Oberlin Blogs

Not everything is inherently interesting

October 30, 2013

Zach Christy

Not everything is interesting to me.

Actually, most things aren't that interesting to me.

And with that, comes the main challenge of my job. As someone whose main job is to produce "thought-provoking, engaging content," I have to continuously find new ways of telling stories that in turn, I hope will not only entertain me, but also keep the viewers engaged.

So, how does this happen?

First, I am a scavenger. I hunt constantly. In this content-driven society, I spend my days scouring for things that interest me--internally and externally. I keep my ears and eyes to the ground while I am at work, listening for the smallest bit of information that sparks that "hey, that could potentially be a cool video" moment.

Also, I am constantly absorbing media. It's kind of disconcerting to me sometimes the amount of time I spend watching and listening to content out there--but without it, it'd be hard to stay fresh, on top of the game, or whatever other descriptor that'd work to complete this sentence.

But just because you have a story and have heard or seen some cool stuff doesn't mean what you produce is ultimately going to be a good piece. Also, it hardly means that other people are going to want to watch it.

Herein lies why I think I have become so obsessive.

Some people may call it drive, while other people call it insanity. But this desire to always be creating is what keeps me going. In the environment I work in, having strong content out there is always a plus, but not every project is going to be the best. Realizing that doesn't mean the constant strive for greatness shouldn't still happen. So I take subjects that aren't as interesting to me and make it a personal goal to tell the story in a different way. Maybe it is the angles I choose. Maybe it is making certain shots black and white. Maybe it is not showing the subject at all, but rather using b-roll the entire time. It truthfully could be anything.

No matter how bland the subject, an interesting project can come out of it in the end. It's just figuring out how.

Here are some examples of things that aren't interesting on the surface, but their creators have done their best to make them appealing:

A short documentary about a guy who writes calligraphy

Forging the Future with the Tip of the Pen from This Is Our City on Vimeo.

An animated anniversary card

Five Years from Adam Plouff on Vimeo.

A bunch of hotdogs

Hot Dog & the City from uji films on Vimeo.

A life-drawing class (NSFW-ish -- drawn nudity)

Life Drawing at The Book Club from Wriggles & Robins on Vimeo.

A spec commercial for Dove

Dove Love Lips from Gustav Johansson on Vimeo.

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