One of the biggest, broadest, most important trends of the last few decades has been how technology has democratized the tools of creation and production.
From early desktop publishing applications and screen-based sequencers in the 1980s, through to 3D printing of prototypes today, the production of professional quality output in just about every creative endeavor has become vastly easier and cheaper.
This MegaTrend of Creative Enablement means that it is no longer money or organizational resources that determine what creative people can achieve. It is simply their creativity, which can be fully expressed as never before without significant resources.
Clearly video and movie-making are among the fields most affected by this trend, shifting from a world in which minimal budgets were in the millions, to where low-cost cameras and video editing allow masterpieces to be created on a shoestring.
While professional-class desktop video editing suites have been available at a reasonable price for some years, it is only now that a threshold has been reached with quality cameras.
I recently purchased the Canon EOS 550D for less than $1,000 including memory cards. It can take 1080HD at 50fps, making it usable for broadcast TV and potentially even big screen applications. As an SLR, a wide range of quality lenses are available for relatively little cost, giving it more power and flexibility than many high-end video cameras of just a year or two ago.
While you can certainly spend a lot more on video cameras, and a few professionals will argue that the quality differences are still real, the reality is that you can take broadcast quality footage on an increasing variety of extremely reasonably priced Digital SLRs (DSLR).
The explosion of video distribution channels we have seen so far will be dwarfed by what is to come, with potentially constant video on every flat surface in some places. Now the means of production are in place to fulfil the massive emerging demand for video. Clearly talent is required as well as equipment to create great video. But I believe that there are deep pools of talent that will be unleashed by this latest critical point in creative enablement.
I look forward to seeing what emerges.