Today I attended a meeting about the importance of networking. In fact, before the meeting, I went to lunch with a couple of producers I met through WSU and KPTS who I have learned a great deal about production from. It was nice to get together and pick their brains on motion graphics and fantasy football strategies.
Networking has been the key to my active involvement in production. It was persistence in asking for a job that landed me a part-time job at KPTS. It was my thirst for knowledge that opened doors for me to go into work and watch how they edited documentaries and promo spots. My desire to gain experience brought about invitations to work on several projects. Every one of them has taught me something and I am piecing it all together to make translating my ideas into something tangible much easier.
I had books and software, but it was the network of experienced professionals that truly launched my journey to becoming a professional producer. I love what I do and I have an insatiable desire to learn more, to have more tools with which to create.
Yesterday, I took a behind-the-scenes tour of Integrated Media Group in Wichita, Kansas. I saw a project they were working on in After Effects that looked incredible. I have no experience with motion graphic design, so I consulted two friends that do great work in this area. Not only did I get advice, but I spent a good portion of the afternoon looking over the shoulder of a friend as he demonstrated several ways to achieve my vision for logo animation in After Effects CS5. He also showed me a few other things that really sparked a fire in me to create stunning visuals in what would normally seem mundane projects.
Networking has helped me gain knowledge, experience, inspiration and friendship. I am grateful to all who have helped me and taken the time to share their knowledge and experience with me. If you are hesitant to speak with professionals in your field of work, I can reassure you that you have everything to gain and nothing to lose by putting yourself out there. As my old soccer coach used to say, "You can't score if you don't shoot."