Little Thoughts #1: Everyone likes to get involved.

Here’s the introduction of a new series of little thoughts that won’t really fill out a full post.

Everyone likes to get involved.

If you have people in your pipeline that have to approve your work, at any level, they’ll probably want to get involved with your work. To make their mark. To make a difference. To take some form of action to justify the fact that they’re “doing their job.” Even if your work is absolutely perfect, they’ll have something to say about it.

This is often a pain in the ass, and it’s inevitable. More often than not, they’ll pick out something that’s a nightmare to change.

But hey, what can you do?

I’ll tell you. 🙂

What I suggest to you — whether you’re a manager looking at your boss, an artist looking at your AD, or an AD managing an artist — is find ways to leave your work looking about 95% complete. Make the final 5% it needs obvious.

People WILL meddle and want to have a hand in whatever you’re doing. Position your work in such a way that the final 5% that needs doing just immediately jumps out at them. They’ll point it out and suggest a change. You’ll say “Oh, shit! You’re right! I’ll do that!” then go in and fix it, show it to them again, get their approval now that they feel they’ve done their job, and the asset is done.

Everyone, everyone, everyone wants to feel involved. To have their say. To feel like they made their mark. Anticipate this! Simply define the boundaries in which people can be involved freely without severely affecting what you’re doing.

This requires a soft touch. Doing stupid, insulting, obvious shit like leaving a head off of a character or forgetting to color a concept is a slap in the face. It will make you look stupid and prove you don’t follow directions. Be subtle, be smart, and be respectful of peoples’ need to participate, and you’ll go far.

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