How do you get to Carnegie Hall? Practice.

July 21, 2015 by Andrew Robinson in

It is one of the oldest jokes isn’t it? But I came to a surprising revelation a couple of weeks ago: I’m out of practice. At what? Sadly, television. That’s a slight exaggeration but if I’m being honest, there is some truth there. Let me explain.

About a year ago I decided that I was going to start my own YouTube channel. There are stories that I want to tell and I really wanted a vehicle that would allow me to get back into doing what I really like to do: shoot and edit video.

I have been slowly working on the organization for the channel, a website and social media. It’s taking a lot longer than I hoped (mostly due to just being pretty busy with life stuff) but I really like my idea and most of all am looking forward to getting back into a more regular TV production experience and having control of what and when I do it.

A little backstory now.

As you might expect from me, I have passion for television production. When I watch TV, no matter what it is, I watch critically. I watch for the lighting, the editing, the shot composition, the audio, the special effects, everything. It’s just something I have done for nearly all my adult working life. I try to carefully tuck the things I like into my memory so I can bring them back when the need arises.

To say that visual storytelling has evolved over the years would be an understatement. I’ve noticed. Editing software and digital cameras have given storytellers so many tools to choose from it really takes a lot of patience and creative thinking to apply the tools correctly so that it makes sense for the story, so that it enhances the story, so that it makes it visually powerful.

But as I’ve started to edit my stories I’m noticing that my style and approach is still rooted in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, pretty much back when I was still doing a lot of shooting and editing.

How did I let this happen? When I sit here day after day at OTN and watch some really gifted storytellers work, how could I not apply that to my work? What happened?

I think it’s pretty basic; practice. I just stopped practicing. Oh I can still shoot and edit very well, I know how to coach and mentor the students to push themselves to make a good story but when it comes to me point the camera and pressing record or sifting through my subclips on the edit, I revert back to Andy circa 2003 or before.

Habit. Practice. Change.

So my challenge: Fast forward 10 years and push myself out of my comfort zone. Take all those visual memories of the things I like and apply them. Spend more time with the editing software to know what is possible. Look at the stories I want to tell and find the ways I can use the digital technology to advance the story. Get with the 21st century.

I like challenges; I’ll let you know how I make out over the next few months.

Andy- The GM