Sunday, February 19, 2006

Adjusting to deadline: harder than previously thought

As I enter my fourth or fifth week (the weeks begin to run together) of broadcast senior semester, I must admit something: it ain't as easy as it looks.

Never before, in all my schooling, have I experienced the intense pressures of trying to meet deadlines such as the ones that face me now.

During semesters past, we would have two -- or even three -- weeks to turn one story package. Two weeks! While those were semesters of learning, even still, that was a lot of time to produce a 1:30 package. Looking back, I could have produced a Dateline-like show with that amount of time. Two or three days we would spend shooting video, another two or three getting our interviews, five to seven writing and two or three days editing our package.

Now, it's more like two to three hours shooting video, tracking down, setting up and interviewing subjects. Then, I have about 10 minutes to go through 20 minutes of b-roll and logging good bites. Then, if I'm lucky, I'll have 45 minutes to write a script. By now, it's 2:45, and my producer is yelling, "Graeme print to video!" And I yell back, "Umm ... I'm just sitting down to edit, but I promise I'll have it on tape by show open." (And by show open I mean in 45 minutes).

I've missed deadline twice during our beginning weeks, and it's a let down. I promise you will get discouraged. You will say you're not nearly as talented as you thought. And, you will probably want to quit. But, do not. It gest easier. It just takes time. I'm actually beginning to see a faint, though almost nonexistent, light at the end of a daunting hall (or haul).

There's no great ending or some enlightening advice to my story, as what I just described is where I am.

But, I can say this: get ready for a huge change when walking into senior semester. I also suggest (if anyone has actually read this far) to challenge yourself if you're still in 326 or 434. Challenge yourself to getting a package done in two days. I think that's fair. Of course you will have more time, but if you begin setting personal deadlines, things will be much easier for you when you arrive to the pseudo-working world of senior semester.

Good luck!