So often, the creative process seems mysterious. If I had a nickel for every time someone said to me, “How did you come up with that?” or “Where did that come from?” or “How come you’re so brilliantly creative?” I would have $3.45.
To help shed some light and remove some of the mystery, I thought it would be helpful to look at the creative process behind the production of our latest video — the opening video at the BusinessWest “40 Under 40″ banquet, which was held recently at the Log Cabin. I decided the best device for getting the heart of the creativity would be a question and answer session conducted with me, by me. What follows is an unedited transcript of that session.
Q. In the opening scene, when you’re on the bridge looking at the water below, you really looked dismayed. It was a very real, raw moment. What was your motivation there? What were you thinking about.
A. Thank you. I’m glad it seemed so authentic. We were on the bridge about an hour-and-a-half. During that time, I watched twelve dead fish float by. Twelve lifeless bodies floating down the river. It was a powerful moment. Really got me thinking about the fragile and temporary nature of life.
Q. The video is essentially a series of brief man-on-the-street interviews bookended by a short, funny open and close. Where did that concept come from?
A. Well, we knew we had budget constraints, so our options were limited. We also knew the video had to be funny while serving a purpose. In this instance, the video had to serve two purposes: Recognize the winners and start the award ceremony. So we came up with a simple concept that required minimal cost. Oh, I should also include the fact that Marty’s editing skills, while useful, are limited. I would like to point out his use of numbers in the upper right-hand corner of the winner photos. He made those himself.
Q. I couldn’t help but notice that in the beginning of the video you’re running down the bridge wearing jeans. And yet when you interview Barry Wadsworth at the end of the video you’re wearing shorts that seem way out style. But after the interview with Barry a graphic on screen says “Later that day.” When, during your day of shooting, did you decide to change your pants?
A. Good question. And here’s a little movie-making secret I’ll share with our viewers: We didn’t shoot everything in the same day! I did keep the same shirt on, though, for five days while we got the shots we needed.
Q. Prior to taping, did you spend any time with any of the winners to get sense of who they are and why they won?
A. No. I wanted to keep the project organic without any preconceived perceptions.
Q. I noticed we only see Marty at the beginning and at the end. Why didn’t we see him during the interviews?
A. He was holding the camera.
Q. What do you want future generations to know about your work on this video?
A. I want them to know that’s it’s o.k. to show emotion. It’s o.k. to be human. And I want them to know that you can accomplish goals even if you’re older than 40.