Pandemic Creativity with Tom

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We spoke with Tom Jacobsen about how he has had to adapt his creative process to all the challenges that 2020 has presented for our final sit down conversation.

Tom, has your creative process changed during the pandemic?

“My creative process has evolved a bit during the pandemic. Concepting and pitching have been more lonely as of late. When we were all in the office, it was much easier to bounce ideas off each other and collaborate. Now, you have to arrange a Zoom call, and it’s just not the same. The pandemic has taken some of the spontaneity out of the creative process. With that in mind, the ideas never stop; they just might take a bit more time to have creative gel.”

Has not being able to interact with clients in-person changed the way you conceptualize creatively?

“Yes. Not having the interaction in-person has slowed the process a little. When clients are with you, it’s so easy to get answers and bounce ideas off each other and get instant feedback. Now when we post changes, we need to arrange a Zoom call and align calendars to get on a call to collaborate. This has slowed the process some, but VOLT has implemented some new tools to get all of us on the same page quickly.”

What are the challenges prevalent in the industry today?

“I think one of the biggest challenges we face as an industry is production. Production has always been a highly collaborative process working closely together. The pandemic has required a new way of working, and that process has been starting to unroll these last few months. I know some of the protocols will probably stay in place forever in the production pipeline, which is a smart thing to do for everyone’s safety.”

“Most recently, I supervised the VFX for a shoot over a streaming service connected to the camera. It was an exciting opportunity, but it did clarify the challenges it brings compared to being on set. One challenge for sure was being able to discuss shots remotely when only the director is on-set, and the client and I are streaming. The process felt a bit slower than if we were all on set together, but it was impressive to see how far technology has come.”

What takeaways will you keep in mind when COVID ends? Or do you think this is the “new normal?”

“I really never see COVID completely ending. It will eventually become like the flu in which you have the opportunity to get vaccinated to help prevent getting the virus. But nothing is a 100% guarantee. With that said, many of the pandemic preventions we have been trained to use may never leave our routine entirely. I know one thing for sure, I wash my hands a lot more than I used to!”

How has your workflow and processes changed since the pandemic?

“Workflow has slowed down a little. The scheduling of Zoom meetings to brainstorm and discuss has presented its challenges, but everyone at VOLT has been up to the challenge and responding so positively. Its also given me some extra room to research and play with ideas, which leads to more robust creativity.”

We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading all of the thoughts and ideas from some of VOLT’s Partner team. It was our pleasure to sit down and chat with everyone, and we thank you for taking the time to join us in these interviews.