KCRW’s The Business radio show (audio file available here, the story starts at about 21:30) has a charming story about graduate film students and their final project. Despite a tight budget and a killer schedule, they decided they needed a live elephant for the shoot. So, they got one.
The story asks the question:
Is it reasonable to ask for the unreasonable in the fear-filled world of real Hollywood filmmaking?**
To which one of the students responds:
"I think studio executives want to do extraordinary movies. They get scared because maybe someone isn’t confident enough to bring them along and hold their hand and say ‘you know what, it’s going to be alright…it’s going to be amazing.’"
I talk alot about being thoughtful, responsive, and connected to the community as an arts organization and an arts manager. But stories like this remind us that being bold and a bit crazy is also an essential part of our work…if the vision demands it.
When a creative project demands an elephant, sometimes it’s our job to get one.
**feel free to replace ”fear-filled world of real Hollywood filmmaking” with ”risk-averse, cash-strapped world of nonprofit culture.”