Studio Pulse

Lead Actualizer- What is that?!

Hello there, I’m Jana Everett, the new kid at One Floor Up. I started about 6 months ago and it’s been incredible so far. The job title we settled on after much deliberation is Lead Actualizer. Now, I know what you’re thinking- what the heck does that even mean? Good question, I’ll get there I promise. But first, let me tell you a bit about how I got to One Floor Up.

I’m one of those people who has done a little bit of a lot of things but Video Production as a career path was not even remotely on my radar 6 months ago. I have a degree in Visual Art with an emphasis in Ceramics (I know, what the heck do I do with that??). I’ve worked in fancy cheese & specialty foods, grocery, theater, childcare, catering and the music streaming industry. I’ve been an operations manager, office manager, art studio manager, server, bartender, CNA, fitness instructor and I’ve held positions in multiple facets of the coffee and tea industry. Quite a scope, right? And sure, each of these experiences have added to my “toolbox” of skills, but because of the wide variety this toolbox looks a bit strange on a resume. As I found myself ready for a new path this past summer, it was tough to figure out what the heck kind of job I should apply for next. How could I bring as many of these skills together as possible to create a job that I enjoy?

In July of 2017, I took a chance and asked my workout buddy and friend Rachel Farha to dinner for a bit of career guidance. I’ve always admired Rachel and seen her as a brave and fierce Lady-Boss who will try anything but doesn’t take sh*t from anyone. After a tasty dinner at a dive-y Greek spot on Colfax, I was excited and inspired by the sage advice she’d given me over our chicken salads. To my surprise, she reached out the next day to grab lunch! Even more surprising, I walked into our lunch date to see her and one of her business partners at the table…turns out they had a position open that might just work for me. The initial position took a little revising once I arrived and we all started to realize what was needed at One Floor Up.

When I came along in August, One Floor Up was preparing to finish their best year yet. As it goes with all small businesses, everyone was feeling these growing pains and wearing so many hats to keep up that momentum. As Lead Actualizer, I get to help relieve some of that burden to help set the pace for our next, even better year. Because coming into this I knew nothing about video production, I’ve been given the empowering opportunity to come into this job gradually but with intention. I’ve been able find the places where I’m needed, without a rush. I’ve been able to sit back and quietly observe the business, asses the physical space and figure out the overall office dynamic. Here we are 6 months in and it seems that the, uh, “quirky” toolbox I’ve been building over the years actually unpacks quite well here. As Lead Actualizer, I ask myself how can I create ease? What can I take off your plate? What would make your job easier/better? Learning about my team every day, I’ve started to anticipate needs and help out more and more where I can. The job I hold now didn’t exist before, but it’s starting to take shape as we grow. It’s been a shift for everyone but the team has begun to realize that I genuinely want help… and I’ll do just about anything!

This brings us to my job title, Lead Actualizer (Bon Vivant, Maker of Dreams). Now, this title may change later down the road, but for now it works and it’s a great conversation starter. It works because it pretty much encompasses the overarching theme of my job- MAKE IT HAPPEN. The ”IT” is the part that makes my job hard to distill into one job title at the moment. Let’s unpack it, shall we?

Currently I am-

  • One part Office Manager a.k.a. Maker of dreams- what do you need/want? Done! (keeping snacks and paper stocked, making everything smell good and look pretty) 
  • Sometimes a Travel Agent (booking those flights, cars and hotels!)
  • One part Production Assistant (I’m becoming a pretty good on-set helper)
  • Occasional Prop Master (hunting down all of the props, in multiple colors and styles, keeping track of said props during the shoot, then returning as much as possible after the shoot)
  • One part Craft Services Manager (making sure everyone on set is fed, caffeinated and hydrated, this one is super important!)
  • One dash of Website Maintenance
  • Smidge of Social Media/Marketing
  • I even get to be the Morale Booster, this is where the Bon Vivant part comes in! (planning lunches, happy hours and team building events)
  • And naturally there are a few other things that I’ve picked up along the way that I’ll keep building into this role

You can see now why it’s tough to pinpoint a job title that encompasses all of that. 

I have learned so much in my first 6 months here. I now understand a bit more what it takes to make great video. From to how to frame a shot to some cool nerdy video production jargon (“Hey Jana, where’s the glass?”, “The boom is in the shot!”, “Let’s grab some b-roll!”). Did you know that a 1 minute video could take an entire day (or more) to shoot? After the shoot our work isn’t done, the footage still has to be edited to perfection in post-production. It’s fascinating to be working in an industry that is tech-y and fairly nerdy but it’s also very creative. Listening to everyone collaborate on projects, shooting ideas back and forth, is incredible. Concepts are sketched out and they take shape into shoots that then are edited, tweaked and color corrected until they are exactly where our clients want them to be. This team works so well together and, as a result, we have created beautiful and impactful work. The culture that Rachel and the other two co-owners (Andrew Spain and Daniel Witt) have created is the perfect balance of empowerment, trust, creativity, technical skill and a whole lot of fun.

Thanks for taking a few minutes to learn a bit more about One Floor Up and how I ended up with this awesome team. To hear more about what we’re up to, sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter!

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