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When your movie loses financing and you’re suddenly without a real paycheck and you need to find replacement financing then you, sir, you have some problems that need solving. In working those problems out you get a very up close an personal look at practical problem solving. I think it’s important to differentiate “problem solving” from “practical problem solving” because they really are two separate things.
Problem Solving: By definition problem solving is, “Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills. Problem solving occurs when an organism or an artificial intelligence system needs to move from a given state to a desired goal state.”* So what does that mean? It means you sit there, consider your options and find a way to achieve your goal. This can often lead to outlandish, sometimes expensive, solutions that, while completely viable, aren’t preferable.
Practical Problem Solving: Really my own definition because if a problem gets solved it probably will be practical to the situation, but sometimes it is easy to get distracted by the complexity of a group of problems and lose sight of which ones need to be solved right away versus problems that can either wait or may solve themselves. This is where I have been doing most of my work.
The triage of problems has been a study in crisis and how to put out fires – both personally and in business. There are, reasonably, 16 possible work hours per day – assuming you sleep 8 hours a day. You only have so much time to get way too much done and so decision making goes hand in hand with problem solving. Also, most of us have the luxury of being able to follow the problem solving paths laid out by people who have already had to navigate the troubled waters we try to cross – in the entertainment industry we are entering completely new territory and so reliable “go to solutions” are hard to come by. So what do we do? We try stuff. We experiment. We look for the paths that other people haven’t found or ignore. We look for the “Bob’s” who have had some success and try to build off of it.
It’s amazing to me how open entertainment veterans are to new ideas right now. It’s a really exciting time to be a filmmaker or musician – maybe not as profitable as it once was, but exciting all the same.
Well, I’ve got more problems to solve. I hope you solve yours too.
See you tomorrow!