I'd like to get back into the field of creative media.
August 6, 2012 1:54 PM   Subscribe

I'd like to get back into the field of creative media. Help, please. More details inside.

From 2004-2008, my professional life revolved around creating content of various kinds...through video editing, I made slideshows and highlight reels; through animation, I made motion graphics; occasionally I combined audio, video, and graphics to make features, which typically were 3-6 minutes in length, although I do have a few 15 minute pieces in my reel.

In the four years that have passed since I stopped creating content full-time, I've done little-to-nothing in the field. I've made a few feature pieces, but they were for colleagues who were, quite frankly, just happy to see their pictures put to music. So my portfolio is rather dusty, as is, I fear, my knowledge of this particular world.

My goals are as follows:
1. Take a bit of freelance work to a) build a small network of contacts who know I can do good work, and b) make a little bit of money.
2. Rebuild my portfolio.
3. Get my name out there to businesses as a go-to person for content-creation projects, particularly video editing.

I do not, at this point, have ambitions to grow this into a bigger business. I'd like to keep it a one-man operation, taking on perhaps a small project or two every month.

Now that you know what I do and don't want to accomplish, what should be my next steps?

Notes: I am quite comfortable with Adobe Premiere Pro and Sony Vegas. I've used Final Cut Pro...but that was a long time ago. I can't deal with Avid. I'm fairly comfortable with Adobe After Effects, but not Motion. I've never used Flash. I'm above-average (but not a master) with Photoshop and Illustrator.

I'm in the Detroit area. When I lived in Chicago, I very occasionally took advantage of Creative Circle; does a service like that exist for Detroit?
posted by st starseed to Work & Money (2 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I think if you want to do this seriously, you need to learn Final Cut at the very least.

Can you find someone to teach you Flash, etc.--maybe you can barter skills to learn the stuff that's not in your bag of tricks.
posted by Ideefixe at 2:09 PM on August 6, 2012

All of this is based on the assumption that you want to be doing motion graphics and/or animation.

Flash is terrible but studios still keep using it, to the point where it's often just assumed that if you're working in animation then you're basically familiar with Flash.

I've had a few gigs that involved using the animation timeline in newer versions of Photoshop, so if you aren't experienced with that it would pay to learn the basics.

After Effects animation and compositing seem to be the best-paying, most stable jobs in the NYC animation scene, not sure about Chicago.

Final Cut is another program people tend to assume you know how to use. I haven't seen Premiere in any of the studios I've worked at but maybe someone else who works specifically in video editing would be able to give you more specific information.

If I were you, I would do one or more short projects that utilize the programs you're less comfortable with -- you learn by doing, and you'll need new material for your reel anyway. I have personally found that sitting down with the application's "help" material, looking up a few online tutorials and messing around on a project has taught me more than actual classes, but obviously your learning style might be different!
posted by Narrative Priorities at 2:30 PM on August 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

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