Sink or Swim? with Rhythm & Hues @ TAP! Conference

Published on in Industry Announcements / Events

Walt Jones, of Rhythm & Hues knows all about creating content and selling it. 

Founded  in 1987, Rhythm & Hues houses some of the world’s top creative talents and best technologies, delivering outstanding, award-winning visual effects and animation. Credits include: Life of Pi, Hunger Games: Catching Fire, Django Unchained and many more feature films. 

Whether it’s a script, image or video- if you want to make money, find the defined market for it. 

The era of “push-based” content by large media markets is gone. Back in the day, studios owned cinemas and controlled projects from start to finish. They decided what people wanted to see and created/distributed as they saw fit. Today, it’s the total opposite. We live in an era of “on-demand” everything. Consumers can now choose what they want to see and from anywhere in the world they want to see it from. The playing field is now even for you - the problem is, it’s also even for everybody else! This makes content distribution (and business as a whole) way more competitive, since consumers have the luxury of choosing the content they want most. 

Did you know?

* Every two minutes we take more pictures than the entire 1800s did. 
* We consume about 4 billion hours of video per month.
* 80% of people on Facebook live outside of the U.S. 

With so many consumers across the world snapping pictures, hash-tagging and shooting videos, there is a lot going on in the market, but also a huge opportunity to be seized. Direct user feedback is crucial in building a better product or story, and there’s no one better to tell you what works best than the consumers themselves. Yes, not all feedback will be positive, but that’s a good thing. The negative feedback can only help create a better product for the future. It’s all about feedback, feedback, feedback.

Paranormal Activity was one of the most profitable movies EVER made. 


Because it only cost 15k to make and the audience was built organically. The creators only screened the movie in select theaters and to a specific demographic they felt would want to watch it most (in this case, college students). They asked for feedback on the movie and asked viewers to share their experience during the movie with other friends. From there is continually grew and landed all the way to Hollywood premiering in theaters across the nation and grossing $194 million worldwide. In turn, Paranormal Activity became one of the most profitable films ever made, based on return on investment. This proved there was a whole new model of monetizing content, and basically a new formula for success and fame. 

Viral Photo Seen Around the World
Everything is now instantaneous and uncontrolled. 

With users constantly trying to create “viral” content, popularity is sometimes what people strive for more than a profit itself. Take Noam Galai for example. He snapped a self portrait of himself and innocently placed it online for friends and possible clients to view. Without his knowledge, his image had been used and replicated in different facets across the globe for months. By the time he found out, his face was printed on shirts, painted on walls and used in flyers around the world. But Galai didn’t worry about all the money he essentially lost from the infamous photo, since he gained something better. A face everyone knows. (And a seemingly endless client list at that!)

Have computers killed art?

Digital tools remove physical limitations, everything takes less time now and you don’t need as much money to be creative anymore. Photography is now an asset collection and you no longer have to always be creative to be successful. Regardless, always try to be unique, not matter whether it’s created organically, or digitally- people with always pay money if they see value in any product they can get their hands on. 

Content courtesy of: Walt Jones of Rhythm & Hues while attending the 2013 TAP! Conference in Orlando, FL.

Images courtesy of: Google, Noam Galai, and Walt Jones

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