Speaker 0 00:00 Welcome to the workflow show. I'm Meryl Davis, along with my cohost, Nick gold. And, uh, today is episode one Oh eight growing pains that's growing. He didn't say, did I say grown pains? Well, that's actually kind of an app to, um, analogy. Uh, what are we talking about when we're talking about growing pains? We're talking about what happens to you in your organization when you began as a little outfit and you grow and you grow and you grow and things start to creak, they start to hurt your nothing, nothing reveals inadequacies in your workflow and technical systems like growing and being successful. That's right. I mean, and it's a good part of the process. It's a necessary part of the process and we're here to help you. So, you know, what does this scenario apply to? It applies to anybody who starts as an individual, a person who has built a company, and then they have two people.
Speaker 0 01:01 Then they have three people. Then they have a, um, you know, a work group type environment. And then next thing you know, you've got a group of seven or eight editors and, uh, you know, a bunch of shooters and you're losing your mind. So I, I think we should start by supposing a fictional production company, United federated spaghetti, United federated spaghetti UFS. For sure. So really what we're talking about here is how do you handle this growth? Let's start with where they had been, right? Yeah. Okay. So over at United federated spaghetti brothers, they originally started with two edit seats, one producer shooter, and another editor shooter, maybe a laptop and a desktop. Yeah. They've been able to get work over the last two years and do industrials, where are they storing their media? Oh, they're storing their media on local. Let's say like a local forebay raid, like, uh, or, or, or frankly FireWire driving a FireWire drives is really what most folks use.
Speaker 0 02:04 It's, it's non raid protected G raid or let's see, or whatever FireWire drives. And maybe also maybe a couple of extra drives that installed internally into the Mac pro tower. And there's no backup and there's no archive solution. It's just two guys and they're staggering their sleeves trying to make some time and make some money. And they're doing all right there. There's the ebb and flow of this kind of work, certainly in post production, you know, it's feast or famine, but they've made it work for them. And over the last two years, they've managed to get a good docket of projects they deliver on time. They did lose that. FireWire drive that one time a couple of years ago and permanently lost owls, carwash, Emporium. That's right. But in lieu of the loss of Al's carwash, Emporium, they've been able to scrape by. They have, but now they're sort of at the precipice of the next step because they know that they can't manage. The projects are too many. They can't put them all on a FireWire drives. There's no rhyme or reason we've talked about this. It's not tenable in a longterm situation.
Speaker 1 03:10 She haven't even come up with a system structure. They don't not only do they not even have a file structure, cause it's, it's a bunch of stuff scattered across drives, but they've never even come up with a standardized naming convention for projects that they've worked on. They've, you know, it's, it's a, that thing we did for Frank's carwash, you know, in October of 2008, but they haven't even say, come up with like a specific job identifier or client identifier for, for individual clients and projects that they're working on. They haven't standardized file names. And I will say this in this scenario at United federated spaghetti brothers, they really aren't dumb guys. You know, they're hard working fellows, you know, producers got a good track record. The editor's got a good track record. They're good at telling stories with moving pictures and sound they are. And that's why they're getting more business in the region, but maybe they're not, well, they're not necessarily organizational experts.
Speaker 1 04:13 That's true. Plus why they became creatives or not. I have to say, that's true. Look at your desk and hell one, look at my desk. And one look at this office. I mean, it's it's, you don't want to go there. That's a couple of pictures if you'd like, but that's a scary place to LinkedIn. Yes. Uh, did you seriously just do the reading rainbow sound? I actually had one of our clients make an audio file of the reading rainbow sound for me once. So this is, this is the kind of stuff we do on our downtime. And again, I didn't put it somewhere organized, searching email or not, right?
Speaker 0 04:52 So this is an important part in anybody's operation. When you know that the world that you deal with is bigger than just yourself. You know, when you're a one man band or a two guy band, and I've done it a million times, it's really easy to say, Hey, I know where it is. I can find it. It's not that big of a deal. I've got it on this hard drive. That's all that matters. The very first step in growing pains, it has to do first and foremost with capacity. And secondly, with organization and those things, they come hand in hand. So how do you keep things on level when a million things are going on when you go from having one project a month to four projects a month, and then from four projects a month to six projects a month, there's a lot that needs to be managed.
