Creative people are often described as flakes, dreamers and those who need to get a real job.
Are you joking? As one of the UK’s top banks announced new losses of £5.2 billion and we see business failures one after the other, politicians and religious leaders failing and bringing misery to others - it makes one wonder who really is living in cloud cuckoo land.
So I implore you to take your music and film making more seriously than ever.
Take music; I just put on Mumford and Sons and within seconds my heart was lifted and a smile filled my face, the music wanted to make me dance and the lyrics challenged me to be a better man.
There are victims of unimaginable crimes that only find a voice through song. There are those facing terminal illness who find energy and hope from our songs. Babies are born to our music, vows made to our music and people spend their last moments on this planet being comforted by our music.
Then take films; love or hate a film like ‘Django Unchained’ but that film has taken the unforgettable crimes of slavery into the mainstream public conscience, not consigned to art house cinema. Films can help us make sense of complex theories, concepts and historical events without dumbing them down. Another example is ‘Schindler’s List’ - watch that and remained unmoved and you’re not a cynic, you’re dead.
If anyone wants to suggest we have this debate in the real world; here’s some real world numbers - in 2011 the UK Music Industry, according to the PRS added around £3.8 billion to the UK economy, as well as thousands more jobs. In 2011 it is estimated the UK film industry contributed £4.6 billion to the UK economy. It employs over 120,000 people (est), as the BBC put it “It also estimated that production would be 71% smaller without Film Tax Relief, which is suggested to cost HM Treasury about £114m per year, generating about £12 for every £1 invested.” Perhaps it’s time for some music production tax relief too!
So how about the bankers, corporate bosses and politicians reflect on those apples? The next time they screw up your bank, business or party, it will be one of our songs or films they reach for - I guarantee it.
Get a life? How dare anyone suggest that - our creativity makes life!