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Archive for September 23rd, 2008

I’ve had a long relationship with industrial video.  In fact, during the 90’s, that was pretty much it for me.

First I worked in a production house that catered to the training, merchandising and presentational needs of corporate biggies like RCA, GE, P&G and others too cool to spell out their names.

Then I went “in-house,” and became part of a two-dude production team at a major medical manufacturer. The best thing about being part of a two-dude team  was having the opportunity to use all of your skills, and develop new ones. On a typical project I might be the producer, researcher, interviewer, director and editor. The other guy would run the camera on shoot day. And then, on the next project, we would swap. So, it was intense pressure followed by no pressure at all.

There were drawbacks, as you would expect. Sure, we could afford to buy an AfterEffects package for the non-linear edit system. But I’m no designer. I can tinker with it, import a logo, fly it in, create a shimmer effect…if you give me a few hours to play with it. I may only ever gain enough skill to make it work…never enough to make it sing, you know?

And, sadly, the only thing there wasn’t room for in this skill-development scheme was scriptwriting.  The marketing and merchandising folks did an almost-good-enough job at it and, with our limitations, almost was good enough.  However, as it became more obvious to me that scriptwriting was where I wanted to specialize, I started moving slowly toward the door.

Overall, for the most part, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed being part of…something, as opposed to the freelance isolation you often hear me whining about. I enjoyed digging deeply into a product line, an industry and a company culture. I also enjoyed the seemingly limitless supply of capital equipment money (which led to another unexpected skill…writing investment justifications!)

Like any type of job, there were pluses and minuses. For the most part, though, I remember it fondly. Those jobs are tough to come by, but I wouldn’t turn one down if the opportunity arose…as much as I like the independence of freelancing.

So, if you’ve got any spare in-house jobs laying around, hep a brotha out!

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