Speaker 0 05:41 Yes, there is. So, and it's not a bad thing. This is the time where a lot of people are like, you know what? I, I, I've just barely worked my way up to this point. I don't necessarily have the resources. I don't, I don't have the resources to get these things it's expensive to, to, to look at centralized storage. It's expensive to make sure that I've, you know, and upgraded with software. And this is the other thing, you know, we're seeing a whole nother slew of growing problems, which are when you have settled into a, uh, a nonlinear editing platform that, uh, maybe is now defunct. So I'm talking to all you FCP seven editors out there. This is not a tenable position for you guys to be in longterm. And when there is a change in the landscape of the business, that also means there's going to be some growing pains. So I can imagine a fellow who plunked down a couple of grand on a, uh, a decent edit system and FCP seven might be asking the question, why the hell do I have to spend more money right now? Yeah,
Speaker 1 06:45 Let's, let's move on to kind of the first stages and what the plan of attack ought to be. When, when you're starting to realize you're hitting the edge of your current disorganized structure,
Speaker 0 07:01 Two phases, right? Or a two parts of that, the way I look at it, there is the equipment portion. And then there's the resource portion.
Speaker 1 07:10 What do you mean by resource?
Speaker 0 07:13 The actual attack and thought process, the process, the human, the human interaction, the processes, the man hours. Yeah. The, the non equipment stuff
Speaker 1 07:25 Here. I say, let us start with that because there isn't really a cost per se, other than thinking and time that allows you to start to really structure your organization in a way that's growth oriented. That that, again, may take into account your, a couple of independent workstations without centralized storage or whatnot. You don't need an extensive media asset management. And it goes back to kind of what we were talking about, right? If you don't have standards in place for how you're structuring your file system hierarchies on these various drives, you don't have drives that, you know, have folder structures that kind of are a standard approach. So like, let's say have one FireWire drive and it's a bunch of random crap. And then you have another FireWire drive. And it's also a bunch of random crap, but a completely separate folder structure that doesn't really mirror how you've organized stuff on the other drive.
Speaker 1 08:25 That's a problem. If you don't have kind of the way you structure project folders, if you don't have standardized locations, you put the raw video capture files that are associated with a project and you don't have a special sub folder. That's always named a certain way where the media like the, the photographic files that might be associated with a project go. And another folder that has like spreadsheets and scripts and other random ancillary documents. And you don't have a special sub folder. That's always a certain way in a special place. That's for kind of the finished pieces. If you, if you lack that kind of basic organizational structure with naming conventions that you've come up with for where the files are placed and what folders are called, you're going to have a bad time. You're going to have a really bad time and it's easy to do.
Speaker 1 09:14 And you know, this also trickles through not only to the folder structures themselves, but how you name the files, having a very rigid and standardized approach to naming your project files. We name them a certain way. We name our capture files, the raw media files a certain way when we are in final cut say, or whatever platform. And we are kind of creating sub clips, right? And we're giving a clip name as to these sub clips. We have a certain way that we group those in a naming approach to those, unless you really put that thought into it and say, bake into these file names, certain pieces of metadata, or just ancillary information, like a customer name, that's always written the same way and a job ID that identifies a particular project and a very structured way that you always put the date and the, you know, the date that the material was created on or shot on.
Speaker 1 10:10 And you have a, again, a totally standardized approach. This is job zero zero, zero one underscore, you know, 2012 underscore to underscore, you know, 17 under have to be a number structure. It's whatever works for you. But I mean, certainly there are some things you need, you logically you need dates in that file name to be done in a very standardized fashion. You need client names in those things in a very standardized fashion, you always call the client the same thing with every file you're creating for them. And it's baked into the file name. You have a particular job ID for that particular project. We made a commercial for Frank's car wash Emporium. And for that first commercial we did in April of 2009, for that, that customer, we came up with a job number for it. And we bake that into the project files, the capture files, the finished rendered files that were kind of the, the finished product, the photographic images that were incorporated into the project.
Speaker 1 11:18 And then we group them in a very specific way, in a very specific folder structure on a specific hard drive that we always put that client's stuff on. And then of course we manually back it up. None of these things are that difficult to do. You could probably brainstorm a way to come up with these naming schemers in 15 minutes. Sure. And, and really at the end of the day, if you implement this policy within the people that you work with, I mean, it is something that a logger can really put their shoulder into. And while you
Speaker 0 11:53 Are still managing your operation, you can advise this logger to make sure that this information is uniform. I'm reminded actually of a very short lived gig that I had in New York city. Uh, I was hired by an unnamed director whom had a, is this when you realized you actually had to take off your clothes for the commercial at that time that you were telling me about, uh, no. That was a different, that was actually a Geico commercial. I was, uh, um, additioning to be the caveman, except it wasn't GEI CEO. It was GUI no, no, it was the real guy code, but they told me I was too hairy, which I thought was like the requisite to, to get the role, but, uh, no big deal, but so I would have preferred it to be the Geico Merrill instead of the Geico Merrill, the cake, kitchen, kitchen syringe, for me, I'll help you out.
