Sunday, 14 February 2010

The Importance of Being Ernie

Following on from the last post.

One big similarity that occurred to me in both film and comic book production is that in both fields you aim to get the best and most correct people involved, creatively, for your project.

A film is made in several stages, each of them key. Pre-production - the preparation - will often set the tone of the whole shooting and post shoot process. You aim to collect the most technically able and compatible people to work on the project, and also the right actors to be in the piece.

Production - which can often feel like the factory work of film making. Long hours, monotonous routines, and bad diets all combine to ensure that at the end of shooting you have the right parts in place for the assemblage of you final piece.

Post-production - the editing and tidying up of the pieces. Also, the marketing comes into play in a big way here. You will surely determine who the film is for and how to sell it to them at this stage.

Each stage is key to getting the final film made and out to the public.

Comic book production is very similar to this. Each stage can undo the last if not approached properly, each stage is important.

You are working with creative people, and hoping to creative a synergy between them. Chances are, if you are self publishing, you will be your own editor, so be strict. If you are performing more than one duty on the book, be honest about each part, it's sum strength and any weakness.

If you are collaborating or hiring people, then do not be afraid to to ask for something to change. Collaboration, and the freedom to experiment can lead to many a happy accident that works for the books benefit - but if something isn't working, change it.

I've often heard that a good barometer to work to is asking yourself "would I buy this book?". If the answer is no, it needs more work.

It may be tough to leave one's ego at the door - criticism of a project long worked on may feel like a personal slight. The obverse of this is that you may feel so overwhelmed with excitement and joy at the completion of a piece of work, that you are blind to it's problems.

Take a step back. Take a day or two to look over the work. Decide if it's absolutely right. Put on your editors hat for a while.

Sometimes enough is good enough, but knowing when to say no and when to say yes are equally important.

Comic book creating is a collaboration, and each stage determines how the book will be finished and received.

Happy Valentines, everyone!

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