Yesterday, Mark and I watched 9.Â You know, that kid’s movie with the kickass trailer that looked like it was going to be so, so amazing?
Many parts of it were.Â It was a fabulously original film with great graphics, cool action sequences, and a really wonderful hook.Â The plot built, engaged, twisted, and then at the end it just kind of rolled over and died.
I was with 9 right up until that ending, because it was clearly a movie that was loved by its creators.Â All the little ragdolls, with their unique looks and characters, spoke of love in a big way.Â So did the unique use of music. And all of the wonderful detail.
When a project is loved, that usually means it’s going to be awesome.Â Up was clearly loved.Â So were Alien and Apollo 13. In the game world, we’ve got offerings like Lego Star Wars, Plants vs. Zombies, Guitar Hero. Â And so many other movies, books, games, and TV shows that I can’t possibly list them all.
Loving your project means being willing to abide with it long enough to find all the little details that bring out its heart.Â This is not an easy thing.Â It is fundamentally sort of terrifying to spend time in a world of your creation.Â Because if something is askew, amiss, feeble, or overwrought, it is all your fault.
Loving your project, then, requires faith not just in your work, but in yourself.
9 was loved.Â I’m sure of it.Â But 9 also fell flat at the end.Â Why, I don’t know.Â But here’s a guess: perhaps 9 illustrates one of the pitfalls of loving your project: loving it too much.Â Loving it so much that you are no longer able to view it critically, so much that you become wed to your initial ideas and fail to seek improvements.