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Workflows & The Black Art of Politics: Advice needed

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Haydn Nilson
Workflows & The Black Art of Politics: Advice needed
on Mar 16, 2008 at 3:09:41 pm

Hi guys,

Please need some pointers from wise old heads, Ill try to keep this brief.


Im an experienced designer with a wide skillset (design, editing, vfx, some 3D) and good understanding of workflows & processes.

I recently took a role as a graphics guy in a small, newly created, video production team within a large entertainment organisation whose core business is sports and broadcast with all that entails; satellite feeds, ob vans and whole bunch of other stuff which flays way above my head.

Fortunately I work within a small group (about 6) which takes care of non-live; promo videos, occasional DVD, stings and some broadcast work. With have a few FCPS and an Avid (which is gonna go) and my AE/3D workstation for graphics.

Now here's the rub.

All the other members of the team, with a couple of exceptions, are Producers who have come from traditional broadcast TV backgrounds and are likeable people with genuine skills for putting together programming in a TV station environment, headed up by a guy with a similar background.

But thats not our current environment, we are working desktop, and the culture clash is putting huge strains on me; There are only 2 of us who have any understanding of the technical aspects of video production; namely the two of us who came from the multimedia world.Ad

To illustrate my point:
• Many of the TV guys cannot use a computer.

I dont mean they cant install a BlackMagic bridge, or cut a quick edit in FCP, I mean they cant install software, copy dvds, use a CMS, install drivers, change the resolution of their monitors...

Many are willing to learn but the top guy is worst of all, so no mechanisms are in place for them to learn;

• There is no understanding of workflows;

an obvious consequence of the previous point really, but crippling for the company; ProRes? FCP or AVID? Go Tapeless? Ingests?

They have a (dangerously) superficial knowledge (at best) of any of these; our Producers know how to log clips, but we then have to bring in freelance staff to digitise, edit and do pretty much anything else; this is obviously costly, massively inefficient and puts huge strains on the one or two of us with any technical skills; This is exacerbated by the fact that roles are not clearly defined and we are a "team", which basically means 2 of us doing the work of the others.

I have tried, in vain, to change the culture, and largely have the support of the other members of the team, as they have started to see the wisdom of my words. But our boss just will not delegate; his insecurity is tangible and my best efforts at "doing this the easy way" have not worked.

So, its the hard way. Ive managed to secure the ear of the Top guy; our boss' boss. He's a smart guy who is open to change and knows that our current processes are archaic, slow and costly. I have meeting scheduled with him soon in which I have to convince him to yield certain areas the business to me so that we can start to implement some processes and work in more systemic way and start bringing our production staff into the 21t century.

Please, please, please if anyone can give me any advice, facts, machiavellian tips which will help my argument I would be very grateful, this is a critical time if we are to progress,

Thanks in advance,


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