Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The mathematics of creativity.

Over the past week or ten days we've had the equivalent of a brain dump from a client.

A couple times daily emails come in with four or five attachments.

Each attachment contains a document that is between five and 20 pages long.

I personally have gotten half a dozen calls telling me how pressing this project is.

It's a three minute video.

180 seconds.

Last night I went to the client with a Roman numeral outline.

The kind we learned to make when I was in 5th grade.

10 years old.

I broke all their information down into seven parts.

An intro, a goodbye, and the five key things they want covered.

In short, I condensed about 200 pages worth of "information" to a short list.

I said to them, "let's look at this like a math puzzle. We have seven things to do in 180 seconds. That's 26 seconds a topic. About as many words as you can get on a 3x5 card writing normally."

They laughed nervously.

Nobody works with 3x5 cards anymore.

We have "endless" sheets of paper because computer pages just keep coming.

I told them that creativity is often a reductive process.

Cutting out everything that doesn't matter.

As Roy Grace once said, "I take out the garbage."

They sat and stared at me.

I now know what a freak in the circus feels like.

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