the signal & the noise
this past decade we’ve witnessed innovation after innovation in cameras, editing software, online distribution opportunities – all kinds of innovations – which now make it possible for just about anybody to create video content. i mean today, in the spring of 2013, most cell phones have the ability to capture video quality for which six or seven years ago a comparable camera could cost a hundred thousand dollars.
it’s starting to seem like everytime we hit some kind of hurdle for independent filmmaking, all you have to do is wait a couple weeks and somebody will come out with a relatively inexpensive way to jump over that hurdle. there are mini-helicopter drones that can get your camera flying through the air with ease and with incredible stability. there are apps which allow you and a couple of friends to merge videos you shoot at the same time into a single multi-track video. Freefly’s new Movi gimbal system allows anybody to be a steadicam operator. and the hits just keep on coming, lowering the bar every day just a little bit more and making it easier and easier to produce high-quality video for less and less money every day.
so of course everybody’s making movies. mind you, they’re not necessarily “movies” in the traditional sense. they don’t necessarily have scripts or even concepts. in fact, a sizable chunk of the 72 hours of video which is uploaded to YouTube every minute – that’s right, 72 hours of video is uploaded to YouTube every minute. and a sizable chunk of that consists of How-To videos – just people teaching other people how to change a bike tire, or to park a Mini-Cooper in an extremely small spot.
the point is that we USED to live in a world with a scarcity of content, but we’ll never see those days ever again. they are gone and instead we live in a world with an abundance of content. so much content in fact that most of it just turns into white noise. loud obnoxious white noise. so how do you find the good stuff? how do you find those diamonds in the rough?
and even more important for independent filmmakers and content creators is the opposite question: how do i get people to find MY diamond in THEIR rough? that’s the one innovation that nobody has quite figured out yet. some kind of reliable personal content curation system – something that grabs people with their own likes and tastes and scrapes out from the noise those diamonds of content which they want to find. that’s the next hurdle which some silicon valley genius needs to solve, but until somebody does, we’ll continue to use our social networks and Reddit and word-of-mouth-slash-keyboard to hack and slash our way blindly through the noise.
if somebody can crack that Noise-Signal problem, the indie film & content world is gonna start getting really interesting.
watch the We Make Movies Film Geeks podcast below