Content Creation Out of Necessity

Or How I Accidentally Stumbled into a Career in New Media on Purpose

Are you not entertained?!?!?! Are you not entertained???! #TeamTroll
  1. Wow “them” with talent (check?)
  2. Profit

This was not my story.

And it probably isn’t going to be yours either.

2006: CW adjacent but still not booking

So Where is a Jack-of-all-trades Supposed to go When He Doesn’t Want to Pick a Lane?

The answer started to appear for me in 2007 when Youtube started to become a viable platform. I should also point out that it didn’t become a serious platform for me for almost another 4 years, but I saw the potential just like a whole host of people smarter than me.

Improvised hair metal at the Comedy Store with Stranger Than Fiction c. 2008

I had no idea I was putting in my Gladwellian 10,000 hours towards a thing we would later call content creation.

Turning Points

2007 was a major one for me. My father had suddenly passed away during the taping of Sketch Wars. It was the first time someone close to me had had passed away and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t blow a hole through me.

And then things went back to normal.

So you Had Some Viral Hits? Does it Matter?

Yes, and here’s why: Metrics matter as much as your portfolio.

The point is this. Five years ago I had no idea where I was really going. Scratch that . . . 2 years ago I still didn’t know where I was going but I knew that I should go where the water is warmest. That meant learning as much as I could about not only production, story, and content development, but business, venture capital, and advertising.

I still act from time to time, but its not my focus right now. My voice over career has allowed me to scratches that performer’s itch that I still have but most of my time is spent creating, developing, or consulting on content creation. Creating feels much more empowering than waiting to be picked out of the crowd.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.” — Samuel Goldwyn

Quick and Dirty Advice:

Actors: Show up to your auditions with a better attitude than I ever did. Trust me, I know it sucks, but also know that we are in very strange time in the media biz where your talent isn’t the only factor. Make stuff, get an audience, buyers want this. Pick up your phones and start making short form content.

  • Try your best but don’t get bogged down in details until you have to. Be nice. Help others. Be authentic. Youtube has an incredible bullshit detector.
  • Learn the basics of every department. I wanted to be the best producer I could be so I’ve gone out of my way to learn the basics of everybody’s department so I can make informed decisions about what needs to happen on set and in post.
  • You haven’t had your last good idea. Don’t be precious with them.
  • Who needs our skill set? These are different questions.
  • Are OTT services the next frontier?
  • What’s really happening with VR and 360?
  • How can we harness those trends to tell a compelling narrative?

Executive Producer at @mindjammedia by day. Crossfit Coach, surfer, & MMA fanboy by night. He/Him/Zaddy ZekeThomas.com