Julie Taymor, theatrical director of ''The Lion King,'' and ''Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,'' says focus groups are poor predictors of great performance. Taymor and her partner, Academy Award-winning composer Elliot Goldenthal, also discuss sources of creativity and the timeless appeal of Shakespeare.
I really -- for writers here at the Aspen ideas festival where interview -- Timor and Elliot Goldenthal about creativity and innovation. -- -- has -- a preview screening of their film adaptation of its summer -- dream I asked them how they make up 400 year old Shakespearean play. Resonate with a modern Heidi. Well and -- contemporary for all times. You know only that times you know there's circumstances. I slightly change. But the human conditioned -- thing and and he was such an extraordinary. Creative offer an understanding of the human condition and human psychology. That he actually doesn't better than anybody does today frankly his plays. Have been made into movies 900 times is the most prolific screenwriter. You know the size being a great -- his his plays have been used for movies 900 times or more. Now you more always all the time and on Broadway and off Broadway this year there were five or six. Productions a Shakespeare there's no other writer who is that popular. -- popular people wanna see this place. I want to talk about the panel that you -- on called faces of creativity. That's and it's very interesting to the entrepreneurial community. What drives creativity it's interesting we talked so much about process like what's the process of creativity which almost seems like. A counter intuitive conversation. To be happy about creativity. I think it is very difficult to talk about what. How you create I think that what was that panel was about that are their moments -- -- -- is what inspires you what ignites. Your imagination. How would. Once you have an idea do you continue with it and let it grow and develop and so. There there is -- each of us each each of the panelists had different ideas about that different personal ways that they create and what. Moves. That they say politics. Is all local. And other people say business. Is all personal. I think or is -- collaborative. Collaborative sometimes with human being from those collaborative with -- -- other honors those long since died. And when there is a collaboration with other human being. Is to bridge the monetary world it's currently in negotiation. Tell -- flow of ideas between profound. Doing you're very open and after what happened with Spider-Man how about how you up focus groups hinder creativity. Why do you feel that way I think it really depends on when they used because. If -- you know. A focus group. If you ask people in group whether something's good or bad than they -- pretty good note that you use. Have questions about it. And they in one on one level they can't use your brain to answer. Those questions because arts if you're watching on whether -- movie you're going to museum you're going -- say okay look at this Annika by Picasso. Does it make you feel blah blah -- or what is it about instantly killed network of -- And they have found that many of the films that did very well they tested them exactly all of the and we Norman Lear's famous. All in the -- tested miserably. In our day and age it would never have gotten on this -- the pirates never and they asked this question because the focus group is such -- corporate. Concept -- hasn't been at the -- we didn't we didn't focus group. Line -- for instance they. Disney won't ever do focus groups and is a big company that are successful in -- Lion King is hugely successful. They find out. Where their audiences come from but that's much more about ticket sales not about trying to. Determine what the plea should be whether people will understand. -- like because you really start to water down. If you don't allow the artists to fulfill what -- actor and finish in his the other problem you can be very dangerous position to do it the wrong time. And also when you start something like I'm gonna talk about this but it. When Spiderman so much publicity people. He means like a jury it's tainted and I'm mad at thank you both go mad -- have to wait anymore and -- I'll appreciate it.