The dry mouth, the clammy hands, the raised heart rate. It doesn’t matter how long you’ve worked in live events; the symptoms never change. Perhaps it’s love.
But there is another constant we could all do without, the other unremitting, ever-present truth.
There is never. Ever. Enough time.
In any job where you may as well howl at the moon as ask a deadline to move, the hands of time have a habit of ticking to a tighter grip with each passing minute. And there’s not a thing you can do to stop them.
Not when the show’s about to go up
But maybe you can learn to loosen them. No, not now, not when the show’s about to go up, and there are matters more pressing, but earlier, a lot earlier. And that’s where training, both formal and informal, helps.
Because though modern kits like Christie Pandoras Box and Widget Designer will allow you to achieve the same, high quality, outcome in many different ways, not all those methods are equal. Good training shouldn’t blindly teach some ‘correct’ way of getting things done; it should show you options – like being able to construct a project in a flexible way when you have the luxury of time, which will save you blushes later, when you don’t.
Any approach that takes fewer clicks and less untangling to get back on track when things get stressy has to be worth knowing about.
Things like knowing the best way to work a Pandoras Box timeline and that, while it may initially seem convenient to use the same layer on different timelines, it will make last-minute changes unnecessarily complicated and time-consuming.
Everything comes together
Nor is it just about avoiding pitfalls. Christian Hinxlage, Pandoras Box Technical Support Manager, and a man who knows about these kinds of things, described his own experiences getting the Christie stand ready for ISE. He says it ran as smoothly as these things can, but the game-changer for him was watching how expert Pandoras Box operators worked its multi-user features to such effect. “We had 30 displays on that stand and six or seven operators on-site with everybody simultaneously connected to the main system. Everyone could do what they needed to do just when they needed – warping, blending, anything, no waiting around at all. And you end up with just one master project file, on one main manager machine, where everything comes together. It saves so much time and money.”
Generous with knowledge
In the end, it comes down to expertise hard-won from days on the road – or in front of a workstation. And, the wonderful thing about this industry is how generous it is with that expertise. The unofficial freelance information exchange is as active as it has ever been – even though the inside info is now shared on sites like the Pandoras Box User Forum rather than in after-show bars.
Then there’s’ the official Pandoras Box Learn YouTube channel and the Pandoras Box Training that Christie runs worldwide. A huge amount of freely available expertise out there that can save you time any time you need it. Especially when the unforgiving show clock ticks its loudest.