Innovation Creates Value

Grinding out creativity a few minutes a day

How do you rob a bank? It turns out that the majority of bank robberies are the simple variety.

The robber walks into the bank, hands a note to the teller and walks out with $2,000 (tellers are limited to this amount). The getaway is sometimes as simple as a waiting bicycle. Hollywood doesn’t tell us about these real life crimes. To be entertained we need a good plot. But who creates the plot. Very few bank robberies have inspired films – one the few exceptions might be the Great Train Robbery of 1963, which become a movie but didn’t directly involve a bank. So it appears that real life robberies don’t make for good story. Now daydream with me for a moment. How do we imagine a good plot comes to life. Perhaps you see a screenwriter in the shower, as she reaches for the soap a fresh idea explodes into her mind and a brilliant new script is born.

Then again there is reality. Strangely enough this is a little like bank robbery. Sometimes the process of creating a successful screenplay is just a question of grinding it out, day after day, year after year! In fact I’m talking about three years. Russell Gewirtz was a guy working in Real Estate in New York City. He had never written a screenplay. He had no film experience, he had not been to film school and yet he was fascinated by an idea. Every day he walked from his home to his car passing a disused bank. He wondered what it would take to successfully rob a bank. He considered the building, the windows, the architecture and numerous other aspects of the building but he looked at it from the point of view of how do you get the building to support your project – bank robbery. He thought about other aspects of the crime. How do you get the robbers away from the bank without having the police pursue them. And finally he thought about how do you get the money away from the bank without the police suspecting. The result of his three year conjecture, just a few minutes every day as he walked by the building, was the film Inside Man. The film grossed over $184M in 2006.

If you watch the film and you enjoy it spare it thought for the fact that it wasn’t born in an instant but from a little thought every day for over three years.

Comments on: "Grinding out creativity a few minutes a day" (2)

  1. […] In general people think creative people have blinding flashes of genius – the reality is very different. Most start off with an OK idea …. and then work really (and I mean really!) hard until they improve it ’til its good or come up with a different idea in the process of trying to improve the first. My favourite creative writer stunned me one day when I asked him how he came up with good ideas. He said he schedules an amount of time EVERY day to write something and a minimum target in terms of words. Eventually, he said, I write something decent. The concept is described more eloquently in this blog post: […]

  2. […] Daydreaming is an effective source of ideas as noted in this post. […]

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