Chelfyn Baxter, Creative Director, Mohawk Media

Chelfyn: “I’ve actually seen this in quite a lot of industries. We thought there would be desktop video revolutions and desktop music revolutions... well there has been. Everyone who wants to produce now can produce. But I think people like us who naturally produce content assume that everyone would want to do so. A typical example now is companies like Ponoko and Shapeways – they will print on-demand either 2D cut shapes or 3D printed objects. I would have assumed as a producer that these places would be flooded with people making their own things and that’s where their money would come from... and it turns out I am completely wrong. A very small number of people actually engage and produce content and then a larger number of people buy something that they can’t buy in the shops. They know it’s been designed as a one-off. If it fits one person’s need, it will fit another few peoples’ – maybe not enough to make a million of them, but certainly enough to do a small shop with a print on-demand service.”

Helen Baxter, Managing Directrix, Mohawk Media 

Helen: “There is a ratio 1-9-90 I think which is 1 percent make it, 9 percent remix it or comment on it and 90 percent consume it. And I think that is pretty much standard. I don’t think the proportions change, but I do think there has never before been so much access to independently produced content. So my perception is that more people are making indie media than ever before. I love remix culture in that you can take something and build on it and this is why I am passionately into Creative Commons and really delighted to be on the advisory board for Creative Commons New Zealand because it’s so important for us to have this body of work that can be accessed, can be reworked, can be remixed. I don’t know where creativity ends. Is it with the originator of the work or the people who are playing around with it and putting their own spin on it? I think they are producers in their own way.”

Chelfyn: “Personally, I don’t think there is anything other than remix culture. I think every thought that we have as an original thought is merely a combination of several other things we have absorbed from our environment. So even the most original creative artists, you just might not know all their influences, but if you knew all their influences you’d see that they are just ‘a bit of that with a bit of that with a bit of that’. It’s just become more obvious now that we’ve got a lot of tools which allow us to identify this.”

Helen: “That’s right. It’s harder to hide the fact that you have used, say, a pre-made load of beats rather than made your own beats. But I think that 1-9-90 rule does actually hold out throughout quite a lot of different creative industries.”


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