I, like the majority of video editors I know and meet, am prone to shyness. Shyness in post production is an issue that is probably costing you money and time. As I write this I’m too scared to say “good morning” to the woman I sit next to on the bus at least twice a week for the past year. My commuter bus etiquette might not interest you but did you know that your shyness could be costing you hours of unneeded time in the edit bay?
I’ll explain that along with some other ways I try to fight my own shyness syndrome in the post below.
I enjoy the solace of my edit bay like you do. I’m away from others. Just me, some Bon Iver or Greensky Bluegrass and my project. I can focus on my work without any distractions. This is never an issue until it’s time to leave my cozy, secluded world. My mind is stuck on the edit rather than communicating with producers/directors/clients.
Issues from Not Speaking Up
There are a number of issues in post production that arise from scenarios when you do not speak up because of shyness.
I don’t know how many times I didn’t speak up during pre-production and it bit me in the ass later. To this day I struggle with it but know it’s better to speak my mind than wait until I’m in post production and this scene isn’t going to work and we can no longer shoot. When there are concerns during pre-production, speak up! Yes, it sucks always being the Debbie Downer but in the end it’ll be less work for you.
There will be times where you’ll have to work late because others slacked and got you stuff late (producers!!). You do it because you like your job. But once it’s over you have to have an after action meeting to discuss what happened and try to prevent it from happening again.
Producers will always suck but they’re human, I think. If they realize they caused you to work all night and miss your kid’s ballgame they might be more apt to not do what they did again.
Modesty is a wonderful trait to have. Let people know when you do something awesome. Spent all night trying to figure out how to make clock hands rotate with After Effects Expressions and you are proud of it? Tell whomever the project is for that this was a pain to make and you like it before they ask you to change it slightly. Picking and choosing your battles is something very important and I believe producers do this as well. So if you beat them to the punch and say, “it’s good and took a long time,” hopefully they’ll just move on to the next revision.
One of my main purposes behind this website is to make the video editing community more collaborative. We need to stop seeing each other as competition and more as colleagues. We can do this – we just gotta talk to one another. This should happen on blogs, Twitter, on YouTube tutorials, all the other forms of social media and especially in person. You can start by leaving a comment to this post!!
Working in and living near DC there are events I can go to but honestly, nothing attracts me much and I can’t justify staying in the city all night and paying $30 extra just for parking. We need many more small local meetups where we can get together and vent, show off our work and trade tips. I hope 2015 will hold many, many of these meetups generated through this site and this fantastic audience. What kind of meetups would you want to attend?
Strategies to Battle Shyness in Post Production
Fighting against shyness is an everyday battle. It gets easier but it never gets easy. Putting myself out there by writing or creating videos helps. But the best way to fight shyness is through small habits everyday.
100 Days of Contacting Someone New
I contacted someone new everyday for 100 days. I love 100-day challenges but that’s for another post! During my 100 days of contacting someone new I either reached out in person (like in line for the bus or for coffee) or online (Twitter, email, contact form on their website).
When I reached out in person it’d usually just be light small talk. My one “rule” was that it counted if our conversation had at least 7 back-and-forth interactions. It wasn’t just, “Is it raining?” “Yes.” It had to have something of substance to it. I’d aim to get a handshake out of these even though it didn’t get that far most of the time.
When I reached out online I had a purpose. I would tell them who am I and what I like about X – X being their video, post, website, product, etc. I usually would get a response. Sometimes I’d get more. I made actual friends and got a gig out of that 100-day challenge. Now I try to do this at least 3x a week.
I used this method when I was breaking into the beer blogging world. It works. However expect to get a lot of emails that you’ll want to spend time properly responding to.
Cold Showers to Fight Shyness
I have also done 100 days of cold showers. Yes. It was horrible. I still do it from time to time. I started a new streak this week actually. I’m up to 3 painfully cold mornings. This post will teach you anything you want to know about cold showers. He does a far better job of convincing you to do it than I ever could.
I’m a bit app-obsessed. If you are too and want to keep track of small, daily habits like contacting someone new each day, cold showers, going to bed before 10pm, reading 30 minutes a day, etc., then you want to check out Lift.
I’m pretty obsessed with it. It’s the first app I open up when I reach for my phone in the morning and the last app I touch before I go to bed. They also have a web version of their app which links to your account.
How’s your fight against shyness? Do you understand why we must battle it everyday? If we don’t we’ll get shoved around by producers. We’ll work extra hours. We won’t get credit for our brilliant work. And we won’t make the video editor community a more collaborative place.
How do you fight against shyness in post production? Share your thoughts below!
Did you check out last week’s post on The Power of Presets yet?