How the production business became simplified, and has now returned to specialization
It is quite interesting to consider the arc of content creation skills over the period that I’ve been working in the business. It was all very specialized 25 years ago. Mastery of any of the technical crafts required specific, advanced knowledge and technique. A film camera needed at least a couple of people to operate it: filming drama needed four. But as equipment became more user-friendly, multi-tasking was made possible. It is not uncommon now for quite sophisticated video recording to be done by two people – or even one under some circumstances. The same goes for editing, with even multi-million dollar movies famously being edited on laptops. But while the classic creative skills of filming and sound recording, editing and graphics have become simplified, and now within the scope of a talented individual, the explosion of media presentation and manipulation possibilities of the ‘digital revolution’ brought about by advances in computing power and online communication has meant that a whole new set of advanced skills has developed. The result is a return to the days when to make a programme, or create a project, it was necessary to assemble a team of people with diverse specialisms. And have someone with the necessary combination of organizational and creative skills to effectively manage the process.