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How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?

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Tim Wilson
How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 17, 2020 at 8:22:38 pm

The news has been so full of "okay, everybody's working at home" or "everybody SHOULD work at home" that it's easy to forget that not everyone in the world of video production has been granted this option. This post on Twitter yesterday really jumped out at me. Brit DeLillo is an editor who's assisted on pictures including Once Upon A Time In Hollywood and Birds of Prey:



(And yes, that was my edit to her tweet.)

She brings up a limitation that many of you have mentioned re: remote workflows, that the security needs of your projects won't allow it.



And the kicker for the project she's working on right now:



Please don't make this thread about judging her or Warner Bros. I'm just raising it to illustrate that it's abundantly clear that not everybody's experience fits into the convenient narrative that we're all going to stay home and wait this out and that everything will work out fine.

The additional question is, even for the folks who can work from home, or who have paid leave, what's waiting on the other side? Vulture (the pop culture site for New York Magazine) spoke to a number of showrunners who are all-but certain that their shows won't be reconvening to shoot suspended episodes this season. The seasons will end with whatever's in the can already, which really REALLY raises some questions for SERIES finales that haven't yet been filmed. Network TV Shows Won't Be Coming Back This Season

All of which makes "remote editing" or any kind of work from home entirely beside the point for vast swaths portions of our industry. Not a lot of cinematography happening from home at the moment (although give it time, I guess), and commercial shoots might be slowing down as companies are trying to figure out what the marketplace might look like by the time the spot airs. Live events are obviously off for a while, whether concerts or sports, which is going to have implications for news, promos, and so much more. I don't think ANYONE has really mapped out just how far this is going to reach into our industry, partly because our industry is so vast.

As a result, I'm cross-posting this in a variety of forums, covering audio, video, motion graphics, 3D, shooting, editing, and more.

So whether you're a freelancer, self-employed, corporate, worship, in EVERY aspect of the creative enterprise -- what's really truly happening with YOU? And how are you feeling about your gig's ability to weather this storm?

All perspectives are relevant here, no matter your age, experience, gender, or geography. We're all just trying to figure this out, so the more voices, the better for everyone.

Thanks,
Tim


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Shane Ross
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 17, 2020 at 10:03:57 pm

Senior Editor on THE CURSE OF OAK ISLAND.

We are here, and we are working. ALL of post is working, some of production is working, although no travel for interviews or shooting is happening. At least with Oak Island, our shooting wrapped in November, and now it's all post. But we are here, and continuing to work. No plans for the company to stop post nor some aspects of production. No plans to work from home, as we have so much footage it's unrealistic to take home (120TB for one show alone, and more on another, and three more shows in post), and setting up a server to do cloud work isn't a cost the company is ready to make.

BUT...us being editors, we are social distancing. Walk in, go to edit bay, close door. Contact via email and phone only. We clean our own bays at the end of the day. I'm home, or in my car, or at work. Period.

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


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Michael Gissing
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 17, 2020 at 11:49:20 pm

I'm in the fortunate situation that normal post for me starts with interstate and remote clients posting me a drive with media to do picture and sound post. Living in a tiny country town at the bottom of the world in Tasmania is a decision I made over a decade ago that means I always work remotely from my home. So my business is largely unaffected.

What will change is that clients mostly won't be flying in to sit in on grade & mix run throughs. I will be sending files for them to assess remotely. Again this is something I have done in the past for tight time frame deadlines anyway. Decisions my government made to roll out a slow internet will be limiting ongoing factors for me and show how short sighted governments can be.


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:31:55 am

Man, whatever they are paying the server jockeys at Netflix and Prime, it ain't enough! The growth to keep up with the increasing demand for streaming services is today's gold rush.

My work these days is largely ENG production, with webinar training production thrown in.

This week I put up a poster at work; a picture of our remote camera in the Chicago press room, 200 miles from where I wiggle the stick and push a button in a control room in Springfield. The caption: "2020 MVP Nominee".

"Kilroy" as I call the robo-cam, took years to get installed. Every time I proposed it, the answer from every single person was: "it will take away our jobs". I answered that it was a "force multiplier", enabling our crews to do other, more demanding field work at the same time as we covered press conferences. And that it could cover when a distant field operator took sick or was otherwise unavailable, say, stuck in traffic. Nobody in the shop envisioned what has happened, not even myself, but we're all very glad the camera is there now. The thing has paid for itself several times over in just the last three weeks, obviating the need to dispatch me and others on a 400-mile, eight-hour round trip to cover a 15-minute spray, or try and hire a local stringer of unknown quality and reliability. We're doing daily Covid updates to the networks with it, feeding uplinks and Facebook, and a web stream and a number of stations take that feed and turn it around for their own use. "Origato", Kilroy!

What happens after? Who knows. I don't make policy, and I'm not a soothsayer. But I know I can't edit from home without having a home based RAID to work from. I maybe could get authorized remote access to the office's archive server to pull down files to then work from locally... but that transfer speed is deadly slow and my home internet is a soda straw. Everything would have to be very tiny proxy files. I could even access the Adobe account from home if it came to it. But the security angle has already been mentioned, never mind others. Also, I'm not excited about doing work stuff on my own home machine. They'd probably need to issue me a laptop to keep things ethical. My luck is that before the curtain came down I had 99 percent of my projects done thru May. My biggest luck is, unlike some friends who will really be hurting soon, I still get paid thru all of this (Unions FTW!) I have no idea how my family'd survive without that.

I think my shopping list of things of interest for next year's NAB would include NAS solutions customized for work from home. And fly-packs of quick-setup remote stand-alone PTZ cams with reliable bonded cellular and ethernet to control the cam and get the shots back. I can imagine the fresh Newtek spam hitting my in-box in 3...2..1...:-)

Long term I think webinars are going to get a bigger focus for my customers as a way to spread information and education without spreading infection. But there are two things to consider there: the tech, certainly, but also improving production value and really using instructional design to a higher level in the planning and execution of this stuff, something I've been advocating for years. I look at "training" videos on YouTube and a large number of them are cringe-worthy, not just in production value, but in HOW they try to teach what they are teaching. The tech is the easiest part. There is still work for English Majors here, I'm sure of it.

On-the-fly captioning needs to improve and get easier and cheaper to do. AI is helping but it's not fully there yet.

One other thing: I play in a couple of hobby bands, and all our gigs and even practices have fallen thru for the season so far. The bandmates were all excited by the idea of virtual band practice using Google Hangouts, or even virtual concerts using something like Skype. I had to be the buzzkill and explain how latency and variable levels of service and bandwidth made it impractical for eleven scattered people to jam together in time, without spending a lot of money. I wish there would be an affordable answer to that, because it would help not just our stupid little ukulele band, but have massive applications across many disciplines. Including our productions.


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Oliver Peters
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:37:34 am

I work out of a small, multi-seat, creative prod/post shop as the de facto senior editor/colorist. We haven't had clients drop in to supervise sessions for at least 4 years or more. With the exception of occasional grading review sessions for small indie films, review-and-approval and even distribution has largely been online, mainly through Frame. On-prem reviews are just our own team's director and producers.

The facility has about 3/4 PB of NAS storage and a lot of ongoing b-roll footage that we tap into on every project. This means that working from home is only possible on a small handful of jobs.

The huge downside is that our biggest client is a technology/entertainment development unit within a cruise company. Needless to say, everything we were working on is on pause or being slow-rolled for now. It's only the editors who are going into the office if there are any projects to finish up or provide deliverables for. Office and support staff are working from home. So only 1 or 2 of us in the office at any given time these days. 1 editor working on a doc project for an indie film client at home.

