The Give and Take of the Creative Process

When working in a creative field, it is inevitable that you become attached to your work. Making something out of nothing (or just raw elements) requires us to put some of ourselves into it. Many times, it is impossible to maintain complete creative control over the process. This can be a good thing in the case of collaborative art forms such as film, or not quite so good such as the case of a single designer working to please a client.

Regardless of reason or degree of good-ness, it is important for those in the creative fields to have an outlet. When your creative vision is continually “compromised,” — I use quotes because in general, I think we creatives take ourselves far too seriosuly — there needs to be a medium in which you can express yourself as you originally intended.

This all comes about because of a recent Screen Grabs post on Engadget regarding the new Fall Out Boy music video.The primary point of contention is the presence of several Nokia camera phones throughout the edit:

The version of the video that we worked on night after night is not the version that aired, yet somehow a cut full of glorious camera-phone shots did.

-Bassist, Peter Wentz

falloutboy-nokiaNow, I’m normally one to lambaste product placements. Sure, than can be subtle enough to leave the integrity of the piece relatively in-tact yet still effective. But they can also be over the top and turn something into a commercial. ((Take, for example, a recent Heroes episode. I am fine with the Sprint phones used as props; they are part of the story. But when a character doesn’t get reception in Africa and another utters the line “You should’ve signed up with Sprint,” I draw the line.)) So I can understand the frustration. However, this comes along with the territory, especially when your creative work (song/video) is a product which someone else sells (record labels). The video is hardly a provocative piece of art to be held in the highest regard, especially when the closing shots feature a rocker removing a mask (a-la Mission: Impossible) to reveal Sarah Palin. It’s just something fun to watch and help sell your album (and now for some reason, Nokia phones).

I guess my point is this: Yes we get attached to our creative work, but when that work is for hire, we need to learn to let go and realize it is not a personal project. Especially when you ink deals with record companies and become the product yourself.