Having been a member of several studio teams in the past, I’ve often thought about the best way of managing the work that flows through them, specifically in regards to the people and characters that work in them.
I’ve come to realise that studios are a strange beast, and they often consist of a range of characters that can be highly imbalanced in their procurement.
Due to the subjective nature of the creative world we work in, and how just about any element in this world is treated with a wash of opinion or individuality by people very much into their own ideas, studios are invariably a hotbed of pride and prejudice.
We’ve all been there – ideas debated, methods questioned and placement shifted to the left an insignificant amount, for no real purpose other than to satisfy an ego.
Don’t deny it, it happens and solutions are often thrashed out much to the disappointment of one or more of parties involved.
So how do you solve the age old conundrum of too many cooks?
After witnessing several scenarios and having been a part of many of them, I’m of the opinion that it is down to the careful selection of complimentary talents and characters with delegation to work them together.
A studio is a delicate mix of varied specialties, entwined by an ideal that they are of the same vision.
Much like a sports team wants to win, a studio must be of a like-mind in what it wants to achieve, be that fine work, awards or a larger profit share.
It’s no good having three members that can’t work together or who aren’t flexible. Occasionally, one might have to play out of position, or cover while a colleague is on the sidelines injured.
Likewise, it won’t help if your artworker sees themselves as a designer, or your designer is all about my-ways and highways.
Balance is also important in the hierarchy of a studio and the way it operates;
Is there a point to having 3 creative directors? Of course, if the amount of accounts warrants it, but three for one account? Makes no sense to me. Trust in one and let them have ownership.
Should a ‘creative’ be in charge of process and control of those processes? From my experience, not really. Control of process requires a level head, someone to think literally and make decisions not based on a personal preference. Process is the key to routine and workflow in a studio. Creatives need to concentrate on exactly that.
Who is correct in the application of technique and use of software? Probably nobody – as there are so many different ways of manipulating these modern masterpieces of on screen wonder. But there should at least be a consideration of techniques applied and a decision made as how it is to be done by all in order to make the task and the studio more efficient.
A few examples of situations I have witnessed working in creative environments in the past. I’m not saying that they are right or wrong, different situations work for different studios, but in respects, situations regularly got awkward and moral invariably suffered.
Low moral is never good.
If I can take anything from all these experiences, it would be this:
To achieve quality and efficiency, the members of any studio team have to be willing to work together and support each other for a common aim.
To win any trophy, that is an imperative.