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End of Year Activities

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Mike CohenEnd of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 2:09:41 pm

As the end of the calendar year approaches, we can look back on the year passed and look to the year ahead. I usually complete a self-assessment, identifying areas for improvement, successes and learning experiences.

Oddly, much of this year's summary closely parallels the common threads on this forum:

1. Learn to manage expectations. In other words, tell your clients what they will next see from you, and what the overall end product and process will be. Failure to do so can result in excess worrying, missed opportunities, lack of communication and missing details.

2. Stay organized. This goes for media assets as well as information. When dealing with a lot of media, such as for a 35 chapter CD-ROM program, devise a naming convention so you don't end up with 20 files all called "slide1.png" - in other words, be smart about organizing files. The same goes for managing the flow of information. An Excel spreadsheet or a web-based database is only as useful as the information you populate it with. Be detailed. Add information that may seem obvious, such as "client owes us the cover image" because if something like that slips through the cracks, you've got problems down the road.

3. Bring in new business. This is a big challenge for any business. But don't let talk of the economy get you down. Just get out there and sell. "But hey, I'm a video guy" you may be saying. Good point. If you are a business owner or part of a small team, you have to bring in new work. Even if you are part of a larger group, you simply represent your company with your best foot forward when you are on a shoot or in an edit session, you are still "selling" the reputation of your company. Over time, as word gets out about the great work you do, and you land a new or returning client, you have "sold" your services. See each success as positive reinforcement. Who better to "talk the talk" than the people who "walk the walk."

4. Write to Santa. When budgets permit, or necessity calls, put together your holiday wish list for items to make your life easier - aka, improve workflow and offer your clients more options for imaging and creative. 16gig flash drives and eSATA hard drives make great stocking stuffers. On my wish list this year are Adobe InDesign, a Canon EOS 7d DSLR and a Sony HVR-Z5U. I'd better send this list to Hanukkah Harry too!

Mike Cohen

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Mark SuszkoRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 3:27:29 pm

More plug-ins are excellent stocking stuffers.

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Ron LindeboomRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 3:55:51 pm

[Mark Suszko] "More plug-ins are excellent stocking stuffers."

Hot-swappable hard drives also make fabulous stocking stuffers.

Or for someone with really big feet: full fibre-networked drive arrays come in handy when you are befuddled for last minute gift ideas.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
- Gandhi

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Jeff BonanoRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:00:01 pm

I also asked Santa for new lighting equipment, and cool new green screen kit! Let's see Santa try and get these in a stocking! I'll leave out extra cookies and milk for him just in case he can do it :-)

Jeff Bonano

"I want to have a cool quote at the bottom of my signature, just like everyone else on the cow forum!" -Jeff Bonano

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Richard CooperRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:39:38 pm

My Christmas list includes an AJA Kona LHi i/o card and an FSI 17" color grading monitor...
And for my clients ;~} ... a 50" Plasma display for their viewing pleasure.

Happy Holidays everyone! Thank you for all the great advice over the last year. It has made a huge difference in my business! Which is truly all I wanted for Christmas.

Richard Cooper
FrostLine Productions, LLC
Anchorage, Alaska

Everyone has a story to tell.

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David Roth WeissRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 15, 2009 at 6:10:14 pm

[Ron Lindeboom] "Or for someone with really big feet: full fibre-networked drive arrays come in handy when you are befuddled for last minute gift ideas. "

I know it'll be hard to stuff into a stocking. but if Santa or the Chanukah bunny are listening, I need a new 8-core MacPro.

David Roth Weiss
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles


A forum host of Creative COW's Apple Final Cut Pro, Business & Marketing, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.

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Kai CheongRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:59:40 am

Got us [well, since I'm using it, me!] an early X'mas present: Magic Bullet Suite during their secret sale [40% off!].

Don't have the time to unwrap/unzip my present until way after X'mas... but with the projects we've lined up from now till mid-2010, I'm very sure I'll be neck deep in colorful sweetness all the way through.

Similar lessons and aspirations as Mike: smoother client management, stronger asset management [esp. with 5 concurrent projects that we'll be running from Jan '10] and growing the business. We're starting with expanding our team, having secured new clients and extending relationships with old ones.

2009 was a year of pushing forward and 2010 is gonna be an exciting one.

FCP Editor / Producer with Intuitive Films
Now 'LIVE'! Check Out The Intuitive Films Blog @

At Intuitive Films, We Create: TV Commercials, Documentaries, Corporate Videos and Feature Films
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MacBook Pro 2.4GHz | 4GB RAM | FCP 5.1.4 | Mac OS X 10.5.7

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Jon SchillingRe: End of Year Activities
by on Dec 17, 2009 at 10:30:40 pm

Great write up Mike, good information.

Jon Schilling | VP of Sales & Marketing
Raidon-USA Technology, Inc.
15356 East Valley Blvd., Suite B
City of Industry, CA 91746

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