Orson Welles was always in his own shadow.
One of my favorite things to do is watch interviews with Hollywood legends. There are tons popping up all over the online world now, and this one, with Orson Welles, is a special one. Welles was 26 when he made Citizen Kane and left an indelible mark on film as we know it.
But he then had to live in that mark and live up to his work the first time around.
This interview on The Dick Cavett Show reveals not only Welles's brash attitude but also the wisdom he had to share with others. Take a gander at this May 14th, 1970 chat with the director.
"I didn't know any better."
That line will stick with me for a while. So much of what Welles did was catch lightning in a bottle. He tells Dick that movie-making can be learned in a day and a half. While I think that may be crazy, I do think you ask questions, study the angles and movements, and get all the technical aspects done quickly.
Especially if you make sure you work with a very seasoned crew.
There is no big mystery. But I think Welles was operating at a different time. The bold idea of "If you've never done it, then you do not know what cannot be done" is very fun, but it might only work in indie cinema now, not with studios.
Still, the idea that wonderment and imagination only get stifled as you go is very real. There are times when Hollywood and the business aspect of it all seem to construct the walls that close in around us.
What's important here is to nurture your imagination as you go. Be open and willing to learn.
And always keep exploring.