INTRODUCTION I’m Yanina Filipova, a major in Video Productions at Borough of Manhattan Community College. I chose Video Productions as my major because I’m very much interested in films. Ever since I was a kid, I have always been fascinated in watching movies, especially adventure movies. Whenever there is a chance, I always make it a point to watch the production documentaries of movies. I am fascinated with the production of such films. As such, I dreamed of producing and directing my own films and eventually have my own production company. Entering in a course in Video Productions trained me in creating professional video programs.
It has prepared me in the twists and turns of producing your own film such as creating a budget, shooting a scene, and editing a final cut. It taught me things about collaborative filmmaking. In studying video production, I learned to like the profession more and more. In line with this, I interviewed three people with different jobs related to the field I want to pursue. In this interview, I expect to learn the twists and turns in the production business especially that the job of each of my interviewees has some connection with video and media production.
I also want to know the advantages and disadvantages in working with video production. I want to learn what characteristics I must have to achieve my dreams. I want to seek their advice on how I can manage to pursue this career. In this way, I will know the things I must go through to attain my career goals. BODY Alfred Swanwick is a video producer for three years now at Heartbeat Digital, a company that creates custom websites that headquartered in Manhattan. As a video producer, he earns $2000 each month.
His job description includes budgeting and scheduling video shoots and post-production editing, identifying and securing the appropriate crew for projects, coordinating crew shoots, working with clients to understand their business needs and creative vision to staff jobs appropriately and to manage their expectations, and working with various internal teams throughout the company to ensure a smooth and successful project implementation. He studied at Marymount Manhattan College where he studied as an Art major minor in Graphics Design.
During his undergraduate years, he applied for internship in a media production company, called theU, in SoHo where he was trained to do online works by helping in building the company’s online community. He graduated in 1997 and immediately started applying for small jobs that has relations to his degree course because he really wanted to pursue a career in graphics design. His first job was as a personal assistant to the head of a small media shop where he worked for a year. In this job, he was trained to log and edit video using Photoshop and Flash.
Then he worked as a junior editor for another three years where he learned to manage the company’s media network. Then he applied at Heartbeat Digital as an assistant media technician where he was responsible in the distribution of the hard copy of the company’s media. Through this training, the company made him the video producer after two years because the company saw his dedication and passion for his work. The company has since trusted him in leading the creation of their online network. Swanwick said that he wanted to do video productions since he is very interested in the media.
Ever since he was in high school, he was always chosen as first place in website designing competitions. It was during these competitions that he learned the basics and thought to himself that he wanted to learn more about graphics design. When he graduated from high school, he then enrolled as an Art major minor in Graphics Design in Marymount Manhattan College. In here, he learned to create professional video and audio programs, create a budget, shoot a scene and edit a final cut. He also learned to design and program computer-based interactive products.
He said that one of the advantages in working in this field is that salaries range from $1500 to $3000. Aside from that, since websites and web pages need to attract attention, one gets to develop and enhance his creative side. However, he said that while this job lets you earn more, you have to sacrifice your rest and sleep hours. You almost always have to stay up late because of creating and editing a media program. He said that sometimes you have to rack your brains out just to produce outstanding media productions.
Being a perfectionist himself, he always strives to achieve excellent media productions. When asked on his view about the historical experiences of women, minorities and persons with disabilities in the field, his response is that he thinks these groups are under represented in the field. In the early days, these groups are often not qualified in taking jobs that are usually dominated by men. He said that women, minorities and person with disabilities should be given opportunity to prove that they can do what men can do. Swanwick’s hard work and determination earned him a successful career.
He also said that one should have a burning passion in your chosen field so that you can attain your goals without having to worry too much of the consequences. He aims to become an executive producer someday and with his strong-willed personality, there is no doubt that he will achieve his ultimate goal. David Fisher works as a full-time assistant producer for almost two years now at Three on the Tree Productions, a company focused on music documentaries, videos and concert DVD’s, where he earns $28000 annually with benefits.
His duties and responsibilities in the job include scheduling meetings and job workflow, budget management and organizing job files and folders. He also assists producers in bidding processes, production shoots, and edit sessions. He graduated three years ago from the School of Visual Arts in New York City with a degree in Film and Video. He was trained here in directing, screenwriting and editing his own films. One of the films he produced was even nominated in the Dusty Film Festival, sponsored by his school, and was shown on the big screen at one of New York’s theaters.
He worked as an intern in Forbes. com where he exercised his knowledge in producing daily videos. When he graduated from college, he first worked as a digital technical assistant at a video post production and design company. Although this work requires very basic skills, this has introduced him to the kind of work he is now doing. After almost one year, he quitted his job because he believed that the job is not helping him develop his skills in video production. He then applied at his current company where he was immediately accepted as an assistant producer.
Due to his outstanding capabilities in video production, he is now running for promotion to junior executive producer. He is currently undergoing trainings and seminars on video and film production to prepare him for his job as an executive producer. He said that this work taught him to be a sociable person since he is responsible for keeping employees up to date on the happenings of the company and so his communication skills are regularly practiced. He also learned to be organized and details-oriented.
