The Bruckheimer Blueprint

You've seen his movies, you've watched his television, you've probably even bought into his branding. His name... Jerry Bruckheimer, and in movie terms he is God.

Arguably the most successful movie producer of the last three generations, Jerry Bruckheimer is synonymous with blockbuster success: Beverly Hills Cop, Top Gun, Armageddon, Pirates of the Caribbean, and National Treasure, just to name a few.

But one of the most impressive things about Bruckheimer is that he has reached the pinnacle in both film and TV. The triumph of Jerry Bruckheimer Television is evident in the branding: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, CSI: Miami, and CSI: NY. And then there are his other out of the park home runs: Without a Trace, Cold Case, and The Amazing Race.

Clearly, Bruckheimer is the maestro, but why? What does he know that we don't? What's his secret? His blueprint for success?

Answer: DESIGN.

Almost all American business underestimates the consumer's desire for design. It's not so much how great a product is – it is how it looks. Apple didn't invent the MP3 player technology, yet it's the king of the MP3 player market. Why? Apple just designed a better device: the iPod. Apple "invented" how it looked.

And Bruckheimer does the same thing in film and television. He's no writer. He's not an idea guy. He just makes sure to "invent" that great design. Every major police department has it's own CSI units, but do they look like Bruckheimer's CSI lab environments? The facilities, the technology, the style... not even close to reality, but it sure looks cool. So we buy into it, and then we're hooked.

Most of us don't buy a car because of its amazing fuel economy. We buy because we love the way it looks. So do the same thing in your scripts. Film/TV is visual storytelling, so design your world so that you make it impossible for us not to want to see it.


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