» Posts Tagged ‘creativity’

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lightbulb_headThere is a common fallacy regarding creativity, mostly to be found among those who fancy themselves creative but never seem to complete any work. It goes back all the way to Plato, who said, and I’m really paraphrasing here, that unless you were a little touched in the head, you had no hope of real artistic genius. The idea that one must have a little madness in their soul to be truly creative is, in a sense, true, but if it’s not bulwarked and protected by an effective process, routine, and work ethic, your work is unlikely to live up to its potential. Check out this video, where filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Tiffany Shlain shares her 10 steps to creativity, and learn how routine can make you more creative. More »

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Mike WhiteWhat does screenwriting look like? Waking up at 6am, pouring a cup of coffee — black, sitting down at a desk with last night’s Chinese take out strewn about, turning on your computer, going over notes, and finally, typing away for hours and hours until you remember that humans need food and sleep to survive. Now, raise your hand if that’s what screenwriting looks like in your own life. If you didn’t raise yours, you wouldn’t be the only one. In fact, screenwriter Mike White (Nacho LibreSchool of Rock, Orange County) details what the whole process entails for him, which actually includes a whole lot of not writing a screenplay. More »

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On CreativityWe work in a creative medium — screenwriters, directors, cinematographers, editors, etc. — we’re all taking material that exists in one form and metamorphosing it into another. But oftentimes that process is rather oblique; we spend so much time looking for the key, the path, the secret to whatever it is we may be looking for in creativity, be it success, prolificacy, or originality, but in the end it’s all a bunch of shadow chasing. So, what do we do when we’re at a creative standstill? This video series entitled On Creativity explores what it means to be creative through interviews with professional artists who have created some of the most iconic pieces of art in the world. More »

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Genius loserThere have never been more people who believe that they are not only talented, but destined for success, and early success, at that, to the point where they feel like an abject failure if they don’t have multiple Oscars by the age of 30. This is, of course, a load of hooey (that’s right, hooey), and the good people at Filmmaker IQ have posted an excellent two-part video essay on why failure is an integral part of success, and consequently no one (I mean no one) who does good work has an easy time of it. Click through to see just how much failure goes into overnight success, and not just in the creative field. More »

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David LynchThe fight for ideas is a long, exhausting one. At times it feels like no matter what we do to help inspire our creativity, the space between artistic revelations widens — and without a firm idea on which to belay another, the stories, characters, and worlds we want to create may never materialize. But, an inspiring word comes from director David Lynch, who recently spoke with Paul Holdengräber at an event for BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music) about how ideas are like bait: once you hook one you like, it’s bound to bring in a more abundant, and abundantly bigger catch. More »

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IdeasFinding which tools will bolster your creativity is not only important for your work, but to also keep things interesting. Maybe you’ve had friends, colleagues, even industry professionals share their secrets for maintaining a creative spirit to ensure the influx of ideas, but what about science? What do scientists consider to be major conductors of creativity? Fast Company shares 6 tools that, according to science, may help you live and work more creatively. More »

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BeethovenIt’s easy to get lost in the hustle and bustle of our busy lives, allowing our creative endeavors to go by the wayside indefinitely until we can work them into our schedules. But it’s interesting to remember that every single one of our creative heroes all have (or had) the same number of hours in a day to complete their work. RJ Andrews of Info We Trust has put together an enlightening infographic using the book Daily Rituals: How Artists Work that illustrates how some of history’s greatest creative minds fit their creative work into their daily life. More »

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CreativityIf you’re a creative person, you might’ve wondered, perhaps especially in your youth, what the hell was wrong with you. Maybe you were the “weird” kid in class that was always looking out the window, or maybe you were teased for your bizarre taste in clothes. We’ve all been there — it kind of goes with the territory if you’re creative, and according to this article from the Huffington Post, many of us do a lot of the same things because we’re creative. Continue on for a scientific look at things highly creative people do — learn a little bit more about yourself, as well as get inspired to try something new. More »

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Ira Glass Creative WorkFilmmaking as a creative pursuit can be one of the most rewarding things that a person can undertake, especially if you’re proud of the content that you create and it’s well-received by an audience. On the other hand, filmmaking is one of the most difficult creative mediums to work in, because it’s not only inherently collaborative (which can cause problems if you’re working with the wrong people), but the technicality of it can be prohibitively overwhelming. And when you have high standards, which almost all of us do, failing to live up to those standards can be entirely devastating to your creative morale. Luckily, famed radio star and producer Ira Glass has some inspiring words that will put your creative woes to rest. More »

