i work in a very classy and cultured building and actually get to do video things.
my first project last fall was to work on the department's "holiday" card, which my boss said was his least favorite part of his job and that it would be a chance for me to learn how to use adobe after effects. after effects is kind of like photoshop for video and i never learned how to use it at byu because a) i was going to be a cinematographer, not some cg vfx guy, and b) i opened it once and it really intimidated me.
so i watched some online tutorials and started working on something. this kind of backfired on me in that, as i was writing different scripts/copy for the video and going over the drafts with my bosses, they called me into their office on afternoon and said that i was a much better writer than they had expected from their grad assistant. so i think that landed more responsibilities on me.
after a lot of collaboration and revisions and searching through dozens of files of images and that guns 'n' roses confusion, we finally came up with something.
it looks kind of boring now, but in the world of higher learning institutions holiday cards, it was a pretty big hit. i came back to work in january with several email forwards of praise from people. one said that we "pretty clearly won the holiday card competition this year" or something.
i was feeling pretty cool and started to work on the next video we had (which ultimately got scrapped because, well, it just didn't work; so i'm not invincible here.) about the time that i was desperately needing a break from this dull project i was working on, i was told that the vice president wanted to "de-holiday-ize" the holiday video so that he could use it as an intro for an upcoming presentation.
still thinking of myself as the unstoppable genius grad student, i told them that we'd already made something like that. and yeah, we had, but it was, well... meh.
"this needs to be for an aggie football crowd," i was told.
and so i spent the next two days staring at my computer, not knowing what to do, frustrated and feeling like all of my brilliance cred was spent and gone. it was a few days of just running down the clock until i could leave, it seemed.
finally, i decided, heck with it, i'll do whatever i feel like and see what happens. i found some heavy metal music and pretty much cranked things to 11.
after a day or two of work, i pulled my boss in to look at it. i expected him to say "yeah... that might be a little too much."
instead, he high-fived me.
so, i had a gnarly project and was told to run with it. things got more excited around the office as everyone was getting glimpses of what i was working on and as we were tossing around ideas on how to make it better.
i was the rock star again.
i put in a long couple of days before the day of the presentation (after a preview, the vp said he just wished it was longer, so that added more images and more text to debate over) and was continually haunted by the knowledge that there were probably a dozen ways to do what i was doing quicker and more effectively, but i was just doing it the only way i knew how.
again, the vice president loved it.
with what was once a placid video with dissolve transitions, i'm pretty proud of it.
and now i'm back to learning more techniques as we're preparing for the next video.