CS Presents ‘Creative Looting, Whose Idea Is it Anyway?’

Hosted at LBi’s beautiful Brick Lane offices on 8th November, this was ‘CS Presents’ third sell-out event.  True to form, an amazing line-up of speakers drew the crowds in during Internet Week Europe and this being the last ‘CS Presents’ event of 2011, it was full of fun!

The speakers were:

Liz Sivell, ECD of Start Judge Jill
Nathan Cooper, Creative Partner at Anomaly London
Tom Eslinger, Worldwide Digital Creative Director of Saatchi & Saatchi
Dave Bedwood, Creative Partner of Lean Mean Fighting Machine
Andy Sandoz, Creative Partner of Work-Club (and resident speaker)

The event was sold out with an attendance of between 170-190 people, with many agencies present.  A few super agencies on the night included Collective London, Skive, Dare and Cheil (Daniele’s new place of employment).

Introduction to the night

Daniele kick started the night off introducing the speakers and asking the audience how many of them have attended a Creative Social event before.  It was great to see more hands raised this time, with an estimated 20% coming back to support Creative Social.  When everyone sat down they were given a feedback slip which explained that Source were giving £100 iTunes vouchers to a randomly selected person who completed the survey monkey feedback form.

After some technical issues we got underway with the first speaker, Tom Eslinger from Saatchi’s. He spent 8 mins discussing his passion for comic books and Dave Carson and it being a place where he “loots” his creative ideas from.  He managed to get a giggle from the audience when he showed a picture of him as a child with big ginger hair.  His knowledge and passion for comic books is incredible, and although most people in the room probably don’t read comic books, everyone seemed to find it funny.

Second up was mad Liz from Start JudgeGill.  She really takes after her twitter name of @madlizzie. She “looted” 2 extra minutes during her talk taking it to 10 mins where she spoke about “sucking blood” from other industries.  Liz presented us with a few case studies to explain the method in her madness using CSI, Derren Brown, Good Cop Bad Cop and Robbers as examples.  The Derren Brown case study was particular fascinating as she explained the power of subliminal messaging which she takes to client meetings, presentations and calls.  Having had a few glasses of wine Liz did a great job in explaining how she takes methodologies from other sectors and brings it back to her specialism.  It will be interesting to hear how her research goes whilst looking into the music industry, storm chasers, athletes and race drivers…

Inspiring talk from Andy Sandoz

Next up was resident speaker Andy Sandoz from Work-Club.  He once again produced an incredible talk which really got you thinking about things in detail.  Andy spoke about Brains! How ideas come in and ideas go out and that we are living a life with technology which is cause data to go into our brains quicker and leave our brains quicker.  Andy explained that broadening your experiences will help broaden your ideas.  One case study which stood out was the difference between Grey, White and Black matter, with Black referring to Jack Daniels and alcohol generally.  He asked if LSD was connected to creativity somehow… Andy interestingly has been studying brain uploading since 1999 and has a great knowledge of the future of computers and our brains.  His digital memory ring idea which he gave the audience for free was pretty cool and realistic as it could be done today if someone had the time to do it.

Andy continued with all of the data we consume acting as a sixth sense which was an interesting thought.  Will we be plugging into other peoples experiences? Have we exhausted our generation of ideas? Is Data our LSD? Do we need a break through in technology to help open our minds to new ideas? Do we live in a culture where we need to share more to get more?
Some great questions to get the mind thinking…

Fourth speaker of the night was Dave Bedwood from Lean Mean Fighting Machine.  He asked How can we become more original? His answer (which came up before the question) was You Can’t! He used Twiglets as a case study as they still use the word original and nothing much has changed in 20 years.  He also mentioned Coca Cola as a brand which tastes the same today as it did when it first launched and you can be the president of the united states of America but still have the same tasting drink as the tramp sleeping outside the white house.  Dave mentioned ideas are about connecting two things and creating something original from it.  For the first time in a talk we were entertained by a “break slide” which for 10 seconds we got to look at a plain white screen.  We were introduced to his Pen and Pad which goes with him everywhere and he promoted stepping away from the computer or phone to think and get inspiration.  A picture of Simon Cowell off his face brought laughter to the audience again.

New favourites

Dave recommended a book from Steven Johnson called ‘Where all good ideas come from’.  This will be on our Christmas list.

After a toilet break and a change of laptop Nathan Cooper from Anomaly took to the stage who had less visuals in his presentation and more words but was equally as engaging.  “7 plots in 7 minutes” was his approach to creative looting explaining that there are 7 film templates in Hollywood which everyone copies.  He introduced us to MacGuffin which was our word of the night.  If you haven’t heard of it before, Google it!  Nathan closed his speech with something that made everyone feel at ease saying “if you aren’t original it doesn’t matter, You are let off the hook”

We concluded with a Q+A where some of the Communications of Arts 2.0 students picked the speakers brains.  One question asked Dave Bedwood to explain his theory in not having “brainstorming” sessions at LMFM which was interesting to get an insight into idea generations done differently.

More people stayed after the event which was good to see as there were still some more free drinks left.  Many people weren’t sure whether to trade their retro pog for a drink and thought about keeping them. There were a lot of very cool retro pogs which was a talking point on the night.