Why I put on a suit and nice shoes and drove an hour to a rehearsal for a corporate show I was not hired to work at.

Always bring an extra paddle.

I worked on a video project this month. At every step, from script submission, to rough cut, to final cut, the project was thoroughly inspected and approved by a hierarchy of responsible people; including the CEO. The video will play tomorrow at the company's annual meeting. I delivered the video program to the client via an FTP delivery earlier in the week. I sent the same file to the A/V company that would be in charge of technically producing the show. A day later I got in my car and drove over to the A/V company to deliver a memory stick with six different file types of the same program to make sure they had back-ups and options. Thumbs up everywhere.

But even though I had "covered my bases" I asked if I could come out this morning to the rehearsal.
I put two extra memory sticks with the video program on them into the pocket of my khaki suit coat, gave my shoes a cursory re-plolish, had a last sip of Illy coffee and headed out to the little town, thirty miles away, where the show is being held.

When I got to the auditorium I found the person I had worked with on a daily basis for the project and handed her a memory stick. I did the same for the person she reports to. "Just a bit of insurance." I told them as I handed the Lexar memory sticks off.

We chatted and then the A/V company started going through the "run of show" and I watched the video I'd worked on spread across a 24 foot wide screen in the middle of the stage. I paid careful attention to every second. I listened as carefully as I knew how. The projection was perfect. Detailed and crispy. The audio was perfectly EQ'd through the house P.A.

I shook hands with the CEO (the only other person on the premises with a suit and tie) and we said nice things to each other in passing. Then I got in my car and headed back home.

Now I'll be able to get a good night's sleep knowing that the project will be presented correctly and that my clients would indeed get the value they paid for. Call it one more step in a quality control routine....

I got back to Austin and changed into take the day off clothes. Shorts and an old, weathered shirt. Tattered sandals. I warmed up a couple slices of the pizza we had last night for dinner and sat down to work on correcting some auto-correct "artifacts" in yesterday's blog post.

I felt calm knowing I had done everything in my control to make the client's video presentation during their annual meeting as good as I could. And that's a part of the job most people never get around to writing about. But I think it's critical, if you want the next project...


boris said...

Immensely valuable. These articles fill a certain hunger to understand how to do a great job in the arts. I always - ALWAYS - hit "I like it!" in my StumbleUpon toolbar to help give Kirk's articles the circulation among photo/video professionals they richly deserve. Hope others will "like" them on social media too.

Anonymous said...

This is VERY smart business.

I have managed several large corporate events and you would be shocked at how often major creative assets go missing/corrupted at the last second.

Joe Gilbert said...


I liked you when I first read your blog, liked you more after meeting you, and I continue to grow more fond of reading your thoughts each day. VSL is and has always been about more than reviews and technique. Your "ups and downs" resonate with me and obviously with many others.

I hope you are here for a long long time to come.


Anonymous said...


I was drawn to your blog by the original m4/3 posts and I've enjoyed reading all the equipment related things. But this post, like all the posts related to art, business and life in general, is one of those that keep me coming back day after day, everyday.

Mike Rosiak said...

Happy Father's Day, old man.

I'm allowed to say that because I'm way older than you, and I have a grandson near Ben's age. Enjoy the summer with him at home.

Robert Roaldi said...

Geez, you even shined your shoes. I no longer own shoe polish or brushes. :)

Makes perfect sense to me to baby-sit your baby. Maybe a little overboard on the USB sticks, but what the hell.

Michael Ferron said...

I wonder how many times I shot that Dirty dog bar sign? It is an eye catcher. Have to admit you did it real justice Kirk.