December 15, 2010

It started with a passage in “The NEW Social Learning” this weekend…

The 21st century mind is a collective mind where we access what we know in our friends and colleagues brains.  Together we can be smarter and can address ever more challenging problems.  What we store in our heads may not be as important as all that we can tap in our networks.  Together we are better.

And someplace in the depths of my brain, a switch turned on…”Together we’re better; we’re better together…There’s just no mountain we can’t move” and try as I did, the melody just would not go away.

So five days later, I caved in and this morning, searched everywhere for NARRATIVE BEDS – which I was sure I would have more luck locating than “BB plays CMG” or a box of show tapes packed away for the last 25 years. I did find it, and have now been on a mental tour that began in South America and progressed across the US from sun-up in Florida to sun-down in Seattle as I listened to the Minnesota Orchestra play Billy Barber in the longest opening mod I have ever heard or seen. And along the way, images of dewdrops on an orange, and coffee beans and light trails of semis at a distribution center on the west coast merged with a barbecue at the farm, entertaining the client in our box at the Dome, no air conditioning in our hotel as fear of “slide amebas” grew, freeze-frames from 16mm to slides, two green-sprout girls on their first show, as we taught them to steal hotel furniture for stage props,  and after an aborted balloon drop, a crazy creative director jumping into the middle of a net stuffed with inflated balloons. Oh my.

And of course, once I was playing the CD, how could I resist the 9370 Reveal or the Navistar Open/Fit and Finish and more images…from that gorgeous silver 9370 coming over the hill, to the shots of a red logging truck coming down the mountain trail as Al hung in a harness from the helicopter in the rain to shoot it, to over a thousand giddy grown men crawling like ants over and under and into the new trucks.

And then there was Billy and Hollywood calling from New York to announce they were recording the Navistar track on a synthesizer (a what?) and trying to convince me I would love it; we did not need the MN Orchestra for this one.  They fought hard, and finally we compromised.  Record it; bring it back for the client to hear, and in the meantime we would hold the sound studio and orchestra – just in case.  And I wasn’t paying, if the client didn’t like it. From there, a whole new menu of “firsts” was launched: machine-made musical tracks, graphic laser effects mixed with atmospheric lasers, and a stage that parted to reveal not a truck but the orange diamond road…at the dawn of a new beginning. And somewhere along the line, we even let video replace the superior 16mm!

Wow! We had an innovative and creative group producing great meetings for great clients. And all before we even knew what a pectin was!  Lots of good memories of all the team.  Al and Hollywood, I am missing you today and all that you taught me! Together, we WERE better!  Wishing you and all those that survived us a very happy holiday!

(I should have skipped the CMG Prism track however….good images of that Dayton meeting? Not so much. Although, that is where, over a bloody mary, Wikstrom and I dreamed up the product expo concept so we would never again have to be breakout speakers at the national sales meeting-especially with Daytonians in the audience.)

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