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Getting Back To The Studio (Facility)

July 3, 2021

It's been a challening past year and half. In this episode we discuss getting back to the studio/office/facility and what that means these days.


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From The MailBag Episode 87

Getting Back To ‘Normal’ Is A Little Weird, A Little Scary, But Also Very Welcomed

‘What a long strange trip it’s been’ – The Grateful Dead

Even if you’re not a fan of ‘The Dead’ I think you can agree that the past 16 or so months have been difficult, strange, or  *insert your own adjective here.

Of course, our struggles for normalcy are nothing compared to the millions who lost their battle with Covid-19, and the families ripped apart by the loss of a loved one. In many places in the world the battle against Covid-19 is still raging and we salute all those scientists, doctors, nurses, and those supporting their own communities in this fight.

Here in the U.S., things do feel more optimistic than at any point in the past year and a half. With the vaccination rate pushing 50% (or locally higher) many people are getting back to normal(ish) including getting back to the office, going to concerts/games, having clients in, and attempting to work like it was pre-March 2020.

In this installment of From The Mailbag, we sit down (joined as usual by lead contributor Joey D’Anna) and discuss getting back to the studio/facility/office or whatever you call it!

Attended Sessions

Over the past year, we’ve all become pretty comfortable with ‘remote’ reviews in all the different flavors those come in.

However, the reason that many of us have a studio/office/facility outside our house is to have clients in to attend and supervise grades and or review sessions.

As you’ll hear in this episode being attended again in person has brought with it some challenges that we discuss:

  • Comfort Level – even if vaccinated, everyone is unique in their comfort level about being around people again in an enclosed space for hours at a time
  • On-Demand Changes/Performing – In the past year, many of us relied on notes made in Frame.io, emails or a quick zoom call.  With clients in the room again you have to be ‘on’ and perform while simultaneously making changes, and grading – if you’re like us, you likely will find yourself a little rusty in this regard.
  • Client Services – What’s the best way to provide client services now?  Do you provide food, beverages? Or is it bring your own?
  • Tech Updates – It’s amazing how quickly tech can be neglected after a year and a half!  Plan on spending some quality time getting computers updated, network optimized, etc.
  • Keeping Clean – Many facilities have had gear and equipment ripped out from machine rooms and suites to facilitate at-home work, getting the facility tidy again can be a challenge.

Even with these challenges, there are a lot of things to look forward to about working with clients in the suite.

  • Calibrated monitoring! – For a lot of us the past year and half has meant navigating clients’ screens that can often be suspect.  Having a calibrated monitor that everyone is making decisions on is a huge thing for efficiency.
  • Body Language – even with streaming services like Streambox, Set Stream.io which provide amazing audio-video quality part of any good colorist’s skill set is reading body language, which is really only something you can do in person
  • Immediate Feedback – nothing beats being able to make a change(s) right then and there with the client giving you the thumbs up/down

If you’re being attended again what are the challenges and benefits you’ve faced?  Use the comments below to add to the discussion.

What Is The New ‘Normal’ Going To Look Like?

In this episode, we also discuss how the pandemic has likely changed for a while or forever the nature of supervised work.  With many clients having become quite comfortable with streaming technologies, invested in equipment like iPads, and better monitoring are we going to be doing as many supervised sessions?  Will those sessions be different?  We have some thoughts on this including:

  • Less Supervised Time – instead of a client spending an entire day in the suite watching you work, we feel like clients are more likely to attend ‘review sessions’ moving forward and if they do attend at the start of the grade is probably to get you started and then let you work.
  • A Hybrid Approach (For Everyone) – while there are certainly people that HATED working from home, many people (Team Mixing Light included) came to love many aspects of working from home.  We think at least for a while many people (clients included) will probably take a hybrid approach – working some days from home some days from the office. This means streaming, and online review and approval sites still have tremendous value.
  • Who Knows? – One thing that the pandemic has taught us is that it pays to be flexible and nimble.  While it appears that many parts of the world are making great strides in defeating Covid-19 we all have to stay on our toes and just be aware the today’s new normal might be different from tomorrows or next week’s.

What is your new ‘normal’ like these days?  Again feel free to use the comments below to add to the discussion

Do You Want Team Mixing Light To Answer A Question?

Remember, if you have questions that you’d like to get an opinion on please use the contact form.

Your questions can be aesthetic, technical, or even client-related. We’d love to hear from you, and your question might make future episodes of From The MailBag.

Also, if you have any questions or something to add to the conversation please use the comments below.

Enjoy the MailBag!

-Robbie

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