Thursday, June 11, 2009

Steering Committee

Ever plan a church festival? Steering committee? Who's behind the wheel?
The better question is how are YOU steering the team? Are you driving toward where you want to go - or where your audience wants to go or perhaps you hope to be heading where the client tells you to go?
How about creating a 10 minute long corporate video or :30 TV commercial?
In my business - all our years of producing videos and films - it has to be a poetic mixture of agendas. Net, all the above. It really does. That is the artistry of what we do as designers, writers and architects of any media. Somehow, you've got to create something that YOU love, your client pays for and is happy to drive, and most importantly, your audience engages in.
Oh yeah, and it also takes a TEAM to produce the product: writer, producer, camera, art director, editor....
In my experience, there are three different ways to structure the project.
Each leads to a very different feedback loop.
1. The goal of the team is to please ME, the architect (you perhaps).
2. The goal of the team is to make a product that they all love, is really cool and are proud of building.
3. The goal of the team is to build a great end product.
There's more difference between #2 and #3 than it appears.
Pleasing ME, you or I, is certainly very important - as the writer/director or architect, but that is usually where I begin all programs. IF you pursue #2 exclusively, you usually wind-up with something very nice, clever & fun, that no one is interested in using. In #2, the artists express joy and engage their creativity and talents, but the end-product most times miss the mark because of (overlooked) client and audience needs AND you've not shared YOUR needs & desires as the architect. Sooooo, the safe bet is #3. (thanks Mr. Godin).
Yes, lets build a great product - a cerebral, storytelling video - and lets have that team dialogue WAY upstream. What does a "great product" look like? "Great" for whom? Once discussions like this begin way upstream, before production or blueprinting, everyone gets to 'please' themselves - but in the name of a "great product".
Easier written than done, but all constituents can contribute mightily and peacefully, if common goals and end points are laid out before the production process begins.

No comments: