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Whether you’re working in the film industry or you’re a creative director at an agency, there is a fine line to walk when it comes to working with clients. Creatives are all about the art and have a particular vision of how they want a film to look, feel and sound. For clients, they want results and might not see things the same way, or have a different vision of what the film should be like. Creatives have a story to tell and understand the need for tonal changes and a rollercoaster of emotions throughout in order to create a successful film. But when the client just isn’t getting it, when do you draw the line between art and business?
A little over a week ago, we had the gracious pleasure of being awarded with another trailer for the token bad guy super hero movie of the summer, Suicide Squad. If you’re not familiar with the series, it follows a few of the most dangerous and villainous characters of the comic book era, including Harley Quinn (Joker’s leading lady), Deadshot (enter Will Smith), Enchantress (super model Cara Delevinge) and a high-stakes rendition of the Joker (braved by Jared Leto).

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice faired poorly with critics, receiving a 28 per cent rating from Rotten Tomatoes.
Ever since the release of the highly anticipated Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, which received copious amounts of negative feedback for being “too dark and gloomy”, viewers have begun to wonder if the same is possible for Suicide Squad. The movie’s first full trailer was released back in January and began with a serious tone before flipping entirely to laughable scenes cut to create a lighthearted tone with Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody murmuring along in the background. Rumours began to swirl and many viewers were under the assumption that all of the jokes and humour had been used up in the first trailer.
A few weeks later, viewer concern heated as reshoot rumours of the film surfaced. Viewers across the world were terrified that the blockbuster movie had been ruined before it was even released and trust in the ever-creative David Ayer diminished ever so slightly. Let’s not forget, Ayer has been part of a few very big movies, including Fury, starring Brad Pitt, End of Watch starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Training Day with Denzel Washington, so it’s extremely unfair to shoot down his next film without even giving it a chance.

Ayer answered rumours and speculation about what the Suicide Squad reshoots were actually about. He encouraged viewers saying if the production studio loves the film, they will too.
Ayer is a director, but he’s also an artist and his viewers are (essentially) his clients. When clients haven’t seen the entirety of a production, it’s easy to jump to conclusions and express concern over what the finished product may actually look like. As viewers, we instill belief and support within the minds of the most creative directors on the planet and it’s unreasonable for us to critique and judge their work based on clips that show just a few per cent of actual on-screen footage. Ayer actually made an announcement to squash these rumours, stating that Warner Brothers asked him if he felt the movie needed anything else and virtually wrote him a blank cheque to make it happen. For those counting at home, the reshoots weren’t to incorporate more humour, they were to shoot another action scene which Ayer felt would make the movie just a touch more epic. Are we complaining? Hell no.
Clients in the business world must take the same approach. When briefing a creative team, give them all of the information they possibly need and let them run with it. Give them a chance to show you what they can do and then judge and provide feedback after the fact. While I’m not saying clients shouldn’t have any say in what the creative team is doing, it’s merely something to be conscious of to avoid stifling their creative minds and limiting their flexibility. If you need a Toronto-based video production company and creative team that is going to work with you and walk perfectly down the line between art and business, give us a call.
To fans of Suicide Squad, relax. The movie is going to be amazing, and if it’s not, it’s still going to make a ton of money, which is ultimately where we draw the line between art and business.
Chris Stasiuk

Author Chris Stasiuk

Chris is commercial director and founder of SVG, a Toronto based video content agency.

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