After 20+ years working in the creative industries, It’s my personal belief that creatives are essentially ‘problem solvers’ at their core. And boy do we have a problem.
The juggernaut engine that powers the Industry as we know it has come to a screeching halt.
Shoot production has changed forever and as we stand shocked on the platform, we're all trying to figure out when and IF we can climb back on the production train. And that's not even our first thought, we’re actually just grateful in the most part that loved ones are safe and well and that the situation appears to be improving. It's a heady mixture of appreciation and gratitude combined with an absolute fear of the unknown.
In the meantime brands and magazines need to continue to shoot to remain visible and to survive creatives need to create and get paid.
Plato said; ‘Necessity is the mother of invention’ and its true, many creative workarounds are being adopted in an effort to keep calm and keep on shooting.
Well known faces such as Robert Pattison are effectively ‘solo shooting’ themselves self-portrait style for titles such as GQ magazine.
Household brands such as Zara are asking models to photograph themselves for new collection campaigns after applying their own makeup and Styling their own garments and choosing their shoot angles.
Time served and experienced Photographers are shooting in every nook and cranny they can, kitchens, gardens and cars, with Celebrity Photographer Nicky Johnston offering a totally new meaning to the phrase 'drive-by shooting', as he shoots from a car window to safe distance and ‘shoot safe’.
Not to mention the huge increase in shoots being directed remotely via zoom and Facetime and Studios offering to connect Clients to shoots via streaming. So we must ask;
Has the production bubble as we know it burst?
Is the close-knit production family on an unofficial 'break'?
What if anything will endure and become part of the ‘safe shoot’ normal?
And most of all, will these innovative interventions stick or twist?
It's undoubtedly a shakeup. But I have huge faith in our creative communities, from all sides of the shooting perspective. Regardless of the shift of gear or change of direction; what will stick will be what our creative workforce has to offer.
The reason is this; to endure a career in a largely freelance industry, creatives understand the need to re-evaluate and refresh their perspectives constantly.
This move is to avoid becoming stale and their ideas feeling too ‘seen’ - they seek out change, they reinvent.
By default, the creative mind hunts out solutions, and have key traits such as being resourceful and having tenacity - a prerequisite for sustaining a career within the Industry.
So many talented people are locked down in the creative engine rooms right now; problem-solving, planning, re-evaluating and creating. And that is the sweet spot of ingenuity and innovation. As soon as the 'new normal' shoot scenario is greenlit again, their solutions and ideas will take flight.
Of course, it's too early to say how the dust will settle, and perhaps the ‘shoot production wheel’ will need to be reinvented. There's so much we can't possibly know at this point but we must expect shoot organisers to request the minimum bodies on set.
Perhaps this will increase in the prep days for Stylists to organise and label garments? Time will tell.
Yes, there’s talk of huge declines in sales, which impact on advertising.
A global slowdown of epic proportions.
But then there's the sea change in content consumption. There's an insatiable appetite for 'new'. Whether its Netflix adopters seeking to binge on box sets or Grandparents who are learning to love TikTok - people are consuming.
And then there's the types of content yet to be even thought of, created for new digital channels - and additional content that piggybacks on social media, all to be streamed on yet-to-be designed devices and reach audiences, increasingly with an individualized approach.
And where’s there’s content, there's creative.
Where there's creativity, there is Hope.
As a lover of all things tech, I look forward to contributing to that space and working out how best to help creatives create content.
And of course, climbing back onto the new streamlined engine... When it's ready to depart.