Building a Creative Wonder on a Business Battlefield
Future Voice (Magazine) feature, in-depth biographical article on husband and wife visionary storytellers, Misty and James Buzzacco, owners of the Los Angeles based cinematic branding and production boutique, Creative Doorway
Learning to Fly. Learning to Fall.
Tick-tock. Tick-tock. For Peter Pan and the Lost Boys, that symbolic double-tap could only mean one thing: danger was near. That ticking clock was a call to arms as Peter and the boys were summoned to face an onslaught from Hook’s heartless pirate crew. Tick-Tock, and all that Peter had to do, to taste the sweet victory of battle, was to simply…remember.
There’s nothing more relatable to a creative professional than this classic tale’s still- relevant message. Even though we’d like to believe the aspiring protagonist-child still lives within us all, could it be in danger of slowly fading away entirely? What the fantastical realm of “Peter’s Neverland” personifies more accurately now, as we stretch into our adult lives and competitive careers, is the very realistic nature of preserving that same childlike sense of wonder…even more so when our soaring imaginations must operate within the constructs of the ‘real world.’ It’s almost inevitable that we, too, will soon entirely forget the origins of our deeply coveted creative core of consciousness and be forced to “walk the plank.”
So, just fly you say?
Unfortunately, fairy dust can be extremely hard to come by when the disciplinary success formulas we’ve come to rely upon are running interference on our highly imaginative creative pursuits. It’s easy to visualize Peter dodging all those fiduciary requests flying at him like cannonballs, demanding higher productivity and maximizing profit margins. It’s the type of pressure to make the creative child within us run for cover indefinitely!
As James Buzzacco, who – along with his wife Misty – founders of Creative Doorway (a Los Angeles-based cinematic branding boutique specializing in innovative and multi-dimensional storytelling) explains, “It’s important to understand how certain business management and workflow aspects in the industry are capable of becoming legitimate obstructions to the entire creative process. However, we must never forget that this same antagonist is often essential to a protagonist’s journey; if one simply recognizes the importance of their dynamic together. In much the same way, by overcoming the grueling obstacles and absorbing these new demands for a wider range of expertise, a creative project and the minds behind it can reach new heights never initially imagined.”
Walking Alone in War
“There is no such thing as ‘just delegate that objective to someone else’ anymore, at least in this field.”
The days of simply focusing on one single skill area of interest are long over for aspiring creative business owners. Especially when this newly evolved business model, one that the majority of companies are now forced to adopt out of mere exigency, doesn’t allow them to acquire or realistically afford additional human assets to keep up with the higher-level competition.
“This is a massive wake up call,” admits James. “But, somehow the child inside of us continues to remain full of hope, still reaching for the stars, and would confidently do anything to reach these new levels of resourcefulness. Luckily, for our dream’s sake, there are two practical options readily available. You can either surrender to a new professional transformation, one that could allow you to productively wear additional trade hats similar to the likes of a renaissance master craftsman, or to fall behind the current workflow trends of this advancing technology-driven generation.”
“The big Hollywood monopolies are being phased out for this very reason,” says James. “Independent companies with skeleton crews, where there are fewer people overall who take on the responsibilities of multiple person objectives, are gaining massive traction and businesses are taking advantage of these new opportunities. Fortunately, long years of having to master graphic design, cinematography, camera operating, lighting, set design, editing, audio mix and mastering, scriptwriting, casting, directing talent, running rehearsals, and developing a marketing strategy to package the entire presentation together to create a brand story environment, were all learned at these very crossroads of pure survival necessity.”
This background is what has allowed James and Misty to weather the storms of adversity in the immensely volatile marketing and filmmaking industry thus far, and which they now attribute to Creative Doorway’s elevation to a higher tier of production standard.
Perfecting the Balancing Act
Obviously, maintaining this sense of workflow balance is easier said than done. Amidst this newly inherited workforce chaos, of which Los Angeles is notorious for using to weed out the weak, it was imperative that the duo form new accompanying mental and phycological habits to persevere. Where compartmentalization disciplines were a central topic in many of their past campaign interviews, “the key,” according to director James Buzzacco’s on-screen candid response, “is to formulate a way to seal off each newly acquired craft responsibility into some form of air-tight objective sequence. Your focus has to remain perfectly enveloped inside the boundaries of these designated milestones.”
