Untried techniques? Budget extra time.

I’ve been busy working on a 45-second teaser trailer for my documentary-in-development, Almost a Brain. Here’s a 10-second sneak peek of just the tagline.

This trailer is taking a lot longer than expected. Last night I realized why: I want to set the project’s entire tone from the beginning. That’s a tall order! In the process I’ve learned been forced to learn new techniques to make it look, sound, and feel as I want. For example: Some of the lighting effects looked great in After Effects and Premiere, but terrible with my usual export settings. Video is a fickle mistress!

This is actually the second trailer I created. The first was somewhat rushed, as if meeting a short deadline, and done in a style familiar from my ACM videos. But then I threw the whole thing away and started again. My entire process has had to change for this project — I think it’s for the better, and hope the results demonstrate that.

The process has served as a reminder that new projects need extra time. It’s a corrollary to the old saying, “Practice makes perfect”: When you do something for the first time, you’ve never practiced it before. So expect imperfections — and then plan time to sand them away. The payoff is twofold: First, you’ll be proud of your project. Second, you’ll add new skills that make you more dextrous, flexible, and marketable.

Originally published at https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/untried-techniques-budget-extra-time-tom-geller