The present and future of post production business and technology | Philip Hodgetts

Jul/13

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Whatever the job you need Final Cut Pro skills!

I was reading through “20 things 20 year olds don’t get” at Forbes and right in the middle jumps out this paragraph:

You HAVE to Build Your Technical Chops – Adding “Proficient in Microsoft Office” at the bottom of your resume under Skills, is not going to cut it anymore.  I immediately give preference to candidates who are ninjas in: Photoshop, HTML/CSS, iOS, WordPress, Adwords, MySQL, Balsamiq, advanced Excel, Final Cut Pro – regardless of their job position.  If you plan to stay gainfully employed, you better complement that humanities degree with some applicable technical chops.

I added the emphasis, but it’s strong evidence for my “video is just another literacy” hypothesis.  Although in context I have to say, I have no idea what “Blasamiq” is and definitely don’t have any skills. (The others, fortunately, I do have some skills in.)

Apple must be pleased with the use of “Final Cut Pro” as a generic term for NLE!

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15 comments

  • procrustes · July 27, 2013 at 8:09 am

    Video literacy is seen as important. But in many ways (primarily financially) it has become a devalued skill. You won’t see middle management and the C suites learning about color spaces, compression, eye-lines, story arc, or even the power of meta-data. Yes, the writer of the article wants the people she/he hires to be able to edit. Do we really think the author has any video skills, knowledge, or even basic proficiency?

    Video is something that management and HR people say they consider a valuable skill, but they don’t have a clue about it and won’t compensate for.

    It seems like another check box in the Red Queen race of chasing the middle class dream.

    [Well, in our country,” said Alice, still panting a little, “you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you run very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.”

    “A slow sort of country!” said the Queen. “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!”]

    • Author comment by Philip · July 27, 2013 at 8:42 am

      When something is a “literacy” level skill, it’s not valued nor compensated – it’s just assumed. There’s no extra pay for being able to read/write and compose a document. As literacy that’s assumed and included in what’s being paid for.

      The basic skill set now, is an advanced skill set of 30 years ago. Subjects now taught in Junior High were once the realm of a college in Ancient Greece.

      • Procrustes · July 27, 2013 at 9:46 am

        I agree that as literacy it is assumed and uncompensated. However, I don’t believe (quite possibly incorrectly) that even the basic skills of video literacy are presently held by many people in established in positions of influence in the broader business world. It seem that video literacy is something that people hiring feel someone else should have (maybe like running a cash register or broom) but not necessarily posses for themselves.

        I do think the concept of video literacy is an interesting one. When I was learning to edit it became clear that the ability to consume visual information had little to do with the ability to create it. Kind of like discovering that eating at restaurants didn’t mean I could cook.

        I wonder- what skills and knowledge constitute a basic video literacy?

        • AndrewK · July 29, 2013 at 5:38 pm

          Basic video literacy to me would be basic camera operation (start/stop recording, focus, etc.,), get footage into the NLE, cut out the stuff you don’t want, add basic text/gfx, add VO and music (adjust music volume level so VO can be hear) and export to YouTube. That, in a nutshell, I think is the video equivalent to knowing how to open Word, compose a letter/memo/flyer/etc., w/reasonably correct grammar and punctuation and print or email the document.

          It’s more of a technical achievement than a creative one.

          • ralf · August 9, 2013 at 10:36 am

            Well, to me the basic video literacy is not simply technical, but also knowing where to place the cameras & mics for greatest effect, using transitions well, and understanding the language of visual communication. It IS a creative skill, just like writing a cogent paragraph or report.

            A pen won’t write a paper by itself…

  • AndrewK · August 12, 2013 at 9:51 am

    To me knowing where to mics and cameras for greatest effect, etc., goes beyond basic video literacy. The run of the mill ‘how to’ YouTube video is probably an example of basic literacy to me. An idea or message is clearly (hopefully) communicated though most likely not in a well executed, skillful or creative way.

    I try and think of how literacy is executed in every day settings by everyday people (emails, texts, memos, classified ads, reading news and popular fiction, etc.) and its all very base level. Typical news stories are aimed at a 6th grade level of reading comprehension and I think very few company memos could be considered intriguing prose.

    I worked on a TV show recently and a producer working remotely wanted to see how the new script for a 15 second interstitial piece was working out. Instead of me exporting the rough cut, uploading it and sending her an email with a link to it the producer in the room with me just recorded playback on his iPhone and sent the video directly to the other producer’s phone. Crude, but fast and good enough to get the job done.

    This, to me, is part of basic video literacy. The use is as casual and everyday as scribbling a reminder on a post-it note for someone and leaving it on their keyboard.

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