I just saw some news today that I’m extremely excited for and really wanted to share. Rocket Jump, the creators of one of my favorite TV shows (though technically it’s a web series), Video Game High School, are going to have a series on Hulu called Rocket Jump The Show! Check out this trailer below:
Like they mention in the trailer, it takes more than one person to make anything truly great, whether it be games, movies, music, or any other creative medium for entertainment. That’s true even for industries outside of entertainment. There is something else that you need, though… two things in fact:
Knowledge & Experience
Before you even start a project it is vital to know what is possible to accomplish in the first place. A team of 20 can’t compete on the same scale as a team of 20,000. Each and every person on that team brings their own knowledge, along with their own creative input. What skills are brought on by each individual, and how can they grow to help with future projects are some of the questions employers and leads need to ask themselves.
The best way to grow in knowledge, however, is through experience. You would not ask the small blacksmith in the starting village of an RPG to make you the master sword, and similarly you would not ask an intern to do the job of a senior director (unless the twist was those two were capable of such a feat). Those masters didn’t get them through just reading books but through experiencing the craft, and failing at it several times.
One of the most exciting parts of Rocket Jump: The Show is it will show off a lot of the learning process that the team at Rocket Jump went through to reach where they are today. Just a reminder as well, Rocket Jump started out as the FreddieW channel where Freddie Wong and his friends did silly visual effects and editing shorts for YouTube. They started on a small scale and learned the skills as they went, often having to compromise with the lack of actors and equipment by making their own or editing the footage in a way that gave the impression of a larger group of actors. They understood the resources available to them and their own abilities.
Learn By Example
One of the best ways to improve your abilities is by watching those who are better than you! If you want to become a video game designer, it would be absolutely detrimental not to play games yourself! Same with digital video, where watching those classic films and seeing how they dealt with adding effects prior to digital editing can really add to the depth of your own films.
Take those opportunities to learn with others as well, especially where critique from others in your field is made available! They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. I’m not sure who “they” are, but finding out how someone can use their abilities to create something special does not mean it will have the same deep and exciting meaning if you replicate it, so with everything you learn, take it and manipulate it to be different or better than the original!
That’s the key behind innovation, not making something entirely new, but building on what has come before in a new and interesting way.