Embrace Disruption

Every now and then disruption needs to take place and does.  Technology is causing disruption in all our lives but it need not be looked at as a negative thing.  We can embrace it and find opportunities or we can shut ourselves off and become obsolete.

It’s Day 3 of the NAB Show Every April the National Association of Broadcasters have one of the largest conferences in the world but these days this show is not just attended by broadcasters.  As TV converges with the Internet the attendees have become more and more diverse.

On a very small scale there is the DSLR contingent along with all the vendors that cater to this group with their third party add ons – a big business these days for sure. At Canon’s display, Hollywood DP’s and cinematographers like Gale Tattersall of House and Russell Carptenter of Titantic (to name just one of his films) tout the merits of the Canon 5d MarkII and make the point how these hybrid cameras have created a new aesthetic.  They are also quick to point out that these “affordable” cameras are not chosen because of budget but rather because they are small and discreet and create a beautiful image in low light.  One digital “rebel” filmmaker remarked how he shot a scene for his film on an airplane with an actor and no one even took notice because its such a low profile camera.

But back to the word disruption.  Convergence works both ways. As much as the DSLR has rocked the still photographic world and created a huge hunger amongst still photographers who want to learn how to shoot motion and capture good sound, it has also rocked the world of motion shooters who are providing stills for their clients and learning the language of photography.

TV and Internet are converging.  There is a whole generation that has no need for a cable hook up.  They watch what they want – when they want – online.  Just like they never get a landline – many never get hooked up to cable.  The small affiliate broadcast stations are feeling just as threatened these days as magazine photographers are because of the demise of print publications.  Their worlds have changed because the patterns of the end user have changed.

Director James Cameron (Titanic, Avatar) just formed a partnership with a 3D company.  As TV’s are manufactured with 3D capability and the tech hurdles are overcome, he feels that 3D will become mainstream. But he goes on to say that the big problem is content because the only content created now is coming from the motion picture industry.

And Apple made their worldwide announcement last night with Final Cut Pro X.  I was in the room and all I can tell you is that it is REVOLUTIONARY.  Watch out Adobe.

But at the end of the day – of every NAB day – as I sort through all the information and announcements – I ground myself and think about what I will choose to embrace.  How can I use technology and apply it to what I do and why.  If disruption means that I can tell my stories in a better way or reach more people – that I welcome it with open arms.

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