Why are we ever short of inspiration? I am sitting at en2go watching the most incredible nature film I ever seen, it’s called Baraka. Shot on 70mm and set to music it features the most stunning scenery from all around the world.
From the depths of the ocean to the highest mountain peaks, to the most barren arid lands nothing we can create as artists competes with what we already have. All we really have to do is open our eyes and we have our inspiration.
I once met an Italian man in Fiji who said very excitedly… “this world is so beautiful I want to see all it.” He is right, there is so much to see, so much to do, so much to explore.
There are several ways of looking at the same thing and this is what we call perspective. Different people view the same object, scenario or situation differently, they look at it through their own lens. If five different artists were to paint my portrait, each portrait would be completely different and yet each of them would look like me…
Arguments happen when two people see things from only one perspective (theirs) and they are convinced that the way they see it is the way it actually is. The great thing about being in a team is that you get to combine these different perspectives; it’s like building a 3 dimensional model… you get a much more rounded view of what you are actually creating. The more perspectives you have the richer the creation.
As a filmmaker I wish to investigate other peoples perspectives, the diversity is what makes life beautiful.
I think it is good to have a happy place, or several happy places. A place you can visit in your dreams, or in your imagination whenever you choose. A happy place allows you to escape whatever difficult or crappy situation you currently find yourself in.
The imagination is the key to your happy place and we use this key all the time. When I imagine a film, I put myself in the story. I see myself wandering down the streets of Prague without a care in the world and with Scrap (a 3 legged dog) by my side. When you read a book, watch TV or play a video game you are transporting yourself into another imagined realm.
Of-course your imagination doesn’t always take you to “happy” places… but it’s your imagination and you get to choose.
Some of you reading this will be aware that I have spent several years in the Veterinary Profession. As a small boy I loved dogs and I often got in trouble for bringing strange bitches home. Whenever I went missing if you looked for the nearest dog you would pretty much find me.
So even though I have a strong creative bent, this deep love for our four legged canine friends took me into the Veterinary Profession. It may be difficult for some of you to understand but the constant saturation of dogs and problematic owners over the years began to steal my love for our fine friends. I was over taken by a tired, somewhat “realistic” cynicism… but here’s the good news.
In casting our movie, in searching the globe for a 3 legged dog to be my co-star, this love has come flooding back.
There is no such thing as defeat; I know this because even though the sun sets it refuses to stay put and it rises up again the next morning. I know this because when I am tired, frustrated and feeling like giving up, I go to sleep and the next morning I wake up feeling invigorated. Even the concept of regret is built around a great innate desire to wind back the clock and start again.
I remember watching James Buster Douglas get up off the canvas and defeat Mike Tyson in one of the great moments in modern boxing history… he was down but he got back up, he was never defeated.
It is easy to avoid risk because we fear defeat, but how do you define defeat? If Douglas hadn’t put on his gloves and decided to fight he would never have been knocked down. But if he hadn’t been knocked down he would never have experienced the incredible reward of getting up off the canvas, fighting against huge odds and tasting victory.
I am writing specifically to your good self today because I want to stress the importance of persistence and perseverance. These two character traits are far more valuable than gold; without them any special talents or gifts you may have are utterly worthless. Celebrating those gifts without developing any underlying character would be like dressing up a hardened criminal up in an Armani suit. He may look and smell like a suave businessman but underneath the suit he is still a criminal.
I know you are impatient for success; I understand that you are sick of waiting but I am taking my time. For sculpting a great masterpiece is a delicate, time consuming and painful process, for which there are no shortcuts. It may surprise you but I am not so interested in the Armani suit; I am far more interested in the criminal underneath…
Everything happens for a reason… or so I am told. What also seems true is that nothing ever turns out the way you expect. There is another quote that says “we see in part and we know in part.”
At this juncture I find myself often optimistically imagining the future and constantly being surprised at how different it looks when it finally eventuates. Things always take much longer than I expect and these narrow paths have many more twists and turns than I would care to imagine. These metaphors, I think are a way of simply trying to justify the extreme frustration that I am currently feeling…
I wish so much that everything would just hurry up and happen.