He said, however, that in his work, he always has to stay up late since his producer always calls him even in the middle of the night to give him orders or, sometimes, just to check that he has already done his work. But as he learned to keep up with his producer’s midnight calls he also learned to keep up with the fast-paced environment that his job has. There are women and minorities working in his company. In fact, one of their executive producers is a woman. When asked about his view on the issue of women, minorities and persons with disabilities, he said that in these modern times, they should be given equal opportunity with men.
He said that women today are very competitive unlike in those days when they only do household work. One good reason for this is that they want to prove that they can do what men can do. He believed that it is a pity that in the early days, women and minority groups are discriminated because they are immediately judged when they do men’s work. In his line of work, Fisher said that you’ve got to be hard-working so that you can achieve your goals. Push yourself to the limits until you have achieved what you want. You’ve got to have specific goals — a concrete idea on where you want to go and what you want to achieve.
By doing this, you have a concrete map that will guide you in going to the place you want to go. When you know what you want, then you know where you are going. You also have to be flexible in every aspect to be able to adjust to the fast changing environment that video and media production has. And just as Swanwick said, you have to be determined and passionate in what you are doing so that no matter what the consequence is, you can still pursue what you want to pursue. He concluded with a piece of advice for those who want to pursue a career in video productions.
He said that we should let nothing get in the way of our dreams. If we do, then it was not our dream after all. Rowena Moore is the executive producer of the Digital Intermediate Department of Technicolor Content Services New York. She has been in the company for six years now where she first worked for two years as an executive assistant. She has been holding the job as an executive producer for the last three years. Her job includes bidding processes and deliveries to the Laboratory and overseeing all aspects of DI, VFX, and digital optical processes for feature films.
She also produces and edits feature films and trouble-shoot technical issues. She is a graduate of New York University batch 1997 with a degree in Film and Television. In here, she was taught to produce and edit films. She worked as an intern at HDNet Films where she was introduced to work at a production and post production department. Although her duties in her internship are basic, it helped her develop her communication skills since she was given the opportunity to participate in working on a production set where different types of people are present.
Because of her active participation, she was also given the opportunity to participate in a traditional 35mm film. After she graduated, she applied as an in-house motion designer for Adspace Mall Network, where she designed and animated 15-second commercials. In doing this first job, her imagination and resourcefulness were developed because her commercials need to be creative but her company have only limited assets. She also developed her communication skills since she is the one responsible for contacting the clients when they have production questions.
She quitted the job after two years because her position became stagnant. For one year, she only does part-time jobs because she can’t find the work that she liked. Then she applied at Technicolor Content Services in New York as an assistant producer. It is good that she worked for Adspace Mall Networks for two years because the job she applied for required one to two years of related work experience. After a year, she was promoted to executive assistant producer where she writes coverage for screenplays and occasionally assists the line producer.
Due to her hard-work and determination which her company recognized, she was promoted to executive producer after less than two years. She said that one of the advantages in pursuing a career in video production is that there are many job opportunities. These job opportunities range from the small to the largest video and media production companies. And although her work requires so much time because of the production and post production tasks she has to do, she says that it is worth it because she gets to do what she wants to do.
In working as an executive, she developed her leadership skills because of her responsibility to inspire and direct other team players. More importantly, she learned to be a team player. Being a woman, she said that her gender did not get in the way of pursuing her goals. Although there is a prejudice on women in doing these jobs, it did not keep her company in recognizing her efforts and abilities. She is glad that today women are getting more and more active in the field because this just proves that women are also capable of the work that men can do.
In line with this, she advises women to be more competitive and not to be afraid of the discrimination that society has against women. She said that if you really want to achieve your dreams, you should always work hard and never give up despite the consequences you have to endure. She also believes in what Swanwick and Fisher had said, you should be determined and never let the fire of passion run out. Determination and passion always help you hold on and continue achieving your dreams. She is a living proof that women nowadays are equally capable of the things that men can do.
CONCLUSIONS All of these interviews discussed about the experiences of people in the field of video productions. As I expected, it has taught me the twists and turns of a production company especially the jobs of the people I interviewed. I learned the requirements needed for this profession. The interviews taught me to work hard and be determined in what I do. I learned that to be successful in your dreams, you have to be passionate in your work so that you will not have any reason to give up. The interview just increased my excitement in working in a production company.
Upon graduation, I want to experience working in such a company first so that I will know how to run it before I begin to run my own production company. Doing this interview taught me to utilize my communication skills. I learned that this skill will come in handy when I start to work and eventually start my own business. I am still not certain about what will happen after graduation but I am sure that I will continue pursuing my goal of building my own production company.
SOURCE: New York Craig’s List: Manhattan TV/Film/Radio/Video Jobs. (2006). Retrieved November 4, 2006, from http://newyork. craigslist. org/mnh/tfr/index300. html.