Most great artist are also skilled technicians, and many great technicians incorporate a conceptual approach to their skills. However in both cases one usually starts off more versed in one style than the other. Those artist who create abstractly and on the fly may rely on their more technically adept friends for insight. While many technicians who find it challenging to think in abstract terms may rely on the feedback of the conceptual artist to improve their work. So who fairs better in the new media landscape? Well that depends…
The Corporate Environment:
Producing videos in a corporate environment requires considerable technical proficiency. Just because the new media budget might be a fraction of what the old media budget was, somehow it doesn’t always translate proportionally to the level of work that is expected. In my case I was coming from a background of shooting parties and events handheld and on the fly. As a result I developed some pretty bad habits, many of which I was not even aware of until I started shooting corporate videos. It was only when I was being judged by committee that I realized just how bad my sound, lighting and even my editing was. After the novelty of hiring the “new media videographer” wore off, many of those old clients stopped calling.
The Indie Enviroment:
On the other hand, not being a formally trained filmmaker meant that I was learning new ways to produce videos. I knew what I wanted and often took take the long way to create the desired results. Many times what you will find is that taking the long way to get where you want to go will give your videos an indie polish that distinguishes it from the stodgy old media films that dominate your television sets.
So Who Fairs Better?
In my opinion the more technically adept filmmaker will fair better in the short run. The bigger jobs are still awarded by the establishment. And more often than not regardless of the budget they want their videos produced as flawlessly as humanly possible. Chances are they got where they are by exhibiting that same technical proficiency with their own products. But despair not, there is hope for the visionary. While your highly conceptual albeit somewhat gritty videos may only fly with an indie audience, true visionaries are a rare breed indeed and corporations will pay a premium for it. If you are patient enough to stay the course, the glass ceiling that so often impedes the ascent of the technocrat won’t exists for you. (Sorry if this reads like a Horoscope.) In the meantime work on those technical skills to increase your short term value.
Next Friday: To Music Video, Or Not To Music Video – That is the question.
Trevor “Trevz” Bayack is a Brooklyn-born filmmaker who approaches his web pieces as mini documentaries. Recognized as a member of the 2008 URB magazine Next 100 for pioneering the “video blog” Trevz continually makes his pieces shorter, sharper and ever more shareable” Follow thenewpop twitter feed for more.