Saturday, June 20, 2009

Guerilla Learning, Part 2

A couple of pics of me editing.

As promised, here's the second part of what I learned from participating in the i48 film festival. First, and most significant, there are so many creative people out there that are so good at creating--since most creative endeavors are done alone, it amazed me how many people in a small city appeared and made films start to finish in 48 hours. 60 teams! And how well creative people could work together, as so many of us work alone. Plus, I discovered that working with others meant that the creativity increased exponentially. Instead of blocking ideas, ideas flowed, building one upon another. Fabulous.

Second, working to an incredibly intense deadline showed how to focus and get-it-done. Make the decisions and move forward. Don't hesitate. Don't second guess. Go with the first gut impulse. It worked. Could it have been a better film if we'd had more time? Yeah, probably, but the surprising thing is, just not that much better. What did that teach me? It's not necessary to edit and re-edit, re-think and re-do most of the time. Sometimes the first draft is the best. Surprising, huh?

What do you think? Have you ever worked creatively in a group? What was your experience? How about working to deadline? Or letting your first draft be your last?!


Dave King said...

I can tell you enjoyed every moment, which means you would have profited from every moment. I think all deadlines have that effect to some extent, but I agree that film (or as in my case video) have it exceptionally. Thanks for taking me back down memory lane. I was with you every step of the way.

Swubird said...


I have worked in a group, both in college and on the job.

The college group was typical: get everybody together, brainstorm, divide the work, complete the individual tasks and write the final report. It was like working with a group of cats. Nobody wanted to do anything except, of course, give advice.

When I worked full time, I did a lot of public speaking. Sometimes it was a team effort and, occasionally I had to split up the presentation into sections and bring in other speakers to give those sections. I found that when I organized the thing, it went well, but when someone else was the boss, I had a lot of difficulty. I am one of those hands-on guys who can't just sit back and let someone else drive. I have to get in the way.

I have also split up large writing jobs. But it was the same problem. I spent a lot of time coordinating the work and making sure that the boundary lines were transparent to the reader. Tough. Tiring. Lengthy.

In a few months I will be getting together with a friend who produces short video clips. That should be a new experience, because he will be in the driver's seat.

Great post.

Happy trails.

Kathy McIntosh said...

Swu's comment reminded me of a team project in school. Definitely proved the value of having different personalities on a project: a creative thinker (we all knew that we were that one); an organizer ("not me, not me"); a detail person; a shirker (someone to cause the rest of us to unite and just get it done so we could gripe about him).

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like you had a great time despite the deadline. Deadlines do make me focus and keep moving forward. A deadline can be a great motivator!

Straight From Hel

Conda Douglas said...

Thanks, Dave--and it just goes to prove that every creative endeavor, even when massive amounts of work, is fun!

Conda Douglas said...

Swu, it sounds like you're a born director!

Conda Douglas said...

I'd forgotten the importance of a shirker, Kathy. Great word and they do help everybody work harder. We didn't have any shirkers on our film, they don't sign on.

Conda Douglas said...

I love deadlines, Helen, for that very reason of I have to get it done!

Lynda Lehmann said...

Conda, I'm like Swu in that I like to be in the driver's seat. But if someone is very competent and I can see that, I will yield and be a team-player. Not so if the other person(s) involved are just in love with their own voices and in a power-play.

I paint with the most marvelous, mature, nice, and mutually-reinforcing group of people at our art league, and we are consistently positive with each other. That's my only real-time group experience going on in my present life, though I have left it for the summer. But I must sing their praises and state how grateful I am to be part of that group.

I'm glad you are sharing your experience with us--it's good food for thought.

Conda Douglas said...

You are indeed fortunate, Lynda, just as I was with the great group I did the film with. Also, I believe it's the sign of a true leader to yield to another if that person is better for that particular job!