I'm seeing in my case that the barriers between still and motion are diluting into convergence. I think we might have loose a sort of golden age when photographers where photographers and cineasts where cineasts and budgets where real bufgets. But we are entering into a dimension that is extremely interesting.
Sorry for such a long reply and . . .
Sorry for taking this off topic, but since i only think about 12 people read this section I'm not sure if anything we write will have any impact. (I hope I'm wrong).
I think knowledge is important and the more you know about the post production process obviously the better you will be a direction, photography or even knowing how to estimate and budget a project.
Given that, unless you truly want to be a hands on film maker like Robert Rodriquez where you touch every thing all the way to finish, it is going to be difficult to be partially good at conceptualizing, directing, shooting, post production all the way to purposing out the final piece and keep in mind Robert Rodriquez doesn't do it all him self when the budget is there. It's impossible.
Now knowing all of this, I honestly don't believe that most photographers, regardless of talent are going to replace dedicated directors and film crews by breaking new territory or reinventing the wheel. Let's face it in the world of cinema and commercial production, those guys are good and have done about anything you can dream of.
I think our place will come mostly from budget. Not that we sell ourselves only off price, but still photographers of all levels are much better equipped to shoot a full on production with a crew of 20, 10 or even 5. We're use to multi tasking, working as director, camera operator, gaffer, sometimes key grip, colorist, editor and understanding how to purpose imagery for multiple use. We've been doing that for a long time.
Obviously some directors/film makers can make the drop down to smaller crews and make it work, but it's much harder to learn your skills with a 30 to 75 person crew and then be required to work with a 1/10th of that on set talent than it is for us as still photographers.
Now, the reason I think price will play such an important role is we are now into the age of supreme macro marketing. You do a web search for a BMW, and the next 4 sites you click onto out pops a BMW banner or video. Obviously somebody is tracking the consumer and not just in a generic way of "oh that guy is looking for a car" but in a very specific breakdown of "that guy is 30 to 35 years old, married, no children, 35% disposable income, wants an upper mid-scale import, preferably german and . . . .)
Today that is relevant for web advertising but in less than a year your satellite of cable provider will have learned the same singular demographic specifics and this will change even high end broadcast advertising.
That means advertisers will have to discard the one campaign fits all thought process and learn to target multiple groups, which means instead of spending 1 million for that mega commercial, they're going to need 10 targeted commercials and clients being clients they're not going to up their budget to 10 million dollars, they're just going to require 10 spots for the same 1 million. (or less).
That is the opportunity that opens up for smaller, faster, more nimble and self contained artists, or for the larger productions a director that knows how to adapt quickly.
The upside to this is it slightly cracks the door open for a new breed of motion artist. The downside is cost and time will be the over riding principle.
Creatively, the real upside is instead of shooting one size fits all and having to play to the lowest common denominator we "might' be able to really let the creativity fly and work a concept for someone that understands the message.
18 months ago I did a project that was split between motion and still photography. The motion was shot by an academy award winning director (who was very good). The still photography by my group.
We ran completely separate sets and each had the celebrity talent for 4 hours.
This was a high budget project and my creative brief mirrored the motion imagery, except my brief was two pages longer.
The motion crew was about 35 people shooting 35mm film (and bts video) along with computerized cranes, all mos.
Our crew was 10 running on two sets, one white one black, also with bts video and stills.
Now this isn't a knock on the director but I watched their set up, he watched ours. For an overhead spot effect they hung a 800 lb box truss that took two flat bed cranes. We hung two lights a 1k and a strobe head with a trimmed down modifier on a section of speed rail.
Our look mirrored his, his look mirrored ours and he was amazed we could do it with such small lightweight equipment, I was amazed he had such overkill.
He as amazed we could adapt from one lighting style to a completely different look in 30 minutes, I was amazed that when the client asked him for the same he said it wasn't possible within the time frame.
The results were similar, both of us got paid, both of us got good mileage from this project, the client was happy. (both of us won awards).
Now this doesn't mean I could direct his next film because I'm not up to that yet, but for this project my crew could have easily rolled a RED into the still session, shoot the same thing and probably not added more than 2 crew members.
That's where we as photographers have an advantage, but let's not kid ourselves and think the film guys are just going to roll over and let us walk in with our 5d's, reds, arris, etc. and take their jobs.
They are good and they will adapt. Whoever adapts the best will win. Whoever offers more will win.