The past three months have seen me chained to my computer. Whenever I get a spare moment, I am writing scripts, working on pitch bibles and gathering paperwork for submissions. While there is a lot of work coming from me, there hasn’t been a whole lot of “viewable content” from me which feels weird but probably shouldn’t.
I was born at the very start of what is being called “the Millennial Generation”. I also grew up in a very small town removed largely from cultural events that weren’t presented on television. Because of this, my entertainment primarily consisted of weekly T.V. shows, video store rentals and the maybe three times a year when my family and I would go to the movies, which meant we had to drive a town away.
My family didn’t get a PC until 1996 and with it, internet. Music on demand came in the form of Napster in my freshman year at university and Myspace and Facebook wouldn’t really take hold until my final year. YouTube wouldn’t hit its stride until after I graduated. And I wouldn’t have a Netflix account until a few years later.
In high school and college, I wrote plays that took time to produce and were only performed once or twice. This is a far cry from today’s constantly roiling entertainment landscape but no less valuable.
Thanks to Netflix, Hulu and many other streaming services, the video store is dead and terrestrial television is a ragged coyote trying to figure out how to survive. We are now used to a constant stream of entertainment and information and it is easy for me to forget the days when my entertainment diet came from watching syndicated episodes of Batman, Highlander and The Simpsons right after school. Now we get whatever we want whenever we want it, which is amazing but…probably isn’t the healthiest environment to be mired in. I hold the unpopular opinion that shows weren’t meant to be binge watched. But that’s another blog…
If you are a creator, it is twice as bad, because you’re constantly nagged by the notion that you should be producing something that people can enjoy on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. People want it, and if you can’t keep to that constant schedule of releasing videos or articles or…whatever, your audience won’t forgive you and will leave you behind.
But the truth is, unless you’re a creator with an already teeming fan base, you don’t really have to worry about losing anyone as long as you’re still making things and staying in contact with people. YouTube shows and T.V. Shows and Movies are all different and they take different amounts of time, people and preparation. Sometimes it’s okay to make things that aren’t for immediate consumption. There are plenty of people doing that already.