Creativity doesn’t pay real money, but it can lead to paid work #uncon16

Video killed the radiostar, YouTube killed the videostars #uncon16
I am attending the second edition of Un-convention Groningen, which takes place in the shadows of the Eurosonic Noorderslag Seminar in Groningen. As was the case with the first edition, it is awesome. And I am not saying that just because New Music Labs, the company I co-founded in 2009, organizes it 🙂

There is no money in arts, anymore

Obviously, a lot of the folks on the various panels testify to the fact that there is hardly any money left in making music. The big margins (if they ever existed) have disappeared for all. Only by ways of full-on, relentless hard work are most musicians able to make a living of their arts. As is the case for video-makers.

There is no money in music videos, either

During the panel on the role of the music video, it became clear that the times that big sums were paid to movie-makers to create video clips for music are over as well. But panelist Andre Maat said a few interesting things.
  • First off, he decided to only make videos for music that he actually liked. Because there is hardly any pay in it, he decided to only invest his time in stuff that he enjoyed.
  • Secondly, he decided to try and do something new for every new clip. Something that he had never done before. Just to keep it interesting, he used the occasion to experiment.
  • And then, the magic happens. Because if that experimentation resulted in really stunning video’s, like the one for Kraak & Smaak below, he immediately got requests to do that same thing for a well paid commercial. Sometimes even more than once.

There is money in a good creative portfolio, though

So there you have it, being creative might not pay real euro’s right away. Being creative does allow you to experiment, build your portfolio and get well-paid jobs as a result. So if you’re in a band, find video makers that can work with your music to expand their portfolio. If you’re a designer, find a band that suits you and develop new work together. Put all of that in your portfolio, it will be worth somehing eventually. And if not, you had a great time creating anyways 🙂

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  • Andre

    here’s what the economist says about music video development: http://www.economist.com/node/17857409?story_id=17857409&fsrc=rss

  • “When music videos became economically marginal, they acquired artistic credibility. Up-and-coming directors are often keen to make music videos. It raises their cachet and helps them move into TV ads, where the real money is.”

    I like that, it kind of re-scales everything about music videos back to regular proportions. Now, how long until revenue from TV ads crumbles?