So let's do something different.
What do you want me to blog about?
1. All of my writings are spur of the moment.
2. I write fluidly and post immediately. If I'm at the computer I spell check, if I'm using my phone I don't.
3. If there are no images you know I've published from my phone.
4. I give advice a lot but am generally uneasy about doing so because I think that, for the most part when it comes to art: you should do what you want and find your own way.
5. I often delay arranging and conducting interviews due to laziness.
6. My favorite interview on the site is with Scott Rosenberg.
7. I often want to delete posts after publishing, but never do.
8. I would rather my posts be art than give advice on art. i.e. rather than write a blog called 'be creative!' I'd rather write something creative. This is an aim for the future.
9. I have turned down a lot of sponsorship and advertising opportunities, because they're not in line with what I preach.
10. I feel I've yet to find the true purpose of this blog.
Bonus fact: While writing this I listened to 'Many Rivers To Cross' by Jimmy Cliff and 'We'll Meet Again" by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band.
You hear people say things like "I'd never shoot on anything less than a Canon 5D" or "I only work with a Red camera". While it is exciting to work with great cameras, you may find you can't afford them. Even when you can afford the rental fees, it may be that your editing system cannot handle the files.
These limitations are often daunting for new filmmakers -- but I'm here to say, don't let it stop you making a film.
Nobody wants to shoot on DV any more. People look down on it. They shot "Once" and "28 Days Later" on Mini-DV. If it's good enough for John Carney and Danny Boyle, I'm sure you'll be fine with your short movie.
Sure, maybe you want the cinematic look you get with the Red, or the beautiful crispness you get with a 5D. But this is a post for those who don't have those privileges right at this moment.
The Indie filmmaking wisdom is, of course, "shoot with whatever you can get your hands on". This is great advice but you need to take it in the right way. Most people hear that as "do the best you can" -- but I think you need to see it more as: "this is a wonderful opportunity!"
You or someone you know has a video phone. That's good enough to get started and make some films.
Here's a tip: don't pretend it's a film camera. Don't try to hide the fact you have no crew. Instead, embrace what you have and make it part of your story.
Here's some ideas off the top of my head that could inspire ideas for a smartphone-video film.
-The world is about to end and two friends decide to capture the final moments.
-Two women, for fun, decide to document their dating lives with video diaries.
-A couple staying in a hotel are convinced it's haunted, so they film happenings on their phones.
-A kid decides to secretly film his parent's marriage difficulties.
They are just ideas. Let's look at the last one; a kid films his parents arguing. The story could be the same as a bigger budget film about divorce, but filmed with just a phone it'll have a rawness and truthfulness. Plus it's filmed from the point of view of the child, which could be heartbreaking.
If you like horror, look at Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity, those types of ideas you can film on your phone.
Same goes for any camera. What if all you have is your Uncle's old camera which has a broken lense? Use it! Make up a story where the characters document what happened using a broken camera.
These restraints are wonderful opportunities to overcome limitations. Use your imagination!
Films are made everyday on big beautiful cameras. But guess what? A lot of them are BAD. Equipment quality has nothing to do with how good you are at telling a story.
So go tell a story.
Here is a comment from my post 'Miracle Best' that I wanted to share because I was blown away by it. The comment was by a fellow blogger, papatigga
Man...I've really been struggling with the thought of embarking on a new journey at such a late stage of my life...I own a home and have a family, a job that some may view as being somewhat successful yet I feel so unfulfilled and empty. I feel this way because I have always taken the safe route and never took a real chance in life. There are so many opportunities that I have let pass me by for fear of failure...chances that may have brought me, and my family true happiness, yet I was content with mediocrity...a mediocrity that is now manifesting itself into a depression and feeling of failure. The very feeling I was trying to avoid. In the movie "Kung Fu Panda" the wise turtle said that 'The road we chose to avoid our destiny is often the road that leads us to it." (paraphrasing). How true this statement is, only now accompanying my feeling of failure is a feeling of regret. I have been asking for a sign as to what I should do with my life and I truly feel as if stumbling upon your blog may be that sign. This post has inspired me to reach out beyond what I see as my boundaries and create new boundaries for myself and my family. No longer will I be content with being content. Thank you ....
There are two types of people in the world. Actually there are probably a lot more but these two types are so polarized and so prevalent in my life that I feel I need to address them. Because they'll be relevant to you too.
