddie nodded. “Same here.”

“The grass is always greener over the septic tank, they say.” Kristy was trying to lighten the mood. “You’d be begging for this if you had to work a full eight hour day in a real job.”

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Unfinished Business

You can’t save money on the camera, because if the footage is terrible there’s nothing that can be done to make it not-terrible. A lot can be done with correction and effects, but there is no substitute for clean footage. You need a good microphone, too, because the same goes for sound. If you then want to film a bunch of unknown actors willing to work for a percentage of the profits wearing their own clothes and filming in your grandmother’s house, you can make the film itself essentially for free. Then you need professional finishing, otherwise all of the hard work in writing, acting and directing will be lost in the inconsistencies.

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Are you a chaos seeker?

Trying to shut down personal drama intruding on the work environment can be like dousing a grease fire with water—the individual may feel compelled to try to tell the story 20 times over the course of the day because they never got to finish it once, and it is both kinder and more efficient to give them room. But every room has walls—that’s part of the definition of a room—and establishing boundaries will help you build an environment that is both supportive and successful.

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Fiction Friday, "Making Time," Chapter 3

“And he’s gone again,” said Wally. “That was quick.”

“So,” Eddie started, “do we go back to our desks like he said or wait here because he said he’d be back?”

“I have no reason to stare at my useless screen just because it makes me look busier, so I’m going to wait here until he gets back.” Wally sat back down and picked up a magazine from the break room table.

“Works for me.”

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Nostalgia Editing

If you’re comfortable with your old equipment, I totally get that—something about the smell of stale dust and electricity takes me back, too. But you can’t imagine the improvements available any more than the first astronauts could imagine I’d be posting this article to a thing called the Internet using a tablet that can capture waves in the air and use them to stream movies. Give us a call—you’ll be amazed at what’s available now.

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Familiarity vs Functionality

Don’t confuse “the way we’ve always done it” with “the way we should be doing it.” In fact, if you haven’t changed the way you’re doing things at least a little in the past two years, it’s highly likely you should. Project workflow, both the human and the tech sides, can be discussed with an engineer, who may be able to help you shake harmful habits you don’t even know you have and help you develop a culture of efficiency that’s open to and looking for positive change and not bogged down in outdated routines.

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Fiction Friday, "Making Time," Chapter 2

“He said he’s not here,” Kristy said as she walked into the break room.

“And you realize that sentence is self defeating, right?”

“Yes, Wally, it is. Self sabotaging, even. That’s something we know a little bit about around here, isn’t it?”

Eddie laughed. “You mean no time to talk about speeding things up because things are so slow we can’t spare the time it would take to fix it? Right.”

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The Rise of the Indies

While the big studios were suddenly finding themselves in competition with a group of friends who filmed their whole movie in their aunt’s house, manufacturers were working on a way to get big-studio performance on an independent filmmaker scale. Instead of being scalable, items are more portable, or designed to sit on the desktop and be “plug and play.” The manufacturers know that this is the only way to survive the unstoppable shift towards individual makers and away from the era of network executives, and the winners of this proverbial arms race are the small teams and independent filmmakers.

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Seconds become minutes

Any place where time can be saved is an opportunity to make life a little smoother, and at least annual assessments of workflow should be performed to avoid just getting used to things that really should be changed.

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What makes a good film director?

Honestly, it’s staying on budget and on schedule. That’s what makes a good director. Artistic traits make a great director, but if they aren’t first a good director, art will not patch the issues they create.

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