48 Hours to Refresh

Novelty is a great form of inspiration.

New stories, new places, and new people peak our creative interests and set our minds racing with ideas. And yet we often find ourselves falling into a routine. Rather than embracing novelty, we trap ourselves into relying on the familiar, drawing on the knowledge we have to make sense of the unknown.

To explore this paradox, and kickstart the new year, we set ourselves a 48 hour challenge: create a high-quality, engaging film in no more than 48 hours, with zero budget, and only one camera. Adding to the challenge was the fact that our roles were reversed. For some of us, this meant doing a crash-course in how to use certain programs. For others, it meant dusting off skills we hadn’t used in a very long time. This would be a chance for us to get our hands dirty, to have relatively free reign in the creation of a story. What were we worried about?

While we each have our own strengths in certain areas, having a well-rounded knowledge of the story production process would give us a greater appreciation of the other members of our team. After all, you have a lot more respect for someone and what they are doing if you’ve experienced it yourself. What’s more, by continually building upon and relying on our strengths, we often fail to recognise the benefits that can be gained from focusing on our weaknesses. Taking the time to carefully develop these weaknesses, to turn them into strengths, would allow us to expand our individual storytelling toolkits and become much more cohesive as a team.

As we sat down to our first production meeting, laptops and whiteboard markers at the ready, we realised the next 48 hour would be a test of our story structure model as much as it was a test of our own abilities. When we create our stories, we search within the personal narratives presented to us by following a muse process. This storytelling model has regularly allowed us to create stories that open hearts, evoke empathy and inspire change. And yet, in these instances, we’ve had the time to thoroughly explore every aspect of the narrative; to unravel it and find the hidden gems within.

The film itself is a mishmash of humour, science, childhood struggle, loneliness, and an undying quest to introduce a unique method of sustainable agriculture to the world. It’s a tribute to the power of teamwork, of recognising other people’s needs and responding to them with as much compassion and consideration as possible. The fact that we managed to successfully fulfill our creative brief, meeting all the criteria in less than 48 hours, solidifies the merit of embracing innovation and collaboration. Working together to generate ideas, drawing on our expertise whilst also being open to new knowledge and experiences, gave us the chance to revive the inquisitive, creative nature that drives so much of what we do.

This challenge showed us that we don’t always have to reinvent ourselves to improve. If we strive to make a difference, if we take responsibility of our actions, if we aim to learn something new everyday day, then we will always be better than we were yesterday.