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Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Tip for all After Effects users!

If the save dialogue box pops up randomly, for gods sake use it to save a backup copy of your project!

I've often found that if AE crashes unexpectedly it will pop up the save window without necessarily warning you that it has crashed (which it usually does when it crashes) - if you close the window it will usually be followed by some evil Runtime error and AE disappearing!

(The first few times this happened, I crossed off the window, only to lose my work! Needless to say, I've learned to always save a backup copy when this happens!)

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

What's in a name?

Something that continues to niggle me is my company name, "Phil Bearman Creative Media Solutions" - here's the story/explanation/excuse for it!:

The name started out in my freelance lighting designer days as "Phil Bearman Lighting Designer" which was fair enough (the only problem being that it didn't fit on my bank cards which had to read Phil Bearman LD!)

So when I moved into motion graphics I need to change the name. This was the perfect opportunity to come up with something a bit original, but despite hours of brainstorming and suggestions from friends and family I just couldn't find a name that I liked that wasn't already in use by somebody else. So I accepted defeat and carried on using my own name. The trouble was, at the time I was trying to do website design, motion graphics, graphic design work and more, so I needed a name that would encompass all of that, and that's where the dreadful 'Creative Media Solutions' came from!

Now I've streamlined my business it would be more accurate to change it to Phil Bearman Motion Graphics or similar, but the hassle and cost of changing the company name outweighs any benefit. Plus, as a friend pointed out to me, the company name is actually well established and known (some people know the company as just 'Creative Media Solutions'), and as the old saying goes 'If it ain't broke, don't fix it'.

So, for now at least, the company continues to be Phil Bearman Creative Media Solutions (and continues to be abbreviated on the bank cards - to Phil Bearman CMS!)

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Night Magazine

I've spent today putting together a magazine advert to go in February's NIGHT Magazine - it will be going with an article about my business, so if you read NIGHT, keep an eye out for it! I'll post a link to the article once it goes online.

One of my friends is a sales and marketing guru, so as usual I've had his input on the design which is always very helpful.

It's easy to get tunnel vision when you're running a business and I think it's essential to ask for, and act on other people's ideas and opinions, particularly when they are more experienced than you in an area - it's SO important to act on the advice rather than just acknowledging it and then convincing yourself that you know better!

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Early Spring Clean

Ok, so it's not Spring, but I'm always pleased to see the back of January - it's just such a depressing month, particularly so this year with the constant doom-mongering of the media over the so-called 'Credit Crunch'!

So feeling all upbeat and positive, I decided it was time for another big sort-out of my PCs, and have spent the day tidying up files (it's amazing how much crap you can collect in 'My Documents'!), organising Internet bookmarks, defragging, removing unused software, archiving old work, and fixing little niggling problems such as my DVD printer taking forever to start printing.

I've long been of the opinion that it's better to leave PCs on permanently. Ok, it's not very 'green', and some would argue that it puts a lot of unnecessary wear on components, but my PCs are set up to run scheduled house-keeping tasks such as virus scanning overnight meaning that they are always ready to roll each morning. It also means Emails are downloaded instantly preventing my inbox filling up with large files that clients have sent).

My oldest PC is still running fast and flawlessly after 5 years, so I think that speaks for itself!

Mentioning my 'green-ness' prompted me to take the WWF Eco Footprint test which I saw on Not Easy Being Green earlier this week... To be honest I thought I'd score really badly, but I came out at 2.22 planets, which is apparantly below the UK average! I don't feel so bad about leaving those PCs on now :-)