The Complexities of Making Creative Simple

Posted By: Matt Krause

Admittedly, I’m an over thinker. Even while writing this post I’m analyzing every word as I’m writing it. As a creative, I use this process to weed out all the bad ideas so I can get to the good stuff more quickly.

At the start of this year, Korey approached me with an idea for a new animation. We hadn’t launched our website yet and he had a script for a piece that would capture our culture and philosophy.

He told me something I’ve rarely ever heard as a creative. He said, “Here is the script. Now go and animate it any way you want.” I was thrown back; my mind was racing with ideas. How many times, outside of your passion projects, have you been told that? It was both liberating and nerve-wracking.

I hit the ground running. First, I created a mood board of the style I wanted to create. After going over it with Korey and getting that approved, I got to the fun part. I went and found some music, designed the project and animated everything. I was having a blast.

Then the day came when it was finished. I sat down to show it to Korey, and we both seemed to realize something at the same time. The piece as a whole, just didn’t work. Sure it looked cool and there were some fun moments, but overall it didn’t feel like a coherent piece. It’s the same problem Zack Snyder seems to be having with Batman Vs. Superman.

So we went back to the drawing board. The biggest question we had to answer was what impression do we want to leave the viewer with? That’s when we realized what needed to happen; we needed to convey our main mantra. We make creative. Simple.

As you can guess, the next round was a hit. It conveys a simple vibe, yet in each moment there are subtle complexities.

Failure can be a real downer, but I’m a strong believer in failing with a purpose. It drove me to push myself the second time around to create something I didn’t know was in me.

This attention to the final product is what you’ll find a lot at 1820 Productions. That’s not to say we usually take several stabs at getting something right. In fact, we place a lot of weight on nailing things the first time. But every piece we create represents hours of thought and creative calibration. It’s all the hard work that makes something simply amazing.

Check out our finished piece to see what I mean.