Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Design Process: Tinker Hatfield, Chuck Lorre and Pixar's Ed Catmull and Brad Bird

Design process from a number of different disciplines: writing, shoe design, architecture, animation and filmmaking.


Chuck Lorre (creator of Two and a Half Men and Big Bang Theory) on the writing process for television:
"I came up, I was taught... you break a story, you have an outline and you send the writer off for 10 days, 2 weeks, to write the script and they bring it back and the executive producer throws it out. That's how television gets made."

"The rewriting process is generally a sustained argument with the guy who wrote the first draft and the executive producer. Everybody is miserable, everybody hates one another, "you're ruining my work!"... or you're secretly thinking, oh, they're making it better, "thats even worse!", I'm no good, I'm not worthy, I'm a fraud... either way you're not happy."





Nike's Tinker Hatfield, originally trained as an architect, on the design of the Air Max and George Pompidou Center in Paris.







I've repeatedly stated that the biggest problems interactive agencies had during the 1.0 days wasn't with talent and people but the integration of all of those diverse talents and personality types. Even in leadership positions (and especially there at times) many people believed that their part of the process was THE most important part of the process.

The reason so little innovative digital work comes out of traditional advertising agencies is not a result of a lack in the development of capabilities, it's that they've never understood and embraced tech/geek culture. The people and sensibilities that live and create within the digital/interactive space were, and still are, seen as production people and not integrated into the "creative process". There are some great lessons to be learned on fostering creativity and managing multi-disciplinary processes from these two articles on Pixar.



The McKinsey Quarterly: Innovation lessons from Pixar: An interview with Oscar-winning director Brad Bird. (You'll need to register to read this but it's a painless process and a good read.)

From The Harvard Business Review: How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity. (This one you'll have to pay for to read or talk to me, I might be able to help you find it.)


8 comments:

kathleen said...

there's a recorded interview with Ed Catmull as well: http://discussionleader.hbsp.com/hbreditors/2008/08/how_pixars_ed_catmull_empowers.html

Thomas Sherman said...

that podcast was released when the article was printed in October. it's a good listen

Kim said...

I like how you're thinking about the creative process.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do creatively is to collaborate. We're creative usually because we spent a lot of time alone, dreaming things up, honing our craft, etc. So when the time comes to share our "vision" or God forbid, be part of someone else's, it's sometimes hard. Invariably though, the very best work always comes from having people around you who add their own sharpened talents to a project. (I say this while wanting to strangle a certain development executive at the moment...)

There's an old saying that a movie is made three times: once when it's written, once when it's in production and then again when it's edited. The director shepherds it through this process but hundreds of people contribute to the final outcome. When done right, it's a beautiful thing.

ANIMIKE said...

That Brad Bird interview only reminds me how poorly I was mentored in my early days of agency life.

Thomas Sherman said...

Collaboration really is an art and a skill unto itself.

Mike. I'm not sure you can call the kind of molestation that occurred at JWT mentoring, but if it helps you sleep....

Thomas Sherman said...

Kathleen could tell you stories about mentoring and collaboration. Some of the people we worked with back at iXL.......

ANIMIKE said...

I can't look past the opportunity I had while working there at that time in my life.

viagra online said...

shoe design, architecture, animation and filmmaking are my favorites areas of study , I would like to be a professional in one of them,!