Who needs video production houses if I can just whip out my phone and record, right? Why bother with a professional if I can do it myself?
These ideas have been floating around a lot in the past few years. But this style of thinking is all wrong. Sure, you can just use your phone to make a video, but I could also just use my pencil to draw the Mona Lisa. Neither one of us is really gonna make it.
Don’t believe me? Well, here’s why:
The Problem of Accessibility
When the camera was first invented, only rich, high-class people had access to it. That meant that, if you wanted to go see a “moving picture” (movie), you most certainly did not have the tools to create a movie of your own. However, as technology improved, the general public was given access to these tools. Now, we’ve all got expensive cameras in our back pockets.
With this change, a specialized art form became widely available to anyone who was interested in it. While a welcome change, this meant that those who had refined their skills were now afforded the same technology as those picking up a camera for the first time. Renowned photographers were using the same gear as teenagers taking funny pictures with their friends.
This leads us to our modern context, where everyone has the right tools to make a video, but not the same level of understanding.
Mastering A Craft
Malcolm Gladwell estimates that it takes 10,000 hours of dedicated work on a particular skill to become a master of it. So if I want to master the art of freestyle rap, I need to spend 10,000 hours freestyling.
But let’s say that I spend only 100 hours freestyling, while my friend spends 1,000. Although neither of us are close to mastering this skill, my friend is much more proficient than I am. This means that he constructs clearer rhymes, is more creative with his flow, and really understands how his syllables can match a beat. Do you see how this relates to video making?
Although your cousin has access to professional gear (i.e. her iPhone), she does not have access to the wealth of experience that a professional would have. Although she could film and edit your wedding video, she won’t fully understand the nuances of the art form. This is, of course, unless your cousin is actually a professional…
Excellence & Expertise
The Artist’s Eye is so much more important than most of us realize. When crafting an animated movie, for example, anyone could assemble a team and make something. But it takes skill to create something great.
Using whatever’s around you to make a video is problematic because good videos require practice. Video making is a craft; a skill that grows over time. Anyone could start to cartoon, and their drawings might look great. But those who’ve been cartooning for 10 years will have mastered much more than simple visual excellence.
So why use a video production house if you can just whip out your phone and record? We have thousands of hours of experience and understanding. We’ve spent time honing our skills and know what compels the subconscious mind in visual form.
Sure, anyone can shoot it on their iPhone. But only the truly skilled will create work that lasts.