When Collaboration kills Creativity

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Old 03 March 2013   #1
When Collaboration kills Creativity

I just saw this interesting video that discusses collaboration/creativity. Since a lot of it has to do with the nature of our work, I thought I'd share. What are you're thoughts? On a light note, I keep thinking of episodes of The Office... But more seriously, are too many people destructive to a cg project?

http://www.wimp.com/whencollaboration/
 
Old 03 March 2013   #2
I think the end of his piece says it best - everything in moderation.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #3
Weird vid. We work better alone. On no wait we work better with the right individuals?
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Old 03 March 2013   #4
Originally Posted by Kanga: we work better with the right individuals.


Changed question mark to period for the fix.

You can never have too many "right individuals". Personally I think collaboration is great with the right people. You see a different perspective just from 2 or 3 of your team members critiquing something.

You all share the story that you're working with. And if the writer is clear about where it's supposed to go, then you all know the plot-goal. Getting there is where the creativity is and I honestly can see that it is important you have the people who can say "No" to your worst ideas.
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Old 03 March 2013   #5
Hmm I agree that collaboration is the way to go. The question mark was in reference to the point of the video. There wasn't much there that isn't common sense.
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Old 03 March 2013   #6
Having tried to do a couple collaborative projects (including starting a business) and failed each time, I'd say that the single thing that killed the creative process each time was the lack of a creative director. Each attempt I've been a part of thus far had a structure where the creative input and direction was governed by committee, and the problem with that is it makes deciding on a clear direction for the project nearly impossible. Everyone may have good ideas, but if everyone must decide together, it takes more time and often people's emotions get in the way.

I think collaborations work well when one of the members has the larger vision for the project and makes the final decisions. You can still have plenty of room for creative input, but someone has to make the call otherwise projects end up stagnant.
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Old 03 March 2013   #7
Originally Posted by grantmoore3d: I think collaborations work well when one of the members has the larger vision for the project and makes the final decisions. You can still have plenty of room for creative input, but someone has to make the call otherwise projects end up stagnant.


AND this person needs to be aware for when others in the group have a BETTER idea on the day.

When you're in a good group, a lot of you guys are pretty smart, there is no monopoly of Creative Vision possible or you'll limit the value of others' talent.
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Old 03 March 2013   #8
Originally Posted by grantmoore3d: I think collaborations work well when one of the members has the larger vision for the project and makes the final decisions. You can still have plenty of room for creative input, but someone has to make the call otherwise projects end up stagnant.


This.
You just need someone to take the lead and make quick final decisions. Otherwise you're stuck in endless meetings and changes. A good director/team leader is key for collaborative projects.
There can be exceptions of course, some dedicated group of friends who share the exact same vision might work perfectly fine without a leader, but in general it's safer not to work this way.
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Old 03 March 2013   #9
I think collaboration can only work with a solid leader. Didn't someone post that article about James Cameron working at Pinewood in another thread?

In Japan this ide surfaces best. When I interviewed a producer of Afro Samurai, he once said that in Japan it is understood that the director is god, and you may go to him with a cool sci-fi project, but if he comes back with a film about World War Ii dog fighting, that's what you get. A very big difference from when I worked on, say, House on haunted Hill II and we had about seven different producers coming in daily to change things to fit their vision. I never saw the director.
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Old 03 March 2013   #10
This is the one thing that schools don't understand when forcing students to work in groups. Ultimately it will dissolve unless there's one person in charge of the project.

Without the hierarchy and with mostly random people grouped together it's a fucking mess every time.
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Old 03 March 2013   #11
I don't really think it's an issue of needing a "Good Leader" as much as there's a need to have a communication supervisor and if/when communications break down stiff penalties will ensue and like in a real job the person that's not communicating or is slacking is put in jeopardy in some way.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #12
Originally Posted by PhilipeaNguyen: I don't really think it's an issue of needing a "Good Leader" as much as there's a need to have a communication supervisor and if/when communications break down stiff penalties will ensue and like in a real job the person that's not communicating or is slacking is put in jeopardy in some way.


Isn't that kind of what a "Good Leader" does?
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Old 03 March 2013   #13
Originally Posted by teruchan: I think collaboration can only work with a solid leader. Didn't someone post that article about James Cameron working at Pinewood in another thread?

In Japan this ide surfaces best. When I interviewed a producer of Afro Samurai, he once said that in Japan it is understood that the director is god, and you may go to him with a cool sci-fi project, but if he comes back with a film about World War Ii dog fighting, that's what you get. A very big difference from when I worked on, say, House on haunted Hill II and we had about seven different producers coming in daily to change things to fit their vision. I never saw the director.



Personally I dont buy the director as auteur theory. Cameron might be or was a good action director and creative but he is a terrible writer and Pinewood did well when it was servicing British films (with tea breaks) through the 50s and 60s. The Pinewood story just made Cameron look like a type A personality ahole.

One of the most famous "director is god" films was Myra Breckinridge where it was a complete disaster because the director had total control and the producers didnt reign him in.
No studio input and the Godfather would have turned out like the Cotton Club.

Mask of Zorro had a lot of hands on it but somehow worked out very well.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #14
I think you guys have left something important out too and that's Planning. Before any collaboration even takes place a lot of pre production should be made. I don't think that you can manage a team without first knowing your "vision". Before forming a team in the first place, you need to know what you want, I don't think it's a good idea to ask someone "oh lets create something together, how about a sci-fi themed idea" .... etc.

I also feel it can be problematic to come up with an idea together. There will be conflicting ideas in the direction of concept if there's a disagreement.
 
Old 03 March 2013   #15
Originally Posted by DanHibiki: This is the one thing that schools don't understand when forcing students to work in groups. Ultimately it will dissolve unless there's one person in charge of the project.

Without the hierarchy and with mostly random people grouped together it's a fucking mess every time.


Been there in many fashions from school to outside group settings for creative presentations, etc. I took some university classes a while back where the prof let everyone randomly get together for a group project, and since no one had a sense of ownership it seemed a little diluted, they rode the coattails of everyone else.

I had also, at one time, worked on some tv pilots when reality tv first hit big time and money was easy to greenlight a smaller budget show. The producer had his inhouse staff brainstorm for show ideas and it was hilarious. Nothing solid, with no coherant direction, just a proven cookie cutter concept. Needless to say it didn't do well by hiring a director last minute.

Yet the things that I find most interesting are the projects that have a tight grip of control. They stem from crazy megalomaniacs. And the CG avenue makes this possible to have a singular vision unlike anything before.

(Ok I take that back a bit--Novels as an exception, but we're talkin' visual, folks!)
 
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