These are difficult times. For the arts / entertainment industries, here is a possible antidote. Just an idea … it may just help…

I am not to proud to admit that the current “situation” has me a tad jumpy. Oh I am not concerned about actually getting the BeerVirus, I am more concerned about two other things that have arisen as a consequence of it.

The first is the way people are reacting.

This “bugger you, it’s everyone for himself” attitude of late, particularly when it comes to panic buying, is not just shocking, it is downright scary, and I thought we were better than that.

This is only a small step away from anarchy (already in the US we are getting footage of people queuing to stock up on even MORE guns and ammunition).

Most of this has been caused, I believe, by our Government’s tardy response, or failure to see, the mood of the people. Simply, the masses are scared as they simply don’t know what the Hell is going on. Thankfully, as of today, that seems to be abating somewhat, and I would suggest the fact that at last, some sort of time frame has been offered for this to be, if not all over, at least under control is the reason. And people such as Dr Norman Swan  have brought some calm and easily understanble and digestible knowledge the average person can understand and relate to.

(As an aside, THIS alone is a very good reason the ABC needs funding at decent levels).

Perhaps 6 months they are saying. Maybe even 3 if some huge stroke of luck occurs.

Which leads me to the second thing.

6 months – even 3 months – is a long time, especially if you are in the arts and entertainment business. There is the prospect of little or no money coming in, short of what the Government offers, but maybe equally as bad for fertile minds in these professions, is the prospect of boredom and stagnation.

It worried me too; major exhibitions and conferences in the world of video and filmmaking such as NAB in Las Vegas have been cancelled, Integrate here in Australia has also been knocked on the head and major film production ceased here in Australia and around the world.

This means that in what I do, there is a dearth of things to write about. No new products announced is a major thing. And for a magazine involved in all aspects of video and filmmaking, this is little death.

But this morning, I saw a Facebook post from an old, old friend of mine who now resides in the UK. In essence, it asked what will happen to children’s learning and education if they are forced to stay away from school for an extended period. Then it posed the next question; who said learning was only mathematics, and languages or science and literature?

So why not take this time (if it happens – but then, do it even if it doesn’t happen anyway!) to teach other things. Forgotten things. Things they would probably never have learned if not for this chance.

Basic things. How to cook. How to balance a bank statement. Change the oil in the car. Operate a washing machine or vacuum cleaner. Yes, even sew on a button!

And this got me thinking.

Extrapolating this out, why not use any extra time you have now to do similar things? Learn stuff in the past you “never had time for”.

In the realm of film and video making, why not download that trial version of the NLE you have promising yourself to look at for months – even years – and learn it.  Or that 3D modelling and animation application? Have a play with some new plug-ins?

Teach yourself audio engineering or the art of lighting. Even just the basics. Tackle a skill that you haven’t tried before. Expand your horizons.

Anecdotally, during the Great Plague in Europe in the Middle Ages, William Shakespeare and Sir Isaac Newton did some of their greatest works and made their greatest discoveries whilst in their equivalent of our Coronavirus pandemic.

We could do a lot worse than attempt to mimic that. Who knows what you might write, what scene you might create, what new use of a special effect you might master?

And come out the other side bigger and better than before with more skills, more ideas and even perhaps, more confidence!

And I call on vendors during this period to perhaps extend trial periods and even make special pricing available in order to encourage this idea. A sale of a copy of your latest version of software for less 75% is better than no sale at all for example.

If you have any thoughts on this, I’d love to hear them! Please contact me via the comments section below, via Twitter (@auscamonline), Instagram (AustralianVideocamera), Facebook (Australian Videocamera) or privately via david@auscamonline.com.

And keep safe everyone.

 

 

 

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