WEEK 24: New Projects, Old Habits

Over the past couple of years working in this industry, I have interacted with a large number of creative people (both within the company and as external collaborations). I couldn’t help but notice that most Junior Creatives tend to fall into one of the following categories:

1.  The Lazy Ones: These Creatives are highly allergic to hard work. They float from project to project doing the bare minimum without any plan or structure in place. Sometimes they deliver decent products, and other times they don’t. Generally, they cannot be counted upon.

2.  The Sensitive Ones: These Creatives put a genuine effort into anything they create. However, in the process they develop an attachment to their creative products/ideas and have trouble dealing with negative criticism and rejection.

(I must confess that I belong to this category – not to say that I can never handle criticism, but it does get difficult with the projects I am more attached to – especially ones involving music – and projects involving excessive and unnecessary rounds of changes by the client)

3.  The Arrogant Ones: These Creatives think that everything they produce is pure gold. This category is often the hardest to deal with, as they will vehemently defend anything they create, even if it does not work at all. They are averse to creative suggestions from others that do not align with their own ideas, and despise having to rework their ideas.

4. The Enthusiastic but Useless Ones: These Creatives are usually very new to the job. They approach work with boundless optimism and are always ready to contribute to an ongoing project. Sadly, they are usually too inexperienced to every offer something of value and as a result their suggestions are often discarded. If ignored for too long, these Creatives can become jaded and cynical and eventually stop trying. However, with the right amount of attention and training, they could have the potential to evolve into valuable assets.

5.  The Brilliant Ones who can Never Meet a Deadline: These Creatives are some of the best in their class. Their work is always impeccable and they are full of unique ideas. However, they are always late with their submissions, and this can sometimes jeopardise an entire project. These Creatives can be used only when a project has a flexible deadline.

I feel I must clarify that I do not think all creative people can be grouped into the categories specified above. I have had the fortune come across some Creatives that are great at what they do and are always professional and punctual. They are a rare breed.

In other news, we are exploring long form story-based content with Arctic Fox. The first film in this category will probably be our 3D animation film that is scheduled to release within the next few months (the music for which will be composed by yours truly). This type of content is not to be confused with lengthy advertisements – a distinction many brands fail to recognise. Simply extending a 30 second advertisement into a 3 minute long film does not make it ‘branded entertainment’. The minute consumers see your content as an ‘ad’, you have failed. Your communication piece can only be considered a success if your audience sees it as a genuinely interesting piece of content that they would willingly watch again – this is true branded entertainment.

If you still require more clarity on this subject, our film ‘Hope, the Boat’ that we created for Paper Boat is a good example of branded entertainment. You can watch it here.

However, when it comes to longer content, I have noticed a pattern at Humour Me – when conceptualising a film, we consistently underestimate its length. Our film ‘Rizwan’ was estimated to be around two minutes long, and the final film turned out to be three and a half minutes long; ‘Hope the Boat’ was supposed to be two and a half minutes long, and ended up being four and a half minutes long; even with the Arctic Fox 3D animation film, we had initially estimated its duration to be two minutes, and now the film is shaping up to be three and a half minutes long.

This is not a very big problem overall, as the most important thing is to create the best film we can. But I have learned never to take the first estimate of a film’s duration seriously, especially if I am composing its music.

Our basement is being renovated. It is not finished yet, although it was supposed to be completed three weeks ago. I will show you what it looks like when it is done.

See you next week!

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