We at Realscreen.com would like to welcome Karen Hoy, development writer/producer at UK-based development house Gilded Lily Productions, as one of our guest bloggers. In this, the first post in her blog series, Constant Beginnings, Hoy (pictured) discusses one of her favorite (and hygienically sound) tools for stimulating the development process. Look for Karen’s blog to be featured in realscreen.com’s Real Insights from hereon in.
The problem with open plan offices is that when staring out of the window, or sitting back with your arms crossed, people might think you’re not working. After three seconds of such activity (I timed it) it’s impossible not to feel self-conscious, even though the most productive development time (outside of brainstorming meetings with colleagues) is being alone with your brain.
In fact, I don’t believe a computer, or even a chair, has much to offer these potentially fruitful sessions. Keyboard time, I believe, is for writing up ideas, not for leading them.
The truth is, there is no better place than the bath – as any development person who ever takes one has surely realized – for some quality time with the gray matter.
The potential of the bath-time environment is so specifically fertile, I’ve found it’s even possible to get in with a pre-ordained question, and make progress with it, where dryer surroundings have failed. Apart from the obvious, ‘What’s the next big idea?’, here are some suitable conundrums:
- How can I balance this narrative better?
- Which of our characters has most potential to take the lead and why?
- Do we have a USP here?
- What’s missing that would identify this idea as a format?
- Is this program best presenter-less, or presenter-led?
Then there’s the ultimate:
- In what direction does this idea need to go, to make it commissionable?
Obviously, it’s not practical to have a bathtub in development departments, although I honestly think the benefits might outweigh the weirdness! But why not have a development sofa as the next best thing, seeing that part of the point of the bath is blood flow to the brain? It is – I have been told – why psychiatrists have couches. Apparently we think better lying down.
But that warm enveloping water does something real too. Whenever time or convenience does lure me into the shower, there’s always a short pang of professional regret. I’ll never completely know what might’ve been.
Karen Hoy is development producer/writer at development house Gilded Lily Productions.