Rain a fall but dutty tough – an old adage relevant now as it was back in the 1940s, the decade dubbed “the war years” that left the world in financial shambles. Fast-forward to 2020, history is repeating itself with the current war against the COVID -19 pandemic. The virus is radically affecting many industries financially and the film industry is no exception. Although this may be true, it also offers an opportunity to reflect, reconnect and reconsider our roles in society.
“Generally speaking, people with real talent will never be out of work in spite of present income setbacks. For me, this is a time to self-reflect and assess how I can improve my work to reach my fullest potential. During this time, I got in the habit of learning new ways to communicate effectively with clients and build on my portfolio.” Mykal Cushnie
Since the pandemic, the world has been drastically ushered more into the digital space. As such, most companies, whether big or small, are in need of content creators to drive real engagements that converts to leads and sales. In like manner, directors and editors themselves need to practice marketing strategies to captivate their audience. For Cushnie, he utilizes both traditional and digital marketing strategies using tools such as promotional merchandises, stickers, business flyers, WhatsApp and social media to push his brand image.
“I consider myself a newbie to the digital world. I have always been in the business of creating content for other people. But, at the same time, I have never really been a fan of sharing my personal life on social media. Now, I have to tap into that digital marketing space to reach a wider audience with my work organically.” Mykal Cushnie
As a creative in the film industry, you are always proactively looking for ideas with a new perspective to explore. The best way to be great at something is to spend time doing it, even in the midst of chaos. For starters, you can take a page from Cushnie’s book, he has managed to direct and edit a music documentary with reggae artiste, Runkus as well as countless music videos, commercials and documentaries in the last three years combined, likewise his workflow continued during COVID -19.
Additionally, he has completed a short film called Before Yuh Dead and most recently launched his first podcast named My Life Directed. The homegrown conversational podcast was given its name by the first creative director for The Lab, Andre Burnett, deceased, a friend and mentor to Mykal Cushnie. One of Burnett’s favorite quotes was: 'Life, if well lived, is long enough'.
The first episode of My Life Directed was released on November 2, a day commemorating the 90th Anniversary of the Coronation of Empress Menen and Emperor Haile Selassie. Travel Photographer and Herbalist; Ricardo ‘El Puru’ Bailey was the first guest on his podcast, with the focused-on food, family and life after COVID-19. Do you think he’s going to take a break anytime soon? There’s a high possibility that he is just scratching the surface for more content to come. His life is a movie and we’re moving on to take four soon. In reality, travel restrictions are still in full effect; however, gear up for a trip to the motherland – 6 countries in 50 Days.
“One lesson that I’ve learned from COVID -19 is that creatives are relevant, we’re needed more than ever.” - Mykal Cushnie
Top 5 lessons to take away from Mykal Cushnie:
Think Positive, Limit Distractions
Set Reasonable Goals
Reflect and Meditate
Tell A Story, Make Your Work Meaningful
Check out the links below:
Before Yuh Dead
My Life Directed
Fatherhood, Work and Life After COVID – 19 For A Photographer - Ricardo ‘El Puru’ Bailey
Rain a fall but dutty tough – line 4 (Finances – money earned is not enough to cover expenses)
(Bennett Coverly, Lousie. ‘Dutty Tough’ 1940)