It’s a tough call, let things go and rest up, or fight through it and show up at work sick. Never been very good at balancing that one out. So, the control freak in you just doesn’t want to surrender. There’s projects piled up, there’s deadlines backing up, there’s calls, emails, meetings and updates. Take yourself out of that for a few days and it’s a disaster waiting for your return.
So how do you get well? Not the stay home and sleep sort. Not good at taking time off, any suggestions?
How do you shut out the world?
I play poker. It’s the one thing that I can always count on to take me away from reality for a bit. Once you’re at the table, your focus completely changes. I’m not thinking about work, I’m thinking about my cards. I’m not anticipating the next issue, I’m anticipating the next card. Not stressed about results, just calculating odds. Not reading clients, reading the player I’m up against.
It may be my only real drug of choice left, but I’m not ready to go without!
Rough cuts are terrifying.
There, I said it. And it’s true. Makes no difference how hard you try to explain. Makes no matter how many caveats you apply. There’s no way to avoid the inevitable disappointment, disbelief, and disaster that accompanies seemingly every rough-cut presentation.
Take a deep breath, think about what you’re looking at, and put in context. There’s no real analogy that compares. When you build a house, and the foundation is in and framed, it’s hard to get upset because the furniture is arranged wrong, or the color of the walls is off. THERE ARE NO FUCKING WALLS YET. See? It’s a rough cut? It’s just an early stage construction phase. It’s just the building blocks put in place to meet the final design. IT’S NOT DONE YET.
No, that’s not the real voice over talent, it’s the editor setting the pace. No, those aren’t final graphics, they are temps to fill space. Uhuh, not the composed music, it’s needle drop. Disclaimers? Nope, not in yet. Page turns? Yeah, those are going once we have transitional elements approved. I know, the colors aren’t perfect, I don’t have coverage for all the scenes, and NO I’M NOT LEAVING THAT BLANK, WE JUST DON’T HAVE THE INTERSTITIALS CUT YET.
It makes you want to jump.
To pre-viz, or not? You think rough cut lady was bad, wait til you present a pre-viz to a demanding client. The idea is great. Use found objects and thumbnails, supplemented by rough performances by a stand in to take a look at your creative before you shoot.
But what really happens is a pig fuck. It’s ugly, it’s raw, and it’s not easy to follow. For those involved in the development it can help identify strengths and weaknesses in the production. For those paying for it, it’s a train wreck. It’s so counterproductive, it can sink the execution before you even shoot.
Stick to the boards, pre viz is hell.
No Pressure, This Just Has To Work
My favorite words to hear at the beginning of a project. Good thing too, seems to be the most popular phrase at a DR launch. I know, “We need to achieve target ROI for this campaign, or it goes away forever.”
Feels like pressure sometimes more then others. I know it’s impossible to make every campaign successful. There’s no real 100% roll-out record. But there are still times when you really know the heat is on. For me this is most obvious with entrepreneurs/start ups, particularly when the product owner has their own skin in the game. Isn’t that when the responsibility is the heaviest? When an incredibly eager believer has commit his/her own fortune and future to the success of the campaign, and they’re looking to you to make it work, or they bust. How do you manage that? How do you temper those expectations?
In success those are the biggest wins as well. When you get to see that start-up, that inventor, benefit from their success. When you get to help them bring their vision to market, and feel like you’ve actually contributed something beyond the latest campaign to sell the same shit you’ve sold for the last 20 years.
I’ve heard those words a few times already this month. Got to wait ‘til January to see if we come through again, or if this time there’s body parts left on the side of the road.