Monday, March 12, 2018

A testament to what you can achieve when left to your own devices

One of my favorite writers once released a drama series with an innovative distribution model. 

Louie did zero promotion and made no prior announcements. The project had no logline, no press junket, no ad campaign, no test audiences, no studio system and no third party distribution. 

All that people knew was, one morning, a sudden and terse email showed up in their inboxes with the following message. 

Hi there. Here’s a brand new thing for me. Episode one is now available for download for five dollars. Go here to watch it. We hope you like it. 

And that was it. The television project simply emerged like a groundhog on a cold winter’s morning and took the world by surprise. 

Nobody knew what to expect. It was all one big experiment. 

Not surprisingly, the approach paid off. Within a few days of its release, there was no question that the experiment had worked. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive, both from fans and critics alike. 

One journalist even wrote that the series wasn’t going to be for everyone, but all of the disorientation and ingenuity certainly made it one of the most thrilling things to come along in some time. 

Could an artist ask for anything more? 

It’s not just about artistic freedom and creative control, it’s about purity. It’s about giving your work the chance to speak for itself and stand on its own merit, without being tainted by the rust of social expectation. 

Louis even told one reporter that as a television watcher, he was always delighted whenever he could see something without knowing anything about it because of the promotion. And so, so making this show and just posting it out of the blue gave him the rare opportunity to give people that experience of discovery. 

Yet another lesson from a creative master. Don't give your audience a head start. Otherwise they’ll smell it before they get there. And the expectation will ruin it. 

Do the work in secret, and then just show up in public. 


Are you practicing the art of containment with your projects?

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Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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