Speaker 0 12:44 Maybe. I don't know. Um, but so I, I got this job when I was in New York city and, and the, the job basically was to help him sort, his hard drives. He'd already, he already made a theatrical film that had wide distribution. It had been the better part of 10 years, and he was doing his next feature film and he needed to get something out the door sent to Los Angeles in a very timely manner. So what does he do? He brings me to his studio and he opens up just to, I'm going to paint the picture for you. He has two drawers in the wall. He opens up the wall and then he pulls out the drawer and there is literally 10, all different colors, shapes, and sizes. FireWire drives each with peeling labels. Some of them have power supplies, some of them don't.
Speaker 0 13:36 And he says, I need you to pull the following clips. He says, there's a scene. There's a guy with the balloon and throwing like a water balloons from the, from the second story window I need that end scene. Okay. So can you string that together and get that output for me? I said, sure, what hard drive is it on? And he says, I, uh, that's a hard drive. He said, I think it's the orange one, I think is what he said to me. But they were all orange. Most of them were orange, but it was, it was such a nightmare for me. You know, I, I obviously was looking to do a reasonable gig. And what turned out to be was, was me sitting there for what I have to say, the longest five hours of my life, attempting all offline clips, render files from one project on another hard drive, Daisy chaining, hard drives all because he's trying to find a specific scene, which there are six different versions of the scene.
Speaker 0 14:31 Some are color corrected, some are not summer HD. Some of them are in standard definition. None of it makes any sense until finally I called them up. And I'm like, um, I don't mean to tell you that I can't do this for you, but, but I quit. But because this is miserable. Well, no, I actually, uh, you know, uh, if you really want to know the true story is that, uh, they fired me, uh, two days later on a Friday night at nine 30, he had his assistant call me and fire me. But, um, but it was largely because I pointed out that this was just untenable, as far as it comes to dealing with this kind of stuff. I think it's an important anecdotal. Um, <inaudible> yeah, I know. I was out, I was out to dinner and my phone rang and it was his assistant and I'm like, Hey, what's up?
Speaker 0 15:11 Do you guys sort out all that video? And they were like, no, but by the way, you're fired. So I said, Hey, thanks, bye. And, and that's a good story as to, as to why you want to deal with your growing pains. Because when you're in that point where you got to bring other people onto your team, you don't want to look like that, dude, that doesn't know what he's doing, because you can't manage your hard drives and you gotta have your assistant call and fire. The guy who knew what he was doing. These just saying problems
Speaker 1 15:35 Are better to get ahead of then behind on. That's always the case. It's, it's so difficult in an organization to retroactively apply these processes. These conventions, these naming scheme,
Speaker 0 15:49 You can't turn on a dime. My father always says he can't turn a tanker on a dime. Does he say that a lot? He's never said it. I knew you were either making that up. Or he says it like every third set. That's when I call my father, I'm like, Hey dad, how are you doing? He's like, you can't turn a tanker on a dime. And then he hangs up on me. It's strange. Occasionally you'll get
Speaker 1 16:09 Call in the middle of the night sun. You can't turn a tanker on it. Know. So, so get ahead of these, come up with these and just start using them. It's not that difficult. And gosh, it creates a path forward that is so much easier. Cause remember things that you bake into, file names or the organizational structures you use for your folder schemes, your hard drive organization. And if you put useful searchable things like standardized client names or job identifier numbers that you can search on at a later date, that's metadata lip, man, that's metadata. That's stuff you can search on when you actually migrate this stuff to a more sophisticated media asset management system, because what's the first, most basic piece of metadata regarding any media file that you have. The name, the name of a file is the most key and critical piece of metadata in that file, because obviously you care about the video, not necessarily what the file is named, but how do you think I hit all the files on my, my family computer when I was a kid. That's the most important metadata of them all.
Speaker 0 17:22 I'm not even going to ask what type of files that's where I was reading a lot of <inaudible>. You just didn't want them to, I didn't know. I didn't want to know that I was so existential in my approach to life at such a young age. So I hit it. Um, anyway, I'm sorry. Go on.
Speaker 1 17:40 So, so the first important piece of metadata that you can have, I mean, remember like Mac iOS and windows, I'm sure. Although I try to avoid when I can, um, you know, we have spotlight, it's this system wide search tool where I hit the command space bar and this little search window comes up and you know, that is kind of your first tier media asset management system. And if you've come up with a very useful way of describing clients, job IDs, things like that, boom, that's metadata that now you can search on without even having to really implement a true media asset management system because the, the file system and the database that underlie a drives file system and the folder structures and the file names, that's all searchable stuff in the database of the file system. So if you have that as a foundation, before you buy anything, before you go to a company like Chesapeake and say, of course, I want to give you a hundred thousand dollars for all of the wonderful stuff that I know I should buy.
