I really like the old 1959 movie, North By Northwest. One of the final scenes takes place in the crowded cafeteria at Mount Rushmore. Just before Carey Grant’s character gets shot, a little boy in the background of the scene plugs his ears (presumably because they have shot this scene a few times and he knows that the loud gun is coming next).
The great thing about movies is that there is a chance to yell, “Cut!” and do another take – to magically play the whole scene over again. But at times, little things like this seem slip past even the best of directors (in this case, Alfred Hitchcock).
I guess if Hollywood cannot perfectly control every scene, what chance do businesses have at perfectly orchestrating every scene with a customer? The answer…not very likely. The true mark of a business’ directing skills is not in seeing if they never mess up – they will. No, the true mark of genius business directing is manifest in how often they mess up, the severity and maybe more importantly how they handle the mess up.
Do the participants blame the production company (the business)? Maybe they blame their fellow actors (their co-workers or you as the customer). Perhaps they lay blame aside and quickly head for the editing room to try and salvage what they can. Since businesses don’t have a chance to stop and do another take, we should cut them some slack. Give them a chance to edit and make things better. Once they have handed over the edited scene, then we can sit back and give them a thumbs up or a thumbs down.
What business blunders have you experienced that were saved by editing? What experiences were beyond editing and why?