After completing several certificates in the Adobe Creative Cloud recently, a friend of mine told me in order to make a living, I needed to specialize since I enjoy writing, graphics, singing and making videos. Which do I like best? I have trouble deciding. After growing up in LA, where the path to stardom was work for free, get coffee, learn how to do every task in the business as a jack of all trades, this is a new thought for me. I started out as a writer, then a screenwriter, so my choice was clear at the time. I wanted to deal just with the story and the human side of filmmaking not technology.
I decided that’s what I enjoyed most. I wrote several screenplays, got an agent, and hoped for the best. Yet it wasn’t enough. I had to get the work out to a star or a studio, even though I had an agent. Only then, would the agent would take notice and promote me. And even if I did that, there was no guarantee that my material wouldn’t be lifted without credit or pay by a major studio in the process.
Since I majored in it, I always enjoyed play writing so maybe the best thing was to produce my screenplays on stage. I did that and started to get some recognition in the press. But my cast quit on me to do high paying commercials. So that got old. Years later, as technology evolved, I realized that I can make my own videos for YouTube or other websites, and with AfterEffects and Premiere, I can even edit them myself. So I have been trained to use the Creative Cloud to do a little of everything digital.
All I have to do is find parts of my scripts with emotional impact that are affordable to record, get some actors that would work low budget or a star if I’m lucky, edit with Premiere and release it as a trailer myself on the internet or get distribution. I could even do the titles with InDesign and use Audition to edit the soundtrack that I sang. I can do all this with technology and even raise money for the rest of the production on IndyGoGo. I can do all of this thanks to technology. Yet none of it guarantees a paycheck.
So off I go submitting resumes, to get that “guaranteed” paycheck. I found I had to write my resume targeted to each company, using the specialization they require, even though some of the skills they want may be fairly new to me, so I have to do a lot quick research on any unknown parts in order to deal with the prospective interview. But it’s hard to sound knowledgeable about something you just learned about on the internet, so I do practice a lot. Essentially though, I think creative entrepreneurship requires the jack of all trades attitude and a job usually requires a specialization that I have mastered. whichever dominates my focus and my budget is the one to pursue. It’s funny though, people used to do a little bit of everything and machines specialized.
Since the invention of the computer, it seems that computers are the jacks of all trades and humans must specialize on the job. What do you think?