Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Vincent Laforet on the future for creatives

Last night I went to a talk by Vincent Laforet. The event was sponsored by Rule Boston Camera, Canon and the PBS show Frontline.

I’ve heard Vincent speak before, and some of this talk was a rehash of past material; his years at The New York Times, the amazing pictures taken at the top of the Empire State and Chrysler buildings, the helicopter shots of New York, and Reverie; the first movie shot with the Canon 5D Mark II, it was all there.

But Vincent added in a new element from past talks. In this one he looked at what’s going on with the internet, social media, and the advancement of technology, and tried to make sense of it all and offer suggestions for how to have a creative career in this new world.
Learn all the Rules, and then break them
He had some fascinating stats on the volume of media being produced and uploaded to social networks every hour of every day. Hundreds of thousands of pictures are uploaded to Facebook, and hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every hour. Or is it every minute?

Ultimately, he offered a number of data points:
  • The internet has made it easier to distribute things, and harder to be seen.
  • If the clients daughter owns a 5D Mark II, why do they need to hire you as a still photographer?
  • If a 5K video camera can take stills as good as a still camera, why do we need a still camera?
  • If your phone can take a 41MP image, why do you need another camera?
  • With the technology being so good, and changing so rapidly, is the camera really important?
  • If the most popular shows are Honey Boo Boo and Storage Wars, is there still a place for serious content?
  • Attention spans are getting shorter
  • We’re watching content on smaller screens
  • We’re watching less regular television
  • The people at the top in production can still command high prices, but there’s a lot more people at the bottom, and the middle is disappearing.
Depressed yet?

His conclusion; technique and skill is still important. And so is story. A good story will differentiate you.

That, or a really funny cat video.

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