On a few of my feeds for social media there are discussions on relevance and credibility, it should also be noted this has been discussed in several mainstream print magazines. Make up artistry has been a source of much contention so lets look at that:
Is it really a career? With the rise of the youtube, Facebook and Instagram gurus is really necessary to get a qualification? Does a guru with a six figure following have more talent than an artist who knows the job and has studied for years? In actual fact some of the top gurus have a background in the cosmetics arts or trained under a senior artist. More and more companies rely on the gurus for their advertising power.
However we do see the backlash from this:
Campaigns are being heavily photo shopped to edit out the mistakes, the make up guru can't work with any skin tone and has blamed the model for the issues. This also happens at other levels and mediums including runway and print, but for now I want to look at social media.
Now I respect the hustle, its a hard going job to do. However, we need also to account for credibility. The veteran artists are sniggering up their collective sleeves at the demi drag make up that has become popular and over played by social media, consumers flock to it but is there a draw back to this?
From where I stand as a make up artist and creator. yes there is. The skill set I trained in has become one size fits all and anyone who disagrees is a "hater." However look at the work thats in the mainstream and then look at your own work.
You want to break away from the easy money of weekend parties to TV and film?
- Do you have the skill set?
- Does your work look close to what you are seeing on the screen?
- Does your portfolio reflect the jobs your targeting?
- Do you understand continuity?
If the answer is no to any of this then you need to address this and start thinking about what you can change about your work to fit or possibly be an assistant till you are ready to step up to the plate.
Credibility is no longer earned in tear sheets and IMDB credits for projects that you worked on, its grabbed through showcasing and cookie cutter work that while its fun, does not translate to the real world or for that matter the world of TV and film.
Heres my take on credibility: tear sheets and editorials, they can online or in print but they need to be visible. There are amazing online magazines out there that will give you criteria to work to and if you don't make the cut then you try another magazine. The value lies in the fact you are in the public domain and credited. Target the right style of magazine and showcase that on your website it will make people look twice at what you are doing and suddenly your moving in different circles.
For film and TV, there is a huge economic shift as well. Budgets have been lowered and its about fast content at the TV end, its a rare thing to be crew and getting huge sums now for your technical skills but you can earn decent wages. IMDB (pro) is losing ground, while it has to be verified, its still possible to earn a credit just by donating to a crowd funding campaign and with the sheer volume of work being put onto youtube or into festivals you need to be selective.
A bafta or sundance nomination will sit better than a local film festival. Choose the work that will benefit you. Look at how visible it will be:
- are they releasing press images?
- The budgets small but do they have a marketing strategy in place?
- Has the company/team done their research in HOW to sell it not just the making?
- Is it a big reputable festival your working toward or just youtube?
- What will you gain from taking a lower wage? What incentive is there to work for this shoot?
- Will you gain portfolio images?
You might be an assistant on a TV show thats seen on TV or you an have a hundred film credits that no one knows about or has heard of, you went unpaid on 75% of it and the rest were below minimum wage. I know which I prefer.
Actors and models too are facing this too, your relevance is based on your social media following, you could book a HUGE cosmetics campaign and then your count goes down and your relegated in favor of someone new who has less experience and one expression but the bigger overall reach.
Social media is a fantastic tool but should not be the focus of your marketing campaigns. Use it smart to create a buzz, don't allow it to dictate the pace of your career or your business. Trends come and go, talent can be developed.
When it comes to a quick, cost effective promotional tool, indie film can do a lot with a simple strategy, utlising the cast and crews social media as a means of support and help create a buzz and gain a potential audience. However you need to allow for a hard hitting campaign that will hit the mainstream as well.
Choose on skill, talent and portfolio you will get results, choose on social media following you are going to have a huge work load ahead if they cannot do the job.