Bold statements aren’t always easy to make.
No, wait, scratch that -- bold statements ARE easy to make, but actually making them (depending on your current set of circumstances) isn’t always easy.
As my year progresses, my creative life develops in all the ways I never expected. It’s counter-intuitive (at least in my head) and because of that, I don’t always acknowledge it when it’s happening. My instinct says that my creative work is personal, the stuff that I do out of pure passion.
As my professional career continues to take up more time, my passion-projects have dwindled to the point of nonexistence. And I can’t help but feel guilty.
But the fact of the matter is that my professional creative career has taken priority. And although it may not look it, I’ve been more creative than ever. And I get paid for it. Finally.
The big struggle in producing commercials and web content for a corporation (family-owned or otherwise) is that you have to work within guidelines that someone else established. Some of these guidelines are important; others are dated. My personal goal is to make a mark and do something different, but sometimes the best I can accomplish is to do something different in the business’s history.
The following is a TV spot for our Mazda dealership. It’ll be airing on WRDQ in Central Florida starting in a matter of days. Holler-Classic has never produced or aired a commercial like this (to my knowledge) and it is one of the most unique local dealer commercials I’ve ever seen.
If you’re familiar with local car dealer commercials (and who isn’t??) then you know that every spot advertises an offer -- dealers seem to be scared to promote something other than a monthly payment and APR. The result ends up stripping all originality from not just the video, but the product they’re trying to sell.
Think about it: manufacturers spend a lot of money developing a vehicle as art -- and that’s how they pitch it. Audi and Cadillac are great examples. And then when the creative trickles down to the dealer level, that piece of art is described as the mass-produced copy that it really is, and that “we’ve got tons to choose from! Every make and model!”
It’s the difference between saying “this is a beautiful car” and “have I got a beautiful car for you”.
At any rate, my goal is to create something different; something that puts a little bit of that art back into a local dealer commercial. Is it there yet? Probably not, but it’s gotten a lot closer. And if it catches an eye or two, then all the better.
The process on this Mazda spot started with a sixty-second radio spot (another monumental departure from the norm this month!). I had an opportunity to write something that took full advantage of the sixty seconds (usually we only have about thirty seconds to play with) and after the spot was produced, I asked the radio station to give me a version of the VO without any music under it.
After cutting the VO down to thirty seconds, I was able to build out the rest of the video. I shot the stock footage of the dealership a few weeks back and created the .com title in Motion. The photos and sparkler video at the front of the commercial were actually the hardest part, slogging through tons of stock pictures trying to find the perfect fit. This commercial is actually the second draft, having to change and add an additional photo.
So that’s what I’ve done creatively in the past week. Is it truly great? I dunno, but when I look at it -- especially in the context of my other work at Holler-Classic -- it makes me proud.
Stay bold and stay creative.
I love you. I really do. And not just because I'm obligated (because of that whole name thing) but because you are a source of joy, inspiration, and friendship to me.
Unfortunately, I have to tell you something: this isn't working out.
Wait, no, that's not right. This isn't GOING to work out. Easily. Or something like that.
My point, if I may be so blunt, is that I'm getting tired of the complaining. Every few months, another of our ranks succumbs to this whole "done with Youtube" mood swing that invariably passes in a matter of months. It's become routine to the point of annoying.
I get it. I've been there. Hell, I built a house and claimed the address of that location.
It's not easy to live on the cusp of greatness, and with every creative effort we put forth, that's where we continually plant our flags. Every video we make, every blog we write, every song we sing -- it's all to serve our creative drive. And what the hell is the point of creation if it can't be enjoyed by someone?I don't ignore this fact, and neither should you. It's not shameful, either. It's not dirty. We create so that others can enjoy it. We want our creations to be seen. Yeah, it's an addiction, but then again, so is breathing. And just like breathing, for most of us, if we stop creating we die.
To be creative is to live on the cusp of greatness. And in no universe is that easy. Because with the need to be seen and appreciated, accompanying that is the simple fact that this is our happiness and our dream is to live off of what makes us happy. And to know that the potential of greatness is forever right around the corner is agonizing.
But just because something is just out of reach doesn't mean we stop. We're creative. We invent. And we'll invent a new way to reach our goal. Because that's what we do.
It's not easy today and for all I know, it won't be easy tomorrow. For that matter, who the hell wants it to be easy? We're creative. We live for the challenge. And there is no greater challenge than success, so hunker down, settle in, and get ready for the long haul.
It's what we do.
And for those of us who have the luxury of calling this a hobby or just something to pass the time -- good for you. If I have no other choice on the matter, then yes, this is my hobby.
But if I cannot be creative today, then I'll die tomorrow.
This is no hobby by any stretch of the imagination. It's our way of life. And it is for those who are (un)fortunate enough to not have that unquenchable creative hunger in their gut to label what we do a mere hobby.
For everyone else, I salute and support you. For those who don't understand ... don't worry, it's not yours to understand.
With all the love you could never comprehend: stay creative, Krumbination.
The anguished musings of a jack-of-all trades creative professional based out of Longwood, Florida. Find out more about him here. You know, if that's your 'thing'.
Most of my production music is original but if I need something extra-special, I usually get it from AudioNautix.com: