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There's this constant stress on organizations and on creators
to continue to think about--
what is it I'm doing, and what is it that my audience is going
to want from me in the future?
How are you able to balance this need for some continuity,
but also this ability to renew and try something different?
It's not about how much we lost.
It's about how much we have left.
Studying movie franchises was a fun way
of understanding when you've already
got movie one, movie two--
when you're working on movie three,
you have a backlog of things.
So you have some constraints, but you still
want to be creative on movie number three.
Marvel's making really fun movies.
And what they're doing is they're bringing in new voices
into their process, and then allowing
those voices to let them violate some of the assumptions of what
made the previous movie great.
Over time, that makes an audience that
is more willing to show up to a movie ready to be surprised
and to be wowed, rather than an audience that shows up
and they say, I hope that I'm going
to get these three things from the product
that I already expect because the last three products have
given me those three things as well.
You look at the character Thor.
So Thor starts out with kind of a classic, first treatment
in movie number one where we establish his back story.
Movie number two-- a lot of fans of the Marvel cinematic
universe would say--
that's the worst movie in the entire 22 movie run.
It feels very Shakespearean, very heavy.
Now, you come to visit me, brother.
Why?
And then in movie number three, they
hire Taika Waititi who's known for these kind
of off beat sort of comedies and these really unique, kind
of quirky characters.
And he really does that to Thor, and you
have this third movie that feels more like a Buddy cop comedy.
I lost my hammer, like, yesterday.
So that's still pretty fresh.
The audience could say, this is way
too different than what I expect Thor to do.
He's supposed to be this Norse god and wielding his hammer.
But instead, the reaction was, wow, like, this is so much fun.
The other movies that are building up to it
are continuing to violate expectations in these fun ways
so that when you get to Thor, which
could be seen as a major violation, instead
it's just another part of them being really creative
and generating new products and delighting the audience.
You create this zone of acceptable violations.
These films are quantitatively different.
Yeah, we can measure it.
So we did a script analysis where
we analyzed the emotional tone of each one of the movies,
and then we plotted them over time.
And we saw, basically, there's this kind
of zig zag pattern where one movie might
feel kind of dark and deep, and the next movie
is going to feel more light and fun,
and then you go down again.
You begin to have people that are challenging
what the formula is.
The movies actually do look different.
Visually, they're different signatures.
Over time, if we begin to plot how a product is
different from the previous product,
we can understand what is the zone that they're
creating of a violation that's going to be
acceptable for the audience?
Marvel was doing something that we
thought was really bizarre and cool in hiring new talent,
especially their directors.
We call this selecting for experienced inexperience.
They were hiring people that were inexperienced at making
a blockbuster, but had really deep experience
with some sort of a genre.
One of the coolest examples of hiring
for an inexperienced experience is
Ryan Coogler and Black Panther.
I mean, that movie was a huge risk.
You bring in Ryan Coogler-- he has
kind of a very strong set of ideas,
and he has a really strong aesthetic.
And he brings that to it, but it still
feels like a Marvel movie.
So what they didn't do is kind of force
him to conform to some sort of a Marvel template.
If anything, the forcing went the other way
where he kind of forced Marvel out of its comfort zone.
Very often when we think about onboarding an employee,
we think, how quickly can we get you to become exactly like us?
Here, what Marvel was saying is, you
have something that we don't have.
Bring that so we can learn from you.
And the parts where you are inexperienced--
making a blockbuster--
we're going to help you make up for that.
We can handle that part.
But you keep what's unique to you.
We often think about onboarding new employees,
and this gets us to begin to think
about inboarding new employees.
What are we allowing them to bring into the organization
before we try to put things onto them?
Organizations that are able to kind of evoke this sense of,
we're going to continually create,
and we have an audience that's going
to follow us on that journey--
they're able to reap the benefits from that.
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After 22 Films, How Has Marvel Studios Stayed Surprising and Successful?

55 Folder Collection
jbsatvtac1 published on August 22, 2019
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