8 ways showing your creative process will benefit you


Bold statement coming up!

Transparency will revolutionise the entertainment industry

It’s becoming increasingly popular to share the unfinished, raw, not-yet-awesome-looking media.

#ShareYourProcess, #WIP #MakingOf hashtags are blooming. And for good reason! The age of the black box where a production unearths from nothing, accelerates from 0 to 100 in a split second, is over. Instead we will see a period of creators sharing in-production material from films, games and all other digital media production — from the early idea over development to polishing the final bits before releasing. We’ve seen it in tech and in beta-versions of games.

Now is the time for entertainment to follow.

Below you can read what I believe you can gain from sharing your process. And concrete advice on how to start today.

Fifty ways to leave your cover

1. Create user engagement. Try share more imperfect, processual material from your project and get people excited from being part of your journey. Make it their journey as well.

Go ahead: Post 3–4 sketches of the same project from different stages on Instagram — it doesn’t have to take time away from your (I know) busy pipeline. You will be overwhelmed with how positively your fans responds.

2. Show goodwill to your fans. Show fans that they matter, and that you want to include them in what you are doing, granting them value now instead of later.

Go ahead: Why not show a teaser now? You want to build momentum? Believe me, unless you’re the next Marvel blockbuster, you’re a drop in a thick and fast stream of news. You’re better off showing your fans that you’re actively building something for them.

3. Get feedback. By opening up you suddenly have the possibility of improving your work by allowing your fans to pitch in.

Go ahead: Post an artwork piece that relates to what you’re discussing internally and ask them what they think you should do. Should the main character look like this? Or like this?

4. Transparency humanises. It gives your company not just a face but the actual faces of the actual people who work on the project. Real life is the new black (or orange?). Your audience/target group/big-data-graph-dots on your screen are humans just like you and I. Kickstarter and Buffer showed the way, now it’s your turn.

Go ahead: Write a short blogpost on where you are in your process, take a few pictures of the team and tell about your current struggles.

5. Alternative distribution and monetisation models. What so many startups already realised is, that this isn’t some kind of hippie movement, but a good way of doing business. Taking the time to show the process is not a waste of money; if done correctly it will rather generate a much stronger brand where you utilise the unused resource that all your production material too often ends up becoming.

Go ahead: Think about how you can make a business of your process and not just the final product.

6. Decentralise knowledge and create a better and stronger creative industry. Let good practices flow to your peers, fans and colleagues and see it come back threefold soon enough. Open Innovation has flourished since the rise of digital crowdsourcing platforms — open up your problems and knowledge for the crowd and get much better solutions than you could ever produce in-house. Do you want to patent and sit tight on your idea? You’re missing out on a world of opportunities and will see yourself run over by those sharing.

Go ahead: Take your most precious idea and set it free. Now nourish it in collaboration with others and see it take off. Bam, it grows much faster.

7. Imperfection. We can agree that there is a distorted view on beauty, which hurts young people more than anyone. Showing imperfection can help this situation. The same is true for film and game productions. Why not show students and everyone aspiring to further their skills, that perfection is an illusion. And that the beautiful artworks we see on the screen, started out as flawed sketches.

Go ahead: Create a simple progression video from an early sketch to the final scene.

8. Escape isolation. Your head is filled up with the project you’re working on. How long again have you been working on this? Get in contact with your surroundings and let other sets of eyes help drive those clouds away and give you comfort.

Go ahead: Show what you’re working on to friends and family. Like a secret, just by saying it out loud, it won’t feel as heavy.

How do you benefit from your creative process? Leave a comment and let others be inspired.

PS. 8 people gave feedback during the process of writing this article.