We had several international productions on tap, but those have been postponed. So for now, we are all just crossing our fingers that the medical/governmental efforts work and this slowdown is only temporary.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Graham Quince
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:31:00 am

I work for Frog Education, an LMS provider (mainly schools) in the (mainly) UK

Before two weeks ago, our biggest challenge was from “free” services offered by leaving by MS Teams and Google Classroom. My role is to support and advise schools in how to use our product to its fullest. When Covid-19’s impact was becoming clear, we offered up our quiz system with question-bank and video lessons free to any school affected. Loads have jumped on the offer - (still open if you know a struggling school, no obligation, not a sales tactic)

Two weeks ago the phone stated ringing asking me to recommend web conferencing systems (which we don’t do directly but can integrate with). Trouble with web conf is its hard enough to get 4 people to connect with mics, headsets and bandwidth. Getting 30 kids is near impossible. Those same schools have been calling this week asking for other options. I’ve been involved in creating tools to make it easier to get started, making it so you can teach with no prep.

Several things have been really rewarding / surprising.

1) The schools using Frog well, have stepped up their game. The head teachers / principals have issued instructions/ guidance on how all remote lessons should work and what is required. One school has said there has to be homework set which involves a video, resources, task and assessment for every lesson plus homework. Another school that every lesson has to use a noticeboard to share resources (this is apparently the first time the senior leaders in school know what is in each lesson).

2) Several Trust have approached us because of the Quiz offer and said “no we need more and here’s the order for 20 schools, and we need the see the staff trained by this week”. Normally we spend a month working with a school.

3) Schools who were cancelling their contract have changed their mind and asked to renew.

I start remote working from today. I’ve done short bursts of home-based before. Because we’re web-based I can work from anywhere. I will be accessing some files via VPN. We’re using Slack for team comms. The big challenge is our telephone support. We’ve set up a redirect system for phones and schools know to email. One issue we have always had is that schools block a lot of web conf services. I have to cycle through Uber conference, jitsi, whereby etc. as they can’t install Skype or team viewer.

One tip I have picked up from a school, which is applicable to everyone. Get your network manager to disable auto-force password resets. If your network forces a password change every 6 weeks, you’ll have to visit the site to set a new one!

http://www.YouTube.com/ShiveringCactus - Free FX for amateur films
http://shiveringcactus.wordpress.com/ - FX blog


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Nuno Santos Lopes
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 6:37:05 am

Hi.
I am a Portuguese DIT that works in Portugal in the called advert "service" market, which at the moment is totally at zero movement.
Lots of jobs booked for March have been cancelled,
and all the cinema/commercial shooting industry here in Portugal is stopped, "service" or national market.
My last job was in 25 of February and since then....zero.
Now I ask, how can a DIT work from home? If a DIT works on a set....? All this situation sucks!!! I wish you all the best!!! Cheers.

Peace!
NSLopes


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Pat Horridge
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 8:05:11 am

Remote editing of secure content is possible. I've used it before but it's not ideal.
You need a fast low latency connection and then the whole NLE is driven over a VPN connection. Twin screens and no local outputs except audio. So no 3rd monitor.
So it can work.

Pat Horridge
Broadcast & Post Consultant, Trainer, Avid Certified Instructor
Free online Tutorials at VET digital media academy online http://vimeo.com/channels/752951
pat@vet.co.uk



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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) How you feeling about that?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 8:28:15 am

[Pat Horridge] "Remote editing of secure content is possible. I've used it before but it's not ideal."

I don't think the question is whether or not it's possible. The point is that for upwards of 100TB for a single episode of TV like Shane's case, it may not practical, and that in Britt's case, major studios doing blockbuster post don't care whether it's possible or practical -- it's just not going to happen, period. Nothing is worth more to them than their IP. I don't see that changing any time soon.

Getting more specific to your experience, though Pat, are you setting up companies to do this? Not that you can name names, of course, but you've been designing broadcast workflows for over 30 years, so I'm curious. What are people asking for this week, or maybe this month, that weren't part of the pre-CORVID conversation? How have pressures like social distancing or productions shutting down affected your life as a consultant?


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Morten Carlsen
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:14:18 am

Here in Germany Europe everything is closed. Offices like Post Facilities are still open which I think is fine...

I believe the chances of catching corona are bigger when grocery shopping "Imagine how many articles the guy at the register touches that has been touched by 10000 individuals per day" than catching it at Warner.

The reason for the lock down is not to prevent ONE from catching corona it is to prevent 1000 catching corona at a time as the isolation rooms in the hospitals aren't there in sufficient numbers nor are the respiratory machines.

I am a home office person but my children goes to kinder garten and my wife works in the medical sector so I am in a risk zone as well. That said, I am not more afraid of corona than of a normal Influenza which BTW kills 70.000 people per year in Germany alone

------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pro Color Monitor - Get Your Color Balance Right
Get it on the AppStore Today -- Pro Color Monitor MacAppStore


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Oliver Peters
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:37:40 pm

[Morten Carlsen] "normal Influenza which BTW kills 70.000 people per year in Germany alone"

I wouldn't be so cavalier about it just yet. Remember that based on what we know so far, COVID has a higher mortality rate by percentage, is more infectious, and survives longer in the air and on surfaces. The flu numbers are based on a full year or season. We are only at the beginning, so all the numbers aren't in yet. Not to mention that flu kills that many people in spite of vaccines and 100+ years of some level of built-up immunity as a population. None of that exists yet for COVID.

- Oliver

Oliver Peters - oliverpeters.com


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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:38:17 pm

Not to derail this thread into COVID mortality rates, but this is something we're watching carefully, as we have several severely immunocompromised folks both in the house and in our extended family.

Worldometers.info is one of my favorite sites on the web. They count stuff. How many people born today, how many died, how many bicycles manufactured, how many Tweets, how many cellphones sold, you name it -- all updated in real time. It's wild, and wildly addicting candy for stats nerds.

I can't emphasize enough the extent to which I have no political stake in this conversation. I really don't. I've spent most of my life as a stats nerd. I studied sociology and anthropology as both an undergrad and a grad student. Give me the numbers and keep your politics to yourself, because if there's one thing I've learned as I enter my seventh decade on this shiny blue ball, the numbers have more to tell me than anybody's politics.

Anyway, Worldometer.info has a couple of pages for COVID, and they're just numbers. That's all. Numbers. It's your job to draw the conclusions, and I can tell you, looking at the numbers, people are drawing conclusions that are at best incomplete.

Like we've all heard something like mortality rates of 3%, but that's as a percentage of everyone who's gotten it. And btw, that number is going up. Yesterday it was 3%, today it's s 3.4%, and that's
up from 2% when I first started watching this page. But still, because it's so early on, most of the people who have coronavirus still don't know it, and most of the ones we know have it, well, whatever else we know, we know that they're more likely to recover than not.

BUT.

What's staggering is when you look at the numbers for CLOSED cases. One outcome or the other has been achieved. Cured or dead. The good news is that yeah, most people recover. But when you look at the mortality rate for CLOSED cases, it's 10%!!!! Not 2 or 3 percent. TEN.

And that number is going UP! It was just over 9 yesterday. We're not getting any better whatsoever at saving people who have it, which is why the emphasis is so strong on stopping the spread.

(btw, compare this to .002% for swine flu, which is more virulent than the typical seasonal variety. COVID-19 is not that.)

You've probably also heard that the real trigger is underlying conditions, and yes, that's absolutely true. No underlying conditions = mortality rate of .9%. Not bad! Under one percent.

But what are some of the conditions that are problems?

Being male is one of 'em. Ooops. If you're a male, older than age 9, you're already higher than the average rate, at 4.7% mortality, and going up as you age. By the time you hit 70, it's over 8% -- a number which still includes women, who are dying at about half the rate men are....but it's still higher than average in your 40s and 50s.

You've surely also heard that cancer is an underlying condition that's increasing coronavirus mortality, right? Yes, of course: 7.6%. But you know what's even more dangerous than cancer? HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE + coronavirus is DEADLIER THAN CANCER + coronavirus, at 8.4%.

Respiratory ailments including asthma: 8.2%
Diabetes: 9.2%. (This number is one of the few going down, but then again, millions of people with diabetes don't know they have it. Are you SURE you don't?)
Cardiovascular disease: 13.2%.

Some forums at the COW skew older than others, but our average here is just under 30. Folks around that age and younger (Millenial and Gen-Z for those keeping score) have wrapped their heads around the idea that healthy people, lower-risk people, are isolating themselves so that they won't become vectors carrying the disease to more vulnerable people -- which include all men, anyone in their 40s and up, anyone with diabetes, asthma, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE....

....oh yeah, and if you take corticosteroids for rheumatoid arthritis or a variety of common allergies, you're compromised. If you take anticonvulsants (epilepsy and bipolar), you're compromised. Says right there on the label, and whispered in the "fine print" sections of all those commercials.

Again, I'm not wanting to derail this very productive conversation about our lives in this industry, but especially as a community just over half of whose visitors are men (even if more like two-thirds of our posters are men) and are disinclined to contemplate our mortality, the numbers are vastly more serious than you've considered.

No need to panic, though. I'll take 9 out of 10 odds for anything you care to throw at me. Some folks are talking about vaccines by June. This isn't the end of the world. But it can be the end of YOU or someone you love if you're not paying attention or treating this like it's the same as the flu.

Returning you to talking more about work than life and death, even if the three are a bit tangled up for me just now. :-)


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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:54:10 pm
Last Edited By greg janza on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:07:24 pm

[Tim Wilson] "if there's one thing I've learned as I enter my seventh decade on this shiny blue ball, the numbers have more to tell me than anybody's politics."

Thanks Tim. And for those that need charts to back up the numbers, this article seems to do a good job of laying out what the U.S. is about to face.

https://t.co/6hX74wiZgF?amp=1


https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Michael Slowe
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Apr 1, 2020 at 3:08:32 pm

Tim, I guess that I'm really f....d, 85 years old ! I'm cutting a complicated doc at home, Media 100 of course and want to get it done before I die. Mind you, I'm pretty fit, two hard gym sessions a week for thirty plus years bu, as you say, the odds are against me. See isolating but for how long, this darn thing is going to go on for ever it seems, at least until we get a vaccine, and then there'll be a scramble for it. Never mind, the art is the thing.

Michael Slowe


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Bob Zelin
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:11:42 pm

well, I agree with you 100% Mr. Slowe, but I don't think that Creative Cow management appreciates my controversial opinion, so I am being reserved. I am responding because you said "never mind, the art is the thing".
If there is no TV production, no new films, no new documentaries, no new live or recorded music, no live performances of music, dance, etc. - no sports, no public interaction, no conventions, no bars, no restaurants, no theme parks, etc, etc. BUT WE ARE ALL STILL ALIVE - then who cares anyway.

If we ever get out of this situation, there is one thing I have learned about all "the new stuff", like 3D, HDR, etc. Remote access, remote editing, remote production will without question (in my opinion) become the hot "new thing" - and will completely take off. Of course, we are all at the mercy of the Internet Service Providers (who are not financially suffering during this time period).

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Steve Kownacki
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 12:05:46 pm

About 18 months ago I pivoted from scripted production to live event work and conferences. Audio, video, lighting, staging, recording and streaming. Full plate until March 9 when the phone started ringing off the hook... with cancellations of every project until June. Gulp. Good thing I know about streaming. It took a week, but the phone's ringing again (not crazy though) and we're transitioning those events to virtual events. Here in PA, everything "non-essential" is shut down, but private businesses are doing a combo of work from home and the office. We go in and work with their skeleton staff and no audience, but put on all levels of conferences. Lots of breakouts with death by powerpoint, but they are putting effort into general/plenary sessions to not just be a guy at a webcam - almost getting to full, multi-cam production for them. Some presenters are remote. It's all over the place, literally, where feeds may come from and the quality of one feed to the next.

I'm VERY worried about the internet and if it will sustain this sudden burst. Some experts say it was built for it and no worries. So why is my fios at home so laggy lately? I use a bonded LTE router for data redundancy. Cool how I've been an IT nerd with managed switches and NDI video over the last week.

Fortunately for me, I'm weathering OK at the moment. But without live events, I'm not hiring much crew if any. I truly feel for everyone.

Here's a link to an Events Industry bailout petition if you care to read and sign.

Try to stay healthy. Maybe we need to unplug 2020 and reboot.

Steve





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Herb Sevush
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:00:05 pm

I'm working concurrently on two PBS cooking shows with a small team of editors, one in Pennsylvania, one in New York, and two in Boston. We each have duplicate raids for each series (32 TB and 24 TB) and swap project files (Ppro and AE) as needed . We upload our cuts to Kollaborate, where the producers, who work out of the main office in Boston, review and post their notes.

As of today the Boston office is closed and all the producers are working from home. From the perspective of our editorial workflow there has been no change to our output or efficiency. We have been working this way for many years, and I have been editing at home for the majority of the last 30 years.

On the other hand I am also the Director of these shows, and originally we were scheduled for a 3 week shoot starting in May, with rehearsals and meetings scattered throughout March & April, all of this at the Boston main office where we shoot our shows. First we cancelled all the March rehearsals and then as of yesterday we postponed the shoot for 3 weeks. I'm guessing this will not be the last postponement.

With a stay at home population desperate for entertainment and distraction, I'm fairly confident that these shows will get made sooner rather than later. As an out of shape and overweight elder I'm hoping that I will be available when the call comes. As the husband of a hospice nurse who cares for those most susceptible to this virus, and an idiot son who is staying in NYC rather than coming upstate to live with me out of fear of getting me sick, I have bigger worries to think about.

As for the future, I believe in de-centralized editing, as long as you can trust your editors. Production, by it's nature, cannot be anything but a high contact sport. Content is in demand, money is honey, and if they had TV during the bubonic plague you would find newsmen/women out in the field covering it. With garlic around their necks.

Good luck to us all, and I think everything will work out fine (the virus is not the plague.)

Herb Sevush
Zebra Productions
---------------------------
nothin' attached to nothin'
"Deciding the spine is the process of editing" F. Bieberkopf


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Warren Eig
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 1:43:12 pm

Work has virtually stopped for me in Los Angeles. I wrapped a show in February but nothing is starting up and all production has completely halted.

It's not looking good.

Warren Eig
O (424) 293-1164


email: info@babyboompictures.com
website: http://www.BabyBoomPictures.com
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/babyboompictures



For Camera Accessories - Monitors and Batteries
website: http://www.EigRig.com



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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 3:25:01 pm

For the past year I've been a full time contract editor for the in-house agency of one of the tech titans. The on-set of the coronavirus coincided with the expiration of my one year contract and so I've returned to working on freelance projects from home.

Meanwhile, the in-house agency has shifted to all remote work for it's team and all productions have been put on hold so post has primarily ground to a halt for them.

I had a stable of corporate production clients before signing on for the one year contract and so I feel lucky in that I was able to return to those clients. I'm currently working on two projects at home and I've recently been contacted to potentially sign on for a large virtual conference project.

I feel for the folks in tv and film since remote working just isn't possible.

I agree with Tim that the repercussions of this pandemic will be large for our industry. Once we get a handle on the virus and return to work, the ramping up of production will take time and for post folks there'll be a period of little or no work.

What should be discussed openly is how best to cope with that down period. I'm old enough to have experienced the economic pain of 911 (as well as the emotional of course) and more recently the 2008 crash. I was a full-time freelancer during both of those periods and it was very challenging to keep working and to stay positive and calm.

If I've learned anything over the years, it's that these periods will eventually pass and life will get better. If you're a full time freelancer it's imperative to have a solid rainy day fund (3-6 months of savings for monthly expenses.) Have trust in your skills and your network. And in the interim period before things get better, try to enjoy life. Go do things that take your mind off of the situation and which release stress - hike, bike, golf, etc. Staring endlessly at your computer monitor scouring job boards will only lead to depression and crippling anxiety.

This is truly uncharted territory for us as a nation and the world but I have confidence in that old adage, "This too shall pass."

