The last time I wrote you I offered the advice of having an ace up your sleeve technology-wise in order to separate yourself from the post production pack but this time I want to focus on something on the other side of that coin. (See prior advice here) And let me be the first to say, it’s troubling… I mean, am I old school or just plain old? Maybe both. But hey, I do still look good. Feel free to look me in the eyes when we meet and say so. That never gets old. Anyway, I want to touch on the fact that today’s budding youth is suffering tremendously in the face-to-face, interpersonal skills department, and in post production you need to work with people in tiny windowless rooms for long periods of time. To do so effectively you need to be able to handle varying personalities, working styles and bewildering odors, and thus you must have some modicum of compromise and social grace in your arsenal. And frankly, I see less and less of that in young up and comers.Soooo, let’s talk about two issues dear to the heart of the entertainment business: technology and Gen Y… and the convergence of the two.A few short years ago, ‘social’ networking was something teenaged kids did for LOLs. Since then, it has been adopted, embraced and codified by the entertainment world. The resulting university degree programs and well paying positions for social media entertainment specialists suggest that (aside from the ongoing hacking threats, violent flash mobs, etc) entertainment business has mostly muzzled, mastered and controlled the social media beast and that it’s now our servant. But when you’re forced to put anything in terms of master and servant, something ain’t right. The lack in social abilities to deal with fellow man in the workplace (and out) to me suggests that the beast isn’t as tame as we’d like to believe. And you better get that button pushing beast in check if you want to work for me or any other intelligent well rounded person in a seat of power over 40. Given two qualified applicants, I’m taking the one that looks me in the eyes when we speak and has the ability to discuss solutions with others without consulting Google first.
The other side of the equation is the young people who can successfully wear this technology like a second skin and realize that it’s just that, skin deep. When it comes to technology one should be able, not be. I’m not gonna kid you or myself though; Execs love to talk about appealing to Gen Y, as both consumers and potential employees. We need U because U’re smart, technologically savvy and because U’re our future. But don’t lose the “U” in human. Standing right behind and right next to the successful, educated, fresh-faced Gen Y youth we all want to bring on the team is a socially inept clone that is dead inside, angry about who knows what and DEFINITELY feeling entitled to everything whoever came before them worked for…
So please make sure that you stay connected to your fellow man. Work hard, have respect for others and hone your personality and social skills right along with everything else you need to be SSTTAARR in this biz. Otherwise you’re just another clone, another piece of upgradable technology that I guarantee will be unplugged by a hierarchy looking for more and you will be tossed out with all the other useless bells, whistles and kitchen Syncs!
B Grass –