In the studio, and on video projects, one of our main goals is to capture the timeless elements of the work our clients are doing. This is because we know this will give them unique identifiers in their markets. All of the elements – strategy, writing, direction, cinematography, editing, sound – need to come together cohesively in a way that will outlast fads or fickleness of culture, while taking the audience in a new direction they haven’t experienced before.
At Image + Sound, our continuous endeavor is to create work that requires and keeps people’s attention. This is why we’ve chosen timelessness as one of our core values.
Make it memorable
When I think about memorable stories, the ones that come to mind are archetypes of the epic hero. These stories stay with us because we are enticed by how the journeys connect with our own human experiences. Whether it’s Star Wars, Harry Potter, legends of Greek demigods, or stories about Biblical heroes –the protagonists face struggles we’ve shared, such as: dealing with loss, overcoming pride or the dark parts of self, making and protecting important relationships and communities, learning and living by noble principles, and being willing to stand up and fight for loved ones and what is right.
We can take a chapter from these books to influence our own storytelling. Find a way to connect with your audience on a human level, and do so in a way that isn’t dated, and people will get to know and remember you. But also, they will be reminded that they are human and hopefully be inspired.
There is a sophisticated difference between work that is timeless and work that is nostalgic and dated. While you need the familiar to keep the story human, you also want your story to be forward thinking – to bring people to a new place that is still authentic. Often people are nostalgic about the 1960’s because it was a time of extraordinary creativity, but they ignore what made it such. People during that time were taking risks and experimenting – they weren’t nostalgic about the past . . . at all. Rather they were pushing toward a new paradigm and a new society. They took the ideas of the past about human dignity and they tested them, pushing ultimately toward a better modern society.
Nostalgia is not the path to speaking to the human experience in a way that influences change or progress any more than sticking to all the current trends is. We learn history so we know where we came from and so we won’t repeat our mistakes.
Push for a unique identifier
If we want another time of complete explosion of culture at large, we have to risk experimenting now. When you gather people up where they are and take them along with you to a new place, you then you’re on the step to the unknown, and that is always what creates either serious failure or serious change. Both are necessary for one another. This is how you establish a unique identifier – something you will be recognized and trusted for in your market.
Placing high value on timelessness leads to creating work that causes people to straighten their backs and pay attention. Through this, you can build anticipation that will hold people’s interests and even cultivate longer-term relationships and support because the work resonates with them on a personal level.