An exceptional concept depends on good process as well as pure inspiration.
One of my favorite shows at Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is Mickey’s PhilharMagic. In the image below, notice the music notes in the background circling around the showcases in the gift shop at the exit from the theater. They’re not random. If you hum them, you will get the opening to Paul Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice – one of the most memorable sights and sounds from Disney’s Fantasia, and the core idea in Mickey’s PhilharMagic.
That’s the magic that “Process Practice” can produce!
Being aware of the design process and knowing what phase the team and the idea are in is a big part of the show producer’s job. You probably aren’t a producer, but all leaders have a role in pulling various people and resources together in creating something – which is the role of a producer.
Inspiration generates ideas, and the process helps to shape efforts in a way to keep the team moving towards a fully developed idea.
It’s time for you to “get” it…
- Get going. Toss a bunch of ideas out. Direction often comes from joyous chaos.
- Get excited. Brainstorm. Dream. Take tangents. Notice where ideas go, what’s cool about them, and incorporate this into the design.
- Get committed. Set up a regular project meeting time, discuss ideas, or just sit and stare at the wall. Ideas will come either way.
- Get doughnuts or cookies and some toys. Brainstorming sessions go better when food or toys are around.
- Get different opinions. Listen to someone else’s point of view and listen for things that improve the design.
- Get confused. Ask yourself hard questions that you can’t answer.
- Get unstuck. Try a different direction. Throw out an impossible action. Debating a wrong answer can help reveal the correct one.
- Get your hands dirty. Build a rough model or stage a reading. You will learn more from this than from any debate, and you’ll learn it in time to fix things.
- Get reactions. Show the idea to others. Listen to what they say, especially if it isn’t what you want to hear.
- Get it on paper. Take everything you’ve learned and write a description of the goals and details of the design. If you write convincingly, you’ve probably got a good idea.
If everyone is comfortable with the process, the team members have the freedom to generate the best ideas for their project.
part of a series of ideas to shape and tone your creative muscles
Inspired and adapted from The Imagineering Workout
Sue Bryan, Senior Show Producer