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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Being a Fly On The Wall

You will probably enjoy the film, This Is It, if:

1.  You would appreciate the chance to have a behind-the scenes look at the creative process.
2.  You are interested in  observing leadership styles.
3.  You've been following the blog posts about empathy.

This film is a study of the creative process.  Here are some of the world's finest artists and technicians, at work and incredibly focused on a joint project.  You can almost see the 'wheels turning' in their minds as they problem solve, experiment and develop the production.  I found that aspect, unexpected, and fascinating.
One could view this movie as an exposition of a particular leadership style.  There is a leadership style that Michael Jackson was using and teaching which is an uncommon one.  It was low-key and always respectful.  While this concert was clearly his vision and he was definitely going to be the star, he also generously wanted the others players to "shine".  Even though he seemed perfectionistic in his attention to detail, he did not  lash out at  others when they didn't meet his standard.  He made corrections kindly and he also tried to elicit their best from the other performers. He tried to reassure them, to calm them, and to offer them meaning for what they were making together.
Also, watching some of the one-on-one  interactions, they seemed to me to be empathy in action.  These people,--- choreographers, musicians, engineers, designers, etc. were all working so closely together, toward a common goal, that they had become very in tune (not to make a pun...) with each other.  In some instances, you could imagine that you saw one person's mind going through each note as a musician played her instrument or each step as a dancer practiced his part.

In addition, if you are not necessarily a Michael Jackson fan, but like to watch wonderful dancing, there is an improvisational dance by M.J. toward the end of the film that is wonderful.
If you go to this  movie, be sure to stay through the credits, there are a few extra bits at the end which most people in the theater where I saw this, missed, because they had already left.

In my view, an unusual and engaging film.

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