My buddy and I are in the process of writing a script for a film festival. We had already kind of laid the groundwork by coming up with a very basic idea for the movie, but we desperately needed to develop it further. For the past few weeks, we had talked about the movie once face-to-face and a few times through email. We’ve both been really busy with finals, but our efforts to work on the movie were admittedly pretty weak.
After we talked in person the other night, it was obvious that we could have had a script done a long time ago. I know that it’s possible to generate a lot of great ideas online (e.g. Seth’s virtual internship, The Big Think, etc.), but it’s so much more dynamic when you’re bouncing your thoughts off a person a few feet away. All it takes to get a solid free flow of ideas with someone is to be in the same room with them.
The reason I’m writing about something that’s seemingly obvious is because it’s actually not so obvious anymore. I work so much on a computer that I find myself acting like all communication can be done online. But it can’t be done that way a lot of the time. Aside from body language, inflection, volume, and all the other things you need to see and hear to communicate, you also need to feel and develop an energy that’s conducive to creativity in the room. It’s much, much harder to create that type of energy in an exchange of emails.
I know this seems like it contradicts what I said a few days ago. But when you’re generating ideas and really want to move a project along, it’s sometimes necessary to meet in person. The hard part is controlling the group and making sure it stays productive.