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Best use of a few days' time

Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius Oct. 21, 2010, 4:39 p.m. permalink

I'm thinking of setting aside a 3-5 day stretch of time to work on a project. If this were you, how would you use this time:
(a) do several short pieces -- you learn by doing, so do a lot; or
(b) do one piece with more depth

I'm leaning toward (a), since my prospects for doing documentary projects going forward will have stringent time limits due to work and family.

But I'd love to hear the case for the other option ...



Rep: 91
Peter Huoppi Oct. 22, 2010, 5:34 a.m. permalink

If you're trying to hone your skills, I think it depends on what kind of work you expect to be doing. From a newspaper perspective, just about every video producer I work with can put together a decent story given the somewhat leisurely pace afforded by a 3-5 day deadline. Notice how many stories on this site fall under the "more than a day, less than a week" timeframe. Where the quality really drops off is when you ask someone to turn a complete story around in a couple of hours. A lot of people can't do it - the edit takes them too long.

If you're going to work on a story for 3-5 days, make sure you find something that will actually require you to spend that much time working on it. Otherwise you get something that could have been done in a day, but is maybe a little more polished because you spent the extra hours tweaking the edit. If you can turn something around in half a day that looks like what other people are taking multiple days to complete, I think your skills will be in demand.

Rep: 38
Kevin Wellenius Oct. 25, 2010, 6:51 p.m. permalink

Thanks for the input, Peter. The type of work I expect to be able to do going forward will have some new time limits that didn't exist before.  I see using this block of time as a way to hopefully learn to do shorter project efficiently, both in terms of time in the field and in production.


I'll post the fruits of my little experiment here.



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