THE "BIG IDEA" IS NOT ENOUGH.
BY TOM GABBUTT, CREATIVE CONTENT DIRECTOR
Back in the early 90's when I started out at the BBC, I was fresh from college and living in London working as an Asst. Floor Manager on everything from “The Late Show” to Dale Winton’s "Pets Win Prizes"! What I really wanted was to move into drama production. When I finally got that break, I had the good fortune of working with one of the most influential producers at the BBC, the renowned Verity Lambert.
Verity was the founding producer of “Doctor Who”, and had many a successful TV drama under her belt. Naturally, I couldn’t wait to ask her several of my probing questions. Verity was extremely tolerant of my eager-beaver behaviour and, though she’d probably met many other keen TV wannabes over the years, she showed the patience of a saint when offering me the following piece of advice... “Tom”, she said, “just remember this; you can make a terrible film from a good script, however, you’ll never, ever make a good film from a terrible script”.
This piece of advice has rung true with me throughout my career - no matter what your project is, however much direction and production talent you throw at it, it will all come to nothing if the fundamentals aren't up to scratch.
The same applies to digital content. It's one thing to have the "big idea" but it's in the idea's realisation that you'll get the best end result. It's the way in which an idea takes on a developed form - be it through script, storyboard or animatics. Without nailing these, your brilliant idea will fall at the first production hurdles.
Verity has sadly passed away since, but her advice still stands today in our evolving marketing space. Content is at its finest when you've focused on its tactical forms, not just on the "big idea" behind it.