Ditch the Hype

One of my biggest gripes with the industry is hype.

While hype can motivate an individual to do a good job, to take action or to do something noteworthy, in my opinion, hype causes a lot more stress in the workplace than it is worth.

On most of the projects I have been on, when we have a deadline and we aren’t sure what kind of footage we will get from production, there tends to be a lot of hype. When I say hype, I mean the worrying, the stressing and the emotional disaster that comes from the fear of the unknown.

I’m guilty of this myself, but I notice when I tell myself “whatever it is, it will be fine” we usually get out at a decent hour and we have good results. Too much hype can lead to rushing, doing work improperly and not backing up correctly. Building your editorial staff’s confidence by going over workflows in downtime, experimenting ideas or running tests is what should be going on, not overthinking the amount of work.

I remember one instance where we knew we had footage coming in at 6 PM and we had to prep it as soon as possible. We would not be able to go home till it was done. We knew it was probably going to overwhelm us. The less experienced crew members all talked about how it was going to be nuts, how it was probably going to keep us there until after midnight. The more experienced didn’t say “No, it won’t” but they didn’t add to the hype either. They sat back and smiled, very calm and confident. The footage came in and we tackled it as a team. I got home at 8:30 pm. Yeah, 8:30. No big deal. So what was all the commotion for beforehand? Did it help anything we had been working for? Did it boost morale?

So when you are helping set the mood in the editorial, don’t hype up the work. Keep a cool head and build your team with confidence instead of fear of the unknown.  Your co-workers will remember you for it and keep you in their plans for future work as it appears.