On Perspective Agents

Rethinking The Creative Studio


The creative potential of mobile platforms is growing, and still largely untapped

I grew up fully immersed in commercial art. My Dad was a partner in the aptly named Graphic House, a Detroit-based studio that created the raw material for car marketing and advertising.

He brought me to his office quite a bit. Far from the polished, midcentury style codified in Mad Men, his studio was where real madness played out. It was a fast-growing, blue collar outfit — an ad-house populated by artisans — typesetters, illustrators, storyboard artists, designers and more.

The influx of desktop publishing onto the floors of agencies in the early 80s turned handcrafted art made in his place to computer code. In an instant, his business model, and the craft that came from it, was finished.

This personal story from the past reflects what’s happening today. The way content is made, by whom, and in what formats, is being reinvented again (and again) through mobile means.

We underestimate what we have in hand — commercial quality cameras, editing software and mass broadcast potential in our pocket.

Our creations flow seamlessly into an environment that BLENDS consumer generated, journalist produced and commercial content into a massively growing, fully integrated storytelling ecosystem.

What we can all do individually is increasingly at odds with a conventional, silo’d brand approach many brand and media organizations maintain. This represents a growing engagement gap, one that demands a new type of creative studio model and mindset for organizations to bridge it.

If you’re a commercial media-maker you’ll need to leave lots of conventions behind too. We’re entering a new era of uncertainty, with seemingly infinite creative possibility to tell stories.

So in this package on Media Decoded, we’re asking some bright thinkers and makers to offer their perspective on what works and where new creative opportunities are there for the taking.

Here are some highlights to come:

— Chief Creative Officer for Weber Shandwick, Josh S. Rose, takes us on a visual journey through Los Angeles explaining photographic principles and how we can make our visuals stand out.

— Weber Shandwick digital executive Kandace Cook explores the notion of rabid self-expression through social lenses and photo filters and lays out how brands can join this conversation — and even exercise some influence — by creating something so unique enough to stick.

— Ian Cohen, Weber Shandwick’s production and content innovation lead, shares his rules on when to go or *not* go live as a brand.

— We’ll also feature perspectives from comedy troupe Upright Citizen’s Brigade on how brands can infuse humor in video, TrackMaven’s Kara Burney on visual politics, Knight International Journalism Fellow and storyteller Mariana Santos on using 360 video at the Paralympics, and more.

It’s truly a creator’s world out there — the canvas in hand allows for more ways to express ourselves, and organizations we represent than ever.

Some ideas below provide a taste of what’s to come.


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