Creativity Under Pressure Will Often Yield A Diamond

It was about 11 am on a Friday afternoon, November 23, 2009. Me, Tasra (my wife), my daughter, and a production assistant had been waiting in the parking lot of the apartment complex for about an hour. Today was the day we were scheduled to shoot the third part of a 3-part film series for our client Pictage. The film series was to be used in the CEO‘s opening Keynote for their annual PartnerConference to be held in New Orleans. The theme was “Dream, Create, and Inspire.” This was to be the Inspire film. It was going to be a mini-documentary about someone who had a hard past, but was making a go at turning his/her life around. But he/she didn’t show up. I called and left numerous messages to no avail. I was getting a little freaked. You see, all three films were due to Pictage by the following Thursday, and as of this day, I only had footage for the Create film shot. I was still kind of up in the air about what to do for the Dream video. Due to some technical issues with the hotel, my original idea had to be scrapped (let’s just say it involved smoke machines, lasers, three big screens, and 5.1 surround sound). This Inspire film was going to be the piece de resistance. The grand finale. The linchpin. The film that would carry the whole series. And my main subject was AWOL.


This is a case study on how when under great pressure, creativity can actually be heightened and you may find yourself making some of your best work. Art is funny that way. How many times have you been stressed, rushed, or put under some kind of strain to finish a project, then found yourself excelling beyond what even you expected. My theory is that in such circumstances, when you don’t have time to dissect an idea to death, you’re forced to go with your gut instincts, and your instincts are often times right. Sometimes we as artists can over-think a thing; especially if you’re also a perfectionist. However, like Luke had to do with the Force, sometimes you just have to give in to your instinct and pull the trigger already.


This is what happened for me and my family-turned-film crew last November. On the drive back home from the apartment complex, we started thinking about what in the world we would do to replace the documentary idea. My daughter is an aspiring singer/song writer. She has big dreams. So I threw out the idea of putting her in the film. What if she were in a dream where she heard music playing. Then, when she found the source of the music, it turns out to be a future version of herself playing a song she was yet to write (just gives you goose pimples, don’t it?) She already had written a real song that would be perfect. We still had time in the day to get home, dress her up, and shoot all the scenes on the fly. No script. Just shoot what ever seemed to make sense. Creating the “story” together as we went along.

Then we took it one step further: what if we worked this storyline through all three films. She dreams the song in the first film. We see her writing the song (now awake) in the second film, the Create themed one; then we actually hear her sing it in the third Inspire film. THAT’S IT!


So, here you have part 1 of the 3-part “Dream, Create and Inspire” film series. The films are also being premiered on Pictage’s new inspirational respite As the films roll out there, I’ll share with you some behind the scenes stories. And definitely take a look at Pictage’s Inspire site. It truly lives up to it’s name. Enjoy!

What does the word “dream” mean to you?

Here’s the trailer for all three films.

4 thoughts on “Creativity Under Pressure Will Often Yield A Diamond

  1. Killer job Ron and crew. I couldn't agree more, when you sit there and think about creating, it usually doesn't happen (at least for me). But when your mind is elsewhere, when you're under pressure, when you're NOT thinking about it, that's when the juices start flowing. I always am jealous of kids and how they can daydream, occasionally I get there myself. It's the action after those daydreams that make us an artist. I really enjoyed that piece, thanks.

  2. Thanks Daniel. And that's a great point about kids. We as artists can learnso much from them. They're unhindered and unafraid to break rules and coloroutside the lines. We often are our biggest obstacles to success.

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