IHOP-KC’s onething young adult conference is one month away, and for the post production team here that means a lot of work in December. It’s the biggest event we do, therefore it requires the most videos. Most of us celebrate Christmas over Thanksgiving or in January.
We had a meeting today to discuss all the projects coming down the line, and of all the things we talked about, one thing stuck out to me I thought was worth sharing: the art of collaboration.
For many of our video projects, several people will work together. However, due to the amount of projects we currently have, each person will have his/her own project. This is good for management, but I didn’t want to lose the collaborative element of having multiple people on one project. So our solution is to start having weekly meetings where we share our videos with one another and pick them apart. We’ll see how it goes, because many people tend to freeze up when forced to critique or share ideas.
For example: Marty is afraid to share the story he’s been writing, because people might not like it (fear). Stephanie tries to avoid Daniel, because he’s always showing off his new projects; and if she share’s her true opinion he might get offended (pride). It’s interesting thing, because creativity is subjective, and everyone has a unique perspective.
As Maurilio Amorim has so excellently blogged, there are many creative expressions. Some people like to work alone. Others need sounding boards as they verbally process. Even others need to do something completely unrelated to their work to generate ideas. Regardless of a person’s individual style, and of all the relational pitfalls, there are many benefits to collaborating with others.
This is where I appreciate Pixar. When making a movie, the director will present the unfinished work to his co-workers. They will proceed to rip it apart, or praise it. They’ll offer their own thoughts, ideas, & critiques. What happens next is mind-blowing to me. They don’t enforce any of it, because no idea is better than another. The director is left with the creative freedom to decide which idea makes the cut & which one stays in the meeting room. This approach to collaboration grants people freedom to share thoughts & concerns, without creating friction between peers. It tells the director, “We trust you, but we know the benefit of working together. So here are some other thoughts to consider as you move forward.”
One more example I want to note is that of design firm Hillman Curtis. They are very good at minimalist design. When creating a website or flyer or video, each designer is asked to defend their design – every color, line, picture, & word. If something doesn’t support the overall purpose of the piece, or if it’s just there to be cool, but that’s the only purpose, then that element will be removed. An interesting approach, but one that couldn’t happen without collaborating.
What are some other approaches to collaboration you have experienced that have worked or not worked?