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What do they call you?

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Mark Suszko
What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:06:49 pm

I used to just shrug it off when people introducing me in work settings couldn't quite name my job and would describe me to the person being introduced as "video guy", "camera man", "the TV person", etc.

Well, I was working with some pros in a project and noticed I was getting treated pretty shabbily, like a juvenile without any input in the process, until I stopped the semi-denigrating nicknaming of my job mid-sentence durng yet another introduction and said: "Actually, you can call me the Director of the video project, because I am one. I went to school and have awards and everything".

I was going to say Producer, which I am too, and Editor, and etc. etc. but lay people don't know what a Producer is, though they have generally formed some individual concept that a Director gets awards and gets to shout at other people on a set and be all "artistic". Lay people consider Director the top of the film-making pyramid.

Anyway, that little perceptual shift sopend doors for me and got me deference and cooperation where before, my inquiries about facets of the location work were left unanswered as if they were minor details.

I am curious about how you folks let yourselves be identified when being introduced, or when introducing yourselves. No offense to my awesome COW friend Grinner, who I'm sure would be happy with "Video dood", long as the checks are good, but "Video Guy" in many professional settings sounds like "Pizza Guy" or "A.V.-cart-pushing projector guy".

I think we should not be afraid to own the awesomeness of our job titles when we earn them. You?


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Rich Rubasch
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:12:08 pm

Things I've been called...

Colonel Cut
Keyframe Artist
My Boss
Dude
Graphinator
Tilt
Dad

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production and Post
Owner/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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Todd Terry
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:20:32 pm

I'm usually introduced to clients either as the "director," or "creative director." They are fairly interchangeable, although I think I'm more often introduced as creative director if our company is responsible for all of a project (concept on up). I'm usually introduced as "director" if, for example, we are working with an ad agency and producing from their script and concept.

My business cards say "Creative Director."

My tax returns say "Corporation President," but I'm fairly never referred to as such. We've had clients much after the fact, and much to their surprise, discovered I was the president, founder, and principal owner of the joint. Since I'm rarely at their first meeting and dress a bit like Kramer in cargo shorts, I think they often think I'm just a hired gun.

We have a freelancer that we hire on occasion to grip on shoots, etc.... and a long time ago I told him to refer to me as "Captain My Captain." A joke, of course... but he called me that then, and sometimes he still does.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Glen Montgomery
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:22:12 pm

I always wanted to get "Editorial Ninja" printed on my business cards, but in seriousness I just say Video Editor.

Editor / Motion Graphics Artist
http://www.GlenMontgomeryIII.com


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walter biscardi
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:33:03 pm

[Mark Suszko] "I think we should not be afraid to own the awesomeness of our job titles when we earn them. You?"

My title is Creative Genius. That's what it says on my business cards.

It used to be Creative Director but after watching Wil E Coyote hand his business card with "Genius" to Bugs Bunny, I immediately changed it and have had that title going on 5 years now....

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Mark Suszko
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:39:55 pm

So, would you be insulted by the monniker "Video guy"?


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walter biscardi
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:05:29 pm

[Mark Suszko] "So, would you be insulted by the monniker "Video guy"?"

Ted Turner used to introduce the Edit Pool as "These guys do video" when he gave tours of CNN. That was always good for a laugh. Still the best boss I ever worked for....

Walter Biscardi, Jr.
Editor, Colorist, Director, Writer, Consultant, Author, Chef.
HD Post and Production
Biscardi Creative Media

"Foul Water, Fiery Serpent" featuring Sigourney Weaver coming soon.

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Mike Cohen
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 7:44:57 pm

I think "Director" or "Producer" are best if you will be giving other people, er, direction, and they need to know what your role is.

But it is true, lay people do not know what different job titles mean. People always ask me what a key grip does. I reply, "The Key Grip is like a Clapper Loader only closer to a Gaffer and less like a Best Boy" which gives a good laugh without giving any useful information!

I have been called "miracle worker" and "MacGyver".

I like to quote Al Pacino from Scent of a Woman "I'm in the amazing business!"


Mike Cohen
Problem Solver
Solution Provider


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Mark Suszko
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:49:12 pm

"They call me MISTER Tibbs!"

(Had to get that out of the way.)


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Bill Davis
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:59:47 pm

"Hi, I'm Bill. I own the company that's producing your video."

In my experience, that introduction establishes that I'm qualified to toss my 2 cents in on ANY subject at hand from budget to wardrobe. Credibility with the others on-set, in pre, and in post has to be earned by my asking intelligent questions and making intelligent comments that are experientially based - as opposed to theoretical or formed by WATCHING content.

But in capitalist culture - nothing trumps OWNER. Period.

FCP since NAB 1999
creator: muti-track movies
http://www.starteditingnow.com


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Nick Griffin
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 10:03:57 pm

[Mark Suszko] ""They call me MISTER Tibbs!"

(Had to get that out of the way.)"



Just don't call me late to dinner.

(Had to get that out of the way, too.)

Being the "Griffin" in Griffin Communications makes it fairly clear where I fall in the pecking order, but the real "tell" is how you act whether its on set, in the edit suite or in their conference room. And while I like the shorts and Hawaiian shirts 90% of the time, the $2,000 custom-made suits at meeting time also set the tone for who's who. It's also very helpful to position oneself as a peer of, not beneath, the top executives.

But that's just what works for me. Your mileage may vary. Member FDIC.


