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Musical Cameras

No Steve Jobs, this is not some new gadget you can sell us, just a play on words.

Sometimes we have almost had to keep a separate calendar to keep track of who has which gear and when. For example, we recently had 6 shoots in about 10 days. A shoot that is out of state, which many are, means that a camera and associated kit will leave the office at 5pm and not return until approximately 10am 2-3 days later(a person goes too). Multiply this scenario by two kits and three people and you had better make sure you have planned ahead.

And speaking of planning ahead, you may want to find time to plan two or three shoots in advance. For example, as of this writing, one of our guys is returning from Maryland. Someone else is taking another kit to Vegas - they may cross paths for half a day in the office to exchange tripods. Then the next day I am taking limited gear on my own trip to Vegas where I will meet up with a fellow COW for a couple of days of shooting. Over the weekend another exchange will need to occur for something happening Monday in NY. Next week seems clear so far, but that could change, so we need to make sure we have gear available, which we will. Then I'm back in the office for a day, then out again the following week for a day or two. The TSA guys at my local airport seem to recognize me.

See what I mean? I am planning three weeks out, yet also doing or coordinating work in the intervening days and weeks.

A few months ago we installed an open source calendar on our web server, and we now have an easy way to see where everyone is going to be - all you need is the password. We thought about using Google Calendar, but not everyone has a Google account(believe it!), and honestly it would become one more account to have to remember to check. We just set the company calendar as one of the home tabs on Firefox and that's all you need to remember.

However we have dry-erase calendars tacked to the walls and the odd post-it note for good measure. Those of us with a smart phone likely store our important dates there as well.

So in summary, know who has what, where they are going with it, and when - and when they will return so that you can rinse and repeat. You always want to make sure you will have what you will need when you need it. To paraphrase everyone's favorite scientist, "Maybe in 1985 you can just buy a video camera at the corner drugstore, but here in 1955 it's just not possible."

Thanks for planning ahead.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Jun 16, 2010 at 8:51:43 pm organization, coordination, business

I have a passion for my job, which entails training for medical professionals such as surgeons, nurses and administrators, not to mention various industries.

Technology is great, but how you apply your skills is what pays the bills.

Years ago I canceled my Media 100 support contract upon discovering what a treasure trove of helpful advice can be found on the Creative COW website. I am proud to be a part of this fantastic community.

In my blog I talk a little about media production, a lot about travel and workflow, and occasionally about cooking, nature and my four-legged friends.

Follow me on Twitter: med_ed_mike

I'm also on LinkedIn if you can't get enough of me!


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