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And the title is....

Alarm rings at 4:00 a.m. Get up. Work. Nap. Get up. Work until 11:00 p.m. Alarm rings at 4:00 a.m.

So that is how I arrived at the title of The Grind: Surviving and Thriving in Journalism.

The moment we have all been waiting for! The documentary title! This is something Jordan and I have discussed at length both on and off camera, so it felt perfect. Jordan’s workload is a marathon, not a sprint and she lives one moment at a time.

This project is a long journey, not a short form report. Today, I wanted to share some lessons learned throughout this production process.

  1. While this shoot was more focused on b-roll, there were a few moments where sound was important. Aside from our sit-down interview, I found that speaking with Jordan in various locations provided easy cutaway shots and extra context on some of the important points moments in the documentary.

  2. As I begin editing, I find myself dividing my timeline into sections that I color coded. This makes the chapters easy to see and I can work on this long project in smaller chunks. Editing something of this magnitude is new for me and I can use all the help I can get. I think it is important to pace yourself and let the story come to you.

  3. Every day I find myself thinking about the story, the character development, the video and the sound. I am even thinking about extra effects and transitions, which can bring the documentary to the next level.

A documentary requires keeping a lot of moving parts in motion, never dropping the ball. Organization is key. I try to write everything down, even though I feel like I have notes everywhere. My work area has several Post-Its all over it, digital notes litter myon my computer screen, handwritten notes are in margins of notebooks and voice memo reminders crowd my iPhone. I also keep a detailed production book that contains several different chapters, such as the description of the documentary, the paper edit, draft consent forms, completed consent forms, scripts, budget, notes, and other important information.

By keeping a detailed book, I am able to keep myself on task and on schedule. It can be difficult to manage so many moving parts, but I have found that writing things down and keeping extensive logs makes the process smooth and seamless. When there is a bump in the road, it is not catastrophic because everything else is in order.

How do you stay organized on long projects? Share your tips in the comments below or Tweet me @18NewsTara.

Stay tuned for more behind the scenes clips and info on this process!

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