The Hundreds’ videographer Johnny Chang wrote the following on our most recent documentary feature, which you can watch below:
It’s pretty damn easy to be a photographer or videographer these days. All you need is your average DSLR, a decent lens, and a drive to go out and explore. With the availability of low-cost high quality cameras, the past decade has been game-changing era for our millennial generation, allowing younger minds to expose themselves to the art of filmmaking and learn about depth of field, ISO, white balance, etc., without having to graduate from a film academy. Music videos can now be shot on a two-thousand dollar Canon 5D Mark ii or 7D and still sustain the quality of much higher-budgeted sets for a fraction of the cost. The window of opportunity’s finally flourished into our world where anyone and everyone can make a movie, rich or poor.
So this is good news right? Well, that depends. Due to the sudden availability of lower cost state of the art equipment, the mindset of our younger creatives has shifted. Street photography these days might be less about the moment and more about the frame. Music videos have gotten less conceptual, and more driven by J.J. Abrams lens flares and the Arri Alexa. With so much competition, how much longer can we rely on the idea that things need only be “pretty”? Anyone can easily make a good video these days – but how to produce a great one?
We asked Joe Sill, who at the young age of 23, recently directed a fan-made commercial for TESLA on a budget of $1500 that went viral and got a nod from Elon Musk himself (watch the ad here). He explained that he believes the answer lies in storytelling.