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Setting Goals for the New Year

COW Blogs : Kylee Peña's Blog : Setting Goals for the New Year
I hate New Year's resolutions. They're the worst. I think the year flipping from 2012 to 2013 is entirely arbitrary and should have no bearing on what I do with myself, mostly because nearly all resolutions are forgotten by Valentine's Day anyway. However, it seems as good a time as any to set overall year-long goals and check in on how you're doing, right? But not resolutions. If you call 'em that, you're going to bail and you know it. Plus, you can always add to them throughout the year if you feel the need.

For the last several years, I've set a list of goals at the end of December and evaluated how I did with the previous year. It's sort of a public accountability thing even though no one really holds me to it because really, who would remember? Twelve months on the Internet is basically a century. Still, actually writing things down in a sorta-permanent way makes them slightly more legit....even though I could edit this post and pretend I met all of my goals because I am infallibly amazing. But no, I would never do that.

Or have I already?

I'm sure I've mentioned repeatedly in my blogs how much of a goal-oriented list-checker-offer psychopath I am, so literally writing down words that describe the things I want to fulfill so I can actually check them off a list makes me giddy. If it doesn't make you giddy right now, I recommend doing it anyway. Maybe by 2014, you can share my giddy sickness.

Either way, I think it's important to set and achieve goals as a video editor even when you've reached a point where you feel comfortable with your skills and surroundings -- because things change way too fast to ever be complacent, ya'll.

If you want some motivation in considering your focus for the new year, here are my goals for 2012, and how I did with them. I thought about including them in this post, but they border on braggy at times if they're outside the context of my personal blog so they can just sit over there. If you're on my page, anything goes without apology. Overall, I did pretty well with the main ones. A couple slipped by. And a couple just became less important to me as the year went on.

And that's one thing I think is most important about goal-setting and ultimately my point. Goals are always in flux, and you can re-evaluate them at any point in the year, not just when the human construct of time dictates a tally mark in the year column.

And a goal is better than a resolution. A goal is something to achieve. A resolution feels like something that is wrong with you that needs to change. It feels like it's set in stone forever and if you don't do it, oh well, trash it. Goals and resolutions can be the same thing, but the word "goal" is much more positive. In my opinion, anyway.

So, 2013? I have some goals. In the interest of practicing what I preach, here are a couple. I expect you, dear Internet, to hold me to this.

1. Read more books.

I have a Kindle and I should use it. I'm also filing "read more scripts" under this category. Reading scripts for films you've seen or will see teaches you a lot, so I'm going to do more of it.

2. Watch more films.

I've always felt like I consumed a lot of media, but compared to others, I kind of don't. I go to the movies a lot, but I have a lot of catching up to do with classic films.

3. Fluency in Avid.

This doesn't really need to be on this list since I'm continuing to cut Impersonators and have another film lined up. But part of fluency (to me) is actively pursuing additional training to add to the knowledge I gain from hands on experience (including considering the C word).

4. Go outside.

Probably the most difficult goal when you're busy trying to watch more, read me, and learn more stuff. Plus the sun, it burns us, precious. But physical activity is important, unfortunately. Blergh.

There ya go. Four perfectly attainable yet challenging goals. I think it's best to have a good mix of measurable and abstract. And while it's not a bad thing to have goals that are really reaching, I always try to limit those because I know I'd just get overwhelmed and give up before I start. Maybe really-really-hard-to-reach goals are what motivate you. In that case, you should definitely put some awesome stuff on your list and tell me about it.

So, Internets, what are your goals for the Earth's next trip around the sun?

Posted by: Kylee Peña on Dec 17, 2012 at 10:02:10 amComments (2) video production, goals


Re: Setting Goals for the New Year
by Kylee Peña
Wow, you've had a busy year. I didn't travel as much this year as last, but even then I didn't come close to the amount of time you spent on the road. Impressive you can name all the cities like that.

I think it's really great to prioritize personal projects as goals. We all get into video stuff because we like it and it's fun, but it feels like too often we work ourselves so hard that it's not fun anymore. To have the skills and equipment and never use them for anything that means something to you is a shame. Great example in your reservoir video -- pairing a great place you like to be with your skills and something you enjoy. That's awesome. And crap, made me really sad we have so much more winter to go.

