Met up with my friend Aaron Butler for lunch. Hes an Associate Producer with MTV and hes earned credits for editing and directing as well. Hes had some offers from VH1 too–basically hes totally kicking butt down here. We used to be roommates and before that we were involved in student government together at Cal. Aarons been making films for the absolute love of it since he was in junior high–seeing him doing so well is really cool. We sat down to eat and soon got to talking about the differences between production roles in TV, film, and games.
Didnt get too deep into it, but some TV jobs have a lot more research while games have a technology angle thats unique to our format. And there is one level even lower than AP in TV: PA (personal assistant). None too glorious a role, but still a great way to meet people and game some exposure to how things work. What all of these entertainment industries share in common is how important meeting people and keeping in touch are. Aaron I both do our homework before meeting someone new to see who we might know in common–just check on MobyGames for the credits and see who is on there that is familiar. Its pretty cool to be able to do a little name dropping and get the conversation going. Often I learn something funny about an old friend too. :)
5 Years Of the Wrong Experience
Weve both bumped into the challenge of getting a gig where we didnt have enough of the right kind of experience for an entry-level role, yet the people hiring feel we are too experienced generally speaking to fit the entry-level role. Catch-22! They are concerned that a more experienced person wont do as well because they might be unhappy about serving in a less glorious role. The way around that seems to be giving the hiring manager the chance to see that were absolutely serious and interested in the role because we want to learn and perform our best. We dont give a crap what the title is, were here for love of the work and the people. Heck, I’m having fun just applying for jobs. :) I havent met this many cool people in such a short time, like, ever.
How To Make a Video
I told Aaron I’ve been mulling the idea of making a parody of a campaign video either Flash or with video. Sorta to go with the campaign theme of this website, but mostly just for fun. I’ve been playing with video and audio editing tools lately and I think it would cool to put together a video from scratch. After editing my friend Ritus skydive video (we jumped a few months ago) I starting thinking I should ask Aaron how he edits footage–I mean, I figured there must be a better way than what I had just stumbled upon while playing with the tools.
Aaron tells me the most important things to keep in mind when editing video is the “Yes, but” concept and the importance of dissimilar cuts. “Yes, but” is the idea that you want to say something, add tension with the next cut, then take tension away, then add it again to provide momentum and keep the viewer’s interest. When you cut to a new scene, its also important that the new scene is different looking. You dont want to cut from a headshot to another headshot. It isnt attention grabbing and it has the possibility to be confusing. And we didnt even get to talking about the specifics of how to index scenes and decide on how to integrate clips! Heh heh, its kinda cool that each area has so much too it. Aaron is an Avid guy, I saw that the Bond team uses Final Cut Pro for their video editing. I’ve been playing with Vegas after finding Premiere a bit too unstable on my setup for my taste.
Sometime soon Aaron wants to put up a website for his work, which would be nice–I’ll be helping out with my mad programmer skills, or course. ;) I need to get copies of his footage so I can hold a meeting of the Aaron Butler fan club, NoCal chapter. Hes been making all these shows and even a music video–our friends would totally dig seeing them.
So many games, so little time. :) Somehow I never got around to Morrowind, but Aaron and I chilled at his place for a bit after lunch and he regaled me with the charms of the game. It looked pretty good! It reminded me a little of Knights of Legend, for some reason. We played through a bit and it was pretty fun. I’ll go buy a copy off of Ebay later, but I keep thinking it’s so much more fun to share this stuff with friends than to play even a really good game alone. We talked a little of the days of yore when pen-and-paper RPGs forever changed our lives by opening up world of creativity and possibility. I suggested maybe we could get a game together while I’m down here, I mean, a lot of my high school gaming buddies still live in the area. Well see if we all can coordinate schedulesit sure gets harder after college! :p
Updated on October 6th, 2013
Some of the links were broken. I replaced them with working links to pages with the same or similar content as before.