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How to Be CreativeIt might sound preposterous, even a little insulting, to think of creativity as something you can muster and “do better.” There is this presupposition that creative people are born that way, and each has a predetermined “amount” allocated to them — an inherency that decides who creates and who doesn’t and to varying degrees. However, PBS’ web series Off Book brings to light the misconceptions of creativity, both theoretically and scientifically, and guides viewers on the journey to becoming more creative. More »

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As screenwriters, it’s always so frustrating when our wellsprings of ideas and creativity dry up, leaving us with nothing more than an unfinished scene, an unrealistic character, or even worse, a blank page. There are a lot of great ideas floating around out there in books, videos, and websites — I know I’ve added listening to music, watching films, and reading my screenplays aloud to my arsenal. But, I’ve compiled my own list of methods, some pretty unconventional, that are more or less surefire ways to kickstart my creativity and avoid those dreaded screenwriting dry spells.  More »

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Light BulbHow many times have you come across an article with a title like “50 Million Ways to Get Rid of Writer’s Block” and “Unlikely Foods that Will Jumpstart Your Writing”. Being a writer myself, I enjoy the plethora of creativity advice, tips, and tricks, but I’m often at a loss as an editor. The repetition of commercial jobs or the tediousness of a project you’ve worked on for months can turn your once purified spring of creativity into a sludge-filled stagnant pond. Well, Vashi Nedomansky of VashiVisuals has got you covered. Check out this editor’s approach to dealing with creative stagnation after the jump. More »

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All creative individuals have their own ways of working and specific quirks about their methods. I always think it’s fascinating to watch professionals at the top of any creative or artistic field, and see what parallels can be drawn between those fields and filmmaking. Patton Oswalt happens to be one of those rare few who has had major success in a number of different areas, including comedy, acting, and screenwriting, and even if you don’t recognize his face, you just might recognize his voice as Remy from Ratatouille. In the episode below of Thrash Lab’s Rituals, get an in-depth look at Patton Oswalt’s creative process. More »

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Ideas are great, but in having ‘too many’ of them, you run the risk of overloading yourself, compounding your creative schedule to a point you can’t actually manage, or worst of all — never actually getting the thing written, or shot, or otherwise made — whatever the case may be. The editor of The New York Times, Hugo Lindgren, has just written a powerful self-case study about the many undeveloped story and concept kernels he’s had, why they never got off the back burner, and where all the time seems to have gone — in other words, a creative thinker’s worst nightmare. Whether you’re a writer, a shooter, a director, or a film editor, you might want to check out Hugo’s editorial, because you might see a lot more of yourself in his words than you may expect. More »

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This is not new. It is so old, in fact, that it has been on the internet for over two months, so feel free to skip this if you’ve already heard it. However, I’ve found myself sharing Patton Oswalt’s recent keynote speech on comedy with more than one filmmaker/actor/creative over the past few months when they tell me about trying to make it via “traditional” routes. So here it is, because if you replace the term “comedian” with “filmmaker” it applies equally well. More »

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As artists, it’s important for us to be able to be creative, but much like telling two people to have a conversation, most attempts at trying to force creativity results in little to nothing happening. In this lecture at Video Arts in 1991, John Cleese (of Monty Python and Fawlty Towers fame), tells you what you can do to increase your creativity both by yourself, and in groups (as well as a few light bulb jokes). More »

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Kirby Ferguson made a name for himself with the popular series Everything is a Remix, in which he proposes that everything mankind creates takes inspiration from something that has come before. He gathers a mountain of evidence that backs up this point, and the topics range from simple borrowing to our complex legal system that doesn’t acknowledge the derivative nature of creativity. In the TED talk embedded below, Kirby attempts to summarize a lot of his conclusions from the series. More »

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As we start the weekend, I wanted to share this video with all the NoFilmSchool readers out there who might be having some sort of creative block. Staying in a creative and inspired state of mind is not easy, and there are a multitude of factors that can derail us in our creative pursuits. But in less than 2 minutes, this video will provide you with a bunch of suggestions to help you get you back on track: More »

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Every screenwriter gets stuck. Some call it writer’s block. Others don’t believe writer’s block exists. Either way, every writer runs into a problem that stops the writing process cold. Then despair sets in. Usually.  Science, however, now tells us this obstacle is a good thing. In fact, it is essential in the creative process for the mind to have a breakthrough.

Jonah Lehrer, a contributing Editor at Wired Magazine and frequent contributor to The New Yorker, recently published a book called Imagine: How Creativity Works, in which he describes how scientists have studied how the brain works when we engage in the creative process. Lehrer recently recorded an interview with Steve Paulson for the radio program To the Best of Our Knowledge where he summarizes how creativity works in our minds. You can listen to the interview here: More »