A guest post Leadership Unplugged on Brian Solis’ site (yes, again) started out being about leadership and then went into context and content.  Written by Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton the article makes some very relevant points about an ‘unplugged’ and less perfect leadership style in a fast changing and moving world.  What struck the nerve for me were the following paragraphs:

“The YouTube and Twitter generation couldn’t care less about polished videos or super-refined writing. They care about stuff that sparks their interest, they want the opportunity to chime in through comments and mash-ups, and they love communication in real time. […]  In the realm of social media, getting content “out” is only the beginning. The real relevance of a message unfolds once the audience responds and further develops its meaning, by rating, sharing, commenting, liking, re-tweeting, annotating, and so on. In other words: Messages become powerful through socially mediated “co-creation”. 

It is the involvement of the audience that upgrades the content from “noise” to “value”. […] Compelling content may still be king in the new world of Social Media, but “context is the kingdom” – and a king without a kingdom won’t matter much. […] It’s a world in which the notion of perfection that tries to answer all questions has become dysfunctional.” 

It’s so succinct; I don’t want to add to it, but to say: I told you so. I learned with Abraham’s Children how a beautiful and (near) perfectly crafted content in an independent documentary world – that relies on self-distribution and not a studio release – is of near irrelevance.  Either the content excites, or it does not.  Finding those who are excited about the MESSAGE is the job of a filmmaker in crafting AND distributing a film today. Understanding the context in which the content will thrive is key. 

Furthermore, film crews and production staff are, unless you work on glossy Hollywood or TV fare, at risk of being obsolete. Budgets are anorexically vanishing into oblivion, creating beautiful looking content is not as relevant, equipment is cheaper and easier to use, and any kid with an iPhone and laptop can create awesome content. With that there is a plethora of people out of jobs; the dinosaurs as I call them. People like many of my pals, me included, who made a very good living and career doing ONE thing and doing it really, really well. Most of us have been flexible enough to expand our professional services over a range of job descriptions or have re-positioned ourselves in management and consulting roles, some have left the industry all together.

The next generation of film professionals will be a less deep pool of specialists, but will hold many more generalists or ‘renaissance’ men and gals.  Interesting will be how much of the deep knowledge of making movies, or moving images will be lost and how much the audience will care. I fear they won’t much.


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