Sometimes You Don’t Even Know How Many Issues You Have…

… Until someone comes along to fix them.

I had been quietly dreading this time of the year–the push time, when we’re really jamming to get all the footage organized and ready to hand off to our editor. The reason? We still had some lingering workflow problems I did not know how to deal with. Jump back a month or so, and here is what you find:

  • We have a massive amount of footage that needed to be transcoded to work readily with our (and also our editor’s) editing software. We are using Adobe Premiere, and Fiona is probably going to use Final Cut Pro.
  • This huge pile of footage includes stuff from cameras that didn’t exactly play nice with our field backup and file organization program, meaning we have some problems to solve.
  • We have a rather sprawling data organization system–over the years of working on this project (and our other work, of course) we have accumulated something like 20 external hard disk drives, for a total of somewhere around 20TB of material. Even in my most focused moments, I can hardly get my head around this, and it weighs on me every day.
  • We have more team members than we have solid computers–we know we need a new machine, but we don’t know what’s the best next step, given our capacity and our needs.
  • We need our computers to be able to talk to each other, and we need–somehow–to sort a server for the main active set of files–our footage from Nepal.
  • We want NEED to keep our studio/office somewhat civilized and tidy. That data sprawl has a way of creeping all over desks and floors and up walls and into corners and out into the middle of the room.
  • We have basically no idea how to make all of that happen. Particularly not in the ever-shrinking time between now and when reality sets in, with our deadline to hand stuff off to Fiona.

Enter Jim Grisham.

photoJim on the right.

Friend of our accountant, Nancy McClelland, Jim learned of our Kickstarter within minutes of its launch (because Nancy is rad and posted up a giant share on Facebook the second she got the announcement!). He donated early and generously, and then stuck with us long enough to put the Kickstarter over the top.

Well, we struck up a bit of a friendship and in the year since, he’s gradually come to be a great friend of the production and to us. But the most amazing thing is that he is a nuclear engineer and an inveterate, compulsive, joyful IT wizard.

In about 1/15th the time I could manage it, Jim has licked all of the problems laid out above, with a twinkle in his eye and a lot of good fun and humor along the way. We are astonished, and grateful.

The universe is throwing quite a team our way.

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With Jim’s help I built this nifty printer stand from some scrap wood. Cost about $9 in fasteners and freed up space on our big worktable/standing desk…

 

 

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…which is good because now it’s full of all our drives–a few of them here getting an information architecture whammy put on them.

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I spy with my little eye… information architecture! Who knew you could think this stuff out?

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On the outskirts of TGWKTM Hard Drive City.

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And here a visit to one neighborhood of the urban core.

Jim’s now a full fledged TGWKTM team member. It’s working. He says he’s just in it to get into the James Franco parties we keep getting invited to. Heh.

6 Comments

  1. Leonard Hill
    November 27, 2013

    Very nice! We will have to take some lessons from you and Jim. Congratulations and best wishes for success!

    Reply
  2. Charlene Squire
    November 27, 2013

    Lookin’ good….Happy for you guys and all the progress you’ve made.

    Reply
  3. Jill S.
    November 27, 2013

    Yay! I’m so happy to hear this. What a great story. Totally made my day.

    Reply
  4. Ashley Rowan
    November 27, 2013

    Information architecture, wow, I was tense at first;
    and it was coming into my room too;
    then the story relaxed into a feeling
    of
    cognitive surplus.
    Now more time to be for a moment…
    then we must tinker and try to fix again.

    thank you for a Thanksgiving lead-in.

    Reply
    • squire
      November 28, 2013

      Cognitive surplus… now that right there we could use. I have terabytes of storage over here, Ash, if you need to offload some cognitive surplus. Heh. Thanks.

      Reply
  5. Nancy McClelland
    December 1, 2013

    Okay, I am absolutely about to cry. I can’t believe what an amazing partnership this random introduction has grown into, and I’m so very fulfilled and encouraged and joyous at the beautiful “fit”! Jimmy has someone he can share his incredible skills with, and those folks are the most appreciative of anyone I’ve ever met. I am honestly, seriously overcome with every emotion possible right now. Hugs to you all!

    Reply

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