No Mercy for Your Own Creations

October 1, 2013 — Leave a comment

No Mercy

When I was in college my video production professor had a saying

“Murder your own children”

No, he didn’t mean actual children. He was talking about our creations that become like our children.

It makes sense. Think about your last project.

  • You may have spent hours brainstorming, coming up with the core idea.
  • Then you went through the possibilities. Is this idea really plausible?
  • Once you had your idea set. If it’s a video you probably spent time scouting your location. It it’s a song you thought about what instruments to play. Depends on the craft.
  • Then you throw yourself into production.
  • You watch/listen to your creations and they don’t really seem to measure up with the standard that you initially had for it.
  • Then think about all the hours that you spent making this creation. Your creations are your children after all. That baby came out of you.

Since we think of creations as our children, it’s hard for us to admit they’re not measuring up. You’ve grown affectionate of them.

But for creative types it’s essential to recognize a part that needs to be cut out, regardless of who’s the originator of the original idea. Regardless of the hours it took you to get that perfect shot. Sure, there are sometimes when you can’t get away with that, but more often than not you will.

My professor in college had a very interesting activity for one of our classes. The activity consisted on letting another student edit someone else’s footage. Some crazy stuff would come out of it because the editor didn’t come to the footage with the same eyes as the person who shot it.

That super cool shot that took forever to get to perfection was cut out because it didn’t really work on the story the editor had in mind. Why? It was not that the editor was a cruel being who didn’t care, he just had more objective eyes. He saw the product for what it was worth, and he had to make the overall story work.

Next time you’r working on a project dear to your heart beware. These predicaments will show up. You will sacrifice effectiveness in telling a story for affection to the elements that might not fit well.

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Danny De los Reyes

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Media Director at Northplace Church in Sachse, TX. I make stuff up... videos & animations usually. I am a happy husband, a daddy to a beautiful little girl. I'm a fan of coffee, arts, sports, social media, social justice and good times with friends.