Media Is Changing Really Fast. Like, Really Fast.
A Young Point of View On The Media Industry.
When I started getting more interested in taking photos, I was around eleven or twelve years old. I had always liked it before then, but always having to have my parents take the film to be processed and not being allowed to take all the pictures I wanted was a drag. We got a small point-and-shoot around when I was nine, which was cool, but now, at age eleven, that I had a small DSLR, I could take as many photos as I wanted, and I could see them right away. I used that same small Nikon DSLR up until two or so years ago.
I am probably the last part of my generation that will understand the momentous progress we have made in the past fifteen years. A lot of people might say I haven’t been around long enough to understand the change that is going on, but I disagree. I remember seeing an iPod for the first time, and not quite understanding what it was. I remember thinking the Palm Pre was the coolest looking phone ever when I saw it in the AT&T store. I remember a time before iPhones and Facebook and Instagram and Snapchat, and I watched every episode of Lost as it came out because there was no other option. I can shoot 4K video on the phone sitting in front of me, and even within my short lifetime I used to be recording on miniDV tapes and watching standard definition TV’s.
This insane age of advancement is exciting, and yet also a little sad. Some people don’t appreciate real photography, because they “can do the same thing with their iPhone”, and apparently I should move my portfolio to Instagram, because “it would get a lot of likes”.
But we should be excited about the ability for everyone to be able to create and access these kinds of things, right? Well… as someone hoping to get a BA in film and dive into the media world, not so much. Starving artists have always been, well, starving, but with a growing number of creators and cameras and a diminishing appreciation for the fine art of filmmaking, I’m seeing a lot of top ramen in my future.
I mean look, I love technology, and I’m all for the natural advancement of media and creation, but at the same time that technology is helping artists and filmmakers to take their art to new places and be seen in even more venues, it is also making it almost just as easy for any ol’ schmuck on a couch to make a movie and share it, as someone who’s gone to grad school for film. I was on a shoot for a commercial, and the DP pulls out a stabilized camera gimbal and monitors from his iPhone. The thing isn’t even that expensive either! How crazy is it that a long tracking shot that previously might have needed a Steadicam operator, who are by no means cheap to hire, is now being done by the DP who’s running around with an iPhone and a few hundred dollars of DJI gear?
The point here is that things are changing really fast. Progressions that used to happen over years are happening over months, and it seems like every week there’s something new coming out, or some new social media app that’s going to change the way we all communicate. We know that. What I can’t decide, is whether these changes are for the better, or worse.