I know these kinetic type treatments are a tired execution. But Ira Glass’s wisdom is truthful and timeless. Enjoy.
(If you don’t know who Ira Glass is, you are missing the best thing on public radio.)
I was a communications major as an undergrad. (Later, I heard that described as a major in nothing, which is fairly accurate.)
I used to make short videos that I’d show on campus and at local theaters. Some were good. Lots were awful. One won “Best Student” at an obscure film festival. But only because it was uncontested.
Here’s one of my favorites…
I’m sharing this 15-year-old film for a couple reasons: First, it’s the holidays. And second, it shows how bad my stuff really was. (Even though I thought it was great at the time.) Even the audio quality is poor. I hadn’t learned technical phrases like, “mixing,” “overdubbing,” or “turn the volume down.”
Ira Glass says if you want to be creative
, you’ve got to be willing to do really bad work for a long time. Here are two things I think anyone in portfolio school should be doing:
1. You’ve got to experiment. As you can probably tell, this video was strung together from a bunch of unrelated footage. I wasn’t trying to make anything brilliant. I was just having fun.
2. You’ve also got to get as many eyes on your work as possible. When I finished any of these videos, I’d submit them a monthly screening. No matter how bad they were. I didn’t mind people merciless judging them it, because I could always walk away and do something better.
If you listen to NPR, you probably heard some of their Alec Baldwin spots during their most recent pledge drive. The spots were written and produced by Ira Glass. They don’t time out to clean a :30 or :60. But they’re still pretty good examples of announcer-driven radio. To hear them, click here.
“Don’t Give” is my favorite.
One of the greatest storytellers on the planet talks about what it takes to do creative work. Thanks to Kevin for his original post.
“I wish someone had told me that if you want to do creative work, it is going to be bad for a long, long time. For a long, long time before it’s going to be good. You should come to peace with that. When I speak to student groups, I’ll replay stories that I did when I was 25, 26 years old. It’s so bad, you can’t even tell what I’m trying to say.”
(True or false?)