Workroom Fire

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Is video editing a glamourous job? You tell me.

On Wednesday, I arrived at 4 pm to do some video editing of corporate conference highlights. By 6, I was dashing back into a smoky, burning room for the third time to save the computers, decks and tapes. Someone should have had the camera rolling, because I think our behind-the-scenes fire was more exciting than anything else happening at the hotel during the event.

The hotel staff didn't call the fire department but investigated the fire themselves. The cause was obvious to me. It was a short in the coffee warmer and inadequate electrical outlets in a room full of gear and devices. They apologised and gave us ham sandwiches to replace the deluxe delivery dinners that had been ruined by the smoke.

My colleague & I had to wait for an uncharred room to open up so we could set up our workspace again. 'Til 10 pm, we hunkered over laptops in a corner of the lobby - homeless editors surrounded by tangled cables and uncertain equipment.

When we set everything up in the new room, we were fortunate not to have too many problems. Only one disk had errors and they were repaired quickly enough. Everythign else was covered in grime, but in good working order. I was up until 2 getting ready for the next day's footage. Rob stayed up all night to complete the module that would open the morning's session.

At 8 am, after a quick breakfast of sandwiches, pickles and yogurt, and some further edits, all my plans changed. The president of the company had literally dreamed up a great idea and wanted us to implement it for his closing video, the one I'd been working on. So I scrapped what I'd done and reworked the whole thing for a 3:30 deadline.

At 2:45, one of the managers came to see what we'd done. He found it unsuitable and requested three different versions with footage we simply didn't have and could not get in time. I'm glad I got to sit there quietly while my boss explained reality. I turned around and started doing what I could to satisfy the client. I managed two different versions in time for the deadline. The president was pleased.

At least my job is never boring.

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