• Craig Van Horne

Is ‘Good Enough’ Acceptable in Creative Video Work?


Good Enough… isn’t necessarily a cop out… everyone does ‘good enough’ whether to meet deadlines or to meet budgetary limitations. That doesn’t mean that something was sacrificed, it simply means that we reach an acceptable level of quality for ourselves and for the project.

Whether we admit it or not, when we work on something creative we reach a point where we are satisfied, and that is good enough. If we were more perfectionist, or anal or whatever the noun or adjective may be, we’d continue tweaking and toiling away forever, which for paid work is never possible. Good enough is entirely subjective but it is always there regardless.

So when it comes to new technology and new camera’s and new codecs and all that noise, there will always be those who will argue for a camera or standard that is of higher quality but really if we are all realistic about it, there most certainly is a good enough for everything. Today we are in a place where a sub-thousand dollar camera can produce not only good enough results for a lot of corporate and commercial work but it honestly exceeds good enough, often by a broad margin.

There is nothing wrong with good enough when it comes to creative work. For a person starting out and learning, there will certainly be a lot of good enough moments and later, with the benefit of hindsight there may be some consternation about whether the good enough at that time was indeed… good enough. I once asked a very successful and extremely well respected businessman how he ever became comfortable with making a decision, especially when those decisions tended to have jobs or the welfare of others on the line. His response was, to paraphrase “do the best you can with the information available in the time you have” that notion applies to so many things we do in life and in business. Does it mean that we fail over and over again and fail to deliver value? Not in my opinion.

The reality is that good enough, means doing everything you can in the time available. With the budget available and the equipment you have and the application of the knowledge you have at the time and, there will be a good enough. Your perception of how good it was later is entirely subjective, and our own assessment of our work tends to be negatively biased anyhow.

I think that if you learn from every project that was completed where good enough was applied. Then it’s more than good enough, it was a learning opportunity, and you moved on to be better on the next project. If we don’t learn from our experiences, then perhaps indeed good enough, is not good enough.

It drives me nuts to read some of the self aggrandized drivel, so laced with envy and hate on most industry news sites, blogs, and on the comments section of videos posted by people in our connected world that it engenders equal amounts of anger and sadness in me because it stifles creativity and ambition. Once we become comfortable with the discomfort of ‘good enough’ and keep learning, growing and becoming better. None of that noise matters, we can focus on reaching the goals we have for ourselves.

I’ll provide some examples of what I consider to be good enough in a future post to provide some context for my perspective.


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