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In-house a cubicle?

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Joe KnappIn-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 11, 2013 at 8:36:15 pm

Okay, there is a subtle push to put everyone (including me) into a cubicle structure. Yeah...

I know of no video creative that edits in this manner. The closest I've seen was a motion graphics/animation guy who cut to music tracks, but that was more of a 'desk pod' structure.

Does any in-house corporate video people out there work out of a cubicle? Edit suite? Something in-between?

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Nick GriffinRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 11, 2013 at 9:36:03 pm

Given the fact that editing and especially mixing on headphones simply isn't viable, I would think it would be around the middle of the second day when the people in the surrounding cubicles would rise up en masse and DEMAND that you be put in a room (with walls and a door) and NOT a cubicle. Seems to me that you have a manager with little to no idea whatsoever of what goes on in an editing session. Have him or her sit in and watch and LISTEN. Let him or her hear you scrub back and forth in search of edit points for an hour or two and then decide.

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Joseph W. BourkeRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 12, 2013 at 1:05:03 am

Managers who have no idea what an editor does? Pshaw! I worked at a broadcast station for fourteen years, and the GM and the managers had no idea what the editors did!

Even the news department had no idea - I remember a news producer talking to the Promotions Editor, and saying "...what do you know, you just throw a bunch of video clips together!" Editing is like a black art - sometimes even to the editors...

Joe Bourke
Owner/Creative Director
Bourke Media

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Mark SuszkoRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 12, 2013 at 5:01:21 am

We have a mix of closed-door edit suites and a setup in out in the open with partial cube-half-walls. The guy that has to work in the open room has to jam his speakers to override all the other noises in the engineering area, and it is the suite least conducive to any kind of detail work, much less audio. Lots of foot traffic passing by at any hour of the day, all day, and a nearby door that bangs open when people enter. I work in a suite with a door, and you really need that when you're doing detailed audio work, concentrating hard on multi-layered compositing, or editing secure or "sensitive" materials.

I was working on a medical program with some very, um un-appetizing, nay, disturbing - images, with the door closed, and someone entered without knocking. They were pretty sorry for that, I can tell you: some things cannot be unseen. And no, I don;t get paid extra for that privilege. When I close the door, it isn't to make malingering easier, but for legitimate business purposes. Not to mention, trying to work with a client in close quarters, while having every collaborative conversation be overheard, as well as fighting to hear things over the noise from outside the room... ugh.

Good luck getting your cube-centric boss to understand this, unless you can put him/her in your shoes for a day. Maybe argue that editing in the open means everybody knows the company's business plans before we're even done polishing stuff and getting approvals. Or bring an end client to the suite as it is, and let them do the complaining for you.

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Joe KnappRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 19, 2013 at 1:58:11 am

Thanks for the replies, guys. And, yes, my boss's boss thought I could just "throw on some headphones"...sadly, because I'm currently doing that in a room with another person.

As it stands, I have a few points:
1) audio/noise problem (my speakers will bug everyone, and their noise will disturb my narrations & audio mixing)
2) lack of collaborative space (hard to work w/ an editor, if you have to squeeze into a cube)
3) no desk space to fit all my equipment (did I mention that I'm the photog, too?)
4) fluorescent lights throw my color judgement off.

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charles meadowsRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 12, 2013 at 3:56:18 pm

Wow tough. All the best with it, I'd tell your boss "no way".

"There's no point in filming if you don't have fun"
Charles Meadows
Creative Director
Incubate Productions South Africa

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Bill DavisRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 12, 2013 at 5:46:27 pm


"Boss, that's GREAT! I'm really tired of being stuck in an isolated room alone having my brain turned to mush by the loudspeakers and being the ONLY one who can see and hear all the companies videos as I perfect the same parts over and over and over again. I think it's going to be GREAT to be out in a cubicle where everyone in the whole shop can see and hear what I'm working on. Hey, I bet that will encourage them to stop what they're doing and visit my cubicle all the time! Thats really going to help me bond with my fellow employees and I bet I become the most popular guy on the floor. And don't worry, I'll be totally happy to explain to every one of them who comes to watch stuff over my cubical wall - exactly what I'm doing and how everything works. I bet constant feedback fro everyone who walks by while our business videos are "in process" will make them a lot better. I guess we should probably revisit my evaluation specs to add time for this new stuff and adjust my productivity metrics down a bit to accommodate the new "team building" focus of my job - but I'm totally on board!"


Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.

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Mark SuszkoRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 12, 2013 at 7:27:46 pm

Seriously, management that's this thick isn't likely to care what's hard for you to live with in the first place... what MIGHT get their attention is if the clients start to complain.

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Joe KnappRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 19, 2013 at 1:59:05 am

I love it! Might have to run it through the Anti-Sarcasm plug-in, though. :)

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Kylee PeñaRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Mar 19, 2013 at 12:51:19 pm

I've edited in a cubicle with headphones for about four years. In the middle of what is most easily described as a call center with about 20 people on phones all day when they aren't yelling at each other.

I have two things to say about it:

1) I cannot recommend it.

That said, I've learned to tune out all the noise and I've made some awesome stuff anyway, in my opinion. Proper audio mixing is by far the most frustrating aspect. Nothing compares to my productivity in a quiet room with proper monitoring, though.

twitter: @kyl33t

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Max PalmerRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Jun 6, 2013 at 8:18:56 pm

I work at a large financial corporation, and I started here doing nothing but print design. But my background enabled me to be THE video guy in my business unit, and I'm still in the same kind of 8x8 cubicle as when I started. Although now I have a newer machine, dual cinema displays, a set of headphones, and a few external drives. I do everything from reviewing footage, to cutting, to titling and motion graphics, and any sort of chroma-keying and any sort of color correcting I need to do for my projects. I'm not a master at a lot of it, but I'm essentially a one-man shop. I don't have any specialty external devices such as a true field monitor or soundproofing. Nobody around here gets their own office unless they're above a certain paygrade. ;-)

I do want to echo what other people on here are saying about audio editing. It's terrible to do on headphones (not that I have a choice) and I always have to work extra hard to produce content with balanced sound mixing.

So yes, us cubicle-dwelling video people do exist, and we do what we can.

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Corbin GrossRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Jul 2, 2013 at 4:55:16 pm

Hey, guys. I'm one of those in-house photographer/videographer combo guys in a cubicle as well. It's kind of hilarious actually.

We recently moved into a new building. I knew I wasn't going to get an editing room, because to a non-editor it would be almost indistinguishable from an "office", and they can't just go giving anybody an office. So repeatedly recommended that they put me at the far edge of the cubicles in our department. Today I sit dead center. Seriously. The whole isle pretty much just walks out for a 10 minute break when the see a few people come over to review a piece with me.

My boss super awesome, but her hands are completely tied as to whom sits where. I get constant complaints from those around me. They're all really cool about it, not complaining to me directly, just asking nicely when it's crunch time or things get too loud, but it's widely recognized as insanity to put a cubicle editing suite in the middle of a busy room. However, the people who actually decide where people sit don't have any idea of what people do or what their needs might be, and so far have been unwilling to consider the editor's noise and an issue.

I've found that while I'm challenged by location, as are those around me, there are likely bigger fish to fry for the MGMT. I try not to make a stink and I try to be super flexible. I'm in house, so I make many compromises to have somebody else's signature on my paycheck. I'm no business man, and I don't want the headache of tracking down clients and marketing and fixing my computer, so I sit in a cube and use older equipment than I'd like, but I'm compensated fairly and my employment is pretty secure.

All that to say, depending on spacial requirements, content security, and the reaction management has to deal with when the other employees see somebody in an "office" are just a few of the things the bosses have to deal with when they put us in cubicles. I konw what I would do if I were running the joint, but there would be no joint to come back to if somebody were foolish enough to put me in charge. I don't want that job, yuck, so I pretty much do what I'm told until it's absolutely necessary to make a change.

Corbin Gross | SANMAR
Photographer/Videographer | Marketing
22833 SE Black Nugget Road | Issaquah, WA 98029
206.727.5501 x5237

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Margot KellyRe: In-house a cubicle?
by on Jul 8, 2013 at 2:30:34 am

It is very important that there is a space where you and your colleagues can review the edit together. Would this be viable in the set up you have? Our edit suites have synced hard drives which means each edit can be accesses on a computer in a separate room with a large screen. This could be something worth investigating? I'd say discuss this with your boss A LOT before the move.

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