“You especially can’t allow irrational concerns, worry or obsessions, something all passionate artists have trouble juggling, to seep out in between these modular benchmarks,” James replies. “This is something we had to learn the hard way over the last 10 years, trying to figure out how to get the left and right brain hemispheres to work in harmony so that we ultimately wouldn’t sabotage ourselves with burnout. We knew that the result, at each opposite end of the spectrum of our decision to evolve, would either yield a lifestyle consistent to that of a starving artist, or to become something closer to a product of the money inspired business machine we despise. So, to remain right in the middle sweet spot, we felt that building this type of mental armor around our various directives was the only way to protect our child-like wonder from the diminishing returns; a choice that ultimately allowed us to continue the upward climb into another exciting but unexpected industry opportunity.”
Stepping onto the Battlefield of a New Industry
Recently, James and Misty have proven the effectiveness of their refined renaissance work methods and trademark cinematic storytelling production talents in the regenerative medicine and medical science sectors. They were immediately drawn to the prospective implications of conveying the seriousness of a life-changing subject matter, for an entirely new audience, to showcase the possibilities of their strategically preserved state of creative wonder.
“We knew there would be an unimaginable potential for us to build this almost science fiction reality entrance into a highly technical field, says James. “In truth, cohabitation between the analytical and creative realm – like that yin-yang of science and art – would require exactly what we had established as our new solid sense of purpose. That same balancing act we’ve come to identify with, but now with an opportunity to paint it into the threads of this unique industry’s creative canvas.”
However, while in the couple’s pre-production research phase of delving deeply into the fact, fiction, and misunderstandings that hover over cellular scientific advancements,they were soon to discover a new battle being forged between healthcare tradition and innovation. Within this clashing of conflicting interests, which they soon discovered was nothing more than a duel for the bottom line, they were made aware of the barrage of marketing strategies being deployed to seek and destroy to obscure facts or even mislead the public.
“Patients’ lives were at risk here,” James declared. “Nevertheless, the same competitive business motivations existed. Not to help strengthen the potentials for cellular science but to viciously bring down fellow competitors. It’s actually been commonly referred to as the wild west by the scientific community. Since the regulatory aspects have not been completely refined because the innovations are so new, manufacturers –and even physicians – are looking to sell and administer the products in ways that may not be legal or ethical.”
“Greed and false marketing promises are an epidemic in this industry,” James concludes. “And it’s into that battlefield that we bring our commitment and creative energy, which we bundle into both an armor and an offensive weapon to wield in ways that have the potential to protect and educate our audience.”
The Hero’s Quest
All creative businesses must traverse this very battlefield. Many do not emerge unscathed and ultimately become compromised as Peter had been himself. Many are desensitized, and end up conducting their business endeavors from a place of subservience in order to successfully bear the burdens of the monstrous machine. Others decide to create primarily out of the joy for their craft, avoiding the monetization side of artistic self-expression all altogether.
“We are proud of the fact that at this stage of our careers – despite the humbling reality of fluctuating seasons of reaping and sowing – we see each obstacle or challenge as an opportunity to gain new levels of perseverance,” says James. “By maintaining this constant evolution, we work up our tolerance into bigger projects, with more working parts, and larger demands; all the while testing the integrity of our process with each new campaign that influences a new perspective.”
“This is what Creative Doorway has become to us,” James continues. “We see, through the demands of our work, how our life philosophy continues to sculpt us. By allowing this company to position us on the frontline, to test our wits, patience, and fortitude on this battlefield of life, we can take great pride in what we have achieved. Because we know that with great reward comes great responsibility.”
Finally Taking Flight
In many ways, Awakening, the duo’s latest cinematic short film branding project epitomizes this battle between creativity and the intricacies of scientific-analytical revelation. James and Misty strategically blueprinted the project as a way to creatively reveal the truth about the remarkable potentials of cellular therapies, while using the very production talents reserved for the theatrical silver screen to showcase a new exosome-based cellular product, Exo® – one of many innovations created by the California based cellular manufacturing company, Elysian Biologics.
The duo sees this project as a culmination of the skills they have honed as they navigated their aforementioned operational war plans in order to stay true to their core beliefs…while also building a viable enterprise.
“Despite the weight on our shoulders that felt overwhelmingly heavy,” concludes James. “We were fortunate enough to keep our eyes squinted open just enough to decipher what was on the screen in front of us as we successfully reached the finish line. Never once forgetting that we, too, could fly.”