Speaker 1 18:42 You really ought to probably have some of those organizational structures in place already. That's that's your homework assignment. Good listener ahead of having a wonderful systems integrator like Chesapeake, come in and implement really cool technical systems that make your organization more efficient. And we'll talk about those moving, moving forward to further phases. But before you get there, do a little bit of thinking and house cleaning and organization. And even if it's a very tough to apply that stuff to the last 10 years of projects, come up with a system and then implement it and moving forward. I agree. I agree. And, and we've said it once, we'll say a million times garbage in garbage out. So this is, this is only a measurement of how much you actually care about taking care of your own work. Otherwise known as Geeko giga sounds like, like an ancient God that the Ghostbusters have to get out of a painting.
Speaker 1 19:43 That's right. Th th the God of disorganization disorganized, disorganized violence. That's what was that in taxi driver? Like he had the poster get organized well, before he went crazy and shot up everybody that poster with the cat that's hanging there. It says, hang in there. And he's, you know, I'm pretty sure that the, the tax, he was oozy though, the taxi driver didn't have the hang in there, cat poster. And maybe it was that immovable, like a iceberg poster. I think it just said get organized. Is that okay? Something like that, but yeah, movie makes me uncomfortable to watch though. I tried watching taxi driver the first time in like 15 years. Like, I don't know, it was only a couple of weeks ago. I actually had to turn it off after about 15, 20 minutes because a, it just creeped me out and made me feel uncomfortable when he was like, kind of starting to stalk that woman, you know, who's working, watching movie and said, I feel comfortable. This, this feels like home taxi driver. Yeah. But then I started to be like, Oh my God, I'm going to turn into this guy someday. If I don't turn my life around. Well, maybe you are the kind of guy that looks at it and go, this feels like home, but I wasn't. That's a good sign. That that is a good sign. Um, it shocked me to my core.
Speaker 1 21:04 So I really appreciate this diversion I'm into, I know we've never heard her fragile psyche, Nick, but, um, but so I, I, your point is well taken though. I mean, not creepy, but organism and, and value your own organization. Okay. Make sure that you're doing this for all the right reasons, because if you're not, it's going to show and it's going to crumble and no matter what we sell or whatever you get or implement, is it all relies on this very basic file structure, metadata sort of system that you must devise. And I think that's a good segue into kind of the next step of, of actually starting to ramp up your technical systems to reflect a growing organization. And remember that if you had a very disorganized structure that was spread across five or 10 different FireWire hard drives or whatever it was, things are only going to get worse.
Speaker 1 22:09 They're not going to get any better by applying that same level of disorganization. Once you've centralized your storage, it's just now going to be even more of a free for all, because everyone is kind of being disorganized together. And that actually can cause more problems than them being in their own little disorganized islands. If you will, once everyone is sharing workgroup storage, which I think we would typically say is the next phase of an organization's growth is typically we got to get away from everyone being on their own Island of storage. We got to somehow centralize this and make sure that it's raid protected or backed up or whatever. And in tandem with that just before we go too deep into the storage, because I think it's important to note, uh, when consolidating and when centralizing this sort of stuff, you also have to look at the individual client and Ali.
Speaker 1 23:00 So again, I'll go back to the FCP seven folks. This is important. Figure out which NLE, whether it's avid, whether it's premier, whether it's FCPX, that seems unlikely these days, though. There are, there are people who are putting their toe in that water. You gotta choose one and you gotta, you gotta build potentially you gotta build your workflow around that as the entry point into your, your storage. And I will say this too. I mean, in the way that the video production and postproduction industry, you know, for awhile, it was geared around beta SP and then for awhile, it was Digi beta, and then it was HD cam. And now that everything has become file-based and, and new codex and whatnot come out on what seemed like a monthly basis. Yeah, there aren't a lot of standards anymore in the way there used to be there.
Speaker 1 23:49 Aren't, you know, I think for a lot of folks, we're very comfortable in the world of final cut editing for many, many years. And now they're like, well, you know, I'm going to keep final cut seven around for legacy purposes and to open up old projects, I'm, you know, I'm going to start exploring premiere. Heck a lot of us have it anyway already, because it was part of production premium. I'm going to upgrade it. I'm going to be on the latest and greatest version. And you know what, now that I can use media composer with a Kona card or a black magic card, maybe I'm going to throw that on there too. You may be finding that you're not necessarily going to be completely set on a single platform moving forward because the price has gotten so low and frankly, the different platforms have different advantages in different areas that you may decide, Hey, it might be good to actually have a couple of things in my, my, my toolbox this I think.
Speaker 1 24:40 And I think this is really what you're getting at makes having an organizational structure even more important and not just organizing the files, but organizing the workflow is you may have to bounce projects between these platforms. For instance, you know, we know that final cut 10 can't open up a final cut seven or earlier project filed directly, but we can export a final cut, seven project or large portions thereof as an XML file and then have different tools that allow us to open up that XML in final cut seven or spit XML out of a final cut seven project, and open it up in premiere pro directly, or spit XML out of final cut seven and through a third party tool like MME, like automatic duck, bring that in as a, a project in avid media composer. You need to get organized with those workflows.
