Finding Success In Failure
You win some, you lose some. That grandfatherly “buck up, kid” cliche is little relief to the creative souls who pour themselves into an ambitious project bid only to hear that they didn’t win the job. 90’s graphics team recently encountered this situation, hitting a home run on a pitch and being kicked off the team anyway.
What can we learn from painful let-downs like these? Once the bruising has healed, quite a lot.
1. Creative Sprints Are Opportunities For Immense Growth
Coming together with a team and aiming high has unexpected results. An attempt to win a bid forces you to aim especially high to compete with the other studios in the running, and generates the momentum and energy necessary to push the team beyond their previous capacities.
Once you’re done, win or lose, you have a new set of skills and a newfound confidence in your capabilities.
2. Pitching For Large Jobs Is A Stress Test For Your Team’s Procedure.
Like other studios, we have certain production guidelines to ensure dependable progress during difficult jobs. Pitches are an excellent opportunity to safely test the strength of those procedures.
One of the areas where this stuck out in particular was our character design and modeling. We executed a series of test designs to pick a style followed by a series of extremely detailed character schematics to make the 3D modeling process go as smoothly as possible. Our process allowed us to go from concept to full fleshed out 3D characters with zero hiccups.
3. The Power Of Complementary Strengths In Teams Is Unbeatable
Larger jobs mean larger teams. Larger teams means the possibility for each person to specialize. The specialization of each team member means the final result is exponentially better. It’s awesome to see how powerful creative teams can be when they get together to cover each other’s weaknesses and enhance each other’s strengths.
4. Rapid Creative Iteration Generates Novel Ideas
Sometimes our creative doubts get the better of us and we ignore the voice that’s telling us to just go for it! Things move so quickly during pitches, you often don’t have time to let unnecessary hesitation to creep in.
As we were fleshing out the end of the piece, we had an idea to put the final scene on a barrel. We had one member of the team take the character models and do a test of the idea and it turned into one of our favorite concepts in the pitch.
5. You Still Get To Share The Work At The End Of The Day
This was a huge undertaking in a very short amount of time.
So we didn’t win the job. Stuff Happens. But we had a blast doing it and made some frames we can be proud of. We’ll take that as its own victory.