Saturday, December 31, 2016

A dance on the precipice...........

     Now, some might say it was easy to cede creative control when you have someone like John Lasseter on your team.  But in my experience it is never easy.  And it was certainly never easy for Pixar.  Every one of Pixar's films went through a series of hair-raising creative crises that repeatedly tested out decision.  Creative excellence is a dance on the precipice of failure, a battle against the allure of safety.  There are no shortcuts, no formulas, no well-worn paths to victory.  It tests you constantly.
     But I felt really proud of our decision.  We had chosen to truly empower talent, to send a signal to Pixar's creative leaders that we trusted them.  I cannot say this approach would be right for every company.  But I can say that whether you are making bottled water, mobile games, or computer chips, the decision of who has control over the creative elements is among the most important any team will make.  Fear and ego conspire to rein in creativity, and it is easy to allow creative inspiration to take a back seat to safety.  It is one thing to cite the adage "Story is king."  It is another thing entirely to live by it.

-Lawrence Levy, as extracted from To Pixar And Beyond:  My Unlikely Journey With Steve Jobs To Make Entertainment History

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