Once in a while, I do get tired of finding a million different ways to say “things sure are interesting right now” in my business.
In reading the latest installment of Wired Magazine and their series of articles about YouTube and LonelyGirl15 and all the buzz and phenomenon of User-Generated Content, it’s hard as a media professional to not see the writing on the wall anymore.
While Hollywood for a long time has been THE place to go to become a television or film producer, director, writer or actor, and we have always prided ourselves on picking out talent and paying them handsomely, many of us face a sudden onslaught of competition not just from the other people who have struggled long enough to prove to the world (the “world” meaning to Hollywood:) that they should be paid well to be creative, but from any person who picks up a camera and has Internet access…
There is, however, one part of this equation that a lot of people are leaving out. The person with the camera and Internet access still has to have talent.
They have to be people with unique voices and experiences, AND enough technical knowledge that they can craft compelling characters and stories.
We all seem to forget that well before film & television, there were plays and storytellers and dramatists throughout ancient societies. Anyone who opened their mouth and could speak, could tell a story to people. But as with any other talent, there were those, such as Aeschylus
who could captivate and weave stories and characters that resonated with their audiences.
The mediums of film & television, from the technological standpoint, in essence created an entirely new set of opportunities (that of telling stories to a mass audience) but it also created an entirely new set of obstacles to those who would wish to tell stories. If you were not fortunate enough to have some film school pedigree, or the money to finance your own (well done) short film or calling card, or knew someone “in the biz” – you were very likely to toil for many years in obscurity before giving up and getting “a real job.”
What this has done for the last three-quarters of a century, has been to create an economy of scarcity of talent, when in fact, it’s highly possible there isn’t a scarcity of talent.