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John Lasseter’s 7 Creative Principles Of Animation

  1. Never come up with just One Idea.
  2. Remember the First Laugh.
  3. Quality is great Business Plan.
  4. Its all about The Team.
  5. Fun invokes Creativity not Competition!
  6. Creative output always reflects The Person at The Top.
  7. Surround Yourself with Creative People You Trust!

1.Never come up with just One Idea.

i)   Regardless of whether you want to write a book, design a piece of furniture or make can Animated Movie :

At the beginning don’t start with one Idea , It should be THREE.

ii)   The reason is simple , if producer comes to me with proposal for a new project , then usually he has thought over this particular idea for a long time , THAT LIMITS HIM.

iii)   My answer is always , “ Come again when you’ve three ideas  and don’t mean one good and two bad. I want three really good ideas, out of which you can not decide the best one – You Must able to Defend All The Three.

Then we will decide which one you’ll realize.

iv)  Creative people, often focus their whole attention on one idea. So right at the beginning of a project , they unnecessarily limit their options.

v)  Every creative person should try that out. You will be surprised how this reauirement suddenly forces you to think you hadn’t even considered before.

vi) Through this detachment you suddenly gain the new perspectives. And believe me there are always , three Good Ideas at least.

2.Remember the First laugh:

i) A big problem in the creative process is related to enhancement of your ideas.

Revising, Retouching, Refining is very important, but it carries a danger.

ii) If you have a story,a joke,  a thought,  which you write down , it losses its effect over the time, it wears itself out.

iii)   When you here a joke for second time you will still laugh heartily, on the third or forth occasion already less so and when you hear it the 100th time, you hate it.

iv)  I say to my writers ‘Take the notice of the first laugh write it down if necessary’. At time it may be bothersome but its important.

v)   Many times, good things got lost because people could not remember anymore how it felt when they heard the idea to the first time.

3.Quality is good Business Plan, Period

i) There is Crucial Rule :

No compromises , No compromises on Quality- Regardless of the production constraints , cost constraints or deadline.

ii) If you get better idea and this means that you have to start from scratch again ,

then THAT’S WHAT YOU”VE TO DO!

iii) In any creative Industry, Quality is the sole business plan that prevails in the long run. Many managers fail to understand that but the Audience understands it.

iv) The process is only finished once the creative professional in charge says its finished. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t any pressure – there is pressure all the time anyway – but the individual creator always needs to have the last word.

4.Its all about The Team:

i)  One of the most popular question is always whether groups are creative than individual , My answer is : In most cases, its Team – provided you follow certain rules.

ii)   As a manager, it is my task to abolish the hierarchies. It doesn’t  matter at all who has the idea; that’s very important rule for us.

iii)  The group must be honest, direct and endeavor to sincerely help the creative individual. But the in the end nothing that group says is binding.

5.     Fun invokes Creativity not Competition;

i)  There is this idea that you put two people, who cannot stand each other, into room , hoping that all this negative energy leads to a creative result.

I disagree , Co-operation , Confidence and fun that is the way creative people must believe that all others support them in making a great movie.

ii) They  need to believe that all people involved understand what they are talking about .

iii)  Creative people are easily get bored, moody, a bit difficult to handle, You have to make it fun for them ,care for them.

iv)  Creative people only produce really good work if you creatively challenged them. They have to like what they are working on. They have to be damn proud of the fact that they’re part of the particular project. That is again manager’s task . Each time you to give them creative challenges , that’s difficult , but nobody said ti was easy to lead creative people.

6.      Creative output always reflects The Person Top:

i)  Poor managers harm creative process. Laughter , being Crazy , freaking  out , being silly are Hard Work.

ii)   A manages who spreads his bad mood and who forbids his employees to have fun impairs the creativity and thus harms the enterprise. I would fire him.  I can not risk so much money just because the manager is indulging in his bad mood harm my business.

7.Surround yourself with Creative People You Trust:

i)   Bring only those new members into your creative team whom you consider to be at least as talented as you  .  If they are also pleasant and good natured even better.

ii) Most managers don’t follow this approach, as they are insecure . Insecurity and do not get along with each other well. Most managers surround themselves with Yes Men, as result audience get bad  movies.

Collected from www.animationmagazine.net (Feb 2009 school guide)

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9 Comments

  1. Richard Sibley
    September 4, 2009 at 4:11 am #

    7i. The manager of a professional sports team manages some athletes who are paid a higher salary than he/she gets. In fact, they are probably more valuable to the organization.
    Question: who is the most important person in a school?
    Answer: the student(s); without them, everyone else might as well pack up and go home.
    Q: Who is the most important person on a sports team?
    A: The player(s).

    Now it gets tricky.

    Q: Who is the most important person on a creative team?
    A: ________________________.

    Reply
    • Mahesh
      September 4, 2009 at 11:24 am #

      hi … Richard , for the answer of Who is the most important person in the team ,
      i think , see i loved the book “The Disney Animation illusion of life “, and i learned so many things from Ollie and Frank ,

      here is the concept that tells, ” He is My character”
      unless everybody who contributes to creative output feels this ways , the best output will never be produce, everybody is important.

      See when i saw the interview of Pixar animator , he told the best thing , for the movie “Finding Nemo” , if anything like a lights , color or emotions, animation were slight more or less , everything would have fall apart , it was like reaching the golden mean.

      Sport is totally different from creative process, My mentor told me the story of Great sport coach John Wooden , he never told his team about winning even once , he said see guys , here is the thing sometimes you win because the opposite team is so much terrible that you win sometimes luck favors you and they miss the chance ,and sometimes you the player at his best but because of other factors team losses so here is what we gonna do at the end of day no matter the team wins or looses , you gonna tell where were you ? you were at the best or not you the player for him gonna decide how did he perform and we will rate for ourselves…….

      And finally my friend , Kiran who also one the writer on this blog told me about the ferrari , its each and every small part is created by so many people ,
      one of the employee tells that when he sees the ferrari , ya its mine i made that small ….
      thats the creative process ..

      The John Lasseter’s principle 6 , where he tells that creative output reflects person at the top , thats true how to utilize the talent which he has in team is on him , he makes the final call …
      you must have heard that The Nine Old Men of Disney Give all credit to Walt Disney , though they were the great creators of the film…

      Ollie tells , ” i believed in the characters ,stories Walt made… ”

      Everybody is important …

      Reply
  2. Richard Sibley
    September 4, 2009 at 4:25 am #

    7i. The value of a person to the team is determined by two factors:(1) how much he/she is needed and (2) how easily he/she can be replaced.
    The students in a school are very valuable due to their being needed, but the principal is also needed but more difficult to replace, the students being compelled by modern life to go to school somewhere. So the principal is paid “well” and the students paid nothing.

    The reader is welcome to cogitate about how much people in other situations are both needed and replaceable.

    Reply
  3. Mitali
    February 9, 2010 at 9:53 pm #

    Good post.. it’s all about the team.. I agree

    Reply
    • Mahesh
      February 10, 2010 at 9:00 am #

      Yeah , specially PIXAR follows that very strictly , its one of the most important principle in Walt Disney too .

      Specially when i was watching Pete Doctor(Director of Up), receiving Golden Globe , and a reporter asked ,

      “everytime i ask you, you always give credit story boarding artist , and .. . You always give credit to all and never take anything for your self at least at this time you want to say anything ?”

      and Pete said, ” Actually its really about the team , and i feel guilty to receive this award , because its all about the team ”

      :)

      Reply
  4. Silvia
    November 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm #

    特别棒~!正在写一篇essay 正好能用到^^谢谢

    Reply

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