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My SCNotty Adventure

Well, this is my first venture into the SCN blogosphere immediately following my 2010 SCNotty submission.  I must say that I feel a bit liberated by the experience of posting my video for all to see, but only after the frustration of not being able to figure out how to upload a thumbnail image to the site (and eventually giving up and just posting a link to the video) has worn off.  I’m sure it’s just my unfamiliarity with posting to SCN as others have been able to do it successfully.

The whole process of shooting, editing, posting to YouTube and ultimately posting the link to SCN was a bit of fun, a bit of a challenge and a bit of nervousness/awkwardness for me, but I think it all came together pretty well in the end.

My idea stemmed from the popular MTV show ‘Cribs’ and I thought that I could help introduce myself to my fellow SCN members by showing them my cubicle and the personal items that come with it, so I dubbed the title of my video “SCN Cubes”.

The challenge for me was finding a time to actually record.  I couldn’t really do it during normal business hours while my colleagues are conducting their work – it would be a distraction to them and I’d get background noise or other things in the video that I didn’t want.  So, I decided to get up at the crack of dawn Wednesday, September 22 and got myself to the office at 5:30am. Filming the part in the hallway was the toughest part and made me the most nervous – anyone could also decide to come into the office early and stumble upon me and my tripod in the hallway and I would find that quite embarrassing.  That early in the morning, the lights that are on a timer had not yet come on, so it was a little dark, but luckily my camera’s light provided enough illumination to capture the shot I needed.

Propping the door open with a door stop that early in the morning is also a bad idea, as I came to learn.  Apparently the doors (that are on a sensor) also send information to our security desk if left open too long during non-business hours.  So, about 10 minutes after capturing the shots needed, I was paid a visit by one of our security guards – at least he didn’t probe me any further than asking if it was me who propped it open…potential humiliation avoided!

After several takes, due to me stumbling over my words a few too many times in nervous anticipation of someone walking in on me, I finally throught that I had what I needed.  Unfortunately, after watching the videos when starting to edit on Thursday night, I realized just how nervous I was and what I had shot didn’t really meet my vision for the ‘project’.  So, logically, I knew I needed to return to the office on Friday morning, yet again, at 5:30am to re-shoot, though I was hardly excited about it.

Not wanting to film the hallway scenes again and risk another visit from the security guard, I purposefully avoided re-shooting those, but this meant that I needed to wear the same shirt to work on Friday that I wore on Wednesday – I couldn’t live with the inconsistency, even though most probably would not have caught it. I did, however, change my shirt after filming on Friday so as to not risk someone in the office asking me if I had just worn that shirt a few days ago.  Things went a little better on Friday in terms of me fighting off the butterflies and I captured the video that I needed…so now to the editing.

Well, having this rather grand idea in my head as to what I wanted this video to be, I should have realized that there’s no way to accomplish all of that within 2 minutes (my goal) let alone the “30 seconds (or more or less)” set aside in the SCNotty guidelines…. and, of course, I wasn’t able to.  So, as you’ll see out there, I have two versions – the ‘official‘ submission is a little less than 2 minutes in total, but only covers one ‘level’ of my cubicle, while the Director’s Cut is a little less than 5 minutes and represents my original vision of the project.  Also, if you poke around on YouTube you’ll find a deleted scene as well.  

Thanks to Jim Spath and others for putting this together and coaxing me out of my shell. 

I’d like to encourage you to submit your video as well – it definitely doesn’t need to be as elaborate of an undertaking as mine.  I simply got an idea stuck in my head and had to do it. 

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    • Thanks Tammy! I should mention that I did have to do a little housekeeping in order to get it to look relatively clean. I have to admit that I’ve been working in conference rooms/team rooms for most of the past 3-4 years (until I returned to my desk full-time in August), so my desk was pretty much covered with a bunch of paperwork until I cleaned  house. So, I accomplished two things out of this – shot my video and straightened up a big mess!
  • I noticed how neat and orderly your cube was, too, Jim.  As an obsessive/compulsive who likes organization in my physical world, I appreciated that. Good to know also that shooting your video caused you to straighten-up… you killed two birds with one stone.  

    I also got to know you better just from your cube and narration.  We have several things in common, directly or indirectly… my sister got her PhD from Ohio State so I’m a casual Buckeye fan.  (Unlike her husband who went to Penn State – imagine the drama at their house during football season…). Nice to meet your wife and kids virtually too, to see you enjoy Dilbert, so learn what you read to constantly build your expertise, and to learn more about your work and your world.

    Thanks for your SCNottie submission.

    Mark Yolton

    • Thank you Mark for taking the time to read the blog, watch the videos and leave a comment, I really appreciate it. 

      I can imagine their house during football season – could only be worse if one was an OSU fan and one was a Michigan fan!

  • Back during Sapphire, Jon Reed introduced me to you as a card carrying, sharp shooting, honest-to-goodness BPX.
    In fact he created a podcast with you:  Jon Reed’s interview with a real live BPX
    Now you have revealed yourself as a meticulous content producer.  Love the transitions in your clip, loved the 3 stories of your desk (very creative script), loved your sharing a bit of your swag, your family, your work environment.
    Two questions: 1) can I help you by embedding the youtube for you into the blog?  That’s easy to accomplish using the small icon for uploading media.  You need only supply the link to your video to the flash field.
    2) I would love to upload a brief vid that I created of you at Sapphire so folks can see and hear more about your BPX work.
    Lastly loved the director cut and worth the full 5 minutes!  Welcome to blogging Jim and Kudos to Jon Reed for uncovering such a talent to us here.
    • Thank you, Marilyn!

      As a first time blogger, I sure could use any help that you’re willing to provide, so embedding the video would be a great help!

      As for the video you shot at Sapphire, I don’t recall saying anything too incriminating, just being a little nervous and not used to being in front of the camera, so feel free to post it when you get around to it.

      I’ve been working on a blog (or perhaps a series) on my experience as a BPX, but finding time is difficult (three small kids wear me out!), but I do hope to post in the near future.

      Thanks again,