Steve Barron: the cultural impact of one 80s music video director

This is going to get sentimental…
A few months back I went to a music video showcase I’ve been going to for about a decade BUG (#50!) which had a very special guest. One who is an example of the cultural ripples creativity can send.
It’s a guy I guess most of you have never heard of, and yet he’s touched your life in more ways than you imagine.
Steve Barron is a director who started as a tea boy on sets and by the late 70s was directing videos for bands like The Jam.
He was quite humble in Adam Buxton‘s interview, saying that many of today’s videos would have won ‘video of the year’ from MTV back then because the form (and production values) evolved so much.
Back then, labels didn’t really believe videos made a difference to an artist’s success. Most of them were shot in 16mm.
But then, in 1981, he managed to convince the execs to let him shoot in 32mm and the result was this little triple-inception-meta Truffaut homage.
But wait, it gets SO much better. So much better that I just had to write a whole post… With some help from the BUG programme notes, the interview and wikipedia.

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Valve software: why idea development is like Jenga

To the non-gamers among you, Valve software is the gaming’s industry most original player. They combine game design innovation, with marketing and business model innovation, they are the avant-garde. you could say they are the Pixar of game development, only they’re much more.

Here is a quote from a recent blog post that I think applies to concept development in general and creative/strategy collaboration in particular:

“Coming up with a Meet the Team short [* animation shorts promoting one of their games. UB] is a lot like a game of Jenga. 99% of it involves making room for an idea and seeing what happens.

Most of the time what happens is the whole structure collapses. Then you have to figure out why it collapsed and rebuild it, this time making sure to add in some structural support for your idea so it doesn’t bring the whole short down.”

(the rest of their post relates more to the specific animated short they’ve been developing)