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Speaking of awards ...

The 60-Second Know-It-All project (in its original incarnation, the 90-Second Know-It-All) began as an attempt to innovate my way out of a closing trap.

Layoffs were looming and it didn't take a genius to see that our Graphics department was going to be in one of the first tumbrels. The market for big, printed display infographics was drying up - not just here, but around the country. And frankly, on the newsroom's cap we had never been the very button.

So I contemplated having the tools taken out of my hands. Yet I also knew that I hadn't yet put those tools to their fullest use. All my 3D modeling apps and illustration apps could also be used for animation. A terrific way to tell visual stories -  though there had never been much point in thinking about it as long as the old newsroom job classification structures and layers of middle management were in place, of course.

Now, all that nonsense was falling apart.

Seemed like the perfect time to try something totally new.

I've spent the last two years feeling my way along, teaching myself new skills and new software as I went, producing this video series out of my basement with a budget of $0. One of our early entries famously garnered all of eight views. Others have done considerably better though, and now - despite having to compete against dedicated staffs with resources, training, direction - we find ourselves with Emmy statuettes on our desks.

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