'More growth needed in creative sector'

'More growth needed in creative sector'

Saturday, September 26, 2020

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ROGEN “Ruption” Walker, co-founder of RD Studios, believes while there are strides in the area of local content creation, more growth is needed.

“We've made a lot of steps forward and many steps back. There are moments when things feel stagnant but from time to time, you find someone breaking the mould. While we do some work that is on par with the international standard, sometimes our work can only go as far as the genre goes. So I would say on a regional scale, the industry has definitely grown – but not so much internationally. I think over time, as we put out better work and our local music industry grows, local content creators like myself will get more recognition,” said Walker.

Despite the shortfall, the 35-year-old believes the sector can still attain international distinction and appeal.

“We have what it takes, we just need to land the right projects with the right directors and editors. [We ] just [need to have] the right eyes at the right moment. Our local artistes seem to be getting more and more international collabs too, so let's see,” he said.

Launched in 2011, RD Studios is an innovative visual production team which operates from Kingston. The RD Studios team has been credited with music video creation including Vybz Kartel's Thickiana, Masicka's King Inna Earth, Govana's Convo and Shenseea's Sure Sure.

He explained how he got into the business.

“I developed an interest after high school while working at an advertising agency where they specialised in TV commercials, radio ads and graphic design. While working at the advertising agency I was consistently getting personal projects, so after the birth of my son I decided to make the step to start the company with a friend. For the most part, I taught myself,” he said.

He lists international directors Colin Tilley, Mike Ho and Eif Rivera among his inspirations.

Walker was recently commissioned as a judge in the Red Stripe Flavours competition dubbed the Creators Challenge. The contest gave local creatives the opportunity to craft their own Red Stripe Flavours advert in a format of their choice.

Judges were tasked with choosing the top nine entrants to move on to the social media voting round for a chance to win $200,000, as well as a contract to work on a Red Stripe campaign in 2021.

“Red Stripe Flavours is a product that I enjoy and I felt honoured to be selected as a judge. I liked the diversity of the submissions. From creating songs to illustrations, some contestants went outside the box with animation and comedy. While the submissions had a good range of different ideas and execution, a lot of persons played it safe by recreating what I call the typical commercial feel with a voice- over. Also, the storytelling in some of the content could have been sharper and to the point. For the most part, the submissions were pretty good but to really make the cut, I was looking for originality. Overall, the competition was great. Big ups to Red Stripe Flavours for deciding to engage our local talent on this level,” said Ruption.

The competition was won by Franco Pencle, while second and third place went to Rojai Marson and Anthonia Atkinson, respectively.

Despite the competitive nature of his sector, Walker attributes his success to loving what he does and staying ahead of the game by constantly innovating.

He had some advice for aspiring content creators.

“The truth is there are a lot of really dope creatives out there who put out interesting content, too many to name but I'd definitely recommend that just love what you do. Do it for the love and you will grow as a creative. As unpredictable as the industry can be, only those who have a true passion for it survive. So if you really love it, go for it,” he added.


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