Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another Tale From The Trenches...

I just had a production meeting and so help me Goddess, there was a point (after the coffee and before we stood and left the conference room) where I thought there was going to be bloodshed. I would be pummeling the person - no, waste of flesh would be a more appropriate title - and they would scream in agony as their blood spray painted my face into a crimson mask. I wouldn't stop until they lost consciousness or until my fists tired.

I do not suffer fools gladly and one thing I want for all of you my little pulpsters is to think creatively. If you don't, it's over. Pack your computer up and hold a bonfire for your scripts, films, art, whatever. You are done. Time to go get that government job over at the post office where they have the good benefits.

If you don't think creatively there are consequences. Dire ones (and not just talking about my fat ass leaping over the conference room table and beating you to the point where I hit the dark meat). Jobs are on the line because of creativity, and if I were to formulate it I would say:

Creativity costs you nothing and pays you handsomely.

LACK of creativity costs you everything.

The object of my ire, an outside producer, discovered that today when he put together a budget for a project we are doing for a client - a series of flash animations promoting one of their movies. This is the client's first time using animation for their site (and licensing it for other territories to use on their sites in their languages when the movie is released there), so we are in a test case scenario. The spotlight is on us to be promotable and on budget - 5 spots for $300/spot.

This "producer" put together a budget based on the idea we would be shooting video of the actress for the animations ($500/day plus a camera man -- probably $250). Then the footage would be edited together in a day ($200 ). Already $950 in the hole and we hadn't shot anything [and we would have to work around this actress's schedule]. Then there would be time for a designer to work in flash on the spots, etc...

His estimate was we could do it all for $2000. We had to go back to the client and ask for more money. Does everyone else see the bad math here?

Fortunately for him I took the budget and ripped it in half. I told him to get out of the office and don't come back until he could tell me and the rest of us sitting at the table what he did wrong. He was offended, but I told him he was getting off light because if he had shown that budget to the CEO, who approves such things, he would have been fired.

I talked to my graphic designer and we pulled all of the footage we would require from the film, grabbed some stills and audio of the actress and spit-balled some concepts. Total cost: $700. No video shoot. No cameraman. $800 profit. We were even able to add some things to the mix the producer hadn't thought of...

So learn your tech. Get your experience. Find out what the tech can do, and what it can't. Sketch out ideas. Read. Feed your creativity. Take it out for a walk and let it poop on the neighbor's lawn...

But don't let your creativity go to waste. Because if you're sitting across the table from me you know what could happen, and I'm a nice guy.

(Portions of this post may be fictional. That doesn't make them untrue)

2 comments:

Shawna said...

I suddenly have this image of you jumping on top of a conference room table, jabbing a fist in the air and screaming "This! is! SPARTA!!!"

Go, Pulp Daddy, go.

Bill Cunningham said...

I like it.

Who's your Pulp Daddy?

(What? Quit. Laughing. Now. Quit. It.)