Thursday 27 August 2009

The Bizarre Nature Of Creative Juices.

Yesterday, the Director Of Photography of my latest film was coming round to grab some footage and take a look at the rough edit. And I was like 'Aghhhh, this film looks like crap.' So to make myself feel better, I rushed to polish up a montage scene I'd been meaning to do. It looked great. And then the DP showed up.

And he liked what he saw from the roughest of rough edits. We chatted some more, threw ideas around-- and then I closed Final Cut Pro. But as I did, it asked me if I wanted to save my changes. I figured I'd already saved my montage bit so I said 'No.'
So the DP went home and that was that.

And then today, I jumped back onto the edit, only to discover, of course, that the montage scene wasn't there. I was immediately grumpy and angry and began throwing my weight around. But luckily I don't weigh much so it wasn't a big deal. Anyways, I got my head together and set to work.

But I couldn't! I couldn't edit the scene, because I knew I'd already done it. I kept going back to it again, but my head was like "No! No Way! You've done this! I don't want to do it again!." I threw one shot into the edit, and I was immediately told, by myself, "This sucks, this looks like shit. Yesterday was better!."

This kept happening and I just knew I wasn't going to get it done today so I gave up. Instead, I felt a desperate urge to watch a movie. I chose 'Reign Over Me.' Not totally sure why, I just really fancied it.

I watched twenty minutes of 'Reign Over Me.' It was definitely the right choice as I was loving it and connecting with it deeply. But then, suddenly, these wave came over me. A wave of purpose and feeling and creativity. That voice in my head had changed his tune rapidl. He was saying 'go and edit! go and do it now!' And I suddenly felt certain I could get the montage edited even better than yesterday. At this exact same point the Dave Matthews Band song 'Two Step' sprang into my mind. YES! The perfect music to go with this scene! (of course, I won't be able to afford the rights to it but it serves as a good temp score for my composer later on).

I edit. I edit quickly. It looks GREAT.

And I can't help but be a little fascinated by my process. Probably because I have no idea what my process is. Did I need to watch twenty minutes of an Adam Sandler flick? Did I need to go through that, 'this looks like crap!' rampage in my head or could I have skipped past it? Was it something about 'Reign Over Me' or could it have been another film? Why did the DMB song enter into my mind today and not yesterday? If I had remembered to save my work yesterday, I wouldn't have had to re-edit it today-- so would I not have thought to include the DMB song?

I'm not suggesting you can answer my questions, I just find the whole thing pretty fascinating. If I could figure this all out maybe I could edit films ten times as fast.

Care to share?

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating, reading of your creative process. It's not often that an artist opens up and lets us mere mortals into the secret. Though it's not a secret, probably, serpindipity or the law of consequences. ???

    I remember shooting a roll of b/w film at college and whilst developing this myself I made a mistake in getting the temperatures right and lost everyone of the 36 frames. I was convinced my masterpiece was in there ... All part of the process ... I guess. Genius comes in many guises.

    Great blog!!! And thanks for commenting on my blog. I will be back to read more, loving it :)