I love the creative process. In fact, I am enamored with it. I love to hone my own and hear about other's process. This week, I thought I would share a little about the creative process behind a production piece developed for this year's Century Leadership Conference.
We had been working on initial creative planning for a little over 4 months before trying to develop the final ideas. During this time, I scoured the interwebs for inspiration, ideas, moods, colors; whatever I thought might be useful. In the middle of February, Josh (our Graphic Designer) and I sat down with Century Leadership Director, Darren Pilcher. During this meeting, we developed the complete visual theme as well as spoken and unspoken themes that would run throughout the conference. When it was all said and done, Darren approved initial stage designs, colors, environments and phrases or themes that would be used. At this point, it was time to get to work.
Within a week of our meeting with Darren, Josh and I spent an entire day planning the creative elements needed, and developing the stories within each one. It is not uncommon for us to venture out of the office for these creative planning meetings, so we spent the day in Guthrie, Oklahoma, at Hoboken Coffee Roasters. These days consist of developing ideas, thinking big, scaling down, research and hopefully, a plan of action when the day is done.
I have become a fan of scribbling notes and ideas during these meetings. I find when I sit at a computer I tend to self-edit as I go, making it difficult to keep ideas flowing. I am also a big sketcher, doodler and box drawer, which is a little difficult on a laptop.
One of the "biggest" creative elements that was to take place was the opener for our evening session. Generally speaking, this is the element that will receive the most focus, work and complexity. Our theme for the night was, "Press On to a Life of Significance." With this in mind, we knew we wanted to tell a story of someone realizing their life had meaning. As Josh and I began talking, it seemed natural to see a person struggle with their existence and seek the worth of their life. As the story developed, we soon found we ourselves wanting to tell the story of two people; a male and a female.
At this point, the medium in which we were to tell the story was discussed. It seemed natural, for me, to want to produce these stories via video. I also had another idea, that came from things I had seen while researching months earlier. The idea was Dueling Pianos.
Instagram is a wonderful tool for inspiration. Hillsong Church posted this photo on their feed, and I instantly knew I wanted to use the idea of Dueling Pianos! To this day, I have no idea how Hillsong used them, I just knew I loved the idea. Suddenly, this story seemed like a possible avenue to use them.
As I proposed the concept to Josh, he seemed to quickly gravitate towards it. The idea was to have a man and a woman, facing each other, playing upright pianos. When the male would play and sing, the male's story in the video would be told, and vice versa for the female character. As the story evolved, we would see the male and female at the pianos begin to play and sing together. Josh and I were stoked!
The next question was, what song to sing?
While scouring one of our favorite music resources, Spotify, we found several viable candidates. One, however, seemed to stick out to both Josh and I. The song was, "Reason to Sing," by All Sons & Daughters. They are a wonderful worship group with honest songs. The perfect fit for a hopefully honest video.
As the story developed, Josh and I became more and more excited, which is a good sign for a creative.
We knew we had found what we were looking for, now it was time to produce it...
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