Marc Davis is one of Walt’s Nine Old Men, who worked many of
the early films designing characters that included animals from Bambi and
Maleficent. When Marc Davis came over to WED, he brought his sense of humor
with him. He added humorous scenes to the Jungle Cruise and was one of the main
designers of the Pirates of the Caribbean.
When he was brought on to the Haunted Mansion project, he
had to struggle with Claude Coats and his design preferences. The two men were equals
in the office. Coats wanted a scary Mansion; Davis wanted something funnier. A
compromise of sorts was reached, and Coats’ influence can be seen at the
beginning of the attraction with Davis’ scenes becoming stronger in the end.
“I think that’s the whole thing with creativity is if there’s
something new out there, why not give it a try?” said Marc Davis (Disney Family
Album). Use Marc Davis as your motivation and give something new a try.
Sources: “The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic” by Jason Surrell.
“Disney Family Album #17 – Marc Davis” at https://youtu.be/pVf6DdqkpjU
For more on creativity and the Haunted Mansion, get “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity” online or at the Candy Cane Inn in Anaheim.
For more on Disneyland and Creativity, order “Disneyland Is Creativity.” For deep thinking about the Disney Company, check out “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”
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Creativity comes when people aren’t afraid to make connections
or sound dumb. People don’t like to be judged or have their ideas called
stupid, even if they sound out there. Brainstorming sessions attempt to put
people in a safe place where there is no judgement and they can dream as big as
they want to. As an idea generation practice, Brainstorming can provide
hundreds to thousands of ideas, depending on how many people participate and
how long the session is.
Brainstorming sessions should have between 8 and 12 people. The session should last about 45 minutes to an hour though longer sessions can be advantageous if there are appropriate breaks. All brainstorming sessions have rules. At Disney in their blue-sky sessions, imagineers follow these rules according to “The Imagineering Field Guide to Disneyland”:
- There is no such thing as a bad idea.
- No talking about why it can’t be done.
- Do not stifle ideas with “buts,” “can’ts” and other negative words.
- There’s no such thing as a bad idea.
Not everyone agrees that brainstorming is a good idea. Edward de Bono says it’s a waste because so many ideas are discarded and the time to come up with them is wasted thereby. The process is inefficient. However, creativity is inefficient, so the brainstorming session, when the plan begins, should be the most inefficient part of the process.
De Bono also notices that some people try to top others, so the session results in people coming up with the most outlandish ideas. For me, that’s part of the point of brainstorming. Like Disney imagineers, I believe you never know where the best idea is going to come from, and it could come from a connection to an outrageous idea that someone else had.
Others decry the fact that brainstorming sessions have no
follow up step. That’s up to the business to create. Recording the ideas and
having the team follow up is easier if someone has the authority, time and
resources to move forward with new ideas.
If you want to have a lot of ideas to choose from, start
with a brainstorming session.
For more ABCs of Creativity, check these links. Grab a copy of “Disneyland Is Creativity: 25 Tips for Becoming More Creative.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories: Creating for a Better Life and World.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”