I was out enjoying a pub lunch recently and had one of my 360 rig resting on the table. Often, when I’m out with the rig, it pulls a bit of attention from passers-by. I actually really like being approached by people who ask me about it. It gives me a chance to talk about 360 video content and reminds me that there is genuine interest from the public about this burgeoning industry.
On this occasion a guy approached me and we struck up a conversation, sharing our thoughts about demand for professionals in the field. He was a professional videographer and, as it turns out, we had very differing views. He has a 6 GoPro rig and recently bought a Samsung 360 camera. He said he was thinking of not pursuing more 360 jobs because consumer models, like the Samsung, are coming onto the market. This struck me as an odd thing to believe. Sure, there are plenty of options available now for the home enthusiast, but to me, this doesn’t equate to a diminishing in demand for professionals. I think it has the opposite effect. More consumer product on the market should increase visibility of the technology and increase demand for good quality professional productions.
The conversation reminded me of similar conversations from the early days of web development. They would go along the lines “Yeah, my nephew built a website for his school assignment recently. He can design a website for you…” And, going along with the line of thining, you would get a website, but it could lack design principles, include an animated gif of an envelope for the contact link and more often unable to be easily updated. Sounding familiar?
Like web development, industry professionals will always be in demand. There is no substitute for good production skills, an understanding of the medium and principles of storytelling. When it comes to storytelling, 360 video presents a particularly unique set of issues and challenges. The list of issues is long and covers topics from visual perspective, framing the subject to linear motion and more. Added to this are differences in platform, delivery and technical issues of playback. There’s a whole raft of considerations. I will cover off some of my experiences with these issues in future posts.
After finishing off my lunch that day, I thought a little more about the conversation between myself and the videographer. I’m sure if he was just looking for excuses to not pursue 360 video at this point. There is a lot that can go wrong and often you only get one chance at a shot. Maybe he was justifying his own reasons. But then again, maybe he was trying to talk me out of pursuing clients on his turf. Either way, as this technology evolves, I’m going to continue to enjoy developing my skills and experience and keep producing 360 content.