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Finding Order in Chaos: Post-Production and Archiving to Keep Pandemic Panic at Bay

Posted by Ashley Brook on April 21, 2020

In this unprecedented time, you’re likely reading this article (thank you!) from your home office rather than the desk you normally commute to on a regular basis.  You’re likely stressed, burned out and really missing daycare or going out to dinner.  You’re likely experiencing a slow-down in the normal work that you do and unable to get out there and shoot video.  The controlled chaos that enticed us crazies to get into the business is now actual chaos, oozing into every part of our lives.

It’s paramount to find productive, proactive and important tasks to focus our brains on the good.  It’s not only good for your company, but it’s good for you to take a sense of accomplishment to your evening commute to the couch.  This is where the piles and piles of archivable footage is our friend.  Whether it’s finishing that master edit, creating something new or finally organizing those assets from the projects you had to do in a hurry, now’s the time.  Let’s go from WFH to FTW, and then it will feel like every day is TGIF.

Post:  

Post projects are especially helpful to keep your brain actively seeking creative solutions, using your ability to organize and connect disparate visual and thematic elements.  This may sound like “Yeah, that’s what I do every day” but the combined left and right brain effort to analyze and organize as well as play and tell a story, is a great way to exercise that grey matter.  It’s important to choose projects that keep your mind occupied and inquisitive, but don’t force you to reinvent the wheel in these times of high stress and uncertainty.

Making use of existing footage is a great way to stay connected to your internal and external stakeholders.  We’ve all seen the pandemic-specific ads on our streaming binges – there’s something very powerful about tapping into the immediacy of what all of humanity is dealing with.  Much of this raw material comes from previously taped sessions and low-production value iPhone videos.  Never has user-generated content come from higher echelons, corporations and government!  Digging though that older footage can also provide a new perspective on an old problem and provide you with a pile of material to be sculpted into a shiny new artifact.

Without the ability to go out and film (most) interviews or testimonials, it’s time to get creative.  What are ways you can communicate your message visually that mirrors the impact of video?  Simple, graphic and text-based motion projects could be the way to go.  Or a colorful, delightful animation that reassures your customers you’re there to help.  People are seeking concrete, succinct information with a higher immediacy and magnitude than ever – news outlets have seen over a 30% increase.  To combat the anxiety that the news produces, we’re also looking for GOOD news.  The search term “good news” on Google has spiked in the past month at triple the normal search rate.  Now more than ever is the time to have a steady hand, a simple message and clear visuals.

Archiving and Asset Management:

Archiving: it’s definitely not sexy (apologies to my librarian friends, love the cardigan), and not something that is usually high priority, but definitely something that requires attention.  If you’d like a break from all the Zoom webinars and video calls, roll up your sleeves and take the opportunity to nerd out; it’s archiving time.

With all of us in our disparate spaces, how do you access your video files?  Many have gone to cloud systems but most likely, a lot of your “must have, don’t delete” assets still live on good old fashioned, external hard drives.  Your raided system may be helpful in house, but all of us working from home are up a creek without access.

Cloud systems are helpful to store and share smaller files, but the question is those ginormous master files, and longer interview clips.  With companies surely doing more livestreams before the pandemic, and even more so now (virtual conferences, anyone?) the final run of show is usually longer than an hour.  Unfortunately, many common systems can’t handle files larger than 50GB or the upload process can be unwieldy, complicated and require a fiber connection.  To give you an idea, one hour of 4K footage is about 45 GB!  While all of your shorter clips can easily live on the cloud, what is your system for the footage you can’t cut down?  And how are you going to know what file lives where?  There’s enough chaos in the world right now, so let’s keep it out of our files.

I spoke with one of my favorite nerds at one of our media partners about the issue and they had such similar issues and problems, that they engineered a specific solution themselves.  They work on so many different projects with a ridiculous amount of footage and file types, they couldn’t live without this system and have learned to prioritize organization.

“The workflow doesn’t end with a final product, it ends with a final product that is archived. When we complete projects, we upload our final deliverables and all associated assets and project files to the A.D.A.M.” said Michael Ball. “The A.D.A.M. allows us to easily access the media, continue to create and be proactive with our reach. Our stories are at our fingertips; archived, cataloged, searchable and ready to be retold.”

Their system also comes with the ability to have an expert catalog, tag, and organize the files, as well as easily send download links for those giant files you need to share.  So, no need for that degree in Library Science!

How are YOU keeping yourself productive and engaged during this time?  What are some creative ways you’ve streamlined and helped push your company forward?  Most importantly, what are you binging on Netflix?  We’re here for you, if you’d like help with your post projects or start a conversation about archiving, get in touch by emailing me at ashley@crewscontrol.com. We’re in this together!

About Ashley Brook

Ashley may be new to the area but is not new to the production industry. Ashley is an Emmy® award-winning micro-documentary producer, editor, and writer who has a love for stories that make a positive impact. She brings her administrative wizardry, creative eye, deep knowledge of production and odd sense of humor (which fits right in) to Crews Control. Ashley prides herself on her overt friendliness she credits to growing up in the Midwest, her amazing banana bread, and preternatural ability to juggle multiple projects simultaneously. Her favorite food is guacamole, is a music, travel, and art nerd, and has a strange fascination with dinosaurs. Ashley looks forward to adding to her production knowledge bank while helping clients and crews make ideas a reality at Crews Control!

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