Recently I’ve been feeling quite annoyed with the elitism that exists in, well, so many industries but in particular, it seems, the creative industries. It’s absolutely crazy how many hoops employers expect graduates to jump through (graduates, who already worked their arse off for a degree) just to get an entry-level, underpaid, pretty boring job. I can’t even comprehend how many talented artists or film makers or graphic designers etc are out there slogging away in a job that’s completely unrelated (some godforsaken pub or insurance company), wasting their talents, just because no company – no individual, even – has given them a chance.
And, on the other hand, there’s the financial sting of the cost of some of the kit that creatives need in order to produce the quality stuff that they need to produce in order to be taken seriously. Think of the cost of a film camera, for example (it’s hundreds of pounds) and then the ridiculous price tag on fancy Adobe software to edit or to create your graphic design logos (again, it’s hundreds). Crazy. You could dissect the issue all day long and not get anywhere because there are many factors affecting the current sorry state of affairs for graduates seeking employment, and, I think, as many myths (the economy is to blame; you must have a degree; only people born on a Wednesday will get a good job).
So, fired up on frustration with – dare I say it – ‘the system’ I became hellbent on proving that you don’t need a whole load of fancy equipment to get creative and produce something that looks nice. Besides, the kind of ‘thinking outside the box’ that this requires is a very valuable skill. You’re not relying on your equipment to get the effect you want, but you are instead thinking how you might create that effect some other way.
And this is what I ended up with. I used my phone to capture footage of the garden during mid-summer, trying to make flowers and nature look cool and interesting. I fashioned a microphone from a pair of old headphones to record birds tweeting to accompany my footage. I’m actually impressed with the quality of my phone’s video – it manages to hold together even in full screen. Good job, phone. I’m also secretly fond of my Franken-mic. It looks like crap, but, who cares? It didn’t cost me anything! The film’s not going to win any awards, let’s not kid ourselves here, but, hey, it was a fun project and it got me filming and editing again.
Ok, enough ranting now. Check out the video below, and never, ever, be put off by people telling you you need this or that expensive thing in order to be a creative or produce something worthwhile. Of course you don’t need that stuff. That kind of narrow-minded attitude goes against everything it means to be an artist.