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Alex Printz
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 2:41:28 pm

I work as video/mograph expert for a medium international company - luckily I was able to transition my motion graphics from onsite to home from personal effort prior to COVID-19 outbreak becoming reality. Three months ago I built a PC system that is equivalent the one I use at the office and I was able to mirror all my work files to a offsite backup service prior to all of this happening.

It amazes me that IT was upset that I was taking on responsibility and preemptive-ness with backing up and mirroring my work so that I could work from home whenever I choose, and now it's saved my own ass and is letting me work at 90% efficiency when most of my colleagues are caught off guard and IT can't give me the time of day they're so busy.

Alex Printz
Mograph Designer


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Chee Wee Tan
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 3:18:23 pm

I have been working from a room at home for 2 decades this year, when I am free, I also freelance for events as video operator or power-point operator here in Singapore.

Just before this virus hit, a fellow friend recommended me to news editing which I do on an ad hoc basis. As you can imagine, I am busier than ever. The event work has virtually stop here in Singapore, many freelancer are out of work and I heard production people are hard hit as well.

I also have project lined up till August and will be very busy till then. Decision to work from home 20years ago to save on transportation and sleep longer before walking a few steps to work has paid off.

When I am free, I go shooting some B-roll and hope I can sell them to news outlet. Finger cross.

Budget always not enuff.
http://www.dogbonepost.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:26:30 pm

I'm seeing an urgent need for a secure telemedicine phone/tablet app so doctors and therapists can see patients virtually. Facetime would do it but it has to be secure. I see an instant booming market for this particular kind of thing. And it's needed: therapists and such should be able to work remotely with patients and that's especially useful in a stressful time like this. They shouldn't have to go to an office just to facetime with a patient. And the more remote facetime-like diagnosis for Covid we can do, the more we can reduce the influx on hospitals.


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Sharon Stiles
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:47:34 pm

There is a secure online service which has been around for quite a few years - VSee has all the privacy credentials. The requirements in the US I think have just been reduced for the moment to allow Skype and Zoom calls as well. As well as editing I also work as a hypnotist and have been seeing clients online for years. The Scottish Highlands also started using telemedicine several years ago.


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Michael Szalapski
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:38:05 pm

It's a reality that, for some of us, working from home just simply isn't an option.

I do 3d animation and motion graphics. I do a bit of that on the side which I've always done from home, but my full time gig involves work that is, in some cases, literally classified. As the COVID-19 issue heats up and becomes unavoidable, we've been having meetings and discussions on what things we might be able to do from home and the answer is "not much". Even if a project isn't sensitive at all, there are rules against moving assets off of the secure server to a different system and it makes things very complicated for any attempt to work elsewhere.

We can be a bit flexible in taking some "training time" to go through some of those tutorial series we've been putting off. (Like Division 05's excellent master classes and full courses.) But we only get allotted a certain amount of time for that.

Otherwise, I guess we can try to offset our schedules a bit so we overlap as little as possible. Otherwise, there's not much else we can do.

This is an unprecedented situation.

But we've faced unprecedented situations before. When 9-11 came, our whole country shut down for a little while. Planes were grounded, events were canceled, etc., but most of us survived it. As it faded into the past, we adapted to a new normal and that is what will happen again. What sort of long-term changes to our daily lives are brought about by this pandemic is currently unknown. Maybe, once this is all over, we'll avoid handshakes and just opt for bowing like they do in Japan - who knows?

The best advice I can offer is to stay calm, take all necessary precautions, and then live your life as best you can. Or, to borrow from Frozen II, don't obsess about the difficulty of planning too far into the future, just do the next right thing.

- The Great Szalam
(The 'Great' stands for 'Not So Great, in fact, Extremely Humble')

No trees were harmed in the creation of this message, but several thousand electrons were mildly inconvenienced.


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Shawn Miller
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:31:58 pm
Last Edited By Shawn Miller on Mar 18, 2020 at 10:59:54 pm

I'm a staff video producer here in Seattle, WA. My company is a medium-sized B2B technology consulting firm with offices all over the globe. My workdays can vary wildly from week to week. Sometimes, I edit footage from international vendors, and sometimes I shoot materials for agencies that are working with other groups in the company. However, for most of my projects, I handle everything from shoot to finish (motion graphics, audio sweetening, color grading, etc.). I also edit a lot of self-shot videos from co-workers and executive types.

Before corvid-19 hit the Seattle area, I was supposed to cover events for International Women's Day, shoot some interviews in a couple of high schools and conduct some interviews for our companies 20th-anniversary celebration. All of those activities are now off the table. Following in the footsteps of every other tech company, we are now on voluntary quarantine, and all workers are encouraged to work remotely and practice social distancing.

In the past week and a half, I've had a few interviews in the office, so working from home wasn't an option. While coming in for these shoots, I noticed that there weren't many people in the building, so I just kept coming in (to edit). There have been a few days where I haven't seen another soul on my floor, so I've felt pretty safe working here. I still practice good hygiene habits (washing hands thoroughly and frequently, wiping down work surfaces, not touching my face, etc.), and I've been backing my work up on a portable hard drive every night, in case the city goes on lock-down.

I have a powerful workstation at home, so it wouldn't be hard to do the same work there as I do in the office, but my ISP is Comcast, so I would miss the stable and reliable high-speed internet connection that I enjoy at work.

[EDIT] I meant to sum this up by answering one of the questions in the headline... how is business? It doesn't seem to be slowing down yet. As people in other parts of the company look for ways to engage with the rest of the business, and share information in more intimate and immediate ways than newsletters and mass emails, I imagine they'll turn to producing more self shot videos and podcasts. I think there's going to be a lot to do in the months ahead.

Shawn



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Bob Zelin
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 18, 2020 at 11:45:29 pm

Well, I am the crazy one in this group, and my mindset is nothing like most of you. My hero's are people like video trade author Bob Turner, storage pioneer Charles McConathy who started ProMAX, and Jack Calaway who was instrumental in helping start ISC, which became the GVG Edit Controller, and Calaway Editing.
These men DIED for our business. This was their life. They had assorted horrible health problems, and they KEPT GOING, until death. . I always tell everyone that my dream is to be at some expensive steak house in Las Vegas during NAB, and I have "the big one" - and my face lands in the plate of steak and mashed potatoes with gravy. That will be the last image of me for anyone, for eternity. Bob, dead, with gravy all over his face.

I have been moderately busy, but my business these days involves isolation (not voluntarily) with clients all over the world, while I use http://www.teamviewer.com to remote into clients to resolve their editing and storage issues. I currently live in tourist town Orlando, Florida, and I have no fear of Coronavirus. I just cancelled my Las Vegas reservations today, and only because everything is closed in Las Vegas. I had the tickets - I would have gone anyway.

At this point - I realize - all that matters is what we do - we make television, films, movies, etc.
And I have the same feeling toward people in the audio industry. That is life. That is what is important in life. If "we" didn't exist (the musicians, the actors, the writers, the dancers, directors, composers, the set designers, the wardrobe people, the audio mixers, the cameramen, the grips, the gaffers, the craft service people, and of course, the editors, color graders, assistants, graphics artists, 3D animators, etc, etc) - well, we would all be living in a cave, hunting for fish and squirrels, and trying to make the best of it. If there is no "entertainment" there is no life.

If everyone involved in the entertainment industry was involved in finding the cure for cancer, we would all be healthy, and we would all be miserable. We are what makes the world go around.
So stop all this whining, and get back to work.

Bob

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Steve Connor
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:13:33 am

[Bob Zelin] "I have no fear of Coronavirus. I just cancelled my Las Vegas reservations today, and only because everything is closed in Las Vegas. I had the tickets - I would have gone anyway. "

Good for you and presumably you have no fear of spreading the virus to other people too?


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Mark Smith
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:20:50 am

I’m ore in the shooting end than post but do some post. THe shooting end is dead for me - everything has been cancelled for the foreseeable future. There is a little bit of post in my pipeline but its for a biz client that has been shutdown along with a lot of other businesses by local order, so that project is in limbo.
I think we’re in a long haul situation at least in the NYC/ northeast . I’m still open for business, but basically zero happening where I am.