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Scott Sheriff
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 8:59:29 pm

I think it depends on what you do. For those that only edit, I think 'Editor', is appropriate. Even if you do VFX/MoGraphs, I think it gives a general idea of where your at.
Even though I Produce, I mostly Direct. Either single camera, or sitting in the truck behind the switcher. My editing is often an extension of that work, so I go by the term 'Director'. It's simple, and best describes what I do, live or in post.
I stay away from the term 'Creative Director', since at a lot of broadcast and ad houses, this is often a promotional type of job associated with contests and events.
Is the term 'video guy' offensive? Maybe. Disrespectful, probably. Unprofessional, definitely. I wonder if the head controller would like to be introduced as 'the money guy', Producer as 'the paperwork guy', or the GSM as 'the sales guy'.

Mark
"I used to just shrug it off when people introducing me in work settings couldn't quite name my job and would describe me to the person being introduced as "video guy", "camera man", "the TV person", etc."


Perhaps the best way to avoid this is to be proactive, and introduce yourself with your preferred salutation.
If that is not an option, I usually just correct it right away. Firmly, but polite. As a Director, I don't have a problem establishing my territory, and putting the kibosh on that 'video guy' nonsense is a good place to start.
So it would go like this.
AE to 'Bob the Client': "Bob, I'd like you to meet Mark, our video guru."
Mark: "Bob, its nice to be working with you. Actually, I'm your Director, and I'll be guiding your project through the production phase."
Then you shake hands and hand Bob your card with your preferred title on it. Now Bob knows your in charge, and feels confident that his project is being managed by a professional.

Scott Sheriff
Director
SST Digital Media
http://www.sstdigitalmedia.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:13:43 pm

People are always looking for a shorthand to describe our jobs, which are usually multifacted. My biz card just says "videographer", and many days that's all I am/do. But I would go broke trying to customize a card for every function I do, and lumping them all on one card like a Chinease menu looks like trying too hard to impress.

The Apple folks like to play with titkes, I think Jobs' title at one time was "Evangelist". OF course, when you own the company, you can call yourself whatever the heck you like:-)


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Matt Townley
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 13, 2010 at 9:19:47 pm

I have a few clients at large companies who forgo titles altogether. Instead, their biz cards have their name and a department, ie:

Joe Bob
Policy, Government & Public Affairs

I see this trend at more and more companies. As people's jobs take on more and more responsibilities, deep and wide, it's often hard to have a title that concisely explains what they do.


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Shane Ross
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 14, 2010 at 12:57:25 am

Well, I am still called the same boring thing mostly... "Editor." Because that's what I do. And Colorist (even though I am not), Finishing Editor, Online Editor...edit monkey.

But, lately someone else has started calling me a "post problem solver." Because I have come to know more than one edit system (starting to try to figure out a third)...and given the deliverables, and the shooting formats, I can figure out the best way to get from A to Z. Or, if handed a dilemma...a pickle someone has gotten themselves into, I can figure out how to eat their way out of the pickle. Most of the time.

So I like that. Post Problem Solver. Although I would like a better way of putting it.

Shane



GETTING ORGANIZED WITH FINAL CUT PRO DVD...don't miss it.
Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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Stephen Smith
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 15, 2010 at 5:21:29 pm

I think you should go with, "Global Lead Communications Director of Marketing, Branding and Video Solutions for ACME incorporated formally know as video guy." I would add Creative into the title but that would make it to long :-)
In all seriousness, I"ve done videos where I had to Lower Third people with longer titles then the one above.

Stephen Smith
Utah Video Productions

Check out my Motion Training DVD

Check out my Motion Tutorials


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Mark Suszko
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 15, 2010 at 5:52:41 pm

I have found when making lower thirds from business cards that the LOWER your name on the corporate totem pole, the longer your title usually gets.

CEO
President
Vice President
Assistant Vice President
Deputy Assistant Vice President
Deputy Assistant Vice President for xyz Affairs...

And don't get me started with the degrees. Or degree-like acronyms that sound like degrees, but just mean "certified something-or-other".


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Cory Petkovsek
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:12:54 am

Yes, client perception is important! "Video guy" suggests a very casual or unimportant attitude around your role. I think you are right to very politely and confidently correct those introducing you. A "videographer" does weddings in my opinion, so I will correct others when they refer to me as such.

Scott Sheriff
I think it depends on what you do.

Totally agree!

When I produce and direct films/movies, I'm the director. For corporate video I produce. Whether I also run the camera or move lights or edit or do vfx is irrelevant, my producer title supersedes everything. I'd never put producer/director/writer/dp/editor/vfx on my card. My business card says producer. My website says producer and creative director only to differentiate myself higher than my other producers.

Mark Suszko
OF course, when you own the company, you can call yourself whatever the heck you like:-)

Yes, and I've seen a lot of tacky titles that communicate one is a new business, or a tiny one person shop. I would never any more put owner, ceo or president on my card unless I had at least 30 employees and were well established. Again client perception is everything and I don't want a lead discounting my business in those first few seconds because of something so small and easily corrected. Just looked through a large stack of cards on my desk; I would put owner for a restaurant, or a local well known brick and mortar store, but that's about it.

Cory

--
Cory Petkovsek
Corporate Video
http://www.CorporateVideoSD.com


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Jenny Veile
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 16, 2010 at 1:23:31 am

Personally, I wouldn't like being called the "video guy" since I am a woman! When doing video work I tend to call myself a "videographer" since I rarely only do one aspect and that feels like a nice catch-all title, and it sounds professional.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: What do they call you?
on Sep 17, 2010 at 1:25:08 am

They call me tater salad.

3.2GHz 8-core, FCP 6.0.4, 10.5.5
Blackmagic Multibridge Eclipse (6.8.1)



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