Working Towards the Perfect Fit
Making the whole greater than the sum of its parts is a fundamental aspect of videomaking.
Making the whole greater than the whole fits, too.
0ne night, after a long but pleasant day of shooting, a member of the production crew and I went out for a drink. The shooting had gone well, and everyone involved was enjoying their work on the project.
The conversation turned to the feelings one experiences when immersed in video production. She asked me what my theory was to account for the special nature of production work.
Since I've always taken special pleasure in watching a crew perform-choreographed as carefully and gracefully as any ballet, if working right-I said my first guess would be that production work tends to bind people together, and the camaraderie that develops is probably what makes it so satisfying.
My second guess was that production work, by nature, is piecework, and that this in itself is satisfying. It has a definite beginning, middle and end; we can watch a project progress from an idea to a completed production.
Unlike many other areas of endeavor where the job is much the same from one day to the next, production work provides variety and a sense of accomplishment-similar to that experienced by a carpenter, artist or architect. A sense of craftsmanship.
In short, the synthesis of a program from all the varied elements that go into it, combined with the interplay of the people involved, contribute to making a program greater than the sum of its parts. My associate agreed with the analysis, but she had a pet theory of her own. Having earned a Ph.D. in psychology, she had studied the human mind extensively.
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