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Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up

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Grant Wilber
Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:09:03 am

I'm a camera guy. I like working long hard physical hours on set or digging a hole in the ground. When it comes to sitting down for more than 20 minutes its a challenge. But I can't afford to pay people to edit for me yet so I gotta suck it up.

Anyone have any tips on creating and maintaining an editing schedule? Keeping a schedule on the computer isn't going well, maybe like a calendar or post-notes, or idk. Just looking for advice for staying on track when the projects start piling up. Thanks.

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Glen Montgomery
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:27:00 am

That seems like the perfect time to bring an editor on board. If that is not what you want to do, and projects are piling up then why not have someone else do what you don't like while you focus on your business? I know it may seem like an added expense but if they can bang it out for you while you shoot more projects you will cover it and hopefully exceed it. Not judgement, just advice. Good luck, Grant, busy is a good problem to have.

Editor / Motion Graphics Artist, Denver CO

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Ed Cilley
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up
on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:55:53 am

Grant, Time management is one of the biggest challenges for us all. Glen makes a good point regarding bringing someone else in. If they can do a job in 1/2 the time you might spend on it, that's money in your pocket. [And editing for 20 minute intervals doesn't get you far. :) ]

The first thing to calculate is how long a project is going to take. If you plan on editing two days and it takes you four, then projects will back up and you will get frustrated. If the computer isn't working, take a calendar and draw lines through the shoot days. Follow that with a different color line for edit days. Mark down actual time spent. Do this for a month and re-evaluate the progress. Make adjustments where needed.

Anything worth doing at all, is worth doing well.
- Philip Dormer Stanhope, Earl of Chesterfield

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Shane Ross
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up
on Feb 14, 2012 at 10:35:14 pm

Don't install Call of Duty 4 on your computer. That's my advice.

Talk about distraction...

Little Frog Post
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def

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Bill Davis
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....time management in general...
on Feb 15, 2012 at 12:00:40 am

Not wanting to hijack the thread, but I see what you're dealing with as a subset of a larger and more important area that's getting harder and harder to convince clients about.

The value of Project management in general.

I've seen more money wasted and more "quality drag down" resulting from poor project management in the past year than I've seen at any time over my career.

My pet theory is that so many companies responding to the economic turn-down of the past few years tried to save the largest amount by shedding the "middle and upper middle" tiler of employees - but those were the folks who had the most experience in shepherding projects from the idea stage to completion.

Now we have a lot of upper management who want to get ahead of any possible business upturn - and when they turn around to get people to manage and produce good work - all they're seeing are the folks in the seats who know how to push the buttons and do the work- but that great middle layer of professional expertise that once was the buffer between the strategic thinkers and the workers - in short the oft-maligned "middle management" is gone.

And it's gonna be years of strain and we'll see a LOT of wasted effort and money while a new workforce learns how to manage projects sensibly.

I'm not surprised that Grant is hammered.

He's built a repuration for being the guy in the chair who can turn out useful work.

The problem is that he's got no support system in place to buffer him from having to do everything himself.

Which is a kinda dangerous place to be when the work orders start flooding in.

If they keep flowing at a high rate - you'll eventually either start failing to deliver or burn yourself out.

Neither is a pretty sight.

My 2 cents, anyway.

"Before speaking out ask yourself whether your words are true, whether they are respectful and whether they are needed in our civil discussions."-Justice O'Connor

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Mark Suszko
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....time management in general...
on Feb 15, 2012 at 2:05:56 pm

Behavior can be trained. Grant: reward yourself for every little editing milestone, to create a positive feedback loop. For me, when the work "feels" like digging digital ditches, I hang a candy bar out on the edge of the console and tell myself I can have it when x amount gets done. Set milestones and gradually extend them. If you like surfing the COW, limit that time such that you get five minutes on it every half hour.

Make the editing environment more pleasant. Better chair. Some nice decor or lighting. Ergonomic monitor positioning to reduce eyestrain. I have a seat back massager like the ones at the drugstore.

Get others to help cheer you on. Use facebook friends to be your coaches. Tell them what you need to get done, and let them nag and cajole you into doing it and staying with it. This is a technique that seems to work well on weight loss plans, and it should also help you edit.

I keep a huge set of family photos near my workstation. Whenever I lose motivation, one glance reminds me what it's all really for.

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Alex Elkins
Re: Creating an Editing Schedule....projects are piling up
on Feb 16, 2012 at 3:20:19 pm

Hi Grant

I find that I'm my least productive when I'm trying to do all sorts of tasks at once. It's not unusual to have three different clients each sending you to-do lists on the same morning, and trying to service all of them at the same time means (for me) far less productivity.

I find that by dividing my day into solid blocks of time to spend on each task it's much easier to focus and work quickly. Try to take a more defined bookings approach...

"Hello Client A - I've booked a half-day for you on Tuesday. I'm afraid I can't fit it in earlier as on Monday I'm working on Client B's job all day."

If something urgent comes up then you mix things around a bit, but generally clients have no problem with hearing that your services are in demand!

Alex Elkins
Twitter: @postbluetv
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Latest work: Greyhounds in Motion at 500fps
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