Someone in the industry recently posted a Facebook rant about people who are just a couple of years out of college having no business posing as an expert in their field and making instructional videos claiming such. I think that everyone who saw the post knew exactly who he was talking about. I cringed, because I’ve met both the poster and the target. Not having watched any of said videos, I will nevertheless go ahead and talk about this as if I have a useful opinion on it all.
“Fake it ’til you make it” is an enormous amount of pressure to put on a sensitive artistic soul, yet a certain amount of it is expected in order to help a neophyte gain some confidence and put themselves out there. The phrase “out there” has a ring of danger to it, for good reason. Obviously this person crossed a line and hit a nerve out there with several veterans in the industry. Did he "fake it" a little too much? So it would seem. Yet, he presumably does have some amount of experience to draw on and being fresh out of school affords him a current perspective that can be useful.
I’m particularly sensitive to this as 1) I’m also fairly fresh out of grad school and 2) I have indeed talked very big, and in my case at least, without subsequently being able to publicly follow it up with proof. See, the very first thing after graduating I stumbled into a really big game scoring gig. It was a well known game company about to foray into the video game market and partnering with a local programmer. A lot of fantastic artwork was already done. I was to have a 50-piece live orchestra at my disposal. Pinch me!!! What a dream. I’m on my way! Don’t feel entirely ready for something this big but I’ll get whatever help I need! Alas, the project fell through, something about the higher ups not approving the direction of the artwork. The whole project stalled out, and as far as I know, that was the end of the whole thing. But not before I had already been bouncing around telling everyone “Oh yes, wow, I have a big project that I can’t talk about because of the NDA.” Standard fare in the industry, secrecy. But now I FEEL that it just looks like I was faking it, to anyone who doesn’t know me. That would be bad enough, but in a business where your reputation is about 99.5% of what gets you hired, well… I’ve sincerely had trouble mentally coming back from that, and subsequent projects with the same people did not make much more of an impact to my resume.
I am not at all above doing what I guess would be called grunt work, have done as much of it as has come my way, and will continue to as long as it affords learning opportunities (read: likely a long time.) I just don't want to feel a shadow on my credibility any longer than my neuroses demand. I believe that we can all learn from each other, but that requires trust, and trust can be fragile.