Ira Glass to Creatives: Be a Ruthless Killer

(NPR’s Ira Glass about killing crap, via 37signals)

I’ve been seeing a lot of Tweets complaining of bad corporate video assembled by PR firms and other creators. I thought I’d share an inspiring video about “killing crap” from one of the great storytellers in broadcast, Ira Glass, Host of This American Life.

He talks about the importance of exploring stories thoroughly, and then becoming a ruthless killing machine when it’s time to edit. To paraphrase:

“It’s time to be vicious. It’s time to kill, and enjoy the killing, so something better can live. Not enough is said about the importance
of abandoning crap. All video production is trying to be crap. It’s like the laws of entropy. Anything you put on tape is trying to be really bad, much like the sentences I’m saying here.”

As the PR industry continues to create content on behalf of clients–as it should–this is a critical lesson. Check out some of the video efforts of mainstream print publications, and even the vlog portions of A-list blogs. Doesn’t every video seem too long? The same holds true for most press releases. Keep cutting till you have a streamlined, interesting story to tell.