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Story Skills More Important than Tech Skills

July 22, 2014

Content producers, are you spending more time than you need to in perfecting your work before you publish?

Hi, my name’s Sam Thom, I’m a video producer and I spend too much time perfecting my work before it’s ready to publish.

Probably, that is.

Content is consumed so quickly these days and then it’s passed over as the next thing comes along – usually hours later – so, why spend an extra hour, day or week perfecting your video (or still image, blog post etc)?

Is there any benefit in getting it ‘just right’? Who are you ‘perfecting’ the content for? Are you labouring over a colour grade and a motion graphic just to satisfy your artistic senses?

Image of  Vector podcast illustrating a blog post about digital storytelling

If the point of your content is to convey a message (especially in B2B marketing) then once the message is ‘conveyed’, then the job has been done. Am I right?

I’m not sure about this. A recent episode of the Vector podcast, published by Apple product news website Imore, has really made me think a lot more about the time I spend creating content compared to developing a conversation with the community.

The episode, called Vector 45: Visual storytelling in the digital age, was hosted by Rene Ritchie and featured Mark Kawano of iPad publishing platform Storehouse.

While the discussion was based around the simplicity of use on Kawano’s Storehouse platform, there was lots of fascinating discussion about content creation in the past, when the tools were expensive, highly technical and exclusive, and how that was followed by the gradual democritisation of content creation and publication, through affordable digital software and hardware tools.

Look at the Storehouse app for iPad (I haven’t used it, but I’ve had a good look through the website). It’s a platform that makes it really easy to publish your video, images and copy and make it look glossy and slick.

If you’ve spent any time playing with (or publishing with) iBooks and other similar easy-publish apps, then you’ll have a good idea of what this app is aiming to do.

So, when I reflect on the innovation going on in the field, making it easier and easier for the anyone to publish good-to-look-at content, that’s when I think about my own skills.

I work at the pro end of Adobe’s Creative Cloud and use Premiere Pro and Photoshop everyday. I spend a lot of time in Apple’s Motion for my motion graphics.

The power of these applications, the plugins and 3rd party apps I use, and all the other creative applications I use, is enormous, but compare the end result I get using this expensive suite of apps and the results I could get using something like the free, beginner’s Windows Moviemaker, low end (but still powerful) iMovie and apps like Storehouse.

Okay, I can do more with my apps, but will the end user notice? Will the finished product I create have any more impact on the objective than if I had created it with a lower end app?

In some ways it comes down to the original idea and the creativity I employ in executing that idea.

If that’s the case then should I relinquish my powerful tools, downsize and give myself strict parameters in power, time, capability. After all, it’s all about the story.

Filed in: Video Marketing

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