Legend has it a woman once approached Picasso in a restaurant. She asked him to scribble something on a napkin, and said she would be happy to pay whatever he felt it was worth. Picasso complied and then said, “That will be $10,000.”
“But you did that in thirty seconds,” the astonished woman replied.
“No,” Picasso said. “It has taken me forty years to do that.”
How often are we seduced by the allure of the end product, neglecting to consider the means by which that end is achieved?
After all, we only ever see the final outcome. Rarely the process behind it.
So it looks easy.
At least, a good artist or craftsman makes it look easy.
And seeing the finished article, the winning athlete, the final cut, without the context of the process (the journey towards achieving that skill, ability, and ultimate success), has serious sex appeal.
Because process is never sexy.
It is laborious, menial, drudgery.
And yet, without it, there is no final masterpiece.
Still, all too often we get carried away with the seduction of the end product and forget about all the donkey work that comes first.
In short, we eagerly get ahead of ourselves.
Getting Ahead of Myself
So, it’s official. I’m now Creative Director at community film making organisation North Devon Moving Image CIC. And firmly in at the deep end.
Running a Community Interest Company is all new to me. But, surprisingly, there’s a lot that’s very familiar.
Yes, there’s been plenty of paperwork, accounts, social profiles, and emails to attend to since taking over NDMI. And the surprising thing is, it’s not surprising.
You see, behind every glamorous photoshoot, behind every epic movie, behind every creative masterpiece, is a mountain of admin, to-do lists and other necessary evils that allow the show to go on.
So, here’s a little behind the scenes tour of the journey thus far…
Before You Get Carried Away
Taking over the reins at NDMI has been exciting. In fact, one of the first things I did was create a list of ideas for filmmaking projects.
I should’ve stopped right there.
But I didn’t.
I got carried away with creative ideas and thinking up all sorts of different angles for projects. Filmmaking workshops, seasonal concepts, youth-led initiatives, budget filmmaking ideas for families.
Yep, I really went to town. And completely forgot all the other stuff that needed to happen before I could begin to contemplate anything even remotely creative.
Why is it that the fun stuff always eclipses the functional stuff?
So, it was with a heavy heart that I shelved my ideas (in a new Google Drive subfolder aptly labelled, Project Ideas) and set about figuring out what I actually needed to do to get myself up and running as the Person With Significant Control of NDMI.
First stop, Companies House.
Taking Over is a Process
Unlike starting your own company, when you take over an established organisation you have to reshuffle things.
The previous board of directors was out, and I now had to appoint a new one – which proved trickier than I at first imagined.
People really need convincing to put their names on official company documents.
It’s quite a formal process, as you’d imagine where liability is involved. But we got there in the end.
So, with a fresh board of directors and a Confirmation Statement filed with Companies House (£13 a year just to confirm your existence), the NDMI takeover was complete.
Of course it wasn’t.
There was still the slight matter of… Everything else.
So Much to Process
Are you ready for this?
First there was the website. Logins and account details for the backend (admin panel), the hosting and the domain. They all needed to be checked and updated. In fact, the website itself needed to be checked and updated with new contact and company info.
Then came the social media profiles. Facebook. Twitter. Instagram. YouTube. So many logins. And then adding the various profiles to those already on my phone, for good measure.
Of course, we mustn’t forget email. That too needed to be configured, with a new signature and footer details. And added to the accounts on my phone.
So much to process.
And I could never have done it without the help of my password manager.
Seriously. It’s been an absolute lifesaver.
Can’t recommend it enough. Especially if you control or run multiple accounts that require their own particular logins and complex passwords.
Yet, this was not the end of the admin.
There was still the bank account to update. The card to activate. The account to log in to and check. The signatories to change.
It seemed that I’d never get to the fun creative stuff.
When Opportunity Knocks
You should always answer. Regardless of whatever process you find yourself in the midst of. Because you never know when an opportunity might present itself again.
So I did.
And it made the whole admin setup more palatable.
Because now I had a creative project to work on too.
An exciting one.
A creative one.
A collaboration that would really serve the community and tell some powerful stories.
Only this time, I knew better than to get ahead of myself. I’d only just been through this process.
Before any exciting creative work could even begin, there would be plenty of admin.
But this time, it meant business.