Speaker 1 25:35 And I think that's what you're getting at you. Can't just kind of have it all over the place. You can't, you have to make some decisions and establish these processes to make a top down decision as to, as to what you're going to do going forward. Because again, just like the metadata, this is, this is all an executive decision and executive decision must be made. And that's really important because you can't build a foundation on mud. Okay, we're ready to start buying stuff. We're ready to actually make some investments of a monetary and technical nature in our environment. I find that people, once they've kind of nailed down their organization, they start to really think about storage because it's the data and it's constant growth. And the fact that these days people don't have videotapes to go back to. And so there, isn't just this wall of tapes to store all of the data it's files.
Speaker 1 26:26 It's usually double the amount of data for the single source of video, because a lot of times these guys are taking the raw cards and they're, they're backing them up. Exactly. You're also, uh, transferring them, uh, to different codecs for usage. I feel like you may be kind of implying a conversation. I was having with a client on the phone this morning that you may have been overhearing cause you're two feet away from me. Well, you know, if I overheard any of your wonderful sales work, it could only be a good thing. Learn from the best. No we would. This just came up today. If you have a pay to workflow, you're probably gonna wanna, you know, keep a copy of the raw stuff, right. That was from the contents folder on the P two card, which means media files. You know, that our DV DV 50 DVC pro HD or ABC intra that are wrapped within this like more arcane MXF file structure and associated little mini file hierarchy.
Speaker 1 27:24 You're going to want to keep that because that's like the raw camera reel, if you will. It's basically analogous to the video cassette. That was the raw record from a project back in the day, but maybe your workflow and final cut seven, for instance, dictated that you do a log in transfer and you really only pull the select into your final cut project. The process of that has taken some of those materials that were MXF on the <inaudible> card and turn them into.mov files that now you're editing and final cut seven. And so now you, as you just said, you've got several copies of basically the same stuff. Some of it as MXF in its original camera shot format. Some of it is the.mov is that you import it into final cut. Yeah. It, the data's just out of control and it's all these files and you don't want to throw anything away.
Speaker 1 28:14 You know, some people use media Mangler, AKA media manager, and final cut to basically discard stuff that they didn't use in a final edit, but most people don't even want to get rid of that stuff. I mean, it's potentially valuable stuff. It may be B roll that you can use in another project, you may realize that this client's going to be finicky. And in a couple of years, they're going to want to recut of something that used some footage that they remembered that you had shot that you never even used in the final project. So no one wants to throw this stuff away. If you're backing everything up, boom, that's several copies of it right there on top of again, the several formats that you may have generated and then just the production and post production process. It's totally overwhelming. And we're buried in this stuff.
Speaker 1 28:54 The media formats, thankfully, are getting a little smaller actually, now that I moved largely away from uncompressed workflows. And so instead of being like 165 megabytes per second, we're down to maybe an eighth or a 10th of that for a lot of HD formats, maybe even less, but still the media is just constantly growing. And again, that's why the first thing we ever hear, usually when we engage with an a, with a client that's that's on the verge of this growth and being buried is storage. I got to centralize my storage. I got my five FireWire drives are now 15 FireWire drives they're they're of course, balanced precariously in a moisture written closet. So storage, getting a grasp on that is usually the first phase. And, and as we talked about in the storage sanity episode last week, that usually means some kind of a work group storage system.
Speaker 1 29:48 And I don't think we need to get into super specifics cause that's, that's covered in one Oh seven, I think more than adequately dare I say, wonderfully and charmingly and wonderfully. Anyway, we should stop. We've covered that one quite quite good. Um, but it is that addressing of a work group storage scheme, cause you've probably picked up another one or two editing systems, or you added a laptop on top of your couple of desktops, but you want them all to be able to plug into the same storage. You want people to be able to work off of the same media files. So you don't have to constantly copy files, which creates versioning problems. Who's working on what version of the files who had all of the stuff versus just a subset of the stuff from a project you working off of centralized storage, whether it's an ether net based system, an ethernet ice Guzzy system and ethernet file sharing server, a true sand system, whatever it is consolidating that storage system typically is is, is phase one.
Speaker 1 30:49 Now that system is not usually just a little hard drive that's sitting on your desk or in your moldy closet. It's a true piece of kind of enterprise storage equipment and a lot of in a lot of cases. And so, you know, talking about growth, you need to account for kind of, well, where does this server equipment live in my facility, literally, where is it stored? What power is available to it? A lot of these things, you know, you should typically have like a four post equipment rack, not necessarily an AAV rack, a true server rack. That's got like at least a dedicated 20 amp power circuit go into it. And uh, don't forget your, your power backup ups, battery backup very important. Cause you don't want your primary storage to get corrupted or anything. If there's even a momentary power blip. And we all know, you know, lots of facilities don't always have the best power ups, frankly allows you to have minutes of uptime.
