In my last blog, I referenced the start of what would become the Accounting in Three Minutes series. Now, as my internship comes to a close and with three videos in the series published, I find myself passing the project onto my friends and colleagues and reflecting back on how all of this got started.
The first inklings of the series started months before my return to the company. My friends and colleagues, Clark Moeller and Rian Moses-Hedrick, began creating a concept for short videos that any accountant could look up in a pinch.
Clark explained the genesis of the idea as:
“The three-minute concept really came from the idea that people are looking for shorter format learning nowadays, and with the genesis of TikTok and other short-format videos, we had the fun idea to make something that was digestible, easy to watch, and hopefully funny.”
Similarly, Rian explained,
“We live in an era where information needs to be interesting and digested quickly.”
If you needed an introduction to derivatives, but didn’t have an hour or two for a full course, these videos could fulfill that need. With the growth of the GAAP Dynamics YouTube channel and the success of the GAAP Chats podcast, it seemed there was a desire for more content from accountants who want quick, quality accounting information, so it seemed like the right time to develop the series.
It was around this time that I joined the project. Upon my return to the office, I began planning the series with Mike, Vicky, and our new intern, Geovanna. Between all of our inputs, we came up framing the videos in the vein of an instructional video gone wrong. We would balance the humor with the accounting, by keeping the humor to the abrupt opening and outro scenes and using the accountants’ expertise for everything else. Taking inspiration from blooper reels, we created a rough vision for the look of the series. With everything planned, all that was left was filming and editing. The easy parts.
It was at this time I realized that filming and editing were not the easy parts. Summarizing an accounting topic in three minutes might sound easy in theory, but in practice, keeping under the allotted time is a lot more difficult than it sounds. Fortunately, I had the opportunity to work with some incredible accountants who could achieve the impossible task, but figuring out how to make it feasible took a lot more than pointing a camera and pressing record. But through technical difficulties, camera mishaps, and timer mistakes, we eventually fell into a groove and started beating the timer.
Now that we had the footage, editing would be another beast entirely. While I had an idea for how the video should feel, figuring out exactly how to make it feel that way proved to be difficult. I spent a week testing different amalgamations of cold opens and intros, outros, and graphics. Through trial and error, we eventually settled on something reminiscent of old-school local television, with a 60’s bossa nova soundtrack and clean, simple graphics. And with the feel of the series developed, the editing process got faster and faster until editing them felt like second nature.
And after all that, I can now proudly look back at our effort, being able to see all the work that went into the preparation and development into the project.
According to Rian,
“The viewer knows upfront how long the video will be and willingly watches the video to see if the speaker can accomplish the 3 minute task. I'd call this a success!”
Likewise Clark said,
“I think the execution of the final product has far exceeded my expectations, and even as a non-accountant, I find it understandable and enjoyable to watch; after all, it's only three minutes!”
I’m really fortunate to have been given the opportunity to work on this project. Being able to create something of this scale and being able to work with these wonderful people is something I’ll always be grateful for. As I return to school, I feel safe with the project in the capable hands of the rest of the DMLS team, and hope that this project, in combination with the new GAAP Chats season, is an asset to all accountants in need.