Yesterday, I gave a talk and showed a bit of my film, Opening Our Eyes,
at the PACA conference in New York City. I had been asked by ASPP to speak about the making of the film and my plans for distribution. To tell you the truth, even though I’m always thrilled to show and/or talk about the film, I was a bit nervous with this crowd. PACA stands for the Picture Archive Council of America and its member include some of the biggest stock photo agencies in the world, including Getty, Corbis, Masterfile and Alamy. I was nervous because part of my message was that I no longer needed the validation or others to get my stories to market.
I thought my message would be somewhat threatening, because I was telling the audience that content creators no longer needed the traditional gatekeepers of the past, to get their stories “out there.” That because of technology, it was possible for the individual to have a global reach and if one is willing to do the work – the prize is all theirs – meaning the monetary rewards.
I had a tough time slot to speak – right after lunch – I knew that I would be dimming the lights for the film and that is never a good thing to do in that time slot. But, Tom Kennedy had given his very inspirational talk about new media and new opportunities in the marketplace. I had heard Tom’s talk as part of ASMP’s SB 3 series this past year – and I knew that my presentation was a great follow up to his – and in fact it was almost like a case study example of what Tom was talking about.
My presentation went amazingly well and as I looked out into the dimly lit audience as the film was playing – I couldn’t see any closed eyes. I felt that I made a connection, and that perhaps in some small way, I had made a difference. Maybe, I just got people thinking about what they could do to make a difference in their own lives. And maybe I had influence beyond that. But, I know that I stayed true to myself. My intent was not to come off as threatening – but I did want to make people feel a tiny bit uncomfortable. It’s when we get uncomfortable that we push ourselves to a better place.
My message was simple. Someone doesn’t need to lose – in order for someone else to win.