How to Make Something Awesome: Lessons on the Creative Process
I posted this 3 months ago at the Origin Design and Communications’ blog, but I’m still marinating in this easy 5 step process on how to make something awesome, as gleaned for a feature I wrote for SBC Skier from a one-on-one with Sherpas Cinema’s Dave Mossop.
1. Don’t be afraid of a big idea.
Creating a ski film with a theme has been one of the hugest challenges of my life. The chapters and segments in All.I.Can are loosely based on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs – his theory provides quite a palatable explanation of the building blocks and stages necessary for a person to reach “self-actualization” or reach their full potential. In the case of our environment, we are interested in humanity as a whole reaching actualization, and in turn, a balanced sustainable existence.
2. Commit yourself, boldly and publicly.
Dropping the trailer for All.I.Can last summer was kind of like Evil Knievel holding a press conference and saying, “Next year, I’m going to jump 150 cars in my underwear”. Half a million people have seen it. It’s being studied in film school. It’s a piece of art, in and of itself. But it’s also a promise and a contract with 500,000 people, to deliver. You can’t get more accountable than that.
It’s been the most intense year of my life, and though I signed up for this epic quest, I never dreamed there would be such an enormous following. It’s awesome, but yes, the pressure can often be overwhelming – we are just regular dudes after all.
3. Give yourself a deadline. That you must meet. Or suffer public humiliation.
4. Trust your obsessions. (That would be time–lapse, I’m guessing?)
5. Make the process as fun as possible. Explore a question you are passionate and curious about. Take the dream trips for your research and shooting. Work with people you love and admire and have a blast hanging out with.
Single best moment of the past 2 years? That’s impossible to say, but my birthday party at 10,000ft on the Freshfields Icefields pops to mind. Next day, not so much.
6. Be disciplined and dig in for the hard yards.
And perspiration looks like this:
Mitchell Scott, (June 13): So how many hours of work left until we get to that day, September 23?
Dave Mossop: Whatever the days are between now and then, times 24 hours a day, plus about 300 hours, that we’ll manage to squeeze in there somehow.