5 challenges that Film makers and IT project managers share

When I read the post by Jake Oelman at BarCode Films my mind went directly to Agile development within IT projects. All 5 challenges are a direct match. I apologize if some visitors see this mapping as “fuzzy” but I found it very interesting that film making projects face the identical challenges to IT projects. Most interestingly, they are also promoting similar solutions.

A directors view on filmmaking projects

  • 1. Every Take Is An Option

This is one of those things that most filmmakers take for granted.

  • 2. Double Your Prep Time

For a lot of filmmakers, not just first timers, doubling your prep time is essential.

  • 3. Edit While You Shoot

There’s a reason all the big movies do this.

  • 4. Stay in the NOW

There’s nothing a scene or your actors need more than a director who is present.

  • 5. Communication is King

Other than over-analyzing a scene or a shot, good communication is an enormous benefit.

IT projects and Agile development

  • 1. Appreciate the options as they appear

Even if a design and plan seems solid, there are always options that pop up during down the road that will add quality to the final result. Do it at the right cost. From the Agile Manifesto “Responding to change over following a plan”.

  • 2. Double Your Prep Time

Know what you are programming before you start, design it well, review the design, write test-cases before you start and make sure everybody knows and understands the whole picture..

  • 3. Test and verify While You program

This applies to the trend of taking small steps at the time, and always being able to test what you have built and see it is working AND if it is what your stakeholders and managers want.

  • 4. Stay in the NOW

It is here and now that a project becomes successful. Not in the excel sheet counting hours. IT might sound boring but with passion and the right attitude, the results can be exciting!

  • 5. Communication is King

There is a saying in Agile IT development that states “Individuals and interactions over processes and tools”.

I am not a director so I can’t comment with own experience on the world of filmmaking but I have vast experience of IT projects and products and the challenges seem to be the same in my world as well.

I would happily discuss this topic further if someone is interested. Just tweet me.

Do you catalog you video backups

Do you know what it is in that 2009-April folder stored on your awesome backup system? I have such a folder, it is 13 GB in size, every file is tagged with explanatory texts like “Bella the dog in forest”. I can recall that day but I cant recall the footage and moments. This might be a bad example but my point is that forgotten videos is a problem. We are hording videos in an ever increasing speed and there is no sign this will stop anytime soon. You are in big problem when the content of backed up videos are forgotten about but you are not alone. Most people tend to forget what is on a specific HDD after a while even if they know it is videos from 2010. When the content of the videos are forgotten about the value to you is decreased and to regain the value you are forced to make an excavation in your video folders.

One way around this is to do proper cataloging via programs like fast video cataloger where you catalog and archive hundred or thousands of videos and keep the catalog metadata. The catalogs metadata consists of keywording, thumbnails and even low resolution version of the original videos that can be browsed, searhced and viewed without touching your vides that are archived.

How much are your videos worth?

Think of the value of your videos to you as a professional and the street value or store value. Is it worth $100, $1000, $10000, or more to you. When I do this calculation myself I get scared since my videos are very valuable to me. Valuable things I generally take out ensurances on, like the car or camera. I am sure you could do the same of your video material but a smarter and probably cheaper way is to do proper video backup. I am sure all dealing with video are thinking along the ways of backup but I want to suggest that far from everybody are doing it properly.

There are 3 main roads to take for video back. First there is the simple way of secondary storage like HDDs or tape,then you have online backup services, also called cloud storage and third you have the professional solutions with a server based backup solution. If you have this than you are taken care of by others and need not to worry.

If you are considering cloud services you have an amazing smorgasbord to choose from. There is Google Drive, Dropbox, Skydrive, Mozy and so on. The list of online storage services is growing everyday and they are probably needed since they keep popping up. There are also those that are specialized on online backup only like Livedrive, Sungard and SOS Online backup
Every service has its pros and cons but most of the big ones are good and come with great applications to download into your computer for easy of use. One downside with online versions is of course the upload speed of big files but if you schedule these to run during your breaks and regularly that might not be a problem.

The simple solution is probably where most of us are due to simplicity, flexibility and price. Be aware though to avoid the too cheap alternatives, if it crashes it is not cheap o matter what the prize. Think of your backups as your insurance and be ready to pay for good quality backup storage. Since this changes all the time but be prepared to do a small research. Start by googling backup storage and dont be afraid to ask friends and colleagues what they are using.

All of the above if off course working in harmony with Fast Video Cataloger