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The Process

by Trent Armstrong on March 29, 2010

At Igniter Media, we try to create every piece of media with the highest standards.  Something that has been important to us for quite a while is the idea of The Process.

This process isn’t necessarily a set of rules as much as it is a few guidelines. I think it’s so important to our culture at Igniter that I wanted to share some components of The Process so you and your team can benefit.

TIP 1:  Everyone’s Input is Valuable

It’s not a committee. There are a few folks that have the final say, but everyone (or most everyone) gets a look at a product so they can offer their opinion if they want.  It isn’t as important to take everyone’s suggestions as it is to hear what everyone has to say.  For instance, the receptionist can sometimes catch things that might bother Joe Churchgoer that the video producers might not have thought of.

TIP 2:  Egos Have to Go

It is actually okay to fight for something you think is right like a piece of music or a particular take. However, stepping back from the project and releasing ownership to the whole team keeps pride in check.  This also relieves the fear someone might have that they’ll hurt your feelings by critiquing your work.  The second benefit of putting away your pride is that you’ll be able to see suggestions objectively and be able to process whether they might help the product.

TIP 3:  Constructive Criticism

Before you criticise, make sure you are doing so in a way that will benefit the project.  This isn’t the time to make your boss see that he should have given you the project instead of giving it to your coworker.

TIP 4:  Solutions– Not just Problems

In every aspect of work and life in general, simply bringing up a problem isn’t a complete thought.  Not all problems have immediate solutions, but making a concerted effort to offer a solution is always better than just poking holes in something.

TIP 5:  Offer Your Services

You might be better at something than others in your office whether it’s writing copy, shooting video, or writing sweet expressions.  If you realize you can solve a problem with your skills, offer yourself to the project!  Of course, everyone should understand that you’ll have to consider your current workload, but don’t leave your team to solve their own problems if you can help.

One of the most edifying parts of my job is using my camera experience, After Effects Expressions, or workflow shortcuts to help out my coworkers.

I also have been blessed with coworkers who are great designers, colorists, and audiophiles.  When I’m adding the finishing touches to a job, involving everyone who can make the visuals or audio “pop” always makes the video better.

TIP 6:  Learn from Each Other

Whether it’s workflow, learning a piece of equipment, or teaching each other keyboard shortcuts; learn all you can from your coworkers and teach them all you know.  Sharing this knowledge will improve efficiency and, eventually, the end product.  When everyone is comfortable with these things, The Process will just happen.

Thoughts will flow naturally and everyone will benefit from the wonderful ideas and solutions that help create your outstanding product.

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