Keeping a clear desk, an organized hard drive and a tidy studio will make your work easier in the long run.

For many, the start of the new year is the perfect time to reflect on the past year’s achievements and set new goals for the year to come. Here are a few resolutions to consider as we move into next year.

1. Make More Videos

This seems like an obvious one for video producers, but it exemplifies one of the primary reasons New Year’s resolutions are abandoned — they are vague or poorly defined. Be specific in your goal setting. Tailor broad goals like this one to your individual production style and level of expertise. If you’re a short filmmaker who wants to refine your storytelling skills, try aiming to write and produce one new short film per month. If you’re a vlogger who’s trying to grow your YouTube channel, resolve to post a new video every week or every day for a specific period of time. Getting specific makes your resolutions more tangible so it will be easier to celebrate when a goal has been achieved or a milestone reached.

2. Keep a Tidy Work Space

Keeping all of your gear and footage organized can be a big challenge for video producers and editors trying to work as fast as possible. You might take your camera out of a neatly organized pack at the beginning of a shoot, but by the end, there’s gaffer’s tape on the ceiling and a pile of tangled cables at your feet. To avoid spending extra time and energy sorting through your mess, establish a strong organizational system and stick to it, even tidying up as you go so your end of day clean up happens lightning-quick.

3. Become More Efficient

Aside from keeping your workspace tidy so that you can find your lens cap in a reasonable amount time, there are plenty of other ways to make your workflow more efficient. This year, consider how you can optimize your production process so that it flows as smoothly as possible. Think about which tasks can be grouped together and develop a project management system to keep those tasks organized. Spending a little extra time in the organization phase can help you get more done in less time.

4. Learn a New Skill

If you’ve spent your entire video production career in the edit bay, it might be time to step into the studio for some camera operating experience. Or, if you never got the hang of green screen work, resolve to learn to pull the perfect key this year. Resolving to learn a new skill is an excellent way to push yourself outside your comfort zone. You may even find your new favorite area of production hidden behind that learning curve.

5. Find New Collaborators

Working with new people can be incredibly challenging and rewarding at the same time. It’s a great way to learn new skills and get a different perspective on your video production style. We can all learn from each other, so reaching out to new collaborators who share your passion for video production is a great way to grow as a producer. Plus, it’s always nice to have an extra pair of hands on-set. Look for ways to connect with other local video producers and filmmakers. Attending local festivals, screenings and meetups is a great way to get involved in the video production scene in your area.

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut when always working alone or with the same small crew. New collaborators can offer fresh insight.

6. Find a Mentor or Become One Yourself

Working with your peers can be a great learning experience, but there is even more benefit to working with some with years more experience. A mentor can identify your strengths and weakness and help steer you towards habits that will help you grow as a producer. They can catch your mistakes before they happen and teach you tricks you may never have thought of on your own. On the other hand, if you feel like you have useful knowledge to share with burgeoning video producers, consider becoming a mentor yourself.

7. Submit to a Film Festival

Submitting to a film festival or participating in a competition is another great way to get to know fellow filmmakers and expand your skill set. The challenge of a deadline and the knowledge that your work will be competing against a slew of other well-crafted projects can be intimidating, but these conditions can also help you produce your best work. Simply resolving to enter a festival could be all the motivation you need to get your video off of your hard drive and in front of your audience.

Entering a film festival can help you meet other filmmakers and introduce your work to a larger audience.

8. Grow Your Audience

We all want people to watch and enjoy our videos — why else would we put in the mountain of effort it takes to complete a production? Finding and growing an audience can be daunting, but you aren’t going to attract viewers unless you put in the effort. This year, do your research and develop a strategy for getting your work out there. Your plan should be customized to the kind of content you create for maximum effectiveness.

9. Work on Bigger Projects

Maybe this means landing some clients with deeper pockets, or maybe you want to make the jump from shorts to features. Either way, working on larger projects than you’re used to will definitely feel like leveling up in the video production world. Again, when setting a resolution, make sure to personalize it to your shooting style and skill level. Setting manageable goals that you find joy working toward will make them that much easier to reach.

10 . Develop a Signature Style

No matter what kind of videos you produce, it’s important to find your signature style. Taking time to define what makes your videos unique can be a great way to make your body of work more cohesive, linking your videos together while distinguishing them from the competition. Start by identifying the aesthetic choices that express your personal style. Then, find ways to emphasize that look so that, when you show your reel to potential clients, collaborators or investors, you can be sure your videos stand out.

Consider what elements make your video unique, then emphasize those elements to make your videos stand out.
Consider what elements make your video unique, then emphasize those elements to make your videos stand out.

Sticking with It

It can be tricky to keep up with your resolutions throughout the year, especially if you set yourself a laundry list of aspirations. Try to keep it simple. Rather than overwhelming yourself with expectations for the year to come, choose the one or two goals most important to you and find ways to integrate them into your regular production workflow.
By keeping your resolutions concrete and manageable, you’re more likely to find success.

Nicole LaJeunesse makes sure to write down her resolutions on New Year’s Eve every year. She’s also Videomaker’s Managing Editor.

Nicole LaJeunesse
Nicole is the Managing Editor at Videomaker and YouTuber Magazines.

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