Are we used to playing it too safe?

This post is sponsored by Freeflow

At the start of 2020, the Freeflow team was introduced to three fresh faces. Theo, a director from South Africa, who sailed the high seas and documented the work on lush vineyards to pursue his passion for filmmaking. Fish, a home-grown director with already a couple of awards in his bag. And finally, me, Lily, a Singaporean raised in Shanghai, fresh to the industry, who developed an interest in documentaries while studying graphic design in London.

We are Freeflow’s content creatures. We are a team of content creators for today’s content-driven world. Our purpose is to explore the realm of visual storytelling with fresh eyes and to create stories that speak to today’s content-hungry generation.

What does content creation mean, in today’s fast-paced market? I turned to the other two creatures for their opinions. Over a morning call, we examined what it meant to be storytellers to today’s sophisticated and easily desensitised audience.

A recurring challenge we face as budding content creators in Singapore is the unspoken rule to "play it safe". Many of us may have had the experience of coming up with a great idea (or so we think), and after running the gauntlet of well-meaning advice and opinions, are often left with a shadow of our former concept. Marketers and their creatives are often caught treading the fine line between a potentially great idea, and making sure they don’t antagonise anyone.

Allowing our natural inclination for approval and "likes" to dictate our work may distract us from the stories we want to tell. Are we too used to playing it too safe? Are we creating an environment where young content creators are conditioned to reserve great ideas only for personal projects? How far dare we go in pushing boundaries?

I can’t speak for everyone, but here at Freeflow, we are encouraged to push boundaries as much as possible, and to stand up for our ideas. That is not to say we eschew feedback (we get a lot of that from everyone!), but we strive to be confident in the integrity of our ideas while accepting that there will always be opinions that differ from ours.

I always wonder, what is it about a particular piece of content that causes me to pause for that critical second when scrolling through today’s content-saturated digisphere? I have tried to puzzle out the common elements across these messages. I find that, more often than not, it is content that is honest, without restraint, crafted with sincerity and true to the brand that attracts me and leaves a lasting impression. Granted, such content may step on some toes, but then again what doesn’t, nowadays?

Content creation is a constantly evolving, learning experience, both for the creator and their audience. The more we push envelopes and the more our audience is exposed to different ideas and concepts, the more well-informed and receptive all of us become. And I suppose that is one way we continue to propel ourselves as an industry.

I can offer no practical solutions nor tried-and-tested formulae. What I do have is an attitude or belief system that I adhere to. To take greater responsibility for the ideas that I present, to try to rejuvenate old topics with new treatments, and to advocate confidence in creating good content. Because that is what we do at Freeflow – tell stories with heart.

 

Freeflow productions is an award-winning video production house based in Singapore and Shanghai. Marrying creativity with practical objectives, freeflow is able to convey your organisation’s message by telling a compelling story.
Find out more about them here.