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Who's in the Video
Tom Freston was one of MTV's founding executives and until recently served as CEO of Viacom. Freston is responsible for the generation-defining ad campaign "I Want My MTV." In 1987[…]

Freston talks about the stimuli of city life.

Question: What is your creative process?

Tom Freston: Well I get inspired by a lot of different things. I mean I’ve sort of been in the world of the popular culture my whole life, so I will read, you know, a foot and a half of magazines a week, watch everything I can on television and online. And I’ll try and draw from as many sources as possible. I like living in cities, so just the visual stimuli of walking around, seeing what’s in store windows, what are people wearing, what are they looking like – you know trying to get as broad a view of what’s going on and see what sort of things pop out of that for me has always been stimulating. I’ve . . . You know the idea of you could listen to some, I wouldn’t say __________, but unconventional people and talents, and people who are operating outside of the mainstream. And there’s a place where, for me anyway, a lot of great ideas came from. I mean the show Beavis and Butt-Head would be a great example of that. The things that ordinarily . . . You know you . . . you see something. If you take a broad, wide look at things, you’re gonna look at things that everyone else . . . Sooner or later you’re gonna find something good that everybody else isn’t looking at. So I wouldn’t say I have a creative process specifically, and I haven’t been a classic creative guy in the sense I’m not a film director or a, you know, producer. But I’ve been more in the business of managing creative people and managing creative enterprises. I mean you do look for . . . I’ve always looked for sort of the odd . . . you know the odd man out, something a little left to center.

Recorded On: 7/6/07