Have We Created a Monster?


From the not-yet-created How to Be a Good Client files:

How to Avoid Creating a Monster.

Anyone who has done work-for-hire in a creative field has experienced the frustration and humility of having to “Frankenstein” a solution. We try to avoid it by presenting our favorite solution in a certain order—and no matter what we say, we definitely do have favorites—or by trying to crater the one we really, really don’t want to execute. But then it happens; the client says, “I actually like both of them.”

Thus, begins the dissection and reanimation of our work. We’re told how neither “totally gets it,” and which individual elements of one concept work might work better with the elements of another. What you end up with is a twisted platypus. Sure, it works and is unique, but also has pieces that just don’t seem to make any sense.

Take a look at the recent bomb of a film, Suicide Squad. There was SO MUCH promise in this film, and it was based on a revered story with characters so rich with subtext and back-story, this really should have been a homerun. But it wasn’t, and the seeds of its demise appear to have been sown in production.

“If behind-the-scenes accounts are accurate, two versions of the film were shown to viewers in Northern California, and the final product was a mash-up of these,” Movie Pilot reported when actor Jared Leto was heard complaining to fans about the final product. It seems some studio mucky-mucks got nervous when another highly anticipated comic book blockbuster failed at the box office.

“The critical backlash against Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice took Warner Bros. by surprise, and – with Suicide Squad almost completed – the studio panicked.”

Whatever the reasons, the idea of mashing up the bits and pieces of one completed film with another is as fraught with danger as when we do this with a homepage concept. We have to trust our creative partners enough to know that every single element of the concept is there for a reason, and the relationships between those elements are part of what makes the concept work. Pulling them apart risks losing the thread that makes them work.

Don’t do it.


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2 Responses to Have We Created a Monster?

  1. Tom Bennett August 17, 2016 at 2:01 pm #

    Dude, that headline image is magnificent. Great article too.

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