As a lifelong content creator, it’s easy to get stuck in your ways—I, for one, still use QuickTime 7 to play back videos I need to review. Despite being a bit of a stickler here and there, I’ve learned firsthand the importance of being technical as an artist and continually being open to change throughout my years in the field with each passing innovation. Without that, I wouldn’t have made the leap from CPU rendering to GPU rendering, a paradigm shift that required me to learn six different render engines. Altogether, this experience and many others have made me a better creative.
Sure, I’ve seen my fair share of over-hyped duds along the way—we all remember hyped-up “innovations” like 3D TVs that promised to change the way we create and consume video. But once in a blue moon, something comes along that will undeniably change the world. Recently, that’s generative artificial intelligence, yet I still see some brands shun the technology, worried about its risks.
As a creative, I’m not worried about AI taking my job away the way others might. I’m more concerned that by not embracing AI, I risk being left behind. The same risk is true for brands who are reluctant to fold AI into their workflows. Why? AI is making creativity more accessible than ever before; cinematic, high-quality content is no longer exclusive to the skilled few.
The cat is out of the bag, giving every brand a leg up in their creative capacity. The risk lies in not keeping up.
The democratization of AI will make some things easier, but not without challenges.
Technology has always transformed the creative process—in some ways making it simpler, and in other ways requiring creatives to adopt new skill sets. When the Lord of the Rings trilogy pushed boundaries, it led to the creation of new technology, like motion capture and its evolution into performance capture, and new talent hotbeds designed around making the most of those innovations. Today, AI is likewise challenging all of us to adapt.
First, there is the need to scale up production. The speed of creating content with AI is raising the expectation to make more. In this respect, AI doesn’t necessarily make content production easier; it makes it more sophisticated and ups creative potential. Making a mark remains a challenge.
We’ve already seen this before with CGI. Today, you can render a scene in three minutes in Maya that once took six hours. But fire up the program and it looks more like engineering software than something creative. Cobbling a scene together requires as much of an understanding of mathematics as it does of design. Using the technology to its fullest potential required the confidence to embrace it and tinker with it.
The biggest risk is in doing nothing at all.
It’s easy for brands to default to what’s familiar. I can relate; remember what I said about being stuck in my ways? But those who rest on their laurels risk losing market share to challengers who are quicker to the uptake and embrace experimentation. Smaller brands and influencers are already leveraging the availability of advanced video tools to make their mark. Closing that gap is key to reduce the risk of being forgotten.
Throughout my career, I have witnessed the transformative power of integrating technology and experimentation into one’s own creative DNA, and I am confident that this approach will continue to drive success for creative teams who dare to embrace it. On my team, we’re elevating our already best-in-class talent by augmenting their creative process with AI. As a team, we understand that it may require getting our hands a little dirty, and sometimes going back and forth with a chatbot more than expected, but the rewards are immense. By incorporating AI tools into every stage of the creative process, from ideation to concept art and beyond, we enable ourselves—and our clients—to surpass standard limitations, supercharge our output and create captivating content that leaves a lasting impact. And we can’t wait to see how it develops even further.
Start small, but think big.
The good news for risk-averse brands is that you don’t have to choose between being too conservative or too experimental, throwing caution to the wind. There’s no need for a binary approach to whether you’re in or out with AI adoption; there’s plenty of room to experiment within guardrails. You just need to start playing with the simpler ways to enhance your output (like generating numerous backdrops with AI, or digitally replacing products to make content more dynamic and personalized) and iterate from there as your team becomes more skilled.
If a creative with 20 years in the business can confidently embrace AI without reservations, so can you! While the AI boom may feel like untrod territory, it’s not the first time we’ve needed to creatively adapt—and with new customer expectations and increased competition through the democratization of content creation, there’s no better time than now to start. Otherwise, you might just be left behind.
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