Archive for August 12th, 2008

Extra Postage Required

Spent all day yesterday exercising my modest Final Cut editing skills, putting together Happy Fun Time Video #3,100,628. Like its 3,100,627 predecessors, this video is a quick cut music video meant to recognize, inspire, motivate, appreciate and, if we have any time left, entertain.

It’s been awhile since I did one of these, but it used to be my favorite part of the stifling corporate gig. We would spend months writing and producing videos for the big company sales meeting in a) Scottsdale, b) Orlando or c) Scottsdale. Typical subject matter included:

  • Merchandising videos to excite salesmen about a new product,
  • Incentive and commission videos to totally piss them off, or
  • Rousing daily show openers to assault their hung over brains.

Eventually, after all of that preparation, the week of the meeting arrived. The last semi-truck pulled out of parking lot, we’d breathe a sigh of relief…and we’d jump on a plane to Scottsdale and/or Orlando.  Our work had just begun.

Producing the Happy Fun Time Video, also known as the Candids Module or the People Show, is the way we spent the next five days. While everyone else conferred, ate and played golf we shot video of people conferring, eating and playing golf. And also of salespeople getting busy behind the cabana after hours. This was in addition to executing tape cues and advancing slides during the presentations. Yes, I said slides.

At night, we would retire to the room and commence editing. This was in the days before the iBook, when the rented editing system took up as much space in the hotel room as a 1930’s gravity furnace, and had all the editing capability of a 1930’s gravity furnace.  So, you had to get creative with your graphics and transitions, as well as doing as much in-camera effect work as you could conjure. Note to editors: simply using each of your system’s 40 crazy wipe patterns in a row is not creativity. Because I said so.

Finally, the moment arrives at 10:55am Sunday, right before the final gavel. The lights dim, the video plays, and the laughter ensues. Suddenly the long nights, the lame sight gags and that damn song that will never leave your brain are worth it. That is, until the lights come up and you see that half the crowd has slipped out to grab an early cab to the airport.

By the way, what happens in Scottsdale stays in Scottsdale. So forget that part about getting busy behind the cabana.

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