There has been an interesting string running on one of the professional video forums recently that has caught our attention and sums up a lot of our own thoughts and experiences. This particular comment by Kenneth A Rivers encapsulates the feelings of many long term, experience video professionals who come across the ‘My neighbour’s friend, son, daughter etc., has done a media studies degree and can do this promotional piece for my company for a lot less money than you would charge, why should we use you?’
Kenneth comments: ‘I taught in a private school for fourteen years and introduced the digital video editing and production classes. From the very beginning I stressed that just because you own a video camera it does not mean that you can create good video. I taught that learning how to use your equipment is essential and don’t rely on auto anything. I tried to get them to understand the importance of the process from script, to storyboarding, to checking the location for possible sound and lighting issues and so on. We lacked the equipment to have a good programme. The computers and software were insufficient, most of the cameras, up until the last one, lacked any form of real manual controls. Lighting equipment was practically non-existent except for two lights that ran very hot and were impractical to use.
Basically, I tried to teach that it wasn’t as simple as point and shoot and that the ability to create quality video takes considerable time and practice. To their credit, a couple of them actually produced a couple of good productions.
What I learned is that creativity can’t be taught.’
Whilst many colleges and universities are now actually well equipped with the technology, the creativity and experience cannot be taught that easily, if at all. When we are looking at new employees, and we get asked to consider many graduates, the reason would chose one over another is far more to do with their personality and passion for the business, combined with some basic skills that we can build on. We have never yet had someone come to us from a University or College with a Degree in Media Studies or Television Production who we would consider putting in front of a client, letting them lose on a camera or editing suites without a considerably amount of ‘re-training’ for the business world. However, we have found a few good people whom we’ve have the privilege of bringing into the industry over a few years doing an ‘apprenticeship’ with us, two of whom are now successfully cutting programmes for the BBC and doing hi flyer promo adverts.
Creativity can’t be taught, skills can but experience makes it all work together.