One thing we all agree about is that independent media creators don’t have a lot of money. We wish it was different, but it is the case. Most of us are working without external financing, and don’t see a lot of money from our work. So we are using one camera, editing on our home computers, trying to cut costs in every way possible. We cannot match the money and crew invested in traditional media productions.
But there is one thing that the big guys and us can do exactly the same – write a good story.
I had the pleasure of attending the Story seminar of Robert McKee. If you have the chance to attend it – it is an amazing experience. If not, you can buy his book Story, an equally eloquent source for his vision. Robert teaches how to write a good story, with a focus on screenwriting. There are tons of books about how to write a script, but this one is different – not only it is written by a real life scriptwriter’s Guru, it is also clear, direct, and with no bullshit approach. In his seminar, Robert stated that a good script is a seller’s market. There are tons of scripts out there – but not good ones.
We, unlike the film industry, don’t have a gatekeeper. We have a bigger problem – clutter, noise, tons of shows out there. It is still a major challenge to tackle, differentiate from more than 500 shows out there, and get people to watch ours. But no one can stop us from putting our content out there. Couple that with a good story, and you have a rival for big media. We have the ability to be brave. We can experiment, as we don’t invest the huge amount of money the big guys are throwing in their productions.
It is true that lighting, sounds, image quality, are all important factors of production value. But a story, telling an interesting tale, is impossible to beat.