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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:27:53 am

[Bob Zelin] "So stop all this whining, and get back to work."

This is seriously deranged, even for you. Almost everyone on this thread IS working, and the ones who aren't working aren't working because the job is gone. It's just not there. There's no more need to sniff around a movie set looking for DIT work than there is to fly to Las Vegas to look at vendors displays. There will be no postproduction equipment vendor displays to look at in Las Vegas in April, and there may not be a movie being shot anywhere in the world for considerably longer after that.

I also resent you bringing up Bob Turner in the way you did, and I know he'd have hated it too. I'm surely the last industry guy to visit Bob at his home in Scituate, MA before he passed away. I drove down from Avid's headquarters (then in Tewksbury) from my home in a Boston with a full Avid Xpress Studio for him, with the Pro Tools hardware. I spent the day setting it up for him, and he died very shortly after that, before he could write anything up. I had a lovely day with him and his wife, and I can tell you for a fact that if he thought he could have lived one more day by stopping work, he'd have given up every moment in his career in a heartbeat.

What the hell do you think we talked about all day? THIS. Yeah, storytellers are the reason we don't live in caves, but dying stinks, and dying early for the job is obscene.

(Shocking to me now to recall that he was only 54, quite a bit younger than many folks here.)

Look, if you want to die, nobody's stopping you. It might be nice if you didn't kill anyone else who might care to stay alive. It might also be really nice if you could at least bother to read the posts you're replying to, becauses not one person here wants to be out of work or even underworked. We're all here because we're more alike than not in wanting to go until we drop....but if there's nowhere to go, there's nowhere to go.

Teamviewer is a nice tip, though. Thanks for that.


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Rich Rubasch
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 2:16:35 am

Hmmm...Bob rattled a few cages? Ok. Really, this is our career path. We could work in restaurants, in hospitality or just about anything else. We are all in this together...and worldwide, not just in our communities.

So, Bob, yes, we all love what we do and we choose to do it because it fits us just fine.

But some of us are still on our way, making choices and swimming thru life. This kind of attack, by a virus, has us all reeling, and we have to acknowledge that now is the time to be real about what we do, the foundation we all have laid in our career, and encourage others that the end of this thing is continued prosperity.

Because storytelling, and the means to do so, is what we do.

And Bob, we need you to help us do that once this is all over.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 12:30:10 am

[Bob Zelin] "These men DIED for our business. This was their life. They had assorted horrible health problems, and they KEPT GOING, until death."

While most of the time I appreciate your acerbic wisdom here on the Cow, in this instance I think you're on the wrong side of logic.

Life is so much more than the work we all do. And there's endless stories of individuals who have major regrets later in life because they put their work above all else.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Rich Rubasch
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 2:35:52 am

Ok Greg, there are those who served their family well, loved life and did exactly what they wanted until death, and were applauded for doing what they were called to do.

I can see myself editing until I can't move my fingers anymore, or maybe even further. Because it's in my blood now...the story, where is it? Where is the sound bite that moves the spirit? That is why we do it.

Sure, it's a career. But if it is just a career for you, (not you specifically, Greg) you haven't edited or produced the one piece that connects your heart with the story and makes a connection that nothing else can invoke.

Bob's specific references may have been off base, but what he's saying, as usual, has merit.

But for goodness sake, be smart and safe...it's crazy out there!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:02:38 am

[Rich Rubasch] "Sure, it's a career. But if it is just a career for you, (not you specifically, Greg) you haven't edited or produced the one piece that connects your heart with the story and makes a connection that nothing else can invoke."

Don't get me wrong. I love what I do and I feel privileged to have the job of storytelling. It's endlessly rewarding. At the same time though, I've been doing this a long time. I began my career in your town of Madison almost 29 years ago working for Jon Aleckson. He taught me the craft of editing.

But as I get older, there's a realization that life is so much more than work. And I never want to lose that perspective. I don't want to be yet another person with regrets that I missed out on some of the joys of life because I was trying to shape yet another story.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Ned Miller
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:58:28 am

Hi All,

I've been retired about two years from the hamster wheel but I have one good tech client that gives me a very profitable couple of days a month, I can choose the dates and use my outmoded non-4K camera. I was suppose to go down and shoot at a large trade show in Atlanta March 9 & 10, I was going to drive down from Chicago and afterwards visit old friends in the SE for a week. The virus panic was just starting to get rolling but not the concern it is now.

Well, two days before the shoot the client's client backed out. Fear of the virus, or rather of the South Koreans, Italians and Japanese who were going to be exhibiting and attending. I had no other work coming in, this would have been a quick $4K profit for me. I was a little nervous about how infectious the virus is but didn't want to let my client down. I was letting my greed cloud my judgement. After freelancing for 41 years my default response is to always figure out how I can squeeze a gig in because one never knows when it will get slow.

But! And this is why I am posting, the client emailed and wanted me to do a one day shoot in TX for their client who had backed out in Atlanta, and now everyone is freaking out about getting infected. I discussed it with my wife and she started to flip out so I had to convince her how careful I would be: I'd drive down only eating my home made sandwiches from my cooler and cheese and crackers, I'd have no human contact besides the person at the desk in the hotel, I'd pump gas with the glove I now have in the car, etc. The shoot would be simple product demos, 1 engineer holding and discussing how their new gizmos work. But my wife wasn't buying it and if I did do the shoot I'd have to stay in a hotel for two weeks when I got back.

So I emailed the client, mentioned all my health issues (plus I'm 66) and begged out of the gig, fearing they would find someone new and I'd be replaced and the response I go back was that they just wanted to squeeze this project in before their fiscal year ended!!!! I suggested that I could pre-invoice them and do the job once it was safe in the new fiscal year and I am waiting to hear back. I have done that several times for marketing departments: They have to spend their entire budget or it won't be fully renewed in the next year's budget. So think about suggesting that to your clients whose fiscal year will be ending in the next few months. They may need to park that money with you upfront.

I feel for you all, that's why I visited this forum I was active on for many years, I wanted to see how you're doing. It is hard enough to survive through a regular recession let alone the uncertainty this virus creates. I think all of our clients, broadcast may be an exception, will be in survival mode for about a year or so.

Good luck, stay positive, look for unique niches like live streaming and most importantly: STAY HEALTHY!

Ned in Chicago

Ned Miller
Chicago Videographer
http://www.nedmiller.com


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Rich Rubasch
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 6:38:58 pm

Hey Greg; Well then it is surely a small world, because Will Hunter at MPI gave me my first job in Madison after moving there from Hawaii. I too brought my skills editing and animation to MPI starting in 1999.

One of my fondest awards is a demo reel I did with Jon called "Video: Still the Best Way to Tell a Story".

Shape those stories!

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 7:15:40 pm

[Rich Rubasch] "Well then it is surely a small world"

It certainly is. I left the company in 1996 but the years I spent working with the MPI team gave me the skills that I needed to go out in the world and become a successful freelance editor. I'm forever indebted to those folks because they instilled in me the notion of always delivering the highest quality product to the client. This notion has guided me throughout my entire career.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 3:32:42 am

Nobody doubts your commitment, Bob, or your work ethic. And if that's how you wanna go - face down in the gravy boat - I'd miss you, but it's your call.

The thing about your analogy is, you having a grabber at the buffet is all on you. Like I said, we'd miss you and tell grand lies about you while remembering you after, but we'd be personally unaffected in our own health, as would our loved ones.

This is no longer a case where the only question is about or own medical destinies, though. Everything that's happening now during this crisis is about the health of everyone I love, and the loved ones of people I know and will never know. It is for the literal good of all that the plugs have been pulled and everything has to take a break for a bit. And if careers have to suffer, well, that's what's gonna happen. Today I got the word I'm on paid standby at home for the duration, (That robot camera we put in is filling in for a lot of us and we don't need three guys to watch it ) and to an old Fire Horse like me it feels dammed weird to sit here at home, hear the fire bell, and not work. So believe me when I say I can empathize with your feelings about your craft and your dedication to it.

But FWIW, ... and this is in no way a knock on you or your stance, because I deeply respect you - but, your heroic notion of dropping in your traces like that? I lived it with my dad. Nothing at all romantic or heroic about dying at your desk. At all. The security guard who found him had no idea how long my dad had been laying there when dad went in on a Saturday, alone, to grind out some more stuff on his own time so it would be ready to present on Monday. He wasn't doing it to impress anybody. He was doing it because he'd spent decades putting three kids thru college and paying off a mortgage and only now, at the waning end of his career, was he able to concentrate on making his own retirement fund nut, catching up after helping his entire family all his life. The EMT's restarted his heart but his magnificent brain had been oxygen-starved for untold time and he spent about a week in a vegetative coma before my mom had to sign waivers and take his breathing tube out by her own damn self because he hadn't signed a Medical Will and the hospital was afraid of a lawsuit for unplugging him. They made my mom do it. My mom. There was nothing (expletive) noble or heroic about any of it. All it was was tragic. At his wake, people said a few nice things about his stupendous work ethic, but what everyone was thinking, I believe, was: "what a useless way to die, for something as ephemeral as an office project deadline". I know I was. He still would have maybe had that heart attack on Monday, but at least people would have been around him and might have kept him alive with CPR until rescue came... and my two younger kids would have known their grandfather. Which brings us back to this goddamn virus. And how I don't want any part of that kind of experience for my family, or anyone else's. Not even yours. I wish you only health and happiness and that that face-plant into the Beef Wellington or whatever is a long, long way off still.

Right now, we got bigger things to worry and think about.


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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 9:54:28 pm

In the category of "the job is gone, just plain gone", the International Cinematographers Guild is reporting 120,000 jobs have been lost so far in Hollywood, and another 50,000 in London. That's just for people on sets. It doesn't include editors, VFX, sound, plus people in support businesses (say, catering, accounting, payroll, transportation).

So, as well as not including any of those folks, the 170,000 jobs lost so far are primarily centered in two cities. I can't imagine that numbers in places like New York, Vancouver, and Mumbai are much better. We could easily be looking at a million people worldwide in the production business and related services who have no idea when they'll be able to work again.

btw, I've been speaking to a lot of those folks, as I bet you have too, and they're not especially inclined to hop on this thread to have Zelin yell at them to get back to work. (You hiring cinematographers, Bob? If so, I've got some names for you.) They'd also rather talk about nearly anything else, which is understandable.

And I know that plenty of you don't care about the Metropolitan Opera, but it was very much a part of my life growing up in a barely working class Italian household, and I rode herd on our local edition of their broadcasts in my radio career. They're also the largest arts organization in the US, and they've just laid off everyone. They're paying health insurance for everyone, and instrument insurance for the orchestra, but no salaries for anyone for the foreseeable future. Amazing.


[Mark Suszko] "Nothing at all romantic or heroic about dying at your desk."

Especially when, in your father's case, if he'd been collapsed during normal working hours, someone would have been there to intervene sooner. Everybody dies sometime and somewhere (my mother had an aneurysm burst while she was stirring her tea at home, my father a few steps away: didn't matter, she was gone before she hit the floor), but Bob's romanticizing long hours is a death wish I don't have, and romanticizing selfish public behavior in the name of productivity and job security is a murder wish I don't have either.

It's not okay to be this way. Rejecting your responsibilities as a member of human society isn't funny and sure as shit isn't noble. Glad to see that Bob's employers are forcing some level of human decency, even if it's over his objections.

I've been thinking for a while about another thread, turning the whole mental illness question on its head. We talk a lot about the toll that depression takes on creative people, and the challenges for introverts participating on creative teams, but we haven't started to talk about the ways that our intensity feeds mania, and the grievous toll that extroverted "go go GO" leadership takes on our lives.

It's no accident some of the most unpleasant people in ANY industry have long lived atop OUR industry. It's been that way from the beginning, too. I think our industry was designed by mentally ill people who happened to have traits that are rewarded here, which makes it hard for people to prosper in this business while also trying to maintain any semblance of sanity.

My pique at Bob and millions of like-minded people notwithstanding, this thread is actually super-encouraging to me. I'm beyond delighted that so many of you here are finding ways to still work, and thinking creatively about solving the challenges of today AND make things better for the future. We need more of that, and less of a rush to return to a lifestyle taking an almost incalculable toll on all of us and our families.


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Bob Zelin
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 10:26:17 pm

Ooh - I am getting so many people riled up here !
Most of my work, and phone calls within the last few days has been on how to do remote access, so people can continue to work.

I observe that this is an opportunity to expand my knowledge about this, and get better about doing remote access for professional video editing. I am currently doing this with QNAP CloudLink, QNAP QVPN, and Synology QuickConnect, but certainly, I am seeing wonderful new developments from Studio Network Solutions NOMAD, and developments from LumaForge, ProMax and EditShare, all figuring out how to make all of this workflow a reality.
Because long after the Coronavirus is over, people will want a good workflow for remote access so they can work from home. It's a shame that the internet infrastructure in the United States is so horrible (except for Google Fiber) - but we make do with what we have. I am sure the business from Aspera and Signiant are doing just fine right now.

Teamviewer is simply too expensive for most people when it's used for professional applications, and I am RIGHT NOW studying alternate VPN solutions for remote editing, in addition to the "upload/download" process that I have been using from QNAP and Synology systems.

I am often forced to justify my life. Besides this work stuff, I go out to dinner with my wife, we have friends, I have an amateur little band that practices every Sunday just for fun, and I drink a lot of alcohol. Our main 3 week vacation for the year is based on the excuse of NAB, so it's Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and this year of course, it has been cancelled. Other than that - THIS IS WHAT I DO. I WORK, I study, I don't give up. I help people with their technical issues. I learn new techniques. I try to learn every day something new. Most people at my age (64) could not give a damn about any of these new products, new techniques, Frame I/O and all the other stuff that I think is cool. These
things mean little in their lives. Well, let them go play golf, or whatever they do. THIS IS WHAT I DO, and I intend to be good at it until I kick the bucket. When I had knee surgery back in NY City and could not take the subway to work (I was living in Queens at the time) - I hobbled onto the bus with my backpack the NEXT DAY and went to work, and took care of my clients. If I was paralyzed in a car crash, or lost limbs, I would still be doing this. I look at people who are paralyzed, and they are at the gym, or playing in basketball tournaments in their wheel chairs, or "jogging" in their wheel chairs down a long block to keep in shape - these people are HEROS. You don't give up. You don't say "whoa is me". You keep going, you keep pushing, you keep fighting, you keep learning.
I don't live in the glory days of Quad and 1" VTR's. I need to compete with that 30 year old IT guy that knows more than I do - but soon, I will know more than him, and take his clients.
That's my mindset. And it won't change, even if I get sick.

Sorry, if that's mental illness. As long as I win. And as long as we keep making videos.
Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Steve Connor
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 10:45:48 pm

[Bob Zelin] "These
things mean little in their lives. Well, let them go play golf, or whatever they do. THIS IS WHAT I DO, and I intend to be good at it until I kick the bucket. When I had knee surgery back in NY City and could not take the subway to work (I was living in Queens at the time) - I hobbled onto the bus with my backpack the NEXT DAY and went to work, and took care of my clients. If I was paralyzed in a car crash, or lost limbs, I would still be doing this. I look at people who are paralyzed, and they are at the gym, or playing in basketball tournaments in their wheel chairs, or "jogging" in their wheel chairs down a long block to keep in shape - these people are HEROS. You don't give up. You don't say "whoa is me". You keep going, you keep pushing, you keep fighting, you keep learning.
I don't live in the glory days of Quad and 1" VTR's. I need to compete with that 30 year old IT guy that knows more than I do - but soon, I will know more than him, and take his clients.
That's my mindset. And it won't change, even if I get sick. "


Yes, lots of us feel like this, but NONE of those things you mentioned can end up killing other people can they?


