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Juggling Bowling Balls

Once in a while, there are a few sizable projects going all at once. There are a few key dates each year when things need to be finished - conventions at which we can sell our wares.

Last year I described the finishing touches on the Pancreas Atlas of Surgery book. With the book finished for the milestone of a Fall meeting, we set to work on the multimedia component - 36 chapters of video, audio, text and illustrations. Anticipating a lot of pickups and knowing the time required, we decided that I would also be the narrator. Recording 100,000+ words was a full-time activity for several weeks. Record for an hour, edit for an hour, rinse, gargle, repeat. Having a serious flu in December did not help, although my voice does sound velvety and delicious.

When we renovated the office we dismantled our audio booth and used the space to make the offices a little bigger. So using the Zoom H4N recorder, I can record in any quiet space, often my living room which is carpeted with lots of soft materials. However in the office, we have a small office we use for checking DVDs, charging batteries and storing media. I rigged up a small audio recording station with some foamcore and acoustic tiles and spot for a laptop or printed script.

In addition to the narration recording, I also wrapped up some outstanding video edits, recorded some missing video narration and handed this off to our Flash programmer. Don't tell Apple, but Flash is alive and well!

Another ball in the air is a corporate project. I can't go into details, but it involves about 12 hours of panel discussions recorded during a conference, combined with edited surgical cases and some narrative to tie it all together. Rather than bringing my whole crew out to the meeting, I hired fellow COW Steve Wargo and his crew to get the shoot done efficiently. I flew home with a single USB hard drive of XDCAM files and got to editing immediately. Tape is not completely dead, but it's on its way.

We're also in the throes of revising a client's website, including adding interview clips from staff and patients and building a web-based support group/forum.

A new project is a doc style effort - interviews, narrative, b-roll and some acting. We've done a few shoots so far with more scheduled.

We completed a promo of some new nursing videos, being shown next week at, you guessed it, a meeting. With those products done we can start the next batch, and have already planned a shoot for pickups.

And the final bowling ball is simply planning for future projects that have not kicked-off yet. Logistics, contracts and phone tag are what's needed.

This week we had a client in the office for some voice over and strategizing - and they were nice enough to bring lunch! Tomorrow a quick VO/editing session (physicians tend to have free time on the weekend) and then another client next week for the same (we have shot 5 surgical cases which should be edited by the time he walks in the door).

Somehow, it all gets done. I think we have room for some more bowling balls.

For now, thanks for reading.

Mike Cohen

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Mar 18, 2011 at 7:55:41 pm project management, juggling

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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