Photo of an interview with a mother and child at the Ronald McDonald House of Durham & Wake.

Is all that stuff necessary?

Our first thoughts on this subject came when Kim met with the head of BellSouth Corporate HQ’s A/V Services to work on her very first production project for the company. She told him that she had a ‘degree in Production’. He said, “We can fix that.”

Disheartening, and a bit confusing at the time, but it soon became quite apparent what he meant.

At the time, Kim was also working in the film boom which Atlanta was experiencing. Working on ‘Robocop’, ‘Last of the Mohicans’, and even a Spike Lee video, we began to take note of the ‘industry standard’, which is based on…waste and inefficiency. For example, during the shooting of a film in a small town in the Metro Atlanta area, we were talking with an electrician who also worked for us occasionally as a videographer/gaffer/electrician/grip/whatever. While we were talking, he had to leave for a few minutes. Seems that a couple of guys rolling an equipment cart came upon an electrical cord lying on the ground, and our friend was the only one allowed on the set to lift it up so they could roll the cart under it. Probably 15 – 20 people within a few feet of the cord, and he was the only one that could do the job. Union rules.

It’s simply a mindset, but with a purpose. I’ll leave it to you to figure that purpose out. Though we are currently far separated from the Hollywood film industry, we see the same sort of waste in the corporate production world, and we’ve made it our goal to avoid that model.

The online video boom has generated an entire genre of ‘filmmakers’ who are trying to prove that they can make Hollywood quality products without the Hollywood style budgets, and this mostly involves cutting the waste. Probably one of the best and advanced are the guys at Triune Films, the producers of the YouTube channel, ‘Film Riot‘.  We’ve been watching their stuff from the start, and we’ve watched them grow. Though their productions have expanded, they still follow the mantra that you can get the same, or possibly even better look as a Hollywood blockbuster, with relatively small crews and less expensive equipment. Much of this requires that one person be enabled to perform many jobs – something that isn’t allowed in certain settings, mainly those that begin with a ‘U’. But I digress…

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