In ancient times, likely before 2000, you had to produce something (book, film, TV show, radio program) and show it to a man in a suit, behind a desk.
Your demo would be judged, sometimes on the spot. You’d be issued a verdict. For the purposes of this conversation, let’s assume you got the green light.
The company would mobilize its resources and production would begin. Lots of little people would stick their fingers in your project – rewrites, changes, dumbing down.
Then your piece of work would be released. You may have received an advance, now you’ll earn against that until the project turns a profit.
Look how simple the dinosaurs have become today.
Many books are now franchises. Major publishers are far less interested in one book, one that ends on the final page. They want more of the same.
The dinosaurs still live in the offices of film studios.
Here are the top three movies of 2013, so far…
I don’t know how many characters Marvel comics has in their stables, but Hollywood has certainly made a movie about almost all of them. Our popular movies are all derivative of something before it.They need guaranteed bets. The risks to their shareholders of a blockbuster dud prevent gambles. People still go watch these films, so there’s no reason to innovate much.
I talk with students about this. They want to create product (words, videos, audio, etc). They want to work.
I suggest they produce their own work, on their terms, with their stories. Nobody has to wait for a dinosaur to greenlight your project. No one will meddle with your art. You can start your own radio station this afternoon. You can shoot your own movie, you can publish your own book. I know a little something about the latter. I wrote a book, marketed it myself, raised some funds on Kickstarter to publish hardcovers, and sold a few books! It was gratifying and fun. It was the genesis of the reinvention themes I write about today.
I was thinking about syndicating some reinvention content via radio. It’s seen better days, but it’s still a decent “reach” medium. I talked with a colleague about monetizing it.
“Make your own podcast for a while.” he told me. “See if there’s an audience for it. Then take it to a syndicator.”
He knew I could craft a product that met my expectations, and I could do it now, and I wouldn’t have to wait for a man (or today, a woman) behind a desk to consider it acceptable.
Why pitch a film to a dinosaur when you can share it on Chill? This is a tremendous way for aspiring media creators to fund and promote their art.
What can you produce yourself that bypasses the dinosaurs? What kind of business can you create that means you never have to wear a corporation’s name tag ever again?
Image the joy of walking out to the Wal-Mart/Best Buy/Everycompany, Inc. parking lot and running your name tag over with your car. Imagine being free of being under the thumb of your corporate overlord.
Imagine brandishing a machete and slashing a fresh path, one that you and only you (initially) control?
John Scott is a media studies instructor and the career services manager at the School of Multimedia Communications, Academy of Art University San Francisco. John’s book “Destination: Reinvention” is on sale in the Amazon bookstore. The hardcover edition is at Lulu. Audiobook available on Audible and iTunes.
Follow John on Twitter@johnscottsf.