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2017 01 2414 44 43d4s 8434

Can Tough Assignments Be Golden Opportunities in Disguise?


There it is. A blank screen. You’re staring at it. It’s staring back at you.

“I dare you to create something,” it taunts. “Make it memorable.”

And so your journey begins with a new client. How are you going to tell their story?

What will make it stand out? Resonate? Get the job done? Be memorable?

The creative process is never easy, especially if your client’s universe is new to you.

I remember a time when we were hired to create a video series to teach librarians ways to effectively, compassionately and respectfully interact with the waves of people experiencing homelessness that flooded the California libraries every day.

The homeless were looking for a refuge from the streets, the weather, shattered lives, and, often, debilitating mental illness.

The librarians were seeking new tools and equipping as to how to juggle unpredictable daily situations with challenging individuals while also ensuring the safe, smooth running of their departments for their regular young and adult patrons.

The needs on both sides were huge and there were no quick fixes.

We took a deep, deep dive and interviewed social workers, psychologists, public officials, rescue mission leaders, pastors, law enforcement, homeless individuals, and, of course, librarians themselves. Slowly, we gained insight, understanding…and collected dozens of extraordinary stories. Some of them took our breath away, others made us cry. All of them gripped our hearts with truths about our fragile humanity.

Suddenly, this initially tough assignment became a passion project. We created script after script of lessons learned from true events that equipped, edified and transformed. We worked closely with our clients to ensure they could ‘see’ and support our approach. Despite the complexity of working with teams from four separate very large state entities (topics for another post), to everyone’s credit, they caught the vision. We were able to cast wonderful actors, hired talented cinematographers, costume designers, and make-up artists. We secured interesting locations, and filmed many episodes over a period of several months.

As the web series rolled out, the universally positive feedback came rolling in. “Amazing!” “Absolutely wonderful!” “Can’t wait to share it!” And, what you always want to hear from your clients: “Exceeded expectations!”

The California Mental Health Initiative series (as it was called) went on to win two Telly Awards, and Legacy Media Lab got hired to produce Season Two. We’re very proud of this work, grateful to have collaborated on something so meaningful, deeply gratified that it helped uplift, equip, and encourage our amazing librarians, and, ultimately, that the series helped reaffirm the humanity in all of us.

You watch some of the episodes, click here:  https://legacymedialab.com/portfolio/california-mental-health-initiative/

Contact us for a free consultation!

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