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Old November 21st, 2007, 03:40 PM   #1
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Do as much as you can to start?

Today I had some free time to think and assess myself I then had an epiphany. "Why search for the exotic before first understanding the basics?"

So my question now: Would it be bad to just do documentaries / lectures for the next 6 months to a year, so that I can perfect them?


I have been thinking even though I captured and edited for 3yrs, that I really didn't master anything.


I would have been better off sticking to one type of work (event, documentary, shorts, and what ever else is out there) rather than going from seminars / lectures to wedding / live events.

Each event: controlled, uncontrolled, group shots, single shots,
music videos, plays, and what have you, they all require different workflows.

If I master one of them now, I can then go on to mastering them all. Rather as of now I know a bit of each, which to me isn't good enough.
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Old November 21st, 2007, 04:03 PM   #2
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"Ahhh grasshopper, what does it mean to 'master' anything?"

Different people learn and acquire skills at different rates, and in different ways. What's right for you, may not be right for someone else.

Certainly, in order to master any subject, one must focus on that subject. But at the same time, there are 'universal skills' that translate and transpose between disciplines too.

"Jack of all trades, Master of none..." is often thought of as a derogitory statement. On the other hand, a generalist can often find more work than a specialist.

I know several 'masters' in various skills, and I know that they never stop learning, and never stop practicing the basics. Whether it's the scales on their instruments, the moves in their martial arts, or simple pencil sketches... 'mastering' the simple things is necessary for a strong foundation.

Understanding (and mastering) the basic skills necessary for ANY work in the production business is a good idea. Understand what goes into good clean audio, understand basic lighting principles, understand how to frame a shot, and WHY to frame a shot a particular way. Understand basic acting skills, and directing principles... acquire these basic skills by going to quality courses, buying quality book, or best of all - WORKING with quality 'masters' of the craft, and observing THEIR approach, is key.

To answer your question "Would it be bad to just do documentaries/lectures for the next 6 months to a year so that I can perfect them?" - the answer is "No, it wouldn't be 'bad'." Focus on a specific skill set will pay off. But if during the course of that year, you had a chance to work/observe on a feature set... should you turn it down??? No, never pass up a chance to learn more.

"Now grasshopper, as quickly as you can, snatch the pebble from my hand."
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:15 PM   #3
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Interesting...

I guess the key is not to focus so much on the the different events, but rather how they captured and presented. For example: Lighting, sound re-enforcement, camera functions, directing, etc...

My point really wasn't how fast we learn or to limit our learning, but why have 8 cameras when you barely know how to use 1. In my case I have the foundation, and skills to adapt on different cameras, but the experience with all the various scenarios I don't.

I know a concert requires 3 or more cameras, mics, a mixer, but I may not know the proper mixing and amount of lighting needed (this is just an example).
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Old November 21st, 2007, 05:38 PM   #4
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Sure, if you want to learn how to do a particular type of production, then you must focus on that type - Concert, wedding, event, narrative, sports (and all ITS variations). The more time you can get doing a particular type of production, the better you will get at it, no doubt.

My point being, there is ALWAYS something to learn on any production, usually 'how are the basics employed, and expanded on in THIS scenario?'

Is there a particular aspect or area of production that you are especially interested in? A particular TYPE of production that you would prefer to be working on?
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