Freelance/Business advice I wish I had back then…

In case you don’t know me personally, I had been a freelance editor/director/producer in the D.C. area for 10+ years. Due to circumstances, some in & some out of my control, I ended up needing to take a staff position.

By most measures, Howard Media Works, Inc. was a successful small business. We kept our doors open for 10 years – 6 more than the average lifespan as calculated by the SBA. There were a number of things we did right. And a number of things we didn’t do so well. In the end, 3 projects simultaneously imploded and we were left holding the bag. We went from 6-digit revenue possibilities to zero.

There have been some posts on the various blogs I track giving advice to those of you are currently freelance or those of you looking to make the leap. I’ve collected some of them into this post, plus I’ve got one link I’ve been wanting to pass on. Read on for more… Continue reading “Freelance/Business advice I wish I had back then…”

NAB, Monday

Well, the camera I have with me doesn’t work in the Trade Show Hall – flash doesn’t work & it is quite dark in the booths, so I can’t get any good photos in there, but I did get this one outside the Convention Hall at the entrance to the parking lot:


Now we know where Elvis finally ended up.

I attended several good sessions of the Post Production World Conference. I’ll definitely sign up for the whole conference next year. The sessions covered some applications I’ve never really delved into: Soundtrack Pro, Shake & some really good tips for creating sexy images in After Effects.

Also got out on the floor for a little bit. Saw some cool new products. More tomorrow. I’m off to see all the new stuff at Apple, Adobe, AJA, & Blackmagic.

Digital Tech Guru @ NAB Today

I think the name of this set of sessions was slightly mis-named. From the content of the sessions, I wouldn’t have used the term “Guru.” Maybe “Expert” would have been a better choice.

The best part came midday, hearing James Thomas speak about his work editing Borat & working with Sasha Baron Cohen. It was a very interesting talk – hearing about the process and how he pulled all these bits of humor out of 450 hours of footage. I got the sense that in spite of the very real reactions Borat/Cohen solicits from his unwitting subjects (Pamela Anderson didn’t know what was going to happen to her, for instance), Cohen has calculated these events for maximum effect.


I wish the rest of the day was as rewarding. It started with a session on SANs and strategies in managing “enormous projects.” Unfortunately the session really was a very introductory-type session. If the session description had ended with the sentence: “If you have already done the research for a SAN solution for your own facility, then you probably don’t need to come.”

The other sessions were fairly mundane. I took some notes and got a few useful bits out of the
“Signal Flow” and “Creating the Ideal Machine Room” sessions. The Maintenance session was OK, but I didn’t get too much new out of it. And finally, the Video Monitoring session was basically an overview if some of the latest monitor technologies, but missed the mark on several points. There were grammatical errors & some factual mis-statements on the PowerPoint – that took away from the credibility of the speaker. It just wasn’t all that it could have been, in my opinion. Hopefully, tomorrow will be a little more informative.

In Las Vegas for NAB

NAB starts this weekend. I’m here to attend some conference sessions and take a stroll around the show floor. I will update here and on my TumbleLog with pictures and comments about what’s here.


All I can ever think of when I’m in Las Vegas is the Obi Wan Kenobi quote from Star Wars, “You will never find a more wretched hive of scum and villiany.” I really despise this place.