It's old age against youth. But I'm not talking years, I'm talking attitude. To be creative is to be five years old, lost in the possibilities, judging nothing, believing everything and anything anytime you can. You dream big and reach far.
And your life is filled with failure and near misses but you keep firing on, casing the promised land like some lost soul in a Springsteen song.
Old age is when you think you know the world. Think that what is is. You judge everything, because you know better. You know it's impossible.
And you're so quick to cut down anyone who tries. You throw lines at them about responsibility and risk and grown upness, and you're not satisfied until you've killed the young, left them losering, forced into drowning out their dreams and settling for a life surrounded by the same three people bitching about the weather.
This dynamic plays out in everyday circumstances. You get the choice to be caught up in the magic of life or you can claim to know the exact nature of everything and shut it down, close it off and hibernate until death.
Any time you create; it's possible you'll create the greatest thing ever. It's unlikely, but it has to be possible, right? Your favourite book or movie or whatever, it was created by a human, I'm pretty sure of it.
Those of us who call ourselves writers; I don't think the dream is ever to be adequate. We wanna transcend. Wanna reach in where it matters.
So what does it take? Do you know it when you've made it?
Even if you know, will everyone else? Will your girlfriend know you've written something transcendent? Will your English teacher see your brilliance? Will the Facebook friend who thinks you're a waster be moved by your written words?
That's the strange thing, the individuals don't matter. Everyone who puts you down or disregards you has the potential to be wrong. Likewise, the masses have a tendency to miss out on brilliance at every opportunity.
I guess the only thing that really matters with your work is going to bed knowing you've done the best you can. Because when you've done well, you feel good. Maybe five million people like it or maybe only fifty. Just know that whatever the amount, it's enough.
She was just a girl falling off a bike in a street somewhere near Amsterdam. I was only in town for a week. I only met her because I got lost looking for a way back to town.
She rode hard and fast into a wall which refused to move. She smashed into it and her bike flew up into the air as she dived into the wall, before smacking down on the pavement.
I asked if she needed help and hoped she spoke English and that she didn't need help. She did speak English and she did need help and when I should have been worrying about her leg that was bent all weird backwards I was instead falling in love with her eyes which were the most truthful things I'd ever seen.
The night rolled on by in some Dutch hospital full of sad people with her by my side. It's messed up but I didn't want to leave. Didn't want to face the fact that she would go back to her real life and her boyfriend and I'd go back to England and my Xbox. I didn't know for sure that she had a boyfriend except I did know for sure because sometimes you just know.
I turned to her and said "So I guess you need to--" and she jumped in before I said "go home" and said the sweetest words ever: "let me buy you dinner."
She bought me dinner and her beautiful blonde hair and truthful eyes danced in front of me for hours. I was at my best on this night. My jokes worked and my heart jumped high and my words pleased her.
Her leg healed up quick but I still insisted on carrying her home like some crazy fool all buzzed up on the Amsterdam breeze. We cracked on through the backstreets of somewhere, and I told her how excited I was by her. She kissed me and life hit its peak immediately.
Isn't life great when it's like that? You figure it's all set and steady and then one night you're in the wrong town and you find everything you ever needed. Her eyes continued to kill me in the best way but I knew she had a boyfriend and then I asked the question and wished I could take it back.
She looked down at the floor and both our hearts fell a little. "It's not what you think", she said, "and anyway, you live in a whole other country".
We kissed again but it was imbued with a sadness and then she enquired about my flight home. It went all funny and weird moments after it was great and then before I knew it I was headed home with only an email address scribbled on a napkin.
And I lost the fucking napkin.
Her name was Katya.
The above was a piece of fiction written in twenty minutes. I'm on a trip with friends and they're playing some board game that bores me like crazy so I tried cook up some fiction. Let me know what you think.
The Facebook Login
By Jack Kerouac
I rushed forward like I always do and made my way to Facebook in the hope of catching up with old souls from the west who made my heart go boom like big diamonds that cut through the Denver sky.
I was waiting on some girl who said she'd wait for me if I posted on her wall. My heart flew the distance of everything as I raced on towards the big login screen ready to be with everyone at the very least.
My password failed like a cold winter rain and I longed for MySpace where the girls stayed online until the sun went out all wild and screaming like those sad gone girls from New York.
