“Okay, so our film is going to be about a clothes monster! What do you think?”
I didn’t know what to say. We were 3 hours into SATO48, a film competition where you get 48 hours to create a 5-minute film, and our writers just pitched me a story about a clothes monster.
Let me just give you a peak of what was going through my mind at the time:
“This is a bad idea!”
“Where did they come up with that?”
“How are we going to build a monster?”
“We need to start filming in 3 hours or we won’t be on track!”
“Why didn’t they just stick to the genre that we talked about?”
Before I even heard the rest of their pitch and help them cultivate it, I shut myself off to the idea.
After a bit of debating the logistics, we went with the clothes monster because we were too far into the competition to come up with anything different.
Throughout the whole monster building process, I was secretly hoping they would give up and realize that it wasn’t a good idea. But nevertheless, we persisted until we constructed a monster and shot what turned out to be a pretty great film.
It turned out that my team saw something that I didn’t, and I was actually only hurting their process.
We’ve all sat in a brainstorming meeting that wasn’t going anywhere, and we’ve all been pitched a “clothes monster” idea.
“That idea was dumb, way off base and impossible to execute.”
Then you move on to the next idea.
Before you close yourself off to that “bad” idea, take a second. Maybe someone sees something that you don’t. Ask a few questions, find out why they think it’s a good idea. Look for ways to make that idea even better.
Who knows, that “bad idea” could turn into a really awesome monster movie.