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Background

I've just completed an editing project to produce video highlights of an awards evening for my local community radio station. It was a voluntary non-paid project and I'm very pleased the results I achieved - and more importantly, the station are very pleased with it too. But, as with many other previous projects, have found editing can be tiring at times. I have a full time job in computing but unrelated to video editing (funds all the software and equipment that I learnt this stuff on!) and usual housekeeping commitments so I had to produce this work from a number of sessions, some into the early hours. When I know I have to resume the work to get it done I procrastinate and do other jobs sometimes before I finally get in the zone, once in the zone I get frustrated when I have to stop to meet other commitments: sleep, work etc.

Any top tips to bear in mind for a future project?

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Maybe this question is too broad for the Q&A format here. In my view the question is actually applicable to any project based work, be it video editing or illustrating a book. –  Bart Arondson Jan 23 '13 at 12:55
    
+1 Thanks for your input. I guess the difference between editing and illustrating a book might be that with editing you start with raw content whereas with illustration you might sometimes start from scratch. Where they are the same is that both involve iterative work, going over the same content to refine. –  therobyouknow Jan 23 '13 at 14:28

3 Answers 3

This is an interesting question and I think maybe you are coming from a different situation than I am, I worked as a professional editor / VFX Artist and before that assistant editor for many years before graduating to directing and I think the easy bottom line answer is, if you love it, you wont be able to get enough.

However there are those days your like screw this im surfing the web or this and that. Which are a given.

I really loved what I was doing and while I may sit on a project for two years every day was a new day and every day brought new challenges, both technical and editing related. I tend to work an area until I am bored with it or until I get in the zone, and then move around. The longer the job the more things that need to be done etc.

After awhile it just becomes clockwork and you dont think about whats going on in the world, tunnel vision just becomes so normal to you when you sit in front of your system that when your there, its work.

When its time to go, its time to go, and also I think setting a time limit. If I sit down I wont work more than 7 hours, if I work more then I feel like I can always work more, which is fine when you have deadlines, but if your always letting yourself work too much, you'll get burnt out and hate doing it.

Hopefully something in this answer helps

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+1 Thanks @Chris James Champeau –  therobyouknow Jan 23 '13 at 19:51

I'm in a very similar situation to yours. I'm a software architect that also does a professional level of A/V work on the side as a professional hobby. The time commitment can be difficult at times, but I have always found that putting aside blocks of time is the best way to make solid progress. I find that if I try to do it small bits at a time, it tends to give the end product a bit of a fractured feel if I try doing it 30 minutes at a time here and there.

It sometimes means I only get one or two times a week to work on a project, but I try to put in at-least 2 to 3 hours to a session. More if I can manage on a weekend. For larger projects, I'll try to get everything done I need to during the week so I can just dedicate most of a Saturday to it. I'll actually probably be doing just that this Saturday since I have a back log of photo and video work to post produce from the last two weeks (a birthday party, two work parties and a weekend conference from last weekend).

Oh, also, try to plan out what you want to do before you do it. Having a good idea of the full picture lets you move around while working on it between different aspects of the project. It takes some practice to figure out what bits you can do in what order, but finding ways to be able to change things up while not interrupting your flow tend to be helpful in avoiding fatigue of logging clips for 3 hours after spending a long day at the office writing code.

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+1 Thanks @AJ Henderson for your experience! I will leave the Question open for other contributors and then look at closing. –  therobyouknow Jan 23 '13 at 15:55

OK, I'll have a go. Here's my own answer (and advise I should take for myself - which I actually did do to some extent):

  • Avoid procrastination. Start small. Start with doing something. Don't hold up too high expectations to put yourself off. Good ideas here: http://zenhabits.net/dead-simple-guide-to-beating-procrastination/ (I succeed a bit with this advice, BTW I have no affiliation to zenhabits)

  • Regularly deliver draft work in a complete state to the customer. This rewards you. It gives them confidence that this is being done. It gives them opportunity to give feedback during the process (to avoid unnecessay work or deviation or disappointment). It gives them something to do on in the event you are delayed later, due to illness or other commitments.

  • Take breaks.

  • Track progress to help predict how long the remainder may take.

I'd welcome anyone else's input. I'm really answering here because no-one else has yet. I'd welcome some enlightenment from your own experiences.

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