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Know What it Takes to Do a Job Well (Others Who Spoke 4 : Fuelling the Kreativ Malaysia)

Copyright © 2017 by
Zainir Aminullah
Chief Executive Officer of Ideate Media

KNOW WHAT IT TAKES TO DO A JOB WELL. Take writing for example. I can’t tell you how often we receive scripts or pitches and we struggle to find a compelling story or character that we can root for. Writing is technical. We keep thinking writing is a creative process and indeed it is very much so, but just like any other job, the task of writing is a beautiful discipline filled with technical know-how, processes, structure – almost technical.
If you think that you can just wing in then you’re dead on arrival. The people that evaluate your work are producers, network executives, studio heads and distributors. You will have to assume that these people will evaluate based on both creative and commercial criteria. Maybe you’ll get lucky when you pitch to people who don’t know what they’re doing, but luck can’t sustain anindustry.
So learn, study, read, attend a course, get a certificate, be an apprentice – be humble enough to accept that if you don’t have what it takes to do a job well, get help. Drop your ego.

Offer something different. When I was at Astro and was first asked to develop the content strategy to get more Malay homes, we commissioned a research study and conducted focus groups everywhere and asked the question – what are you watching and what would you like to see onAstro? The conclusion was overwhelmingly simplistic – dramas on TV3 and we’d like to see more dramas on Astro please.

I pondered on that for a while and thought what was the point of offering more of the same, especially when all we had was a little known channel called Astro Ria, to go against the Goliath that was TV3. So we did Akademi Fantasia. To cut a long story short, it was a phenomenal success and since then I’ve had to apologise to everyone for being responsible for ‘keruntuhan akhlakremaja Melayu’ (The fall of the Malay youth moral).

At one press conference a journalist commented to me that most participants are not really good singers and they’re not worthy to be called artists. In my head I was thinking ‘Ahhh, you don’t get it – it’s not a singing competition, it’s a drama!’ Go deep to understand why people like what they like and if you go deep enough you will discover the right emotions. Make a connection with that emotion and if you’re among the first to do it, you’re on to something groundbreaking.