I hear people complaining that there are no opportunities.
That no one will give them a chance.
That there’s no way out of their situation.
There’s nothing they can do and it’s not their fault.
Here’s a thing.
There have never been any opportunities.
No one was ever feeling sorry for themselves, when someone knocked on the door and said, “How would you like me to show you a way out of this?”
It doesn’t happen like that.
Never has, never will.
That’s like sitting around waiting to win the lottery.
It’s about hope.
And hope is putting the problem in someone else’s hands.
Hope isn’t very creative.
Robert Campbell and Mark Roalfe were a young creative team.
They had a job at an agency they weren’t happy at.
They wanted something better.
So what could they do?
Either leave the job, and the money, and take a big chance.
Then if they can’t get a job, wish they’d never left.
Or stay where they are, and hope someone knocks on the door with a better job offer.
Neither of those were good options.
So because they were creative, they created another option.
They pretended they were students and got Andrew Cracknel, then creative director of WCRS, to offer them a two week placement.
Then they took two weeks holiday from their job and, instead of going away, went to WCRS.
After the two week placement they reckoned they’d either have a job at WCRS, or at least still have their old job to fall back on.
How creative is that?
And how many people would have thought of it?
But that’s what really creative people do.
Come up with an answer where everyone else says there isn’t one.
They were so determined, they got the job at WCRS after two weeks.
Then they eventually went on to open their own agency.
It was called Rainey Kelly Campbell Roalfe, and they eventually sold it for a fortune to Y&R.
Instead of sitting in the old job moaning that no one gave them any opportunities.
Mike Stephenson and Derek Apse were a young team at BMP.
Absolutely all creative work at BMP was researched.
Scripts were made into crude animatics to show to groups of housewives.
These animatics were done on the cheap.
So a lot of good scripts never made it through research.
Creative teams sat around and grumbled about how many good ideas they lost this way.
An atmosphere of negativity set in.
People stopped trying so hard because they knew they’d lose their best stuff in research.
This didn’t make any sense to Mike and Derek.
They thought they should put the absolute maximum effort into making the animatics as good as possible.
That way, even if the script didn’t get made, they’d have a great little film for their reel.
And that’s what they did.
Absolutely every animatic they made was done with amost as much care and effort as a real commercial.
Little films that you could almost have run on TV.
They had such a great little reel, they used it to get a job at Lowe.
An agency where everything didn’t get researched.
And they used everything they learned making animatics to get a lot of really good scripts made.
And eventually one of them became a creative director, and the other a film director.
Instead of sitting around like everyone else and grumbling about losing their best scripts to research.
They saw an opportunity where no one else could.
By turning a problem into an opportunity.
Opportunities aren’t going to crop up.
You have to create them.
That’s what being creative is.