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Bob Zelin
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 11:12:27 pm
Last Edited By Bob Zelin on Mar 19, 2020 at 11:15:28 pm

This is going to become an OT rant, that will wind up getting deleted (at least my posts) -
but this is my opinions.

I am from NY City. I currently live in Orlando, Florida, and have been here since 1999. When 9/11 happened in 2001, I was deeply affected by all of this. When I found out that they needed networking people on site to help, I felt TERRIBLE that I could not be there to assist in getting their networks back up. I would have been there in a heartbeat to run lines, terminate cables, and make communications happen, to help resolve this desperate situation. My life, and my health, and my ingest of toxic fumes would mean very little, if I could help out with this situation.

Some people would say "well, Bob - you are a moron - you would risk your life to help in a situation, where you could get LUNG cancer" - YES I WOULD.

I often think about people like Donald Trump, and The Rolling Stones. Trump has billions of dollars, and the Stones - well, they are not poor. Why do they still work ? Because they are NEEDED, and being needed is critical to their existence (well, maybe Trump is not needed (ha)) . But even though the Stones are in their 70's - the fact that they can get up there, and entertain an audience, and get applause (even if they are washed up and they suck) - that's what their life is about. As for Trump - (no matter what you think about him) - he wants to be the center of attention (that's what all the insane Twitter comments are about from him) - and guess what - love him or hate him - he has more press than Kim Kardashian.

Now, I am not Trump, or the Stones, or Kim Kardashian (or even a minor little known band) - but I have my client base of hundreds of international clients - and that's all that matters to me. I am active on all these forums, I take care of my clients, and as many of you know - if you have hired me ONE time, your support is FREE - there is no support contract. So I keep getting hired. It makes me feel important - it makes me feel needed, and it certainly keeps the other engineers away, that probably know a lot more than I do - but I am supporting my clients for FREE, so I have no fear of them leaving me (no one ever leaves me, because I am free for them) -

I have no fear of getting sick. As long as I can support my client base. I keep working, I keep learning new techniques ( I will be contacting a client in Houston Texas as soon as I get done with this rant, about how he can cheaply keep editing for $5.00 a month on his server without going into the office). Because as this thread has been going on, I have been studying and testing how to make this work. Because no matter how much I love you guys (and no matter how much you hate me) - I am going to get EVERYTHING to work - and the incredibly wonderful companies with brilliant people like EditShare, LumaForge, ProMax, Studio Network Solutions and others, WILL NOT BEAT ME. I WIN.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 11:33:49 pm

Bob, you are loved. Well, maybe that's a strong word, but you're a respected guy. I think you're cool, because you may be gruff but you're rarely wrong. The disagreement, I feel, is not coming from your fierce work ethic but only the fact that *traveling* to *physically* go help your clients is bad juju for everyone just now.

I applaud everything you're trying to do for them remotely and I wish your efforts nothing but success. Try to see that that's the part we were all reacting to, the travel and hands-on. We love what you do, we're just asking you do it from home for a bit, as so many of us are needing to, because the travel and hands-on endangers more people than just yourself. Your body, your choice - when it only affects you, and not potentially dozens of lives. That seems pretty fair to me.


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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 1:53:20 am

[Bob Zelin] "I often think about people like Donald Trump, and The Rolling Stones. Trump has billions of dollars, and the Stones - well, they are not poor. Why do they still work ? Because they are NEEDED, and being needed is critical to their existence (well, maybe Trump is not needed (ha)) ."

Bob, you are nothing if not entertaining. The Stones are rock 'n roll royalty who hopefully will all die doing what they love - performing live and playing rock 'n roll.

In 1972, Dick Cavett did an interview with Mick backstage at MSG. Dick asked Mick if he could imagine being the front man for the Stones when he was an old man and Mick said hell yes, he would probably still be doing it. And they're still doing it. I saw them in 2019 and that show was the best performance I'd attended in 30 years of going to Stones shows.

What's incredible is that you've somehow attempted to connect Trump with "the greatest rock 'n roll band in the world." (and for the kids out there, this is a moniker the Stones have been using since 1969)

There's no need to get into any kind of Trump debate here. I simply applaud you for even having the ability to put those two together in a sentence. That takes some extraordinary creativity.

Keep on keepin' on Bob.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Tom Sefton
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 19, 2020 at 10:01:03 pm

Exactly, 100% this.

I love what I do, but I'll be f***ed if I'm going to see it take time away from family and friends that it doesn't need to.

Look after your family, your friends and your elderly neighbours. Stay healthy, stay sharp and then when this is over, wreak your absolute f***king last on doing your job in the best way possible FOR THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME you can.

Co-owner at Pollen Studio
http://www.pollenstudio.co.uk


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 3:18:20 am

I've been reluctant to post here, not because I am scared of facing the reality. I have read and was clued in early to the virus, the exponential nature of contagions, and the impact it was going to have. I know, not from an educated perspective but a ground work perspective, that people take a long time to come around to facts and shun the creeper fear of reality as a defense mechanism. That is to say, what is happening right now isn't a total shock. Most of us can't deal with a looming and exponential threat because the threat of slowing down at all means certain death, so why stop now?

What is a shock is that I feel like all of this could have been somewhat mitigated. I mean, yes, there has been death with more death coming. Certainly there is a LOT more sickness coming. But for most people, they will survive, despite this being a global pandemic. I understand that this will pass one way or another.

But damn, there is no circuit breaker. There is no backup. You can assign whatever politicking or political agenda or human being to this. This is all a fail.

And personally, I guess, I have been lucky enough to have business through 9/11 and 2008 and all of the ups and downs. Sometimes there wasn't a lot of business, but enough to get through.

There is nothing out there at the moment. Everything we did have on the books has cancelled, and the few ongoing gigs have already been paid in ‘19. I’m not sure what’s next. The impending US election doesn’t feel like enough. The talk of sending $1000 checks immediately to US citizens doesn’t seem like enough. The administration in charge is just straight up f*cking lying. Working harder isn’t going to do anything at this moment. Said another way, I do not think I will be able to work myself out of this moment, at least not in a way that I am used to working.

My son's school district is shut down for at least the next 30 days, and I imagine it will probably be the rest of the school year. I have been working with him to keep his schooling going as much as possible (2nd grade). His district pulled together a lot resources very quickly, for which I am thankful. So far, he's doing a good job of it, and it's pretty amazing to watch. He is working really hard at it, so therefore I am trying my best to help him to keep working hard at it. It's the only work I have right now, so why stop now?


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Tim Wilson
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 2:28:01 pm

Thanks so much for sharing this, Jeremy! Man, I'm sorry things are so brutal for you. You're definitely not alone, though. I'm hearing from folks saying the same thing, including not being especially psyched to talk about this in a public forum.

[Jeremy Garchow] "There is nothing out there at the moment. Everything we did have on the books has cancelled, and the few ongoing gigs have already been paid in ‘19. I’m not sure what’s next. "

[Jeremy Garchow] "Working harder isn’t going to do anything at this moment. Said another way, I do not think I will be able to work myself out of this moment, at least not in a way that I am used to working."

[Jeremy Garchow] "My son's school district is shut down for at least the next 30 days, and I imagine it will probably be the rest of the school year. I have been working with him to keep his schooling going as much as possible (2nd grade). His district pulled together a lot resources very quickly, for which I am thankful. So far, he's doing a good job of it, and it's pretty amazing to watch. He is working really hard at it, so therefore I am trying my best to help him to keep working hard at it. It's the only work I have right now, so why stop now?"

I broke out these three quotes in particular because I know that they speak directly to a reality that a lot of people are going through. It's not a matter of will. The work isn't there for now, and nobody anywhere has any kind of idea when it might be again.

I also know that as much as people love their kids, not many school districts or parents really had any plans for something that might stretch on as this looks like it might. I can't imagine how much more difficult it is for the millions of families who have also been relying on schools for food. The School Nutrition Association says that more two-thirds of the 31 million students who regularly eat school lunches, or 22 million, have that free or reduced-price meal as their main source of nutrition for the day. We have the resources to keep feeding those kids, but there are very narrow legal limits to what's allowed to offer to kids who aren't actually in class. (More about this Catch-22 here.)

With a gentle reminder that we can't have the forums spin into directly political conversation, I definitely agree that there are wide swaths of trouble that feel too big for politics to solve, certainly with any of the currently available tools -- and they're pretty much ALL tools. LOL (Sorry.)


[Tom Sefton] "Look after your family, your friends and your elderly neighbours. Stay healthy, stay sharp and then when this is over, wreak your absolute f***king last on doing your job in the best way possible FOR THE LEAST AMOUNT OF TIME you can."

Tom, this times a MILLION.

Here's the thing about edgelord discourse about how cool it is to be relentless. There are 350,000 members in the COW. Ten million people pass through here a year, and I'll bet you a real pony that maybe six of them have the least interest in working normal hours. (Six people, not six million.) There are whole careers that are famous for short, regular hours -- they don't call 'em "bankers hours" for nothing.

None of that has anything to do with why Creative COW is still here 25 years later. If we were counting on normies to pay the bills, we'd have been gone long ago. Heck, we never would have started! Every even halfway creative person is DRIVEN.

Sometimes it feels like we're driven to work like demons by actual demons, because sometimes they ARE demons, and anybody who's read much about angels knows that they're not much better. Demons used to BE angels. Same dudes, different uniforms.

That's why being driven isn't special in this industry. It's not unique, and it's not hard core. It's certainly nothing to brag about. Relentlessness is as common as dirt in these parts. It's the cost of admission. It's the bare minimum.

To the issues that Jeremy raises, and what hundreds of thousands of people in the world's production capital cities are experiencing, we're facing a condition where relentlessness is a force that can't be applied, because there's nothing to apply it to. The existence of production jobs right now is a binary. Used to be there, now gone until they're back.

What I categorically reject is that there's a binary choice between hyperdrive and empathy, between wanting to grind your competitors into dust and deep connection to the larger human community.

Looking out for elders is certainly part of it, but I want to observe again that the most frequent underlying conditions in people who are dying of coronavirus aren't necessarily age, but high blood pressure (found in a whopping 75% of victims, twice as much as for diabetes, three times as much as for cancer) and being male (twice as likely to die as women).

I don't have any way of knowing about high blood pressure in our community, but i know that just over half the folks who come to the COW are male, and I'm willing to bet that the incidence of hypertension is at least a little higher than average. So maybe more than for most careers, it's true for US that the lives we save by not being jackasses may be our own. No point in winning if you're not alive to enjoy it.

And really, even if you're nuts enough to think this job is worth dying for, you're just plain wrong if you think it's worth killing for. Stay home for as long as it takes. Don't be the reason somebody's parents or grandparents die.


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Neil Sadwelkar
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 6:53:01 pm

I'm from the other side of the world - India.

We began our isolation/lockdown thing early in the game. when the count was under 5. Just 3 weeks ago. And now its crossed 200.

We stopped shaking hands for a month now. Most of us are used to folded hands 'namaste' anyway. We used to eat food with hands, but we stopped that. We rarely used hand sanitiser, but now we do, many times a day. We aren't natural 'huggers', but we are crowded enough to be close to each other in large numbers.

On Mar 01 we had 6 cases, on the 10th, 65, and today 223. Some say the number is low because there haven't been enough tests. But we have been quarantining and interaction tracking overseas visitors for nearly a month now. From tomorrow, all international flights will cease for a week.

As fas is our industry is concerned, we stopped all shoots on the 14th Mar. And edits will be moved to WFH (work from home) from today. Or stopped altogether for those who have to work out of a facility. All stores, malls, cinemas are shut for about a week now, and offices and other establishments will be shut down from tomorrow till the 31st March.

On Sunday we have the largest ever lockdown from 7am to 9pm as the Government tries to 'break the chain' by isolating the world's second largest population of 1.33 billion people for over 12 hours. Everything has been asked to be voluntarily shut an everybody indoors. Its called the 'People's Curfew'. If it works, we will probably repeated for a few days.

And on Sunday at 5pm, we are supposed to stand by our windows/balconies, and clap, beat a vessel or a drum, play a musical instrument, anything we feel like, as a show of appreciation for the countless health workers, airport security personnel, quarantine facility workers, Army, Police, everyone who are out there, so that we stay safe and healthy.
Depends on the response, this is likely to be the worlds largest creation of human noise.

For most of the editors I know, these days are an opportunity to catch up with family since most of us have a neglected family life. For others, its a good time to upgrade skills. Try out Fairlight, give FCP X another look, check out Fusion, or if your an FCP X head, then try out Avid, or Resolve.

Editors are used to being confined long hours in one room, so most are approaching it as "How hard can it be?" We'll soon find out I guess. Its one day at a time.

I hope you guys stay safe and healthy.

-----------------------------------
Neil Sadwelkar
neilsadwelkar.blogspot.com
twitter: fcpguru
FCP Editor, Edit systems consultant
Mumbai India


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Steve Connor
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 7:18:57 pm

Most of my work is corporate and events, 100% of the events work has gone away. Fortunately I have a few corporate Vlog and online training edits for the next month or so but beyond that who knows?

I started an online subscription channel a few weeks ago for my "hobby" business (Aviation and airshow films) so the free time is going to enable me to spend much more time working on that.

The next big problem for everyone might be the internet "slowdown" gets to a critical point where uploading and downloading video becomes a real issue. We're into uncharted territory here!


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Tony West
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 7:57:22 pm

Since the majority of my work is sports, it's not looking very good at the moment. I've been through major league strikes and lockouts in the past but there were always other events to fill in the gaps. This is a completely different level.

Some of the networks have paid us for some canceled events which was unexpected and much appreciated.

Ironically just a few weeks ago I was speaking at Drexel University and traveling through South Carolina with my little X made documentary. A much needed source that has helped fill in the cracks a bit.

Some tiny little film that I made to help others and is now there for me. Luck, fate, something higher, or whatever one wants to call it.

I walked across the land of Redcliffe Plantation as a free African American and imagined what those who came there before me would have thought had they met me.

I had incredible experiences that would have all been missed had they been scheduled now. I try not to ever take anything for granted in life.

Cherish what is in front of you in that moment.

Be well







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greg janza
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 20, 2020 at 8:17:02 pm

Love the positive post Tony!

And another positive is Netflix quickly establishing a $100 million dollar fund for creatives:

https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/business/story/2020-03-20/netfli...

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tmprods
tallmanproductions.net


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Santanu Bhattacharjee
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Mar 31, 2020 at 7:58:00 pm

The last 20 years for me have been script > shoot > edit > repeat. This has got a pause for now. Time to redo my website https://www.santanu.biz. Learned some HTML online and put it all together. For long Google was complaining that my website was not responsive therefore my inquiries were dwindling rapidly. Hope all ends well for the world.

Santanu Productions, Mumbai
The Swiss Army Knife for All Your Creative Needs


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Mark Suszko
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Apr 1, 2020 at 6:41:39 pm

Variety story on how the late night hosts are handling it...

https://variety.com/2020/tv/news/late-night-tv-coronavirus-fallon-colbert-k...


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Tomas Bumbulevičius
Re: How's business right now? (Also, what and where?) And how are YOU doing?
on Apr 4, 2020 at 9:47:37 am

There is a good saying - you always need to have plan B. Ideally, C and D behind.

It is a good time to reflect on owns capabilities in different fields. Especially, even if you are not affected by this lockdown directly and have plenty of work, maybe even more than usually due to profession specifics - keep in mind that at some day, your niche could be the one which gets terminal freeze. The odds differs, but chances are there.

With that said - stay positive, yet at the same time don't snooze on your main craft for granted !

Find out more:
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