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“Sooner or later, everything old is new again – the words of Stephen King might serve as a reminder to content creators and small business owners wary of Sora – OpenAI’s latest text-to-video creation tool.

Like ChatGPT and Dall-E, creating realistic videos of up to a minute in length is now only a prompt away.

So, if you are good at writing, it might seem like the world is literally at your fingertips.

But before you breathe a sigh of relief that the days of worrying about frame rates, F-stops, and camera anxiety are gone forever, it might be time to pause.

Vinyl records, film cameras, and book buying – what do they have in common?

These are all old technologies that we thought had been consigned to oblivion long ago.

The fact is, all are undergoing a revival.

The latest statistics from the Publishers Association (for 2022) show that consumer book print sales were up to 348 million books – worth £1.8bn.

There’s been a surge of new, young readers discovering literature for the first time. Books like ‘Catcher in the Rye’, ‘1984’, ‘Crime and Punishment’, ‘L’Étranger’, and anything by Kafka, for instance. A reading list that was just as much required reading half a century ago as it is today – apparently.

Look at the boom in record players and record shops years after the CD and streaming revolutions.

And on tour with my son’s band, Egyptian Blue, the one thing fans were asking after gigs was, “Have you got any vinyl?”.

Film photography has been undergoing a resurgence, with people saying it makes you a better photographer as you have to slow down and think about every frame.

The added magic of developing film in a darkroom, where your image emerges before your very eyes.

From where we stand now (March 2024), Sora is not yet available to the public and can only be used for clips a minute long, so testing it out as a business marketing tool has not been possible.

But its potential for disrupting the film and videography sector is clearly real, with Runway.ai, an AI video creation platform, having just launched its second annual film festival. This sector is bound to grow.

Pause a moment, though – why are books, LPs, and film darkrooms coming back?

It’s rarely about nostalgia but authenticity. Mellow sounds and scratches, borrowed dog-eared paperbacks, a photograph that has been developed and hand-printed.

Pictures, music, words that feel visceral because of their character, because they have resonance, they make you feel.

Yes, AI content, in whatever format, can be speedy, time-saving, and in the case of Sora, highly realistic, but do we want this?

Look at the mass of filters and effects that you can put on your video to make it look vintage, cinematic, or produced by an age-old camera.

So, equally, your content should feel real rather than spun from a mass of acquired data.

Look at the internet’s latest superstar, Reesa Teesa, who used just her phone to tell her 50-part story (on TikTok) about being married to a pathological liar and narcissist.

She has since been featured in newspapers, magazines, and on TV talk shows across the world, with millions of fans in her audience.

Which shows how powerful you can be telling your story and your business story and why showing up on camera is going to endure – even when a keyboard avatar is on hand.

Who knows, it may even mean that those ‘umms’ and ‘ahhs’ that you currently edit out might endure one day because they show you are human rather than the sum of internet wizardry.

If you want to know more about making videos, being authentic on camera, being visible and telling your unique story, send me an email.

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