Creative Triage...Creative Success

The Forbidden PhraseSteve-library

In my industry there’s a saying that you’re never supposed to utter in front of clients: “You can have it fast, you can have it cheap, you can have it great. You just can’t have all three at once.” For years I accepted this bit of common-sense wisdom until the dawn of the digital age forced all the rules to be re-written. I also saw many large production houses go under. What to do?

It Started Over 20 Years Ago

Fortunately I had seen the writing on the wall in the mid-80’s and passed through the digital divide with no ill effects, like Chuck Yeager through the sound barrier. I got lucky. I had seen it coming in my graduate film program and had plenty of time to prepare. And like many guys, my fascination with all things digital continues unabated. In fact, each and every day is still a thrilling discovery as I work in this amazing world of the moving image.


My clients range from multi-national corporations to local hair salons. My productions have been translated into a half-dozen languages at a time. And I’m always looking for new worlds to…well…capture. But again, the world has changed radically in the last few years and the role that video plays in it has changed as well.

The Once and Future Goal

Most of my productions have a common set of goals: to raise profits, to increase a company’s client base, or to change attitudes. That we have been successful at all three is simply an outgrowth of our passion for this work and a desire to listen to what our clients are trying to tell the world about themselves. This began to happen when I discovered Creative Triage.

The Origin of ‘Creative Triage’

Working for ad agencies is always exciting. They have clients who need it done right now if not yesterday. So I started putting systems into place to make sure that no one would fall through the cracks or that we would not have to turn down work for lack of personnel, time or equipment. It seemed natural to call it Creative Triage, the idea that every case would be handled in the appropriate way at the right time. That way we could keep our cost structure intact without losing our “patient.” It worked. Our clients don’t worry about deadlines because they know we’ll handle them with ease and a refreshing lack of drama.

By the way, you may notice a bit of flying imagery on this site. I’m a pilot and fly my Saratoga
all over the country. If you visit my studio you may be invited for a flight to Martha’s Vineyard, so bring your goggles!



Steven Washer
Executive Producer
TotalView Media


What’s Your Challenge?

Everyone has them. Yours might be an image you are trying to create, a first impression that will set the stage for negotiations, or a coup de grace to help make a really big sale. Whatever your challenge, if you need help with video, you’re likely to find it here or in the resources we can point you towards.