Growing up, I thought like many young boys, that being a movie star meant they actually experienced what we see in movies. In case you still think that, it’s far from true. On my recent trip to Australia, I had another opportunity to watch a motion picture in the making. If you’ve never done this, it’s incredibly boring. The same simple scenes are shot over and over. I was on my way to the harbor area when I stopped to watch a scene depicting two businessmen greeting each other in front of an office building. An entire crew of extras sat on the sidewalks waiting for the producer’s call to action. Once called, the “stars” would walk toward each other and shake hands while dozens of extras crossed the brick patio in a seemly-unarranged pattern. But everything was choreographed, and it had to be perfect. I stood there well over forty-five minutes as they executed the same steps over and over. It all looked the same to me, but somehow it just wasn’t right. After moving on, I returned to that same area over an hour later and guess what? You’ve got it…they were still working on the same scene. I didn’t bother hanging around this time.
The director knew what he was looking for, and when the film hits the theatres it must be perfect. They only have one shot at profitability. Presentations are similar; you often get just one shot at the top players. If it’s not great, you won’t see a profit either. So why are so many presentations thrown together at the last minute, or prepared in a vacuum by a marketing department that has no selling experience? Busy slides are delivered to the sales team, and then brought to stage without any real critic or practice. This is not the way to reach predictable success.
© 2011, David Stelzl