Mixing Light: Hello World


Patrick Inhofer C.S.I.

Woo-Hoo!

Or is it w00t that the kids are saying now-a-days? No matter, the sentiment is the same!

Robbie, Dan and I are extremely pleased to officially launch MixingLight.com – having gotten this website up at almost our exact launch date… which was April 1. Today is April 7 so technically, we missed that deadline by 6 days—but considering the complete re-write we did to the architecture of this site less than 4 weeks ago, I think we did just fine getting this baby onto the Intertubes in time for NAB 2013.

I want to take a moment to introduce you to our Number One, King-of-the-Hill software app that allowed us to make this happen:

Skype: The glue that holds Team Mixing Light together.
Skype: The glue that holds Team Mixing Light together.

If you don’t recognize that logo… it’s Skype. The free voice service. A typical week would see us have two 2+ hour Skype calls to pull together the dozens of emails running between us over the course of that week. There isn’t a single aspect of this website that hasn’t been put under a magnifying glass.

Which helps explain why we could do a total redesign of MixingLight in the last 3 weeks of a 5 month project – by that time, we knew precisely what we wanted.

And the redesign was focused on one thing: A great member experience.

Being a Mixing Light Member

Our guiding philosophy this entire time has been on keeping our articles short. And we decided early on to use the mantra ‘one thought’.

One thought. One thought only, please.
Each article should be a single thought. This was driven home by me, when my very first Mixing Light article ML0002: Curves vs Curves rang in at over 22 minutes! Yikes.

Now, if you know me and the Tao of Color Grade-Along training – 22 minutes is barely breaking a sweat. Those videos run over an hour each.

For me, 20 minutes was a breath of fresh air. Delightfully short.

For Mixing Light? Too long, the ML0002 video was wrong.

ML0002: A defining moment
As we broke down the problem with ML0002 we realized it was actually a 3-part video… it had three distinct thoughts. I ended up cutting it down to 15 minutes, throwing out one thought and keeping the other two. We decided that for videos, ML0002 would represent the longest we would go. Working out the ‘single thought’ philosophy was a big step for us – defining how we would move forward. But that wasn’t our Ah-HA! Moment…

The Ah-HA! Moment
As the Launch date approached it occurred to us that what we are hoping to deliver are small gems of clarity. Isn’t that the point of a single thought? It’s to be extremely clear on a very specific point. And if we did our jobs correctly, those points of clarity would represent a moment where you’d say to yourself, “Ah-HA! NOW I get it!”

Once we defined these Ah-HA! Moments as being the core of Mixing Light, we’ve been using that as our guide to what articles to write—and which to skip. In other words, if presented with three possible Insights articles to pursue—the one most likely to produce an Ah-HA! moment is the one we will create.

Finding Your Ah-HA!s
If you’re new to color grading, this site might be littered with Ah-HA! moments. If you’re an experienced pro colorist, you might only find one Ah-HA! moment a month – and that’s enough to be worth the price of admission.

I personally found it a complete relief, making the Ah-HA! breakthrough… it’s a concept that will motivate every action we take here at Mixing Light as we move forward.

Coming Soon: The Mixing Light Website Tour

If I were to now veer into a tour of the website… I’d clearly be breaking Mixing Light’s ‘one thought’ rule. And even though this is a blog post (not an Insights Article) having a guiding vision is not something to be easily discarded.

So.

When I get back from NAB, in Mid-April I’ll put up a blog post explaining this website and asking for feedback on what we can do better to make your experience here on Mixing Light a more productive one.

– pat

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