I recently embarked on an adventure. Too many people ‘adventure’ may seem like a strong description of my last three months; those more cynical individuals may have called it work or even (if they were especially pessimistic) unpaid work. After nearly a year of sitting around on my ass however the prospect of starting a new life in a new town, and needing to be somewhere everyday at 9:30am, was a welcome shot in the arm.
Future Videos Intern (I guess) would have been my official title over the past three months and in ways it was more than I could have dreamt of… while at the same time being exactly what I was dreaming of. Having spent five years trying to make it into professional publishing through all manner of staff writing and freelance positions, I was lucky enough to be noticed by the Game Videos team at Future through a good old-fashioned letter that I sent speculatively looking for opportunities.
This wasn’t a few weeks work experience, but an opportunity to train along side Future’s fantastic video department for three months. During this time I learnt the ins and outs of video editing (for example do you know how hard comparison videos are when cut scenes regularly drop frames of animation?). From interviews to comparison videos, I got the chance to work with CVG, Edge, Access and a number of other Future owned editorial outlets as I built my technical skills and developed an eye for producing video-editorial for a range of audiences.
One of these audiences of course was the self-entitled denizens’ of Youtube. They were our masters in much of the daily churn of production that everyone found uninventive and uninspiring, but realised a need for to drive traffic. Everyone went about it fully aware of the beautiful Catch 22 of creating quick content for the veracious appetites of the Internet only for them to complain about it due to a lack of effort. But they still clicked on the links, whether out of interest or anger, and thus the churn continued. It never took much to stir the Internet’s ire and few of them appeared to realised the feedback loop they were creating.
This is no new thing of course; there have been decades of media producing anger inducing content; from talk radio to daytime TV. People like to feel that anger, to feel superior. They like to say it shouldn’t be allowed, while watching it religiously. There is just something all the more transparent about it when there is a comment section.
Anger and sex; of course sex also makes for good viewing figures.
But within the daily production cycle at Future there is a creativity and drive to produce unique and interesting content. Fleshing out higher quality more polished videos for those looking for them. Going beyond the ‘first ten minute’ and ‘comparison’ pieces that drove traffic, and expanding to intelligent editorial, review, interviews and elegantly constructed montages to inspire more than just knee jerk responses.
None of this was really a revelation, but as I moved into the world of professional game commentary for the first time it was interesting to see how my values had to shift to fit a more commercial market. Hopefully going forward I will now be able to continue to produce video content for DoFuss (once I find the money for the equipment) and see if I can fit it to my own editorial style, but in the mean time my new role as a freelancer at Future should keep me busy.