Good luck with everything, sounds like you've got a lot on your plate for the coming year.

twitter: @kyl33t
Re: Setting Goals for the New Year
by Mike Cohen
I usually don't publish goals. However I accomplished a lot of work goals this year so why not take that momentum and run with it....

Here are things I set out to do this year, what I accomplished, and some goals for 2013:

Work Related

Do more with less

We shot 5 long-form scripted videos between July and November and have all 5 nearing completion as we approach Dec 31. All videos are meticulously planned down to the shot, shot by myself and my colleague, and then a meticulous paper edit is created and handed off to the editor. Sounds obvious but forcing myself to do the planning and the paper edit in a very small window of time has been key in getting a lot of work accomplished.

This is in addition to about 50 other projects.

For 2013 the goal is to increase from 5 to at least 8 of these videos, and still have about 50 other projects to manage.

Better Client Communication

Major Projects and major clients have weekly or bi-weekly status conference calls - scheduled in outlook at least 3 months out. If someone can't make a call due to travel or vacation or fire drill, no problem. But overall scheduled calls make a huge difference.

We started using Basecamp in lieu of FTP or web downloads to share edits and other files. Basecamp also allows outside contacts to upload files to us - very useful for our meetings to keep track of slide decks and other such files.

For the year ahead, I will implement these calls on new projects or with new clients, and use either Basecamp or Sharepoint to better exchange files with the outside world.

New Ventures

We worked for much of the year on a new educational offering that is about to go live. A combination of live-to-kipro studio shooting as well as post-production, post-test question writing and accreditation by a medical society meant a lot of moving pieces. We also built and refined our website which is the public facing marketing function, as well as the registered user portal for content.

While this was going on we re-launched our online surgical video library on an ambitious 6 week schedule with a drop dead date coinciding with a conference.

For the year ahead we will continue to add content to both of these services as well as build a 3rd now in the planning phase.

Get Involved in More Meetings

Since we merged with a meeting management group, we now have a half dozen 500+ person meetings to administer, as well as the 50+ smaller meetings that we usually handle. My job is to evaluate the audiovisual footprint, make recommendations and occasionally manage the live case program if applicable. On site I help oversee all of the above along with help out with speaker ready room duties, stills photography and any video recording or streaming.

You can read all about it on my blog.

For 2013 I will be playing the above roles on at least 6 conferences plus some of this one the smaller meetings.

2012 seemed like a busy year for business travel. In order, I had trips and/or video shoots in:

Albany, Miami, Durham, Jacksonville, Hartford, San Diego, Chicago, Grand Rapids, LA, NYC, Austin, Albany again, Washington DC, The Bronx, Denver, Denver again, LA again, Chicago again, Denver again, Denver yet again, NYC and NYC.

Sort of a pattern of the same few cities plus a few new ones. On each trip I made sure to shoot stills and/or video of the city or something unique about the trip, just to make it memorable. I now have a couple gigs of video files and images begging to be edited into a highlight montage - might get to that over the holiday break. Might not!

Speaking of fun personal video, let's transition to fun personal stuff.

Fun Personal Stuff

Well not all personal stuff was fun this year. About this time last year our beloved Tigger started showing signs of old feline age (felinity) and by June we had to say farewell.

By July we were ready for a new kitten and found Alfie Mittens just waiting to warm our hearts.

My wife and I celebrated our 15th anniversary.

I made some videos for both the town first selectman as well as for a local cat shelter. Both of these were very rewarding projects.

In the year ahead I plan to do more personal video productions, either for pure entertainment or for charitable organizations.

And finally I too need to spend more time outside. I drove around with my mountain bike in my car for a couple of weeks and only got one ride in. I also have a road bike which never left the garage ceiling hooks. In 2013 I pledge to ride at least once a week. There is a perfect spot on my way home from work. In fact, it is this spot that I made a video out of.

Which reminds me, I started this website for the specific purpose of creating original videos.

We'll see where we are this time next year!

Until then, thanks for reading.

(oops, I just realized this is a response to another blog post - oh well, good a spot as any for new year's resolutions)

Mike Cohen

Focusing on post-production, from editing and motion graphics to personal experiences and the psychology of being an editor.


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