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Daniel Witt
by Daniel Witt
Sep 22, 2014
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The Power of Talent

People always ask me how I got into the video business. They say, “Oh you must be really talented!” Or, “I wish I could be as creative as you.” My bashful side always comes out in these cases, saying “Aw, shucks I’m no better than anyone else.” But I do have creative talent – which did not come easily for me.

"Having the ability to create is a core attribute of humanity"

What is creativity? Art. Books. Cooking. Design. Programming. Movies. All of these things require creativity. We take things like ingredients, words, code or video, and put them together to make something totally new and exciting. Having the ability to create is a core attribute of humanity, and it is what keeps our world interesting and engaging. We create new things, new methods, new colors, new plots, and new recipes. Everyone is creative in his or her own way.

Can you imagine a world without creativity?

There are those in the world who are more creative than others. Think of famous musicians, artists, chefs and directors. They all express creative talents that often far exceed our own. How did they get to that level? Can we ever hope to be that creative?

Our society has a tendency to label those which exceptional creative talent as ‘gifted,’ a term derived from the concept of a spiritual gift from a divine being to that person. In the scientific world, giftedness “designates the possession and use of untrained and spontaneously expressed superior natural abilities.” (Source: University of Quebec) These abilities heighten the senses, enlarge understanding and increase intellectual capacity of the gifted person, which allows them to gain talent faster than the average person. However, being gifted is not everything. The combination of gift itself, chance, environmental catalysts, learning and practice all combine to become talent.

"...creative genius itself grows out of the ability to sustain intense commitment"

What if you are not gifted, and are just Joe Shmoe who wants to learn how to cook? Fortunately, being without gifts does not count you out. Carol S. Dweck, a psychology professor at Stanford, said “...creative genius itself grows out of the ability to sustain intense commitment for extended lengths of time in the face of obstacles.” (Source: Duke Talent Identification Program) In short, creativity is something that anyone can get better at.

The key to gaining creative talent for anyone, including the gifted, is motivation. As Dr. Dweck mentioned above, intense commitment is required in order to build talent. In Zimbabwe, “the Shona language equivalent term for talent shavi/ushavi literally translates to “having a spirit for doing something.” Shavi/Ushavi expresses the power and intensity of emotional drive, inspiration or motivational energy that is often associated with talented individuals and eminent achievers.” (Source: The International Research Association for Talent Development and Excellence, emphasis added) Those that are really good at what they do, usually worked hard at becoming that good.

I wasn’t born with the ability to turn on a computer and create a mind-blowing video in a couple of hours. I spent many hours learning motion graphics techniques from books, tutorials and friends. I practiced new techniques whenever I had free time. I never gave up learning, and I still strive to learn the newest tricks. I’ve even come up with a few tricks of my own, without any help. I’m starting to develop my creative talent.

Like many other industries, our business is centered on creativity. We create engaging videos to attract and retain an audience to a message. Those that hire us have a message, but don’t necessarily know what creative should be used to convey that message. That’s where we come in, crafting a video with the appropriate creative to make the video work for our clients.

As such, we need creativity like a pasta factory needs flour (unless it’s gluten-free pasta factory, than anything goes). We seek out the best creative people to team up with to create amazing content. We need people with talent in content creation. When you work in a video production company, you are getting hard-earned talent from motivated professionals. We’re not better than anyone else, just more creative.