Thursday, August 29, 2013

Craft of Creativity

Craft of Creativity

This year Walt Disney Imagineering (WDI) is celebrating its 60th year of creating magic. At the 2013 D23 Expo there were five panel discussions to celebrate this accomplishment. The craft of creativity was the third in the series. Chris Montan, Tom Fitzgerald, Eric Jacobson, Daniel Jue, Joe Lanzisero, Kathy Mangum and Joe Rohde came on stage to discuss the Craft of Creativity.
Each panel member discussed how they came to be a Disney Imagineering. All of their stories started with, “Well, that’s a funny story...” They also shared how they develop their skills, gained confidence working with multimillion dollar projects, the emotional thrill and satisfaction of working with something that will be permanent (such as a ride) and the complexity working on such projects. They also talked about the difference of creating a show for the stage, television or movie and a production (like a ride) that someone could touch, walk/ride through an experience differently every time. There is also discussion about the difference between a show that a performer (creator) never gets to see (as stage actors often don’t) and a show that they can go back and see again and may even take their mother-in-law to experience.
Well caught my attention the most was there reminiscing about the culture of Disney Imagineering and the Disney Corporation. They talk about the culture of mentoring. Also they discussed the fact that you do not own the knowledge that you have but you must pass it on to the next generation.
Another interesting topic of discussion was how different values influence the design of a location. A good example is the Aulani Resort in Hawaii. The Imangineers work hard to make the Aulani Resort culturally relevant. The Imangineers worked closely with the local Hawaiian community to make sure that the Aulani Resort is truly Hawaiian. In my opinion the greatest example of this is how the hotel was named. You get a have to watch the video to find out how it was named.
This panel was very thought-provoking. It encourage me to think about how I should share what I’m good at, mentor people around me and encourage them to their highest level of excellence. I should also look for things that I am not good at and see how I can learn about it and find someone to mentor me.
Below is the video of this fantastic panel discussion:

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