The creative industry has changed so much in the last few decades. Technology has allowed equipment to reduce in price and allowed more people to have access to industry quality gear. The internet has changed the world forever. Many people in our industry yearn for the good old days. When it was a selected few that were paid a large amount to produce the majority of the content. I call them the “dinosaurs”. What they don’t understand is that those days are gone and will never return. And I’m glad – here’s why.
Change is constant. I’m not saying change is easy. The accessibility to high quality equipment has allowed creative people who may not have had an opportunity in the old system to get their work out there. The spirit of creativity is to allow everyone to express themselves in their own individual way. This new age is allowing more and more people to create. And here’s where the old guard have issues. They say that most of the stuff these “amateurs” are creating is bad. It is dragging the overall perception of the industry down.
My reply to that is - nonsense. Quality is quality. Everyone can name numerous movies, produced and directed by the “dinosaurs” that were absolutely terrible. Some of the new animations, short videos and recording artists are amazing. And many would not have had the opportunity if technology had not reduced the barrier to entry.
The music industry is a perfect example. Who remembers Napster in 1999 and the very real struggle that music was being pirated for free? (See this article in the Guardian for more information.) The artists and the record companies were losing money, and no-one knew what to do. They were stuck in the old days. The industry tumbled for nearly 15 years before it started to recover in 2014. It has steadily increased since then. It is a cautionary tale on two fronts:
1. Be the part of the innovation - not the innovated.
2. The market will always find a balance.
Video has never been in higher demand. The data shows that the industry is going to be worth $412 Billion by 2021 according to an article by the Drum. This is an exciting time to be a creative and the opportunities are out there. Yes, there are people making some terrible stuff. That’s OK. The people who make the fantastic stuff more than outnumber these and the cream always rises to the top.
So, stop complaining about the good old days. They are not coming back. This new exciting time should be embraced. If you don’t, you may go the way of the Music Industry dinosaurs.
Craig Williams is a British Voice Over based in Houston, TX