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Braintrustのすすめ

 

ピクサーの社長を務めているEd Catmullが先月Creativity, Inc.という本を出しましたが、Fast Companyとう雑誌のサイトで抜粋を読むことができます。ピクサーといえども失敗は不可欠なので、率直な意見を交わす場が必要だそうで、それがBraintrustという仕組みのようです。


Creativity, Inc.Creativity, Inc.
(2014/04/08)
President of Pixar and Disney Animation Ed Catmull

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(コリンズ)
brains trust
a group of knowledgeable people who discuss topics in public or on radio or television
Also called: brain trust (US) a group of experts who advise the government

(ケンブリッジ)
brains trust
UK old-fashioned ( US brain trust)
› a group of experts who give advice to a leader or organization, especially advice relating to planning:
A brains trust of scientists will staff the university's new biosciences institute.
He became part of the president's brain trust during his first presidential campaign.


INSIDE THE PIXAR BRAINTRUST
IN THIS EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT FROM CREATIVITY, INC., ED CATMULL UNVEILS ONE OF HIS KEY MANAGEMENT TOOLS--THE PIXAR BRAINTRUST, WHICH HAS HELPED THE ANIMATION POWERHOUSE SCORE 14 BOX OFFICE HITS IN A ROW.
BY ED CATMULL

A hallmark of a healthy creative culture is that its people feel free to share ideas, opinions, and criticisms. Our decision making is better when we draw on the collective knowledge and unvarnished opinions of the group. Candor is the key to collaborating effectively. Lack of candor leads to dysfunctional environments. So how can a manager ensure that his or her working group, department, or company embraces candor? By putting mechanisms in place that explicitly say it is valuable. One of Pixar's key mechanisms is the Braintrust, which we rely on to push us toward excellence and to root out mediocrity. It is our primary delivery system for straight talk. The Braintrust meets every few months or so to assess each movie we're making. Its premise is simple: Put smart, passionate people in a room together, charge them with identifying and solving problems, and encourage them to be candid. The Braintrust is not foolproof, but when we get it right, the results are phenomenal.

While I attend and participate in almost all Braintrust meetings, I see my primary role as making sure that the compact upon which the meetings are based is protected and upheld. This part of our job is never done because you can't totally eliminate the blocks to candor. The fear of saying something stupid and looking bad, of offending someone or being intimidated, of retaliating or being retaliated against--they all have a way of reasserting themselves. And when they do, you must address them squarely.


以下の部分でBraintrustというのはどういうものか説明してくれています。大きな特徴を2つあげています。無理して3つあげなくてもいいんですね(苦笑)

You may be thinking, How is the Braintrust different from any other feedback mechanism?

There are two key differences, as I see it. The first is that the Braintrust is made up of people with a deep understanding of storytelling, who usually have been through the process themselves. While the directors welcome critiques from many sources, they particularly prize feedback from fellow storytellers. The second difference is that the Braintrust has no authority. The director does not have to follow any of the specific suggestions. After a Braintrust meeting, it is up to him or her to figure out how to address the feedback. Giving the Braintrust no power to mandate solutions affects the dynamics of the group in ways I believe are essential.

While problems in a film are fairly easy to identify, the sources of those problems are often extraordinarily difficult to assess. A mystifying plot twist or a less-than-credible change of heart in our main character is often caused by subtle, underlying issues elsewhere in the story. Think of it as a patient complaining of knee pain that stems from his fallen arches. If you operated on the knee, it wouldn't just fail to alleviate the pain, it could easily compound it. To alleviate the pain, you have to identify and deal with the root of the problem. The Braintrust's notes, then, are intended to bring the true causes of problems to the surface--not to demand a specific remedy. We don't want the Braintrust to solve a director's problem because we believe that, in all likelihood, our solution won't be as good as the one the director and his or her creative team comes up with.

記事の後半は具体的なエピーソードを交えて、braintrustがどのように映画制作に関わっていたのか知る事ができます。

An important corollary to the assertion that the Braintrust must be candid is that filmmakers must be ready to hear the truth; candor is only valuable if the person on the receiving end is open to it and willing, if necessary, to let go of things that don't work. Jonas Rivera, the producer of Pete's film, tries to make that painful process easier by "headlining" the main points of a Braintrust session--distilling the many observations down to a digestible takeaway. Once this meeting wrapped up, this is what he did for Pete, ticking off the areas that seemed the most problematic, reminding him of the scenes that resonated most. "So what do we blow up?" Jonas asked. "And what do you love? Is what you loved about the film different now than it was when we started?"

この記事では他にもいろいろと学んだことを共有してくれています。変化は不可欠だから、受入れていくしかないというのはありふれたものかもしれませんが、彼のような人物が言えば説得力がありますね。ピクサーのようなスタジオでも変化を受入れていかなくてはいけないとは。。。

ED CATMULL ON WHY THINGS WILL ALWAYS GO WRONG—EVEN AT PIXAR
IN A WIDE-RANGING CONVERSATION WITH FAST COMPANY, CATMULL--THE PRESIDENT OF PIXAR, WHO HAS LED THE ANIMATION POWERHOUSE TO 14 NO. 1 HITS--SHARES HIS MANAGEMENT SECRETS.

Think about our industry, or the things that your readers are facing: The underlying technology continues to change, successful people are always getting older and aging out, and everyone is drawing new conclusions about what really works. There is no stable place. But there is this illusion that somehow you can get to a stable place, figure it all out. People have their fear: They want to be in a secure place; they want to know what to do; they want people to tell them what to do. And there isn't anything that can remove that underlying piece of human nature. It is when we try to avoid, stop, or control change that we get into trouble.

So it's better to try to recognize that life is change, to face toward the problems. Now, that's an old saying, right? Every time I say something like that I think, Oh, actually, I've heard that before. But it's true, and that's the way I look at it.
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