I have a confession…

I have a confession to make.  When I was growing up, I used to take things apart just to see how they worked.  This included things like watches, radios, televisions, and it didn’t stop there.  When I used to watch magic shows, how magic tricks worked would regularly distract me, and I find this behavior is still continuing today.  Every time I get a dvd of movie, I have to watch all the special features and behind the scenes footage.

People used to tell me I was ruining the illusion, and taking all the fun out of it, but to me it enhances the experience.  This experience teaches me two things; one is the amount of hard work that goes into making a movie, and two, the people who do the work of making movies are just people.  What everyone sees at the theater is the finished product, representing months of hard work, millions of dollars, and hundreds of jobs.

These behind the scenes moments have taught me a lot about the creative process itself.  When you see a movie, read a book, or admire a painting, you generally only see the finished product.  You never really see all the mistakes that had to be corrected, rewritten, repainted, or redone in anyway.  Earnest Hemingway rewrote the ending to farewell to arms 39 times.  An interviewer, curious about this asked, “What was the problem with it?”  He responded, “Getting the words right.”

Whenever we create something, we have a very clear idea of what it should look like, but what no one sees is the amount of hard work it takes to make that idea a reality. They know the process exists, but if they enjoy the work, they don’t want to think about it.  In their mind it ruins the emotional sensations they experience.

Creative people are just like every one else.  We make mistakes, we have both good and bad days, if we didn’t we wouldn’t be human.  Too many people put certain artists on a pedestal, idolizing them and thinking of them as incapable of imperfections.  The truth is, no one is better, or worse than anyone else.  One of the only traits that makes one person more newsworthy than another is the way they advertise themselves.

Other than that, these people are just as human as all the rest of us.

Just because I like to analyze the way to make movies, or write books does not mean I don’t enjoy reading or watching movies.  Knowing the process just helps me appreciate the finished product more.

Challenge:  Don’t be worried about ruining your appreciation of the arts by learning the process.  Use the information to learn how you can create something that someone else can appreