Archive for November, 2009

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Experience

November 15, 2009

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I have been living in the safe world of academia for over four months now.  It is a place intended to be a positive environment for experimentation and growth.

Emotions more associated with the “real world” were stirred up this week.

Syracuse University is one of several universities that participates in a program called News 21.  It is part of the Carnegie-Knight initiative structured around a class in the spring and an internship in the summer. The opportunity sounded interesting so I inquired only to find out that it is high competitive – few openings that are filled from multiple departments.

The process and outcome from this week are less interesting than the dynamics that were infused into the social environment here.  Suddenly, it felt like secrecy and competition were in the air.  Who was going to apply?  How were they preparing their applications?  Who got an interview?   Why was that person selected?

I was caught off guard at a bit.   I have come here to compete against myself.  I have set high standards for the colleagues I have managed in the past and I now place those standards on my own work.   At some point,  the idea of  competition becomes counterproductive.   Yet, it is all around us all the time.    I have been a bit removed from the pressures of New York City and having to interview for jobs –  constantly being judged on so many factors.   I felt empowered by choosing not to care what others think of me here….this is something that has pulled me down over the last few years.   Maybe we can never escape the idea of  competition and maybe my hope that all of us can excel and be successful is naive……..maybe the big bad world isn’t that accommodating.

I am left pondering how my 12 years of photo editing experience was quickly dismissed during my interview (in favor of my shooting experience).   I wonder (as the media industry continues to go through these monumental changes)  how I will be received when I start the job hunt again late next year.   Do employers really care about experience?  Experience in the real sense of the word – diverse and complex….layered and sophisticated…..tested experience.   I am fearing it is all about just having the immediate skills to do the job at hand and a willingness to work for little money.

What do you think?

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Juggling Video

November 15, 2009

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Sequences!   Over the past week, I have been learning how to handle story telling using dynamic vantage points and sequencing. The idea here is to attack each moment from multiple angles with cutaways and details to help with the transitions needed in the editing process.  I think the “eyes” of the average media consumer have become conditioned to seeing a wide range of quality when it comes to video and film work.   I have been paying closer attention to broadcast news and reality show programming.  There is so much content that isn’t steady, often abusing panning movements at the same time.  I wonder how much I noticed or even cared about this before and what the online user demands today.  It seems we are seeing more and more average video work online especially with some “news” sites throwing up “raw” unedited footage.   This is so counter to what the academic world is trying to teach us.   Does the average user coming to their computer for a limited amount of time each day even appreciate the higher quality of work that many serious multimedia students want to produce?  Or is this polished work only catering to the professional insiders who find it important?

I registered today for the Spring semester with an interesting mix of classes:  multimedia editing, fashion/portrait photography, and documentary production.  These challenges will surely round out my video and photography skills; I am excited by the possibilities of each class; yet, I remain a bit apprehensive about finding strong stories to tell.   It is quite the undertaking trying to find subjects that are relevant, timely, visual, and accessible.   I am also trying to build a strong portfolio which makes this process even more stressful.

My other related dilemma is whether or not I should try to finalize my master’s program by the end of June versus coming back for one more semester in the Fall.   The additional semester will no doubt help me a great deal; however, time away from the work force and money are big factors to consider at this point.    All of this work is an investment, yet my student loans have reached frightening levels.   As of today, I am planning a summer exit.  Advice?