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An Edit Bay with a View

COW Blogs : Mike Cohen's Blog : An Edit Bay with a View

The usual edit bay (we used to call them edit bays back when an online editing suite resembled the bridge of the Enterprise. Today an edit bay resembles a computer desk - results may vary - consult your pharmacist)…The usual edit bay may or may not have a window. Very often the only light is dimmable track lighting, perhaps a lava lamp and the soothing red glow of the mouse.

My particular office is just that - an office - in which we happen to do editing.

Office Half of my Office

Edit Bay Half of my Edit Bay

Lately my colleagues have been using my editing station for their HDV projects, since I seem to be caught up in non-editing work and the computer seems pretty stable. To clarify, much of my non-editing work is planning for future projects in which I may or may not do the editing, as well as all the other stuff that goes into a multimedia project besides the actual production work - this is called Project Management and is in fact my primary job function. Thus an office with a window, task lighting, an overhead fluorescent that is never used, a potted plant or two and a generous drawer full of snack products makes for a more productive work environment.

As also described in almost every post, one thing my job does include is not being in my office very much! While my days away, excluding excessive amounts of travel time, are scheduled pretty tightly, the travel time itself, hotel time and time spent in a fuel tank with wings suspended seemingly by magic 7 miles up afford the opportunity to actually be productive…maybe.

The ability to use a laptop for anything more than watching a movie depends upon several factors:

1. Leg room - this may sound trivial, but the ability to extend one’s legs fully makes the experience much more comfortable.

2. Seat reclinability - along the same lines as leg room, the more you can recline your seat, the better. Even an extra inch or two frees up your elbow joints so that your hands rest in the proper position on the keyboard. This is where keyboard shortcuts in your editing app are really important.

3. Tray table extendability - some seatback tray tables extend away from the seat on rails, some don’t. Although your elbows need to be crammed into your neaghbor’s kidney, the extending tray allow you to extend the laptop screen to a viewable angle. Given the high reflectivity of my Dell’s screen, viewability is key.

4. Timing with cabin service. You must be skilled in handling a hot drink with one hand while protecting your electronics with the other. A good strategy is to boot up the computer as soon as the bell dings, then when you see the drink lady(or guy) coming, close the laptop and place it, get this, on our lap, then lower the tray table to protect the computer. When your drink arrives, grab the cup not with your hand in the usual cup-holding position. Rather, place your pinky and ring finger under the cup, your middle finger and thumb on the sides of the cup, and your index finger on the rim of the cup. This affords the most stability against spillage for a cup filled to an unknown level with any beverage.

Once you have the drink in hand, drink it as fast as possible then stash the empty cup in the seat pocket, and retrieve your computer from its protective zone.

5. Extra battery - if it is a long flight, or if it is a short flight and you are doing something that is battery intensive, such as editing or rendering, extra juice is important. My Dell Vostro came with a small battery. I added a 2nd larger battery and try to keep both topped off at all times. Make sure you set your battery alarm so you know when you have about 10% left, giving you time to shut down and change bricks.

Once you are situated, hydrated and ready to work, aside from the T-Rex arm syndrome, you can go about your business. While I usually choose an aisle seat for easy access to the snack counter (what, you don’t fly Emirates Air?) a window seat lets you occasionally have a look out at the heavens above and the clouds below. You can indeed be both productive and relaxed in your edit suite with a view.

Thanks for reading. It is time to turn off my portable electronic device. Good thing I fully charged my

Posted by: Mike Cohen on Apr 20, 2009 at 7:10:47 pmComments (2) editing, travel


that's a hoot!
by Jiggy Gaton
i got plenty of windows at home but never on a plane, as i sit aisle exclusively. what's that cream dolphin looking thing above your laptop screen? is that the traytable lock? i used to travel with a 17" macbookpro and have had those things almost crack the glass when some big bozo started doing a lapdance in the seat ahead. i now travel with my wifes macbook to save space, but still worry everytime the seat starts to shift up and down in front of me. but i really like to work on planes as it fully absorbes me and i don't notice that i am flying @ 30,000 and the probabilities of winding up in a LOST-like episode are greater then anyone thinks. I just pray if anything goes wrong that I end up with Kate. cheers,


Room with a View
by Ken Harper
Very Very Cool!!!

I have NO windows.

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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