Working in the covid times
I’m a video producer and editor by trade. I started in broadcast making commercials with a short stint in news, but migrated to corporate video quite a few years ago.
Everything stopped in 2020. 2019 had been a good year for business. Not so much 2020. I was very fortunately to have a part-time gig with a stock image company employed as a video clip quality reviewer. It kept a steady trickle of income coming in throughout the year. It’s gone now. Outsourced to India. But I was grateful to have had it when everything else dried up.
I say everything else dried up… but where work is concerned that isn’t quite true. Oh, paying work definitely, but I’ve been busy. My church, the UU Church of Cherry Hill in New Jersey went virtual in April, 2020. Our services had always been pretty music dense. We have a talented Music Minister, but her knowledge and experience in creating recorded performances was very limited. I volunteered to help out through the crisis. Little did I know that that meant over a years worth of weekly video creation.
In my professional life I am provided with footage obtained on an actual video camera with a constant frame rate, time code and other meta data as well as four channels of audio that, if acquired, would be recorded through probably two sources, at two levels. Typically a detailed script accompanies all the assets with approved graphics and corporate colors.
I give you that brief description, so you might see the great dichotomy between my professional life and the service I do for my spiritual community. Yes, they are both video production. That’s about where the similarity ends.
Lately what I am provided with is cell phone video at a variable frame rate (I didn’t even know that was a thing) with poor resolution, some horizontal, some vertical. And the lighting? Audio is of varying quality and levels. I’ll get an m4a that’s .5MB and then a .wav at 68MB comes in. It’s challenging. It’s a quick turnaround. Everything has to be done by Friday and I often get it on Wednesday or Thursday.
Does it sound like I’m complaining? I’m not, really. It’s just so different and so far from my norm. But then, everything else is too, right? Each Sunday I’m simply happy that congregants aren’t missing out on one of the very important parts of our service, its music ministry.
I have learned a great deal about navigating around all the challenges. I would like to offer these newly forged skills at a fair and competitive price to any other church or musical group struggling to get their music out into the world.
I’ve developed a technique to create virtual choir videos with Zoom recordings that is quick and even the tech-challenged are willing to take on! It’s a bit more work on my end, but that’s okay. The choir enjoys it and we end up doing many more recordings than if we did the traditional way with everyone creating a separate video recording.
Interested? Send me an email with any questions: SeeWorthyMarla@gmail.com
My vimeo channel website www.seeworthyonline.com has some samples of different kinds of videos we create each week. Hymns to sing along to, themed holiday pieces and special guest pieces. Oh hey, there is some actual pro work on there too! If you are in the market for a video for training, orientation, marketing or fund raising, let’s talk!