Before the creative project there is: the brief. It's a concise communication nugget developed between a client and an artist, or an architect, or a designer, that clearly lays out the mission for the task at hand. Briefly is a short doc that explores the complexity of this short form through the perspective of six big name professionals.

There's a lot of descriptions from the talking heads—including Maira Kalman, Frank Gehry and David Rockwell, and Yves Béhar—about what kind of brief helps them do their best work. It should be inspirational. It should elicit gasps of delight. It should be passionate. It should be direct. It should be based on relationships. It should be audacious and seemingly impossible. It should leave room to evolve.

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These generalized descriptions are a little insidery (aaand indulgent) at length, especially coming from folks who have already made it in the biz, but the doc manages to have more impact when the discussion centers around real-life campaigns or problems solved; like when Wieden + Kennedy partner John C. Jay talks about coming up with a controversial brief for Nike during the 1996 Olympics— "Sport is war minus the killing"—complete with corresponding images of athletes physically pushing themselves like whoa, or John Boiler from agency 72 and Sunny discusses how Samsung simply wanted its phones to be seen as "a credible number two" in the face of Apple's domination.

A deeper glimpse behind the scenes on some of these greatest hits would have been fascinating, but Briefly's unique look at a key part of the industry that doesn't get as much publicity is a decent intro.

Watch the whole documentary here.