Speaker 1 31:49 So you can have an elegant shutdown. If you have a true project, save you, get things powered down properly, eject the drive from your desktop, you know, power, everything down. So if you're going to have an extended power outage, it's shut down properly because when you, when you power down a hard drive, suddenly without properly, you know, shutting it down that can lead to corruption of the file system. You can, you can literally have data corruption. And so a ups battery backup in that true server rack with good power going to it that isn't being shared for 50 different things in your facility, but it's the power dedicated power circuit for this shared storage system and dented it a cooling which very few people think about. Cause you know, an individual FireWire hard drive. Doesn't put off a whole lot of heat, especially when the eight other FireWire hard drives you have are unplugged and sitting in a closet somewhere when you move to a consolidated storage system and it's multiple hard drives acting in unison as a raid array, you, these things are all going to be spinning at the same time.
Speaker 1 32:52 And if you have like 16 hard drives now, instead of one or two, that starts to put out a lot of heat, you don't want these things ever being in a, an ambient environment. That's more than 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You know, usually 68 to 70 is kind of the window that we say really should represent the upper limit for the ambient temperature. And if this isn't a teeny little closet in the corner that doesn't have AC going to it and the doors closed most of the time, even one raid might turn a closet into an uncomfortably warm place. And the warmth isn't just uncomfortable for users potentially that actually has a very, very concrete impact on the life of the raid and the hard drives in it. And so you don't want drive failures to be happening at a significantly higher rate than they normally would because it's not in a cool enough environment so that the rack, the power and cooling, these are parts of the growth process. As you can see, as you consolidate your storage system, that that are an important thing to have your head wrapped around as your organization grows, you might need just a little core equipment area. That's well-maintained in these areas
Speaker 0 34:05 And if you're going well, I'm working out of a, a two person office or I'm still working out of my home or I'm working out of office space that is not equipped. This is part of the growing pains. You know what I refer to the mess. These are champagne problems, the problems that come from 600 problems that come from success, indeed. And this is not just about your individual workflow or the equipment or the space in which you put the equipment, but also how you manage your business as, as, as it relates to the, the staff that you employ and the roles that you bring into the situation. I know in a previous episode, when we were talking specifically about ma'ams, you know, there really needs to be a manager of the asset management. And if this is an important crux of how you're going to operate moving forward, and you know that you are already inundated as part of your own organization, this is the time to look for an individual who can truly manage your assets. Because at the end of the day, nobody is paying you to search for video. So while it is costly, upfront at the point of growth, if you don't do it, then you are literally spending the time that your client has paid you to edit the work, looking for the video assets, which makes you look like you don't know what you're doing.
Speaker 1 35:28 Yeah. And with a lot of smaller organizations, you're not going to have a full time media manager because gosh, darn it. We have some major, major broadcasters in our, and they don't have full time. Media managers. What's important is that you have someone who clearly understand that that is an important aspect of their jobs responsibilities. And in the world of management, there's a term that's often used, which is key performance indicators, right? Your KPIs and someone needs to know that one of their key performance indicators is the increases of efficiency that they are bringing to the organization by managing the organization of the digital media files themselves. And, you know, in tandem with that managing the overall workflows between your personnel, this person may be your post production supervisor. It may be your senior editor, but they need to clearly understand that this aspect of their job is also these media management and workflow management tasks.
Speaker 1 36:36 And unless you have clearly identified a player in your organization to have that role and the other people in the organization know to look to that person and that that person has documented these schemes documentation is a huge part of this growth process. You know, you may have a system for naming files. You may have a system for what the folder structure for an individual client's materials may be. We'll put together a little document. So any new person that comes into the organization or as a lot of you guys know freelancers come in and out of the door. Cause the video industry has a heck of a lot of freelancers, have an actual document that this person who's in charge of the media files and the workflows has assembled, or you can pay an organization like Chesapeake systems to help you assemble such a document and make recommendations about what the structure should be. And then have it as a resource. You've got to be well-defined in this. Or again, it just has a way of getting out of control. And in a lot of the organizations that we work with, this person is often a wonderful person. They're great, but they can be a little bit of a task master. If you will. They are the ones who at the end of the day, maybe have both the carrot and the stick that get the people to really adhere to these systems.
