How To Catch a Damn Break and Come on Top

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“How do I catch a break. Am I going to make it?”

Alright this is what we’re going to do.

We’ll match your digital print with its digital twin. The first is a semantic analysis of what you’ve been doing. Data culled from everything you’ve said, written, thought off, including using the “Thought-web”, or what friends have said about you. Your digital twin is your aspirant self. What you’ve articulated in any recorded window about what you’d like to be e.g. film director, documentarists, jewellist.

We map these indexes for a probability. Two variables, the serendipity factor, must be taken into account. If you’re under 25, male, your risk factor for change is unpredictable, 21 if you’re a woman. The science is simple too. The brain develops back first before front. The prefrontal cortex sitting in your forehead, which determines risk, decision making and rational behaviour is yet to be fully developed. You’re more liable to change your mind or be irrational. It’s an insurance risk against viable data.

The other variable? Your visible minority track (VMT). If you’re black, a minority or disabled we need to factor in data around further probabilities.

A time just before tomorrow

Welcome to H̶u̶m̶a̶n̶ Machine Resources 2035, where algorithms determine both job prospects and success. Some things, though are yet to change at least in the millennium, but if history is any indicator, it will.

Back in 2019, the re-ascendency of China, whose global might was once captured in the Han dynasty (206 BC–220 AD) was quietly in play and Africa’s regeneration from once when its ancient valley entrepreneurs along the Nile ruled supreme continues. Perhaps this is history’s irony.

But to more immediate pressing issues.

“How do I know you’re going to be make it?” You don’t ! 10,000 hours, grit graft, innovation, small dopamine-hit gains at a time — enough’s been written on this e.g. Covey’s 7 Habits, Greene’s Masterly, Gladwell’s Outliers, where do I stop.

Chance is probability today we’d like to do without — a cruel or necessary feature of being human. Sometimes, you can be banging hard at your craft, only to feel like you’re in a black hole vortex in which no one’s taking notice and even when they do, Phrrr!

In 2005, following years of frustration, I could finally do it: complete the end-to-end fulfilment of creative work. By that I mean I didn’t have to pay £600 to a production house to edit my reel over 4 hours. I could ideate, film, edit, post-produce, code the CSS and HTML for a website, post a blog, produce the podcast and speak directly to you. Another thing helped, an endorsement in video which provided recognition by proxy. This was the video:

In that same year I’d been shortlisted for an award by the New Statesman . Sometimes you can do nothing, as this excerpt from the Statesman’s website talking about my submission shows. Aged well hasn’t it?

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My next project, more sci-fi movies if you will, looks at a number of parameters that codify this thing called news and how it’ll make visible BS. G5 and its feedback, reduced latency loop is the precursor.

Making it? Yes, making it? Yesterday I spoke to M.A. documentary makers They, like Hollywood, and many of us, face the same issue. That Oscar winning film sitting on your hard drive, no one’s interested in, yet!

Whilst Hollywood reveres in a Niagra-falls deep marketing budgets for exposure, even the most fashionable e.g. Dior or Black Panther needed a flush hand, speed dial rollo dex of influencers shaping consumers’ moves, and cursory lady luck to tip the scale. You, perhaps and I, all we gots is the simple, yet powerful end-to-end means.

Call it the Ava DuVernay Detail — on the account that Ms DuVernay has control over shaping, making and distribution of films. All important, but that last step? Once it’s there, how well it’s made is the challenge between you and the audience, and that the idea cements engagement.

But there’s an honest conversation I had with the cohorts summarised as follows:

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We played a game in groups of four over 20-minutes. What do your colleagues say about you pros and cons and how does that match what you think about yourself? It’s an all quadrant exercise in not just crafting an eventual bio of who you might be (bios are fluid), but how well your receive a gift from your friends about your weak spots that could be improved upon.

It got animated, in a nice way, It always does. Then the variable work. How do you talk to the world about your work? This is de facto branding and it’ll matter much more in years to come when machine language is doing your bidding.

A couple of things first:

  • Why on earth would anyone engage with you?
  • How well do you place yourself, project after project?
  • What’s the interest on returns, however much you define it?

If you’re read this far, something engaged you? It’s a matrix of many things. Curiosity perhaps started it off with the poster. The first few words gave some direction, then the content if it’s frictionless gets into the flow.

In the flow, you’re less conscious of the act of engagement, until, something like now. “There’s a man standing behind you with an axe!” disrupts the 4th wall. But as you that hit the link, in quantifiable terms the clock and cerebrum are ticking. The look is everything. The content is the thing you want. Everything else is there for the taking.

Find that photo that articulates the story, and if you’ve not done so already, get yourself up to speed on photoshop. Here are some before and afters of images that were photoshopped to drive attention.

A couple of these have found their way onto @Medium front page ( see here for Chris Nolan’s film interpretation). The second tier represents the award winning videojournalism film of Britain’s first newspapers journalists turning to videojournalism, and the final is a film about the journey of Masters students completing their last project.

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The distribution, via the Net should be wide and tagged to give it visibility: Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook (not so much for me now, linkedin, and blogger. In collaborations, tweet storms amongst a group (classroom) create ambitious mushroom exposure.

How well do you place yourself, project after project? This is akin to an internal progress report. I was an artist in residence at London’s Southbank and made a short film about Jude Kelly OBE, then the Artistic Director speaking to a group in a closed session. Step, by step, she’ll say and she’s not afraid to be different notes an attendant.

What’s the return?

It can vary, but set a benchmark. Whether that’s a new gig or hits, goal-setting is important. One way to describe this is the experience of a drug addict. Drug addiction can be analogous to goals. Each time you take a hit, dopamine strengthens that neural pathway. You want more. Like a drug addict you need a greater fix to reach that next high. That next project will set you up for greater ambitions.

Then keep on doing what you’re doing! Success or being noticed is cyclical, which is why it’s never a good idea to measure yourself steadfastly across others. Measured within an institutional setting, there are several sets of inertia that elide alongside existing methodologies and struggles to succeed.

You’ve got to be in it, to win it. And that win is no sprint.

Written by

Top Writer & Creative Technologist, Int. Award Winner. Cinemajournalist. Cardiff Uni @jomec. PhD (Dublin). Visiting Prof UBC, Ex BBC/C4News. Apple profiled.

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