Thursday, March 5, 2015

Creating and Reporting

Recently, I have been spending a number of hours each week doing a new kind of work--transcribing. In this case, I am mostly adding timecode (corresponding to the video) to an already created transcript--it's a "deliverable," one of a series of written documents that distribution companies want to accompany the actual show videos. Each day, I watch the video, a few words or shots at a time, and insert timecodes matching every character speech or camera shot change, and adjust the script if the words don't quite match. As far as I'm concerned, it's a new skill in a freelance life, and for a freelancer, new skills can be even more important than new paychecks. (Well, maybe not more, but...)

While the transcribing goes hand in hand with the video watching of sorts that I do daily as an editor, I am realizing that the main difference is that transcribing requires reporting of information, rather than creating or interpreting of that information. When I am editing, each shot and shot length is a choice. Each sentence might be examined and its audio rearranged. Each effect is added to help tell the story. As I transcribe, the story is already told--I just have to report, with precision, how it is told. So, while I am finding that transcribing could definitely be a new marketable skill, I am also finding that it is a fantastic change from editing. After hours of making decisions every second (actually every few frames--fractions of seconds), I can spend time NOT making decisions, but simply reporting what I see. It is freeing.

As I gather my new skill sets--this has been a productive few months for that--I am becoming aware of the importance of varying those skill sets. Though you don't want to be a person who does so many things that no one knows where to place you, you do want to have enough variety in your skills that you always have somewhere to place yourself, whether you're in a "choices every second" mood or not.

When I went out on my own after the soaps, I quickly realized that I would likely never find again the lovely combination of jobs I'd had there. What I am learning these days is that you can often make your own combinations--ones that use all of your talents, just in different ways. The trick is giving them a try. And accepting that sometimes you create, and other times, it's okay just to report.

No comments:

Post a Comment