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Thursday, December 20, 2007

"I have seen the future, and it is called Shuffle"

Bob Burnett: "I have seen the future, and it is called Shuffle—the setting on the iPod that skips randomly from one track to another." --Alex Roth

This quote is from New Yorker writer Alex Roth's essay "Listen To This" which is his take on classical music and the "modern world". I think the same thing can be said for visual/video work too. It seems people don't just shuffle music; video gets shuffled too---be it streaming media, Netflix, TiVo, meetings with visually-embedded power points, hand out DVDs or weblinks to other motion video. The beauty of digital capability for me isn't that our work is easily sent around the globe but that it can be delivered in small parcels of specific information.

Videos don't have to be "about everything" as it was once assumed.

Today's digital thinking frees up possibility for communicating in specifically effective ways---you can link embedded streaming video with additional written information on a web page, you can use more of the content from a shoot as supplemental information (outside of a three minute meeting opener). We frequently will produce a polished piece and will do a series of interview "string outs" of additional material for use in break-out sessions or on a DVD as added content. You can even "break the ice" with someone by sending them something on youtube. None of these ideas are considered out of the ordinary because ordinary doesn't exist anymore. We go into client meetings now and discuss ancillary distribution as a major part of the production planning process.

So shuffle away and enjoy the options.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Don't Need a "Whether" Man

Dan Bailes: I've always believed in the power of creative thinking. Which often bubbles up from quiet contemplation, an inspired leap or simply the power of well-chosen words, visuals and music to present a complex issue. But often times we're confronted with a "focus group" mentality of Dilbert-like reasoning -- that clouds up creativity with "whether" men. Whether it should be this way or that or perhaps something else entirely. "Whether men" need to make sure we don't say or do anything that might displease someone. Or they wonder whether it should be, perhaps, something else entirely.

The problem is: going for the least common denominator automatically weeds out creativity. And qualifying and justifying and second-guessing the work turns the emphatic into the innocuous. When you take the easy, safe route you rarely arrive at a worthwhile destination.

Maybe this will inspire you. I recently read an article in the WSJ that talked about how one individual was moved to "do something" and the result was life-changing. And not only his life, but his family's and his community's and possibly his nation's. One person, who was determined to go forward with an idea that made sense. And he didn't let circumstance, or a lack of resources or the naysayers turn him from his path.