Now I’m creating weekly content for the HSC Production Club members, and I’ve become heavily immersed in creating videos. In addition, I’ve had the opportunity in the last few months to record several live bands, capturing both multi-track audio and multi-camera video footage – all while still putting on a live concert.
I have a new respect for video guys. There is so much involved with video that goes way over my head, but I’m grasping it more and more, and I plan to continue to grow my video expertise.
Why not just focus on the audio? Why concern myself with video? I have a few reasons.
HD Video is Everywhere
Unless you live in a cave, you’ve probably noticed that the entire world is obsessed with HD video.
- YouTube offers videos in HD (all of my tutorial videos on YouTube are in HD, and they look quite nice).
- Flat-screen high-definition TV’s are a hot item.
- Every cable company has a super-duper HD package that costs an arm and a leg, but it looks amazing.
- All the major networks are competing to have the best and most show in HD.
- BlueRay discs are gaining popularity.
- The XBox360 and PS3 are setting the standard for HD video and gaming.
What do you not see here? I’ll tell you. You don’t see people obsessing over high-definition audio.
The people who rushed out last Friday (Black Friday) at 5am to grab up those $600 Sony HD TVs at Sears are the same people who listened to mp3s on their iPods in the car on the way to and from the store.
People simply don’t care about SACDs and 1-bit High Definition recorders. They don’t really care if the mp3 codec used to encode their mp3s adds lots of artifacts.
Most people can see the difference between standard definition video and HD video much more easily than they can hear the difference between a crappy mp3 and a 24-bit wave file.
My point? The world has voted for HD video. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put any effort into your music. A bad mix will still be a bad mix on a 64-kbps mp3. A good mix will still have people bobbing their heads, whether the quality of the actual file itself has been degraded.
What this does mean is that you should seriously consider adding video to your portfolio.
Video Experience = More Jobs
Whether you do audio as your full-time job or just a side gig, you will have more job/project opportunities if you can do video.
If I’m the hiring director at a marketing company, and I need an audio guy to come in and record commercials, etc., I’m much more likely to hire the guy who has audio and video experience over the guy who just does audio.
Likewise, if I’m a band looking to record my next record, I would be much more drawn to the guy who could record and mix the album, but also produce a music video for one of the songs.
The list goes on and on.
Be a Complete Media Package
Being an amazing audio engineer is a wonderful thing. You should always be expanding your skills and becoming a better one.
However, the industry is changing, and if you want more creative opportunities, you need to expand your creative portfolio. If you can become a one-stop shop for anything media-related – audio, video, even web design – you will have an amazing leg up on the competition.
Steps to Take
- Get a subscription to Lynda.com. They provide tutorials on everything under the sun, but you’ll want to focus specifically on things like FinalCut and PhotoShop.
- Buy FinalCut (and even PhotoShop) – You can get FinalCut Express for $200 at Sweetwater. You can always upgrade to the full $1,000 version down the road.
- Pay attention to the video market, and start thinking about how you can, over time, incorporate more and more video services into your current projects.