INFLUENCERS is a short documentary that explores what it means to be an influencer and how trends and creativity become contagious today in music, fashion and entertainment. The film attempts to understand the essence of influence, what makes a person influential without taking a statistical or metric approach. Written and Directed by Paul Rojanathara and Davis Johnson, the film is a Polaroid snapshot of New York influential creatives (advertising, design, fashion and entertainment) who are shaping today's pop culture. "Influencers" belongs to the new generation of short films, webdocs, which combine the documentary style and the online experience.
My friend and fellow blogger Tony Gum shared this documentary on her wall yesterday and it really had me interested and got me thinking to who and what an influencer is. Did you ever have that moment where you felt you were at the right place at the right time surrounded by inspiring people who are changing their surroundings and the world over by creating, innovating and popularizing a trend that people have no interest in what so ever? You were probably in the company of an influencer. Sometimes it's just really random places where you end up going to and you end up feeling inspired.
What I liked about this documentary is that they brought up important points that I strongly believe in and points that I reacted to with question, which took a moment to think about actually. One of the points they brought up was that you should identify young talent and be a mentor to someone else. That is something I feel our industry, especially in South Africa lacks. Many people see this industry as a competition ground and not as a ground to inspire and motivate a younger generation of influencers that could in fact turn around and end up doing your job better than you ever could. They also mentioned that the younger generation are the key influences of the world as they are at that stage and age in their lives where they start choosing what they like, what suits them and which brands they relate to, and due to this, trends occur - they start in one city, spread the across the country and eventually become a global sensation. Prime example of a key influencer, to me, is Anna Wintour who in the early 80's totally reshaped Vogue Magazine by putting a black female model on the cover and later in the late 80's and early 90's started one of the biggest trends in the editorial world by putting celebrities on the cover of her magazine. Wintour noticed at an early stage that celebrities were becoming more conscience of fashion and that they would run the trends people so seek in the world. Travel a few years forward and almost every single magazine are using celebrities on the cover of their magazines.
Theres no rule book to being an influencer, theres no manual either - theres just a voice inside thats saying, "That is right". The foundation of which your influence starts comes from your family yet its' also relative to your personal taste and what you like and who you look at. An influencer is a person who can take an idea, a brand, a concept that is not in the mainstream consciousness and can bring it into mainstream consciousness.