My Creative Hack 8: Taking inspiration from movies

Oct. 17, 2019
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My Creative Hack is a series of articles that introduces tips, practices, techniques and know-how that our experts use every day in their work to come up with new ideas, pinpoint the best ones and foster team work, etc. Here Kattsun Shih, Creative Director at Taiwan Hakuhodo Inc. explains how to take inspiration from movies as he develops creative ideas.

Observe, be inspired and relax!

When developing creative, it’s sometimes difficult to come up with good ideas right away; you’re just stuck in the middle. At such moments, I like to empty my mind of creative concepts and get fully relaxed. I like to enjoy a movie. I also build up a creative development data bank from inspiration I find in movies

My secrets to taking inspiration from movies:

1. Observe!

Movies can benefit creative development by giving us access to lots of stories of everyday life. Such stories give our ordinary daily lives a spark. Movies also depict wonderful journeys, enabling us to experience what would otherwise be impossible. This can fire our imagination. Generally enjoying generous budgets, movies also tend to exhibit novel and special presentation and approaches. All these make movies great to learn from.

2. Be inspired!

As creatives, we need to not just enjoy movies, but to learn from their creativity. After watching a movie in a relaxed manner, I always take note on my mobile phone of the lines, scenes and interesting plots that impressed me. I have a four-step method for reviewing movies and add the reviews to my data bank for speedy inspiration in the future.

Create your own movie inspiration data bank by taking notes on your mobile phone.

● Movie title
I record the original title and/or translated title. This makes it easy to search afterwards.

● Interesting plots
Interesting plots are often inspired by people’s inner voices and conversations in their daily lives. These help me to appreciate insights into people and get closer to consumers. Interesting plots can also be special episodes that change an ordinary day in the movie story. These are worthy of being recorded.

● Special presentation
I pay attention to the presentation of scenes. I record the shooting techniques and peculiar elements that are so appealing and grab the attention of the audience, such as shot movement, editing or illustration.

● Attractions
This is the most distinctive of the four steps. After watching the movie, there will be some reflections in my mind. If these were converted into an advertisement, what concepts could be created? I always conclude with my impressions and write down some core ideas.

Apply the “taking inspiration from movies” method to your creative proposal.

After watching a movie and taking notes, lots of stories and scenes appear in my mind. When applying such learning to an advertising core concept that I am trying to develop creative ideas for, each piece gradually connects, creating something unexpected. Even a product with a cool tone can be turned into something warmer. Even similar heart-touching stories can be presented in different ways. It’s so easy to create new stories.

Also, in the real world, we have time constraints and don’t have time to watch lots of movies. We need to have a shortcut! For this, I watch trailers, clips or outlines to shorten the time I need and to inspire myself. I also spend some time collecting movie posters to inspire myself to create more novel ideas for print ads.

3. Relax!

Next time you are stuck trying to develop creative ideas, try to get relaxed and enjoy a movie! Simply feel your life; feel all the trivial things; then you will realize that creativity is not so much about extraordinary personal experience. Creative ideas can be developed in a relaxed way, naturally. Get relaxed and be a creative who knows how to take inspiration from movies.

Kattsun Shih
Creative Director
Taiwan Hakuhodo Inc.
Kattsun Shih joined Taiwan Hakuhodo in 2009. While achieving missions for clients, he also utilizes his creativity to solve problems in daily life and to create a better world.
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