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A s competition heats up and tools grow both more sophisticated and less costly, executives in the business of instructing new and veteran pros stress: "Education drives the job market!" us, as we enter 2010, education, in its multitude of forms, becomes an important topic, especially for those considering a new job. Here, industry experts offer their per- spective on this topic, addressing associated SWOTs: strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and perceived threats. Mike Flanagan President, Video Symphony Burbank, California Postproduction "career college" for budding video editors, audio engineers, and motion graphics artists. Emphasis on autho- rized Avid, Final Cut, Pro Tools, and After Effects job-oriented training in a traditional classroom setting. Strengths: "e times and technolo- gies are ever changing. ere's always more to learn. Knowledge and the ability to learn quickly are what differentiate excellent work- ers from the 'also-rans.' Education drives the job market. ere are many incompetent and marginal workers in post. Until they all leave the post marketplace, well-educated, compe- tent workers will not have opportunities." Weaknesses: "Many post companies don't 'get it' in that they need top-quality, educated staff to operate effectively. I think many com- panies are unnecessarily scared that if they train their staff better, the staff will demand more pay or leave. ese companies are unwilling or un- able 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 Holly- wood Post Alliance, post industry resources for best practices are lacking." Opportunities: "Making money from the 'chunking' of content—parsing out content in discrete slivers. Current TV calls them 'pods.' A good example is ringtones. ese chunks of songs often 'ring up' more sales dollars than do the full songs. Chunking is more about com- municating and informing than it is about entertaining. Communicating is growing far faster than we could have imagined (think cell phones, the Internet, Facebook and other so- cial networks, IM-ing, texting, and Tweeting). ere's an absolutely huge amount of show and news content waiting to be chunked and sold as tasty informative bites rather than as full entertainment meals. "As just one example, the market for online learning is growing and will be huge. Educa- tion as a sector of the US economy dwarfs en- tertainment by several multiples. Digital con- tent creators can play a huge role in shaping content for online instruction." Threats: "e 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 budgets) for shows are declining. is trend is unalterable and is a threat primarily to post industry vets with high wage expectations and/or calcified learning curves." Outlook for 2010: "Many folks in post- production, or those who want to be, are stressed about jobs. Getting them. Keeping Students at Video Symphony who become digital content creators can help shape content for online instruction. January 2010 34 n n n n Education•Recruitment By Ken McGorry The job market may prove challenging in 2010, but staying abreast of the latest tools and techniques is key

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