Speaker 0 37:59 I'm just going to edit this video. I never did any of this metadata stuff. I'm an editor. Yes, seriously. I swear. I've never heard freelancers talk like that. I come in here to do work. Don't make me do metadata stuff or, or the best one. I'm up against a deadline, man. I can't be worrying about this stuff. I've been on both sides of this. And the truth is it needs to be built into the workflow. If you have a document that says, here's how we do it. And it's a document that you send out to every editor that you hire, um, and it's get them familiar with it, a big deal. It's not, it's not imagine, you know, in a scenario where you might need to sub out some people and get them out onto a production. You can get this document for logging in the field. You can hand it to them and they can know out of the gate,
Speaker 1 38:44 What is required of them as you grow as an organization. And maybe you've gone from having a couple of full time people to bringing in more and more freelancers or adding employees to your organization. And again, another part of the growing pains processes, don't just look at someone's demo reel, right? Because yes, of course the quality of their narrative, visual storytelling skills is extraordinarily important. As an editor. We know this, however, look at their bins. I've had guys ask me for the, my bins. They've wanted to look exactly at my that's fricking brilliant man. You need to, because you need to know the skills to be a good NLE editor these days. Okay. Maybe they're not quite as important as, as being able to edit video well, but gosh, they're really important, especially in the era of file-based acquisition and postproduction and archival and media management workflows, these skills are more important than they ever were. And that changed quickly over the last five to 10 years, when some of our very first clients were starting to do just fully file-based acquisition and post-production workflows, they were inventing this stuff, you know, seven, eight years ago. Now it's how every organization needs to function. And that's a quick turnaround in an industry that was using videotapes for several decades. You can't just overlook this stuff because you're really short on editors one day, because that's what causes these huge
Speaker 0 40:17 Totally, totally. And, and, and really at the end of the day, somebody should be able to go into a project. They should be able to look at all the associated assets and as a producer, they should be able to do a string out without ever having to ask a question of an editor or, or whomever shot the video. Is it on, is it what camera was it on a cam B cam day, one day two, whatever. They should be able to look at these clips and easily determine based on the file structure, based on the folder structure, based on the naming structure, based on the locate location, it is what it is and what they can do with it.
Speaker 1 40:55 Can I get an amen? Amen. So let's, let's move on to another aspect of growth. We've talked a lot about bringing people on, right? And we talked a bit about the physical space growth that's necessary when you put in a shared storage system and that there's going to need to be a properly temperature controlled equipment area with, with adequate cooling, as I said, power rack space, et cetera. But speaking of spaces, if you're going from a mom and pop editing outfit to a more, you know, a real editing and post-production operation, chances are, you're probably looking more office space or, or, or growing your existing office space, maybe bringing architects through, knocking down some walls, moving into a whole new office, right? This is something we've run into with a lot of our clients as they've grown. And I think we should just spend a minute or two tiger about, I agree.
Speaker 1 41:51 So when you are running a project and whether you're moving into a new location or expanding your existing location, but it involves actual construction, it involves several tiers of systems integrators and or contractors or subcontractors by all means. And again, another part of the growing pains processes, you need to understand the value of the role of a project manager within your organization. As you go through those extensive processes and growth spurts. I don't mean to sound like, Hey, you know, we at Chesapeake are, are rule followers, but you're absolutely right from the little mini rules to having somebody manage a project, you have enough going on, you need somebody in there. Yeah. And I, and that's the thing, right? You know, someone needs to understand that it's their job, but if you assign a very complex set of activities that really take up a lot of someone's day in order for them to be done properly and to have the correct accounting in place for it to all be done, according to the schedule and whatnot, just saying, you're the guy for this, doesn't make it.
Speaker 1 43:02 So it needs to be someone who realistically can accomplish those tasks on top of any other tasks that they may have within the organization. And by all means, if you're opening up a whole new office and it's a big operation and there's many, you know, groups of integrators, contractors, and subcontractors at play to stand that operation up, you may want to consider bringing in a freelance project manager, they certainly exist. There are absolutely, you know, project management firms that you can contract with to run your project. And if it sounds like it's this unnecessary, ancillary Metta job title, that that really doesn't do anything of value. Let me tell you, you're totally, totally wrong. You've got cabling people. You've got architects, you've got construction folks. Maybe you have painters. You have the carpeting folks. Then you have, in addition to the cabling outfits, you probably have a separate systems integrator, ideally Chesapeake systems.
Speaker 1 44:05 Who's actually doing the sand system and was that's, you know, that was sly now as I was plugging upstairs, no, no Chesapeake. We rule, we rule, you've got all of these groups, right. And who are they reporting to? Yo in a lot of situations, you'd think the owner of the company that's making this expansion would, would definitely be directly involved in a day to day, way about standing up a whole new facility. But you know what, sometimes that person is shooting. Sometimes they're editing. Sometimes they're out doing kind of sales related tasks or, or account related tasks with their clients. They probably are not the best person to be acting as the project manager for standing up a new facility. It's kind of on them at the end of the day, it's their company, their resources, their investment. But you know, if you run a company that's growing, you're probably too busy to also manage the project of standing up a whole new office in the world of project management.
Speaker 1 45:03 We use these organizational tools called a Gantt chart. And you've probably seen these things it's with all the little different lines that have, it's literally a piece of computer software that generates these, that shows, you know, what are the dependencies what's not only, what's the timeline in the project between all these various aspects of pulling a new facility together, but what are the dependencies? This can't happen until this is at this stage, or this needs to be complete before this next stage can happen. And if there's a delay at this point, and we know it'll be delayed for five days, boom, we have a way of understanding how that trickles down and affects all of the dependent aspects of the project. Who does this, who puts together this chart. This is a fundamental part of what a project manager. So we've talked about organizing your data and your workflow.
Speaker 1 45:55 We've talked about, you know, the factors involved in starting to think about centralizing your, your actual storage, technical infrastructure. We talked about organizing the process of expanding into new facility and space. I think the last thing that we really probably ought to just cover quickly, and again, I'll reference to previous episodes of the workflow show about media asset management and the backup and archive episode, but it's the next levels of your technical environment set up. And how do you grow into that? And, and while we may have solved your short term storage needs by putting in a sand or another work group storage system, what haven't we addressed?
Speaker 0 46:36 We haven't, we haven't addressed your, your backup or your archive scenarios or your asset management. That's correct. So there's, there's there's. And, uh, typically I find that when we, we, we do this implementation with customers. It's a phased approach. Phase one is the sand phase two is usually conjoined with phase three, uh, and is your media asset management and your backup archive solution. That is, that is the trifecta, if you will. And that is the core of, of what we deal with on a daily basis, you have to overcome a mental block when it comes to approaching this, because it is a different way of thinking about your environment. When you have so much control over your environment, when you're editing video, when you literally have the ability to manipulate video in time and space and create something out of just pieces of footage, uh, I think it's easy to feel like, well, I, you know, I can take care of this,
Speaker 1 47:35 But this is a lot nerdier bigger than you. It's nerdier. It's, it's more granular. It's the greater good, right? Because right now, what we often tell people about organizing these things is it may require a lot of effort upfront to say, implement a media asset management database system, to better track your data and manage your workflows than just using, you know, a raw sand system. Without that layer. It takes some energy to think about this stuff. What you're doing is you're putting a little bit of energy in the front side to really save an extraordinary amount of time further on in the process. And as you said, it's this mental block of why do I want to take more time now? Well, because it's saving 10 times that much time later on, you know, again, a backup or an archive system, you know, for longer term archive of the media, when it no longer needs to live on a sand or a disaster recovery backup system that might cost a bit of money.
Speaker 1 48:37 And you know what it's like insurance, you hope you never have to use it. So that's kind of ironic. You need to be the kind of person who's willing to make an investment in something that you hope you never have to use, because the alternative is if you didn't invest in it and you do have to use it, you're probably going to go out of business. And there, I think we might've talked about that in the back of an archive. There's statistics about how many data oriented organizations have a fundamental, catastrophic data loss and just go out of business. And it's this huge percentage of them that just cannot recover from that again, when you're a data driven business, like the media production industry. So you're right, it's this mental block of thinking beyond the next five minutes,
Speaker 0 49:20 Freedom in itself, free yourself, free your mind. If you can get over this block, if you can just clear this hurdle, then, then everything else is easy peasy.
Speaker 1 49:35 And dare I say, it makes you an extraordinarily valuable person in the media services world, because there aren't a ton of people out there that I run into that are both natural creatives and very good at longer term thinking through of these types of organizational challenges, both a technical and workflow nature. If you can get into the mindset where you can both be creative, wrangle, other creatives, and manage these bigger umbrella kind of notions of your organizational structure, I'll tell you, it makes you a very valuable player in this world. It's a great combination of skill sets to employ agreed. So
Speaker 0 50:18 In, in summation, our growing pains really have to do with the physical, the space constraints, the technological,
Speaker 1 50:28 The organizational constraints, the mental constraints, but they are all surmountable. If you come with us on this journey, I can promise you that we can bring it to the other side and we'll make sure that you're doing good work. So with that said, tune in for further episodes, we're going to be shifting to some interesting conversations with our favorite technology vendors. Folks who've been in the industry awhile. And yes, there will actually be more voices on this program and looking forward to guests, this is great. It's just going to be us. It'll be great. All of our friends and, and, and great folks that we've met over many years now, we're going to be mining their insights, talking about specific products, specific technologies, more general backstory of where the industry is at. And we'll be bringing those folks in over the coming weeks. We look forward to it. Thanks for listening guys. We really do appreciate it. Visit us at www dot <inaudible> dot com. We've got a great event coming up in the month of November 1st week in November with avid that we're doing. So if you're interested in media composer and the Avids Annaliese, we're doing that here in Baltimore. Yeah. Again, www dot <inaudible> dot com. Drop us a line at workflow show at <inaudible> dot com and tune in next week. Take care. See you guys then.