We all have a cell phone, which is now considered a need and not a luxury. When I was a kid, there was no such thing. Spies and CEOs had briefcases that were plugged into a giant brick that made calls costing over $3 a minute because the minutes it would take them to wait until they got back to the office would have cost them more than the call, and time is money.
Portability once wasn’t really a thing, and then is was a very limited, very expensive thing for very important people only. The rest of us were unimportant enough to wait 15 more minutes to get home before we call. Back then, taking a few days to call someone back was pretty quick, and same-day or next day was amazing. Now, those same 15 minutes may make or break a deal, and if you don’t respond in 10 minutes or less, you have some ‘splanin’ to do.
As everything gradually becomes more portable, expectations change. There is less and less of a reason in our minds to justify waiting for anything, and the near-immediate gratification of our Amazon Prime society just means that other people are looking at us with that same measuring stick. Everything is customizable, and everything is available, all the time. Why can’t you make me a custom commercial and deliver it within 48 hours if I can order a dress from Korea with a custom monogram and have it in my hands in less time than that?
As a creative, this is a something we need to pay attention to. There will be a tipping point where some can crank-out work super fast, but it’s not so great, and some won’t be able to keep up with the pace. In the struggle between quality and convenience, convenience tends to win, and that’s a bad thing for the world if we let it happen to us. Faster fast food will eventually make everyone want to fast instead, because we will continue to demand delicious with our dollars. When it comes to art, taste is not so universal, and I don’t want to live in a world where design erodes to a rising need for instant gratification.
So what can we do to keep up without seeing the quality of the work go down? And how much can we do on-site, since everything else is portable, too?
There are so many options now for portable broadcasting and on-location work. It’s far more possible for editors to work on a portable SSD storage system in the middle of the jungle, and as long as they can access the internet to connect with the shared storage back home, they can still collaborate with the team and the project can be in-progress while they are still filming. That means the project can be nearly at rough-cut shortly after filming because a lot of it was done along the way. That’s the sort of fast-pass technology can provide, and the more empty hours we can cut from the process the faster the project can be done without sacrificing a minute of creative input.
What you’re doing is working, but keep an eye on the world. If it’s been working for a while, even if it’s still working you may not be competitive in a society of immediate expectations. Give us a call to talk about options. We have financing, too—if your bank account is low on savings, immediate gratification is still an option, because we are aware of the expectations, too.