Google wrote about what they consider to be “The Eight Pillars of Innovation”. They reflect my experience when I worked there. I’ll leave it to you to deep-dive into the article, but The Eight Pillars are (with comments in parentheses):
- Have a Mission That Matters – (great startup advice, but for filmmaking, ambition can work against creating an emotional experience for the audience.)
- Think Big But Start Small – (big-companies especially need to hear this. Artists are of course by necessity used to starting small.)
- Strict for Continual Innovation, Not Instant Perfection – (on the other hand, Apple prefers to hold products back until they are perfect at launch.)
- Look for Ideas Everywhere – (yes, however films can benefit from a singular guru who sift through innumerable production ideas in pursuit of a clear vision.)
- Share Everything – (I’ve often heard comedy writers talk about how they learned this on the improv stage.)
- Spark with Imagination, Fuel with Data – (another way of saying is be prepared for many creative ideas to be rejected by reality.)
- Be a Platform – (creativity doesn’t mean you have to reinvent everything. Superhero and zombie concepts are simply platforms. What you create upon them can be wonderful.)
- Never Fail to Fail – (yes, but in order to fail frequently, you need to be capable of a high volume of output. You don’t want to be creatively spent when an idea is rejected and you have to start over.)
I find Google’s Eight Pillars too complicated, so I invented JP’s 2 Pillars of Coming Up With Original Stuff:
- Time – The longer you work on the idea, the farther down the road you can go. Time lets you travel beyond the Trope and the Obvious and discover new creative lands.
- Concentration – If the phone buzzes, the pressure of a deadline weighs upon your soul, or even if you’re just plain hungry, your mind is less free to explore.