There’s not long to go before the 2019 Oscars are awarded, with a brilliant range of movies from BlacKkKlansman to The Favourite up for the Best Picture gong. At Doodle, we’re happy to leave the Best Picture voting up to the Academy, but there’s one (entirely hypothetical) award category that we’ve got strong opinions about: best Meeting in a Major Motion Picture. And the nominees are:
- ‘The Meeting of the Five Families’ from The Godfather
At Doodle, we’re all about communication and collaboration – just like everyone’s favourite mafia don, Vito Corleone. After a turf war has raged for months across New York city, Vito decides to put a stop to it, and sensibly calls a meeting of the city’s five major crime families. After some intense conversation, and equally intense cigar-chomping, a truce is called.
Lesson: Whether it’s a miscommunication or a mafia war, a face-to-face meeting is often the best solution.
- ‘The Demo Meeting’ from Robocop
If you’re part of a product team, you probably already know the value of a well-run demo meeting: it’s a lot more efficient and effective to show your work to your colleagues than explain it to them in an email update. That’s as long as the meeting doesn’t backfire, like this one from Robocop. It’s one thing to run into problems with your powerpoint presentation, but who decided to demo a killer law-enforcement droid without doing a dry-run first?
Lesson: Demo meetings can be effective and engaging! Just make sure to iron out any technical difficulties beforehand.
- ‘The Negotiation’ from Austin Powers
After being cryogenically frozen in 1967, the diabolical Dr. Evil goes into his first meeting with a very clear idea of what he wants — One Million Dollars! — not to mention a strong bargaining position — namely, he’ll destroy the world with a giant warhead if he doesn’t get it. But, thanks to inflation, a million dollars is no longer the large sum Dr. Evil imagines. Luckily, after a quick consultation with his right-hand-man, Dr. Evil revises his initial demand: 100 billion dollars or we all go up in smoke. Would it have looked more professional if he’d done his research prior? Sure. But some quick-thinking saved the meeting.
Lesson: Always go into a meeting with a clear idea of what you want, but don’t be afraid to be flexible if the situation calls for it.
- ‘The Pointed Feedback’ from The Breakfast Club
Ever been in a meeting that feels as long and painful as a whole-Saturday detention? Then take a leaf out of the Breakfast Club’s book. We’re not saying you need to perform a group dance routine in your high school library or give Ally Sheedy a makeover; instead we’d encourage you to consider leaving some feedback about the meeting’s utility. In the essay they write to Principal Vernon, the Breakfast Club explain precisely why they disagreed with the objectives of their detention, and it’s pretty persuasive!
Lesson: Is your time getting drained by pointless meetings? Give clear and concise feedback, to make the meeting lead aware of the problem.
- ‘The Scheduling Scene’ from Up in the Air
Consider this one more of a dishonourable mention. While we love the workplace satire and heartfelt romance of Up in the Air, the scene where our two leads try and co-ordinate their next meeting, each reading from competing calendars, makes us cringe.
Lesson: Seriously? Haven’t these people heard of Doodle?
By Jessica Miller
Jessica Miller is an Australian writer currently based in Berlin.