8:18 when I start writing this. I’m in the office, ready to go for the day. 8:30 is the official start time, so usually the phone starts ringing about then when there’s issues in the air. Today, there are issues in the air. Again.
I’m getting a bit shell shocked. I get the feeling that I’m a tennis ball in a volley when I’m at work. The Account team has little to no interactive experience and positively hates dealing with us in Interactive Production because to their viewpoint, we’re just being difficult. I’ve talked about it here before, and I’ll say it again… the offline job process and the online job process are inverted. Offline, the job can begin with a bare minimum of details being locked in. What do you want to produce at the end? How many colors/other physical specifications of the final piece? Good to go. Everything else can be decided along the way.
Not so in the online world. The discussions are rather chicken & egg, all the time.
“We want to build a web page.”
“What kind of web page?”
“A page on the web. I dunno. One with Flash.”
“Ummm…. what do you want it to be able to -do-?”
“I don’t know… what can it do?”
“What’s your budget?”
“Then, not much. And certainly not with any real amount of Flash.”
If you believed our account reps, the clients live in perpetual sticker shock. The interactive media has been around just a decade commercially and we’re already seeing the erosion of the concepts of professionalism. The client knows a guy in college who can do a web page with lots of stuff for much cheaper. The agency is a full-service agency. The two prices are going to be very, very different. But will the results?
I don’t think so. As long as you’ve got access to the right skillsets you need along the way, there’s no reason why 2 guys in a basement can’t successfully complete the same quality projects as the high end agencies. In fact, agencies seem to be making their money by being able to attract the right stable of talent.
Here, for example, you’ve got everything from soup to nuts. Video, sound, illustration, motion graphics, Information Architecture, web design, marketing, proofreading, copywriting, interactive strategy, Flash design and development, database building and back-end coding… you name it, we offer it. And because there’s so much being offered, they need Interactive Producers (like me) to coordinate the process.
But if you have 2 guys in a garage, and they can get the right mix of skills between them, there’s nothing to stop them from producing competing product.
Well… there’s the bell. Time to don the armor and enter the fray. I’m used to feeling slight tension between Account and internal departments, but it’s escalated to the point that it feels like a barely-contained cold war with occasional flare ups. Today promises to be one of those flare ups. Gotta stay calm, focused, and refuse to rise to the bait or to budge. Quietly or screaming, order -will- be brought to this chaos, until the day I leave.