Being millennials, or close to it in the grey area between Generations X and Y, we often find ourselves reading all about how entitled we should be feeling, how we’re terrible to work with, and how creative we can be in the workplace.
One such article that’s crossed our path recently comes from Fast Company, titled “4 Tips To Help Millenials Find Meaningful Work.”
While it’s a good read about what makes work meaningful, or what makes one place better than another to work at (for any generation, really), I think the tips included in this article apply to creating content. These four tips are from the Fast Company article and I’ve added my own take on them here.
Practice Intentional Experimentation
Building on the idea that there are more ways than we can imagine to get a project produced and distributed, this tip certainly applies to making things. Whether it’s trying new techniques or a process for film production, A/B testing with your online audience to build better engagement, or searching out places to distribute and exhibit your work, we are definitely in an age of experimentation when it comes to tradition industry rules.
Whether following a passion, trying new things, or building your skills until people can’t ignore you, deciding to do work that excites and challenges you can’t fail. And don’t be afraid to follow ideas or inspiration when it hits. Sally, for example, is a web designer and coder and sometimes she works quite a bit on Internet-y things rather than, say, write and edit films. But all of that work can be hugely beneficial to our production, creation(s), and distribution (and it has been). Do what feels right at the time and you’ll find you end up where you’re supposed to be. And if you’re being true to your own feelings you’re probably going to make something that more likely connects with someone else.
Use Skills As Leverage
This is one tip we have employed in each of our productions so far. Since the whole “media co.” is really just Sally and I we both think we need to learn as many skills as possible. Hopefully, as we continue and expand our work we aren’t always filling 17 roles on each project but we want to know at least a little about each area of production. Using those skills as leverage, we will be able to work more effectively with others who are shooting, editing, directing, distributing, and doing other things with us. This also allows us to explore every area of creating our content, never leaving us feeling stuck or unfulfilled in one job or road-blocked if an unknown skill or method demands our attention.
The best way to keep your energy up is to surround yourself with passionate, driven, interesting people. Here in Edmonton, outside of the usual film and art communities, we had Yegfilm come together because a handful of people wanted to connect with other filmmakers. That group’s been valuable for us, as has continually working with people we want to work with, both through asking friends and strangers (or friends of friends) to help us and then asking the people we clicked best with to help us on the next thing, or let us help them. It can be a large organized group or just a few collaborators, but working with like-minded and driven people will push you forward.