PUTTING THE “I” IN TEAM

I considered myself a good team player until I did a recent video team project.   I may be a closet control freak.

When assigned a Multimedia Reporting team project, I assumed we were all on the same page, shared the vision of the assignment, and it was going to be great.  Hmm.

1)  Enthusiasm is no substitute for a cohesive plan.  Team projects are like playing telephone – things get lost in translation.  Shooting scripts and other bits of paperwork keep people and projects on task.  Investing five minutes to type an outline with specific questions to ask, shots and coverage to get saves heartache in post, and insures a better grade.

2)  Cell phone video is…  Cell phones are NOT video cameras.  We all shoot video with cell phones, but sometimes we forget to turn the darned thing sideways.  In our excitement, we do not pay attention to details.  I should invent an app that prompts to turn the phone horizontal in video mode.  Until then, stop, take a breath, and make sure the phone is shooting video in horizontal format.  Did I mention cell phone video is shaky?  I’m buying a cell phone tripod today.

3)  Cell phone audio is…  I video taped my project expert using a cell phone and a pro digital audio recorder.  Big deal – there is no time to replace audio in post!  Our projects are quick and dirty, in a clean sort of way.  The best plan: use a video camera with external microphone.  Double check your audio before the interview to make sure you have sound on tape.

4)  All editing is not equal.  I’ve done fast and furious audio/video editing for money and I love it!  Tag team editing is ineffective.  If someone has never edited, they don’t really learn, and if you’re up against deadlines, it makes things more stressful.  I would rather have two video projects where we switch off in sub teams.  That gives everyone a chance to work the full project and provides time to teach someone new to editing why it is so much fun.

5)  iMovie will bite the hand that edits.  Trust me – do a few edits and close out so the software can keep up.  Better to close than to lose it all when the system RAM overloads and shuts down.  I hate that.

6)  Silence is golden.  Without an amazing library of jingles and music drops, skipping the musical interlude may be the better part of valor.

I had a great time with my team, aside from technical issues.  Now that I know the lay of the land, I’m prepared to be an I-ncredible team member for the next round!

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