Opening up the writers’ room — why creative collaboration is key to powerful worldbuilding.

GIF from Alex McDowell’s excellent feature on FoST — also worth checking out!

The notion of filmmaking as an inherently collaborative practice is more relevant than ever as we make our first forays into new transmedia formats.

In order to create experiences that offer the same conceptual depth and emotional breadth as traditional cinema, while also taking full advantage of cutting-edge tech and tools, we need to bring talented people of diverse skillsets together, from brilliant writers to visionary production designers and outstanding VFX producers.

Cooperation between departments shouldn’t just emerge in the latter stages of production, but right from the outset, at the very beginning of the storywriting process. Opening up the “writers’ room” to encourage broader creative collaboration is a crucial first step for powerful worldbuilding.

Of course, this is comes with its own challenges. That’s why we’ve enlisted the help of Jan Fiedler, Senior VFX Producer (Pixomondo), Torsten Götz, Development Producer (Letterbox Filmproduktion) and Uli Hanisch, Production Designer to lead our “WRITERS’ ROOM EXTENDED” panel on the afternoon of our Conference Day at Changing The Picture. This trio will challenge our expectations of creative collaboration with a comprehensive discussion of how and why we can bring writers, VFX producers and production designers together for better worldbuilding.

Until then, you can gain some first insights into the importance of creative collaboration in production design by reading this discussion of worldbuilding with performance designer Stephen Curtis and production designer Deb Riley of Game of Thrones. As Deb points out, “production designers and VisFX designers have a lot to offer each other, enriching each other’s perspective to ultimately make a better result. And audiences can see the difference when we do”.