January 14, 2022

HOT TAKES

Season 2 Episode 4

Non-Fungible Tokens : The secret to Financial Independence for Digital Creators

 

If you have been involved in any layer of the internet over the past year and a half, then the acronym NFT might sound familiar. Every now and then, a new technology sweeps across the media industry, forcing big market players to either adapt or fall behind. NFTs, formally known as Non-Fungible Tokens, have become the newest phenomenon to rise in popularity amongst industry population, including big media brands and freelance digital creators alike.

The popularity of the NFT is attributed to its revolutionary potential to reshape the ownership and monetization of digital content by creators in the digital space. In an industry so reliant on the connectivity of the internet, and where, unfortunately, copyright maintains a loose and subjective stance on protecting the rights of creators who put their work on any internet platform, NFTs provide unmatched financial potential for digital artists who have previously not been recognized, or more importantly, paid for their viral work.

In recent months, popular NFT creators have made headlines for making thousands, and in some cases, millions off of their NFT collections, proving that the advantages of the blockchain are bountiful. However, with all good things, come inescapable consequences and, as with all new technology,  skepticism. In the same way NFT’s have been celebrated, NFT creators have been criticized for the harmful environmental effects, such as high output of carbon emissions, as well as the trend of exclusionary, expensive pricing that comes with collection ownership.

With all this talk of financial independence and opportunity cost of NFTs, how does a digital creator take advantage? Is there a way to be involved without doing more harm to the environment? Ultimately, what will NFTs mean for the media industry moving forward?

In this month’s episode of Hot Takes, we speak with Owen Brown, Creative Director of creative agency, CTRL5, and multi-Telly Award winning Director on how NFTs are bringing financial independence to struggling digital creators and why the benefit for those artists, both professionally and financially, outweigh any cons associated with minting.

Watch the episode below!

Owen is a director and creative director who’s worked with Barack Obama, Apple Music, Epic Records, Domino Records, Budweiser, Sofar Sounds, WME and Stella Artois. He specializes in creating innovative music content, and in that capacity, he’s worked with artists like Bob Moses, ZHU, SOFI TUKKER and A Great Big World. He’s won two gold Telly Awards for his work, as well as earning major award wins at SXSW, The Clio Awards and The Webby Awards. 

He’s the founder of CTRL5, a first-of-its-kind creative agency for artists. There, his focus is on applying the creative agency model found at places like Anomaly, his first creative agency, to the music industry for the first time to help artists create consistent visual identities through music videos, live films, album art and NFTs. 

To create his first NFT project “Walk With You”, he worked with Crypto.com, acclaimed digital artist David Ariew (collaborator with Beeple, Deadmau5, Zedd) and alternative pop artist Janelle Kroll. Through it, he raised money and awareness to fight climate change. 

Before joining the music industry, he began his career working for Barack Obama in 2007 — where he helped create the president’s first social media campaign — earned his master’s at Columbia University’s top-ranked School of Journalism, and wrote for outlets like VICE using “Buster Brown” as a nom de plume, a nickname he still has today.

Hot Takes is an original, monthly, Telly Awards interview series featuring a chosen industry leader and expert presenting an unfiltered, unrehearsed response to a hot button topic within their field. What’s your Hot Take? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at dina@tellyawards.com for the chance to be featured!
December 14, 2021

HOT TAKES

Season 2 Episode 3

The Accessibility of Television

Over the last ten years, the television industry has developed into an ever changing landscape with constant upheavals of norms and challenges to the Hollywood grip on media. With the rise of major disruptive forces such as Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu, came a shift in a long standing monopoly of control from the cable networks into the hands of streaming providers on both domestic and international levels. Studios shelled out billions in deals with providers, who shelled out billions in deals with content creators, all to stay ahead of a game that continually rewrote its own rules. Smaller content creators have traditionally balked at the increasing competition. After all, how does a small content creator compete with a billion dollar Netflix budget? Turns out, they don’t need to.

In this month’s episode of Hot Takes, we speak with Dimitri Lazaris, Senior Producer and Director at Alloy Studios on the new accessibility of creating content for television. In a seemingly over saturated industry producing series after series backed by million dollar budgets, the path to creating a successful television series only appears elusive. The fact remains that audiences are the key to the success of any show, and as Dimitri will explain,  multiple platforms for distribution only increase the opportunities for creators to reach those audiences. In Dimitri’s case, what started as a web series, turned into a Telly Award winning, broadcast hit, entirely because of the audience that gave it life, and for his hot take, he urges creators to realize his success is achievable for those seeking to enter television, now more than ever.

Watch the episode below!

Dimitri Lazaris

Hot Takes is an original, monthly, Telly Awards interview series featuring a chosen industry leader and expert presenting an unfiltered, unrehearsed response to a hot button topic within their field. What’s your Hot Take? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at dina@tellyawards.com for the chance to be featured!
November 8, 2021

HOT TAKES

Season 2 Episode 2

R.O.W.E + the Future of Work Culture

 

Of all the changes COVID-19 forced upon the work force, perhaps the one that has lasted the attention span of conversation the longest is the one surrounding work culture. Headlines such as “The Great Resignation” and “Labor Shortage” have dominated media for the past few news cycles despite overwhelming dispute by those at the center of its story. While some truth can be found in the puffery, the real culprit of companies’ understaffing are not the lack of employees willing to work, rather it is the disinterest of those employees willing to work for companies that lack an appropriate work culture.

The importance of work culture is a relatively new idea. From design to strategy, office life, historically, catered to hierarchal prestige. Cubicles were intended to improve the lives of employees by creating privacy and hyper productive work spaces, however the layout developed into a symbol of corporate drudgery. As office life developed throughout the late 90’s and into the 21st century, global companies like Google and Apple became the outlier in corporate offices – with their high perk campuses, flexible work schedules, and little to no supervision on teams, all striving for and atmosphere that prioritize results. While this method works and continues to thrive in tech industries, would this method translate to creative organizations in the same way? Is it possible for the video and television industry, an industry often plagued by a military work mentality amid cutthroat competition, to adopt this work culture and remain productive? It turns out, yes, and then some.

In this month’s episode of Hot Takes, we speak with Sharese Bullock-Bailey, Chief Strategist and Partnership Officer at Ghetto Film School on the advantages of a Results Only Work Environment, otherwise known as R.O.W.E. When companies shifted to a work-from-home model as a result of the pandemic, workers were suddenly gifted with more time to live their lives outside of their organization. As the industry reemerges with an overwhelming creative demand, artists are refusing to give that up. There are some areas of the industry that benefit greatly from in-person environments for a number of reasons, but as Sharese will tell you, the advantages to adopting R.O.W.E on a wide scale, are too big to ignore.

Watch the episode below!

Hot Takes is an original, monthly, Telly Awards interview series featuring a chosen industry leader and expert presenting an unfiltered, unrehearsed response to a hot button topic within their field. What’s your Hot Take? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at dina@tellyawards.com for the chance to be featured!
October 25, 2021
Hot Takes is an original, monthly, Telly Awards interview series featuring a chosen industry leader and expert presenting an unfiltered, unrehearsed response to a hot button topic within their field. What’s your Hot Take? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at dina@tellyawards.com for the chance to be featured!

HOT TAKES S2 EPISODE 1:

THE DESIGN INDUSTRY DOMINO EFFECT

In 2020, when COVID-19 first brought major production in all media industries to a halt, thoughts and prayers were sent in abundance to the advertising and design industries. As the second quarter came to a close, the world’s largest advertising agencies saw a steep drop in ad spending across the globe, leading everyone to believe the remainder of the year would not only be challenging, but detrimental to veteran designers and freelancers just getting by. However, what followed was quite the opposite.

As media conglomerates were forced to rethink campaign strategies amidst a world on lockdown, many turned to the internet, creating unique opportunities for designers to step into a field suddenly inundated with work. While other fields reliant on in-person production, such as the majority of video and television, were forced on hiatus, graphic design, animation, and motion graphics took over. For companies such as Buck Design, who were able to institute work-from-home schedules for their many offices, the work never stopped. While this new work-from-home model allowed designers gainful employment, it also had repercussions for those just entering into the field, as well as creative leaders, who were now forced to lead projects and teams entirely remotely, through a computer screen.

In this month’s episode of Hot Takes, we catch up with Camille Chu, Creative Director in the Los Angeles office of leading advertising and design agency, Buck Design, about the domino effect of the industry’s pandemic development and how creative leaders hold the responsibility in fostering new talent to answer this growing problem. Within a field dependent on collaboration for inspiration, the road to innovation suddenly becomes muddled when designers are expected to operate independently and quickly to combat the higher demand for content. The higher demand for content puts pressure on creative leaders to find talent to meet that demand. A work-from-home model limits new talent exposure to developing skills. Limited exposure to other designers and methods causes newer talent to become silos, experts in one area of design. Suddenly, an industry desperately in need of talent, cannot find the right talent with the right skills, and who does the blame fall on when the work can’t be completed due to this lack of talent?

Watch the episode below!

March 30, 2021
Hot Takes is an original, monthly, Telly Awards interview series featuring a chosen industry leader and expert presenting an unfiltered, unrehearsed response to a hot button topic within their field. What’s your Hot Take? Get in touch with our Senior Producer, Dina Graham at dina@tellyawards.com for the chance to be featured!

 

For nearly two years, 5G has dominated the conversation for cellular networks as a new wave of possibility. In a society pushed into a completely virtual space, the arrival of 5G has been welcome, but seemingly temporary. As the pandemic begins winding down, the sights of returning to “normal” production is suddenly within reach for creatives. However, instead of establishing a means to return to normal, 5G has slowly become the main avenue for new innovation.

This month’s episode of Hot Takes explores the uptrend of 5G technology in media and how its inevitable takeover will upheave the norms for creators and their content as we know it. Why is 5G important? And how does it affect content creators today? In his Hot Take, Joshua Ness from Verizon 5G Labs gives a forewarning to creatives to hop on the 5G train or get left in the virtual dust.

Watch the episode below!

“5G represents the future of content and media…Creators who don’t embrace it are going to be left behind.”

 

Meet The Guest

Joshua Ness is a Senior Manager at Verizon 5G Labs in New York City. He partners with enterprise, startups, and academic teams to drive innovation around 5G and co-create new 5G concepts that take advantage of complementary technologies like spatial computing, edge computing, and computer vision. He is also the Director of the New York City chapter of Startup Grind, the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators, working to provide the education, opportunities and access required by startups to build, grow, and scale their companies.