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Creatives Warned: 'Evolve or Die'

Article date: Tue, 05 Jul 2011 16:51 GMT

Brian Barnes joins the UKFast Video Nation round table

Experts in video making have warned the creative industries to up their game if they're to compete in a fast-changing environment that's being overrun with wannabe filmmakers.

A 'Video Nation' round table debate, held by Manchester hosting firm UKFast, heard six industry experts predict a dramatic shift in how creative professionals secure work.

Brian Barnes, an experienced film producer and MD of Activideo, said: "I've been in broadcasting for 30 years and I've seen primitive technology move to waterproof HD phones with full 1080 quality and everything in between.

"Technology is so democratised and accessible these days, anyone can do it. The real skill is knowing how to market your product and make money out of it.

"It's an open market and video makers have to evolve or die. If they embrace this exponential change and run with it, they will succeed. The dinosaurs that don't will be extinct pretty quickly."

Byron Evans, a television presenter and founder of Wallop video, agreed that the video industry will be virtually unrecognisable in five years' time. He said: "The playing field is evening out; the rules of engagement are changing so dramatically, that we can all become international filmmakers.

"At the moment, we're in the embryonic stages of this massive growth of online video and user-generated content. It's incredibly exciting. Users are beginning to focus their skills, hone what they know and adapt to how people engage with video. Their potential to have a real impact is constantly growing."

Evans referred to the popularity of modern music videos to show there is still a strong market for professionally-produced content. He also said professional filmmakers will benefit from experience in packaging online videos successfully. "It's not just about putting it on different networks, it's how you label it and what tags you give it. It's a precise art that needs to be mastered before you can stick this amazing piece of work online and get the world to embrace it."

Barnes continued: "The trick for us creatives is to decide which tools can engage emotionally the best. I'm engaged emotionally looking at small images on a mobile phone for a road safety campaign but I'm also emotionally engaged watching Avatar in 3D on an IMAX screen.

"Filmmaking is still about telling a good story. But being professional these days is about being creative, not just having the right kit."

Other panellists involved in the debate were BJL Group's Nicky Unsworth and Laurence Murphy from Salford University.

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