The term Jack-of-all-trades has always been viewed as a negative in the world of video production. The idea that you can turn your hand to a number of disciplines at the expense of not having the time to master one, has long been the common perception but I tend to disagree with this notion, especially within the media industry.
It’s true, that in yesteryear within the film/TV industry you generally specialised in one area, be it a cameraperson, an editor, a focus puller etc. However, with the dawn of digital things drastically changed. Suddenly the industry became more accessible, shaking off it’s elitist aura.
Technology advanced, prices of equipment dropped and before you knew it Joe public was able to produce digital content ranging from viral clips to feature length video productions.
You could argue that along with costs, quality also dropped, but at least there was opportunity and outlets for people to be creative and get their work seen. With practice the quality would improve, and with cameras and post-production tools becoming more affordable, it gave you the opportunity to practice.
This shift in accessibility to software and hardware enabled me to develop my skill set and explore other media related disciplines. I was originally trained in camera and editing operations but suddenly I discovered motion graphics with After Effects, 3D graphics with Cinema 4D, web design with Dreamweaver, planar tracking with Mocha Pro, colour grading with DaVinci Resolve, the list was endless and I loved it!
I wanted to learn about all these things, I was passionate about learning these things and with so many online resources and free trial versions available to me, the opportunity was there to learn.
I used my time working as an editor for a rural online channel, to develop as many of my new skills as possible and incorporate them into the pieces I was working on.
If I could get away with animating a cheese in a film about cheese-making then I did, if only to see if I could and improve my animation skills. I’d animate lower-third graphics instead of just dissolving to a static image, I’d play around with wipes to make the cuts more interesting, anything that could help me further my skills and understanding of the techniques involved.
Before I knew it I’d built up quite an extensive knowledge of various techniques and practices, to the point where I could comfortably film, edit, grade, add FX and deliver a complete video production.
Now, I wouldn’t say I’m necessarily a master of all the disciplines, but I’m certainly more than capable in a lot of them, which in my eyes can only be a good thing. For a start, it broadens what we can offer as a business and makes us look more attractive to prospective clients as well as raising the production values of our work.
What I love about what I do is that it allows me to learn new things all the time, because things in this industry are always developing and changing and you need to stay on top of it in order to keep going.
So yes, I may be considered a Jack-of-all-trades but I wouldn’t say I’m a master of none, and the more strings you have to your bow, in my opinion, can not be a bad thing.
Enjoy learning guys!
Tags:#uk, Birmingham, Corporate Video Content, marketing, promotional films, Video Content, video editor, video marketing, Video production