Thursday, April 9, 2009

Divine Disasters



To this day, the one movie that scares me more than any other I have ever seen is Jaws.

The underwater shots of the dangling legs of unsuspecting swimmers, the music -“dunton, dunton, dunton”, the subtle disruption of the water’s calm surface as the Great White surreptitiously slithers by. All this creates a tension I can barely tolerate.

Cinematic brilliance orchestrated perfectly from script to final cut. Right?
Well actually…no.

I read somewhere that there were serious mechanical issues with the shark. Steven Spielberg had actually planned to show him full on in many more scenes. But the model wasn’t functioning properly. And he had to devise a plan to create the suspense and fear using other methods and other camera angles - and a lot less actual shark.

In the end, I think it’s a much better movie than it might have been if the mechanical shark had been functioning properly. It’s so much scarier than other disaster movies where very little is left up to the imagination.

I love this story.

It shows the power of taking an obstacle (in this case a malfunctioning -and no doubt very expensive -mechanical shark) and turning it into an opportunity for even greater creativity and impact.

It reminds me that when everything appears to be going wrong, maybe it’s time to look at the situation differently and find the “divine” in the “disaster”.

Next time something goes awry in your brand innovation plans, instead of giving up - try channeling your inner Spielberg and you might just turn a mistake into a masterpiece.

That’s my point of view. What’s your twist?

What disasters have you been able to turn into delights?

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