The Box: In or Out?

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The tension between tradition and novel is a very good thing. As soon as that tension is accepted, results have the potential to be phenomenal. Tradition, many times, exists because it is something that works, something that has proven to be successful, and has a classic quality about it. Tradition can be great because, as the saying goes, there is no reason to reinvent the wheel. Tradition can be relatable and connect to memory or the viewer’s experience. Tradition basically means thinking inside the box. Our country’s culture tends to focus so much on thinking outside the box that we miss out on the potential to use tradition to our advantage. Including some tradition or reference to tradition can be a great way to span the generations. There is no part of moving forward that should ignore tradition entirely.

That said, tradition can be dusty and tired. The idea behind novelty and originality is to wake up your viewer, shock them, wow them, keep them on their toes, and freshen up their experience. Thinking outside the box means looking at something from a completely different angle and making it new. There is an element of fun in novelty, encouraging people to think of the possibilities and use their imagination. “Examining new methods means matching them against tried-and-true methods of the past. Do they achieve the same and more, or do they achieve less? It’s hard to measure quality, but sometimes you can improve upon a job well done.” (A little quotation from The Everything Project Management Book by Rick Morris)

Both have their advantages. Both have their failures. Thinking inside the box tends to be low risk and thinking outside the box tends to be high risk. Each project should look at the risks and go for what feels authentic to the goal of that project.

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