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42 Post • December 2009 As competition heats up and tools grow more sophisticated and less costly, executives in the business of instruct- ing both new and veteran post pros stress: "Education drives the job market!" MIKE FLANAGAN President Video Symphony Burbank ( Post production "career college" for budding video editors, audio engineers and motion graphics artists. Emphasis on au- thorized Avid, Final Cut, Pro Tools and After Effects job-oriented training in a traditional classroom setting. STRENGTHS: "The times and technologies are ever-changing. There's always more to learn. Knowledge and the ability to learn quickly are what differentiate excellent workers from the also-rans. Education drives the job market. There are many incompetent and marginal workers in post. Until they all leave the post marketplace, well-educated, competent workers will have opportunities." WEAKNESSES: "Many post companies don't 'get it' that they need top-quality, educated staff to operate effectively. I think that many companies are unnecessarily scared that if they train their staff better the staff will demand more pay or leave. These companies are unwilling or unable to pay for their staff to improve. Maybe it's because these same companies themselves need to be educated about how to run their post businesses successfully. Other than the Hollywood Post Alliance, post industry resources for best practices are lacking." OPPORTUNITES: "Making money from the 'chunking' of con- tent — parsing out content in discrete slivers. Current TV calls them 'pods.' A good example is ringtones. These chunks of songs often 'ring up' more sales dollars than do the full songs. Chunking is more about communicating and informing than it is about enter taining. Communicating is growing far faster than we could have imagined (think cell phones, Internet, FaceBook and other social networks, IM- ing, texting and Twittering). There's an absolutely huge amount of show and news content waiting to be chunked and sold as tasty in- formative bites rather than as full entertainment meals. "As just one example, the market for online learning is growing and will be huge. Education as a sector of the US economy dwarfs entertainment by several multiples. Digital content creators can play a huge role in shaping content for online instruction." THREATS: "The content market, and post production specifically, continues to fragment and decentralize. Far more post jobs exist now than in the past. What's threatened, though, are the very high- paying jobs, because audience sizes (and hence revenues and budg- ets) for shows are declining.This trend is unalterable and is a threat primarily to post industry vets with high wage expectations and/or calcified learning curves." OUTLOOK 2010: "Many folks in post production, or who want to be, are stressed about jobs. Getting them. Keeping them.The job malaise will continue in 2010 due to (a) the weak economy leading to a weak adver tising market, (b) FUD (Fear, Uncer tainty, Doubt) currently plaguing the enter tainment industr y, and (c) continued fragmenting and decentralization of the post marketplace. Video Symphony will amp up its job-centric focus by (a) publishing my how-to book, "Hollywood Jobs," due out in Januar y 2010, and (b) creating a sophisticated database-driven software system, code name: "Career Aspirin," that will aid our graduates and others in finding good jobs. LYNDA WEINMAN Co-Founder/Executive Chair of the Board Carpinteria, CA offers online software training through its Online Training Librar y and DVDs to individuals, businesses and academia. STRENGTHS: "Online education and training has distinct strengths: from convenient learning when and where a person needs and wants to learn, to saving companies expensive on-site training expenses. When used for students, it can be significantly less costly than text books in an academic setting." WEAKNESSES: "There are definite advantages to face-to-face learning — having immediate interaction with an instructor ; ability to ask questions and have them answered by an exper t teacher ; and receiving immediate feedback on work. Online training works well as a supplement to that kind of training, where applicable. Since OUTLOOK T R A I N I N G By Ken McGorry Be Prepared!'s Lynda Weinman:While budgets for training constrict, improving technologies are making online student- teacher interaction better.

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