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April 15 at 8:15am

What Is The SimpleFix And Why Is It So Important Right Now

By Ted Hope

The analogue age was about getting things right.  There was a finished product,  There was a completion.  The digital era is about iterations and evolutions.  Things can change.  We can build upon what others have done.  It is a process.  We don’t have to get it right the first time.

Most people were educated to pursue the analogue age’s solutions — that miracle of perfection.  We were taught to work until we got it right, and that often meant that process was hidden and not shared.  It is not a process that teaches one to believe in the power of collaboration.  When we are result oriented as opposed to process focused, success becomes intimidating and mystifying.  People’s closets, sock drawers, and hard drives are filled with beautiful ideas never brought to light.  So much of this would be fuel to advance our culture forward, to give us hope, to bring us closer together.  But they are perishable goods, rotting on the vine, never to bear fruit.  Or at least they are until we change our behavior.

Now change never happens over night.  Generally speaking, we don’t embrace change until the pain of the present exceeds our fear of the future.  So how do we hack that?  What is the work around? How do we get over this fetish of perfection and recognize the pleasure of process?

It is not just the Indie Film Biz that is experiencing a complete disconnect from practice and possibility.  The potential we have when we utilize our cognitive surplus and get over our obsession with individual action and expression is…  fucking mind blowing.  When I get down about how hard it is to make a good movie, or get a good movie seen, or actually earn back the value of the creative process in a manner that allows one to sustain a generative life, I take a deep breathe and look at the what if of that change.  My batteries are recharged instantly and I am ready to run up that hill, pushing that boulder, and singing all the while despite the bullshit that rains down upon me.  Now one day I may get crushed by that rock, but if I know a few have come along by my side to give the boulder a boisterous ride, I know we will crest that hill.  But I digress….  the exuberance that the mission instills is a bit hard to resist.

The hack, the work around, is a change of process.  It is the embrace of the rapid prototype, the multiple iterations, the willingness to fail, the radical collaboration, open source transparency — the simple fix.  Just bring us closer; we can build it better together.  

I am a big believer that the mechanics of production and the infrastructure of industry, has more to do with the work we generate than we generally recognize.  When the infrastructure and process change, so does the product.  As we alter how we do things, improve upon what is before us, everything in the wake also starts to shift.

The little thing you think does not matter, does.  Getting something done (even when it may not be complete) allows others to build upon it.  Put it out there and somethings will snowball.  Simple fixes get internalized and can be embraced much faster and easier than those that may seem to more fully make a difference.

I dream of the Big Picture but I act in the Simple Fix.  There so many things that can easily move us forward — and sometimes they are so small we may not give them the value we should.  Those little things become our roadmap.   If we start to share them I suspect they will be like rabbits and expand exponentially.   But they require us to share.  I will try to launch a #SimpleFix every Monday.  I am going to do it without a list, just the faith that we can find simple solutions that will make #IndieFilm a better functioning system.  I will post them here and tweet them with the #SimpleFix tag.  I hope you join in.  What you share here, I will try to mine to keep it all moving forward.  Let’s just call this a collaborative experiment, shall we?

P.S.  On  a side note, did you ever notice how when you have an idea you are running with, many other things start to line up to either demonstrate that idea, or to be a metaphor for it.  I fell upon this animation of how we grow to understand the origins of the universe (via BrainPickings.org) and found the marriage of the Big Picture with the infinitely small particularly aligned with what I am getting at.


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One Comment

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  1. cj / Apr 15 at 8:15am

    Sharing ideas and innovations in early stages of development risks proprietary goals and profits and may be required to preserve and expand movies as a viable art mode. It contrasts nicely with the current corporate-legal-judicial trend of over-arching copyright, patent and trademark harvesting of public domain, IP and even human DNA. Tradition can be preserved and new forms established while old iron Hollywood chooses to grip, grasp and watch its product become ever more irrelevant. All hail the birth of the 11th muse.

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