When I started in this industry some 95 years ago, (at least it feels that way), the playing field was much more narrow. Video cameras were BIG and very expensive. They required a lens package equivalent to the cost of a house. They were not sensitive to light, so you needed a LOT of lights to make images look good, which meant you needed a lot of BIG lighting fixtures and the crews necessary to transport, set-up and maintain them. And that’s just the camera and lighting departments. That doesn’t even take into consideration all the other departments.

Through the years, advances have made technology smaller, faster, easier, higher quality and less expensive than ever before.

Which is both the good news AND the bad news.

Ironically enough I writing this from the 25th floor of the Trump Towers while attending the National Association of Broadcasters convention in Las Vegas. Here 91,000+ media and entertainment professionals from 150 plus countries are gathered for one reason – to determine the best way forward for us, our clients and their audiences – a way lined with more technology than can be imagined.
So I’ve naturally been thinking about the role of technology in the world of content creation and delivery and I’ve been reminded of three cautions we must heed if we are to suceed.

Technology Is Not A Replacement For Talent

Technology is not our way forward, it’s merely a tool. Our way forward is found in the skill of our craft, the time experience requires and the mistakes through which experience is molded. Personally, I will take the skill found in wisdom over tech any day of the week!

Technology Is Not A Replacement For Planning

All the technology in the world won’t save us from a lack of preparation. What are said to be the three most important considerations in real estate? “Location, location, location”. In the same way the most important part of content creation is, “pre-production, pre-production, pre-production”. Said another way, every problem on set can be traced back to a lack of planning and preparation.

Technology Can’t Fix Everything

In spite of what you may heard, you just can’t fix it all in post! To think you can, only means you’ve deceived yourself. The solution? Review the point directly above one more time.

Now back to my opening statement about technological advancements being both the good and bad. They are the good because they can help us do more with less. They can be bad if we don’t realize that doing more won’t necessarily be better.
These are exciting days! I love the potential that lay before us. It’s a potential that allows us to serve our clients in ways we never dreamt possible. But that potential must be tempered.

Technology is not our enemy, but neither is it our savior.

It is a tool to be mastered and we would do well to remember that both our way forward and our challenge is to balance technology with talent, planning and skill.

QUESTION: What’s Your Take On Role Of Technology?