It Isn’t What It Seems

I speak with many television-film-design students who want to break into the media business. They want to work in a creative workplace with the best and the brightest. They see the business as a creative playground where they can apply their talents and use their imaginations to build something of value. They want to create.

Not so fast.

The creative workplace may not be the place you think it is. Yes, there are imaginative artists and producers working with the latest “gee-whiz” software to create award-winning campaigns. You often work with like-minded, ambitious people like yourself. There are free screenings and cool swag. 

There are also meetings to endure, schedules to manage, reports to write, numbers to hit, and Power Point decks to compile. Days can be long and the work stressful. If you have the opportunity to create anything, you will certainly spend a percentage of your time defending your concept and/or negotiating what to keep and what to throw out.

You won’t have the autonomy of James Cameron or Christopher Nolan (even if you have the talent). At least, not at first.

Creative endeavors are messy. Anything that involves imagination and visualizing someone else’s idea is messy. There are easily-bruised egos, demanding clients, and volatile temperaments. 

This isn’t to dissuade you from launching a career. Rather, it’s to illustrate that your success will likely depend more on your ability to empathize than it will on your ability to create.

– T.D. Boss

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