I have learned a lot of things in the past five years of co-founding HMTC. My top three learning realms are (1) Grant applications, (2) Editing film, and (3) Graphic Design. I am a person that loves to learn, but I must admit, these three kicked my behind.
Right now, I am working on grant applications for the theater. My fingers are tired from typing and my eyes are watery from rereading what I wrote and rewrote. It is a necessary activity for nonprofits. As well, grants are becoming more competitive. It is a lot of hours of dedication and sometimes, I lose my way and start to panic when I cannot rewrite a sentence anymore. Then, I get courage to continue. This is usually a job for Development directors, or certified grant writers. I see they command top dollar in salaries. They deserve it, and someday we can salary one for our theater.
In 2020, a HMTC play production received a grant to be produced. With the lockdown, the granting entity asked us what we would do about the production. They insisted it could not be in public with the restrictions. What could we do? Then I uttered the words “film?” They were content with that, but that led to purchasing cameras, audio equipment, software, and a new computer. According to Herman Wilkins in his article, How to Plan a Film Shoot: 10 Tips for Estimating Times on a Schedule, he states that shooting and prepping takes time. He states, “…so shot prep time could mean, (sic) with three different camera setups, at 30 minutes each. And two hours shooting time for one page.” We had forty pages to shoot and so it took 80 hours to film the play, and 6 hours of prep time. This I expected but what I did not consider is the learning curve of editing software, colorization, and audio processes. Also the time in finding the right shots from three cameras to weave into the final product was extremely time consuming. Learning how to edit is fine, but the time involved is extensive. Hats off to film editors. I respect your work very much.
Graphic design was another challenge for me. The youth have a great handle on that. Certainly, there are more apps to make it easier. However, if it is part of marketing, lots of things must be considered. So, when I make a graphic, I run it by my daughter. She is an artist of photography. She has excellent color and frame positioning talent. I will make a graphic and she would ask me “What are you trying to do?” I would simply say, “Make an attractive flyer for people to respond to.” Her reactions let me know if I succeeded. For my credit, I learned how to animate graphics which has a better response on social media.
With these experiences, I say Hats off to professional grant writers, film editors, and graphic designers. You have my TOTAL respect.
Silvia Gonzalez Scherer
February 12, 2022