When we made movies with my friends as a kid we used to end the films with the credits “Made by” and then just add all our names. There was no director or screenwriter. Everybody did everything. It was a true collaborative process.
But in the professional film industry you have people with individual responsibilities. To make a professional film you need a screenwriter who writes a good three-act story, a producer who manages the production and finally a director who is the creative lead. And of course many, many more people to finish the project. This has been the way since the dawn of film. Is it perhaps the time to really question these conventions?
Recently Macklemore & Ryan Lewis released their new music video “Can’t Hold Us feat. Ray Dalton” and in the description of the video on YouTube they also released a small statement.
Ryan Lewis writes: “There are so many variables that are completely equal if not sometimes more complicated than directing, it’s a shame that so much credit comes down to whoever fulfills that position….
We simply don’t work within the conventional hierarchy of the film industry (director, producer, etc.) Sure, people have concrete pre-defined roles based on their expertise, but our team has the remarkable ability to wear multiple hats. Can’t Hold Us was a video that showcased this well”
Later in the description on the video you can find each and every one involved in the production credited. Also the video credits three writers, producers and directors. The video very much feels like a collaborative process. It feels too grand and diverse to be thought up by one mind. At times it feels like it’s a bunch of kids who grabbed a camera and went crazy.
YouTube and online videos are changing the way we make films. You no longer need to be a great established director with a multi million dollar budget in order to make a film. You just need to be a person or a team with an idea. Anyone who works in any creative industry knows that the best way to come up with interesting ideas is to do it with collaboration. So instead of saying “We need to hire a good screenwriter for this project” one could say “We need a good team for this project”. Creating interesting and multifaceted ideas are rarely the work of one person. When you work in a team, all bad ideas can be instantly recognized and dropped and good ideas can evolve quicker and better.
The “Can’t Hold Us” video is indeed a good showcase of this. Also, it’s a kick ass tune.