Viewfinder: Disappointed

Making video is not easy. If it were, everybody would be doing it. Video production requires a multitude of skills. It is a rigorous pursuit that is not for the faint of heart. Many things can go wrong and result in disappointment. Rather than “bucking up” all of the time, occasionally it is better to lament, so allow me to indulge us, sort of like group therapy. Coping with disappointment is easier when you don’t feel so alone.

One of the biggest headaches is coaxing the video gear into cooperating. Often we tend to find fault in ourselves when we can’t get the equipment to work right. We aren’t critical enough of the gear designers or manufacturers. If the gear were designed better, it would be easy to understand and get it to do what we want. Video production is a very creative process, calling upon the right brain. Struggling with our gear requires left brain activity, the rational, analytic and straight-line thinking. It is usually more enjoyable to use one brain hemisphere at a time. Uncooperative gear strains the brain.

Sometimes we just have the wrong equipment. By far, we get more questions at the Videomaker Conferences, Workshops and Summits about what gear to buy than any other. Good equipment costs a lot of money and people want to be sure they buy the most suitable for their purposes and even for their temperaments. We have all experienced the disappointment of realizing we chose the wrong gear, and most often we are stuck with it. Video production demands complex interaction between products offered by different companies, and some gear just doesn’t work well with our other equipment. We have to accept the fact that we will never fully escape being disappointed by our video gear.

One redeeming trait of all gear is that it does not talk back. At times we wish we could convince people to cooperate with us as easily as the gear does. While at times it might be our own fault, sometimes people are just wrong and are not listening. Or maybe we are wrong in what we are asking of them. Other times, no one is wrong; it is just bad chemistry between people. People can bring on as much disappointment as gear headaches.

We have a vision in our heads that we’re trying to manifest in the real world, but then we run up against the limitations of reality. When the video is not turning out like we imagined or the audience does not seem impressed with our hard work and vision, we’re disappointed. At times, everything about making video seems more tedious than we had ever imagined.

You are not alone. It is usually not your fault. We’re all in the same club. Keep your chin up, find a friend and get together to indulge in a ritual lament once in a while.

Matthew York is Videomaker’s Publisher/Editor.

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