Senior Producer Eric Maierson’s post “I Hate ‘Multimedia’” stirred up a discussion on what success in our industry looks like and what is required to get us there. We used your comments and questions to ask our Executive Producer and Founder Brian Storm (with thoughts from Director of Photography Rick Gershon) how visual storytellers can flourish in a constantly evolving industry.
Do you hate ‘multimedia’ too?
Hate is a strong word, but I would argue that word has become meaningless. It’s sort of like saying “awesome.” What does awesome mean anymore? Everything is awesome.
Multimedia has been associated with my professional title for twenty years of my life. So, of course, the word means something to me. What I’ve seen happen is that it means something different to everyone you talk to. Eric made a bunch of good points about it being too small in scope. It’s about our industry, the way our industry talks about it.
Our audience is much larger than those in the photography industry so multimedia isn’t a word that makes much sense to them. Also, the word multimedia has been used to represent the concept of a one man band. That is an approach that we really don’t believe is set up for success. The one man band is about keeping costs low, not about creating the best story possible. We believe in collaboration and teamwork to tell stories. For us, it’s about storytelling and quality above all else.
Is it more important for storytellers to be an expert at one medium or familiar with multiple?
When you’re starting out you should work towards a broad education. Get exposed to all the various skills so you can respect how hard each are and better understand the role each media type and skill set can play in the storytelling process.
But, I think if you want to be great, you have to pick something that you’re passionate about and really make it your craft. Become exceptional at it. And from there you should collaborate with people who are exceptional at those things that you are not. That’s how you become excellent in this space. No one person can do all the things that make a great film.