The Friend Count
By Woody Allen
Ike Krimolewitz was as liked as he was tall, which is to say, not at all. His friend list was the same as his height -- in minus digits.
Ike had done everything to make friends, which included poking every member of the group 'Poke Me And We'll Definitely Be Friends'. Unfortunately nobody had time to add him as they were all too busy deciding whether to maybe attend an event, not attend an event, or maybe not attend an event that they were definitely attending.
Despite having -12 friends, Ike was determinded to find a new acquaintance, which is why he created a fake profile under the name of Mary La Bon. Mary was a beautiful woman with an abundant chest, but unfortunately she was a hateful lesbian who refused to have male friends. This frustrated Ike greatly, because not only was Mary his own creation, but she had also convinced him to email over his private bank details.
The Facebook Poke
By Roald Dahl
Michael thought the Facebook Poke was the most fantastic invention in the history of the world. The magical chance had arrived to poke somebody else with only one click of a button.
The thing you have to know, about Michael; is that he cared very deeply about his first Facebook poke. Should he poke Jenny, the prettiest girl he'd ever seen? Or should he poke old Mrs. Friggit and knock the old witch off her feet?
Michael knew the wisest thing was to poke Jenny, but bubbling in his mischievous head was the fantasy of knocking old Friggit off her feet.
Many people have moments of greatness. This was Michael's chance. He logged onto Facebook and looked excitedly at two profiles. Jenny and Mrs Friggit. But who was it to be?
Let's focus on a scene where a woman and man are sitting on a sofa talking. How can we make it funny?
1. The sofa is about to collapse.
2. The woman needs to pee.
3. The man suddenly goes blind.
4. They both go blind at the same time.
5. There's a dead body under the sofa. It's also blind.
6. The man has a fear of sitting.
7. The woman has a fear of men who have a fear of sitting.
8. The man has a fear of sitting and the woman, who's sitting down, has a fear of standing up. The dead body has a fear of neither but refuses to move.
9. The sofa has a fear of people sitting on it.
10. The sofa belongs to the man, who's OCD about stains. The woman is eating a curry. With her hands.
Comedy is everywhere. The ideas above; maybe you found five of them funny, maybe only one or even none. There's no harm in exploring scenerios. That took me fifty seconds to do.
Chaplin used to get on set and just start playing around with props to see what was funny. That's most of what comedy is.
I'm sitting in a Starbucks just across the road from Tottenham Court Road station, and was just hit by this pang of missing New York. This Starbucks reminds me so much of the one in Manhattan, somewhere between 66 St and Columbus Circle. There are probably twenty Starbucks between those seven streets, yet somehow I'm longing for a particular one.
The cynical thing is to say that all Starbucks are the same and whether you're in London, New York or Japan, Starbucks is Starbucks.
But the way it feels right at this moment is that I could be in New York. The feelings I'm feeling, that longing and comfort and excitement in my mind, it feels like New York, not London.
It seems accidental, and outside of my control. Sometimes I can be so stuck in one place, one idea, one feeling. But sometimes I'm able to be somewhere else in my mind completely.
Right now it's in Starbucks with Bry, somewhere just North of 59th St. He's as good as here. I'm as good as there. The mind is amazing like that, how we can be transported across borders and time. So much of creativity is getting out of your current condition and finding another feeling, another insight, another reality. If only it was as easy as it feels right now.
I've had this all my life. Little pieces of poignancy, where I'm picked up from nowhere and carted off into another world. The lady with the laptop who just looked at me thinks I'm sitting in front of her when really I'm a thousand miles away. I want to step out of the door and take a walk in Central Park. Maybe I will. Whether it's for real or in my imagination, what's the difference?
On any given day in any given year you meet an actress and she says "I want to develop a one act play about poverty", and you meet a writer who is planning a script about what it was like growing up on a farm, and some guy goes out of his way to tell you about a project he wants to do, taking photographs of all the red phone boxes in London.
Dreams and visions and hopes live in these projects. You fast forward six months or four years and none of the projects are done.
What does it take for someone to get started? How do you stay with it through the hard stuff? What kind of person do you need to be to find your way to the finishing line?
Saying you're thinking of doing something is the easy part. If you want to be someone who finishes a project you have to be someone who finishes the project.
Don't hold out for perfection. No art is ever perfect. But creating something is always more perfect than creating nothing at all. Imperfections and problems breed your very best moments as an artist. Take risks.