For this installment of Creating in the midst of COVID, I speak with commercial director, Joseph Silva. We talked about his experience during the pandemic, how pivoting from his office to a home studio in the middle of a project, taught him some important lessons. We also discussed why it might be an excellent time to be a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none.
I asked if he considers himself a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none. He admits there's value in being proficient at multiple skill sets. Still, He is uncomfortable with that specific label because it is limiting in its description, and implies that he hasn't mastered any aspect of his profession. Joseph has always had to learn new skillsets out of necessity, and he expressed frustration with not being able to make things perfect.
The conversation pivoted to COVID and his current collaboration with Beyond The Agency, a Miami-based digital agency that works with food and beverage D2C brands. His pre-COVID four-person team had an efficient workflow producing content at the agency's studio for their client Seedlip, the world's first distilled non-alcoholic spirit brand. Once Stay at Home orders were issued, Joseph moved the production and post-production operation, including a tabletop studio with backdrops, lighting, and camera to his house to meet the deadlines.
The workflow hasn't changed, but he's become a "one-man-band," with art direction, and food styling added to his list of responsibilities. When necessary, he solicits the help of immediate family, recruiting his wife as a hand model and his two daughters as production assistants.
Joseph produces exceptional content. Most viewers would not be able to tell the difference between his "at-home product and one shot in a professional setting. It's been a rewarding endeavor. He's learned to maximize his capabilities on his own or with a small team to keep the projects on-time and on-budget.
The economic impact of COVID is a source of concern for the advertising industry. I asked him if he thinks he'll be able to adapt to tighter budgets in the digital space where it's all about doing more with less. I again asked him if being a jack-of-all-trades and a master of none gives him secure brand positioning to succeed? He believes there's a value-added proposition in being able to package it. "All these skillsets I have in different verticals has to be combined and offered to potential clients as a service."
Joseph has faith; there will be projects for creative thinkers. Each will have unique challenges, and re-allocating resources from different departments to serve the production's overall needs is a strategy he believes will work.
We finished the conversation discussing our respective post COVID goals. Joseph has been learning production techniques for VR and 360 experiences by taking online courses. He pitched the capability and has two clients in the pipeline. "If you are willing to do it and willing to invest in yourself to learn those assets, there's nothing you can't learn; there are so many resources out there."
The conversation eased some anxieties I've been experiencing about where I fit in a post COVID economy. Joseph's comment about investing in yourself was an aha moment for me. Access to educational resources and the ability to connect and collaborate with others via social media provides opportunities like never before. Maybe we should be ushering in a new paradigm where we can all be a master of a few trades and knowledgeable on the rest."
I would love to hear feedback on how you're all maximizing the skill sets you've learned throughout your careers, and how you think it will help you generate opportunities in the next 12 months