Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Kind of Manager/Producer I Want To Be

I've been thinking a lot lately about organization and planning, creativity and flexibility, deadlines and work hours. Most importantly I've been thinking about people: networking, managing, incentives, rewards, motives, etc. I do not aspire to be in a management position. I'm not writing this post because I want to be in charge of people. I do not. However, I recognize that in most every roll we get put in, we have to learn how to work with people and in most positions how to delegate and organize. There is hardly a position out there where these skills are not useful in someway or another.

The biggest thing I want to articulate here is my personal philosophy on managing people. In the different work environments I've worked in and with the different bosses I've had, I've seen many different philosophies on managing. I've seen people who will do just about anything to develop the highest quality product possible (and sometimes that has meant putting people second in priority to the product). I've seen people that are extremely customer/client oriented (to the point where they treat their employees as second best). It takes a good balance to manage all these things and sometimes we are so pressed for time that it's easy to neglect things that really matter. As I continue to produce video projects and/or get put in charge of people, I want to make sure to treat the people I work with more important than the product or service I'm delivering. It's for sure not a strategy or philosophy that everyone would agree with, but I believe that as you put the people that you work with (fellow teammates and clients alike) above anything else in the workplace, your product/service will naturally improve.

I am not perfect at it and I would like to work harder at treating people with respect, but if I ever run into a situation where someone is struggling to do their best work, I want to lovingly work with them to enhance their abilities, deepen their skills, or give them meaningful things to do. I never want to just let someone go simply because the work they performed was not to the standard I was anticipating. Many disagree. Many people feel that you should stop using someone or fire someone when they are not performing at optimal levels, but I feel like working with someone to help them reach that optimal level is better in the long run than treating many people unfairly. Firing people as soon as they mess up burns too many bridges along the way. I want to be honest with people, but in a loving way. I never want to let someone go unless it's unreasonable not to (for example, if someone was being dishonest, stealing from the company, or consistently not doing the work).

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weber State's Career Services Commercials

I am so grateful for the opportunity I have had to work at the Career Services Center at Weber State. This summer I've been working hard to produce some commercials for them. These commercials will be released on their website, shown around campus, and played at football games, etc. The idea is to market the Career Services Center to the students.

This specific project took more coordinating on my part than any other project I've worked on. As the producer, I budgeted (including working with the director of Career Services to get my budget approved), assembled a crew, scheduled the productions, and made sure everything was organized. I am grateful for everyone at Career Services that helped. I'm also grateful for Matt Goff, a fellow student that was brought on as my director of photography (AKA cinematographer). 

He just finished a documentary project that he shot in Africa and did a fantastic job at helping me with lighting, framing, and running the cameras. I was the director on this project as well and so having Matt focus on those things freed me up to really help the actors. I would give Matt direction on framing and lighting when needed and I had a shot list for him to follow, but other than that I let him take control.

As director, I cast the actors. We had some professional actors and some amateurs, but all of them did a great job. As director, I also went location scouting and prop hunting. I tried to put as much thought into the emotion of the pieces as possible so that I could get a look and feel that would make people laugh and and inspire students to go to the Career Services center on campus.

We have a Halloween themed commercial that will be coming out in October. Lacy Simmons did a great job on make-up for our zombies! I would highly recommend her to anyone needing a make-up artist.

The editing has been fun too. I really like editing! Adding the sound affects and finding the right pacing is something I keep getting better at every time I edit.

Recently I showed the rough cuts of these commercials to the team at the Career Services Center. They really liked them and the director of the Career Services Center came to me afterward and told me about a few more projects that he had for me to work on. That helped me to know my work was appreciated and I'm excited to work on some of these future projects. (One of which I just filmed the interview for today).