Apologies to anyone who, like me, spent the first 5 minutes of Imagine: The World Wide Web on Tuesday night watching something else on BBC2 instead of BBC1. When I realised my mistake and switched over I enjoyed the programme, although it didn’t come anywhere near the heights of The Ingenious Thomas Heatherwick. I think this was partly down to the familiarity of the subject matter – I already knew about most of the things it covered – blogging, YouTube, social media etc., whereas Heatherwick’s imagination was like something freshly landed from outer space. But if you haven’t spent much time on the internet recently it was probably a good general introduction to what’s going on the web at the moment.
The bit I found most interesting was the film director who does his casting by asking actors to submit videos of themselves reading his script. As he pointed out, this means the actors are more relaxed and often give a better performance. This also applies to the director himself, who can view the clips repeatedly, at leisure and make a more considered decision about who to invite to a face-to-face audition. He was impressed by the creativity of the actors, many of whom donned costumes and made mini movie-clips with their friends, instead of just reading the script to camera.
This seems to be part of a shift in hiring practices – instead of the old interview/audition/c.v./covering letter, applicants are using more initiative and creativity to demonstrate their skills. E.g. when Chemistry recently advertised some planning vacancies, they received “podcasts, business plans, dedicated websites, and brilliantly written emails” in response. (Found via Russell.) And in a lot of cases, it’s not an applicant-interviewer relationship at all, just people being engaged or deciding to collaborate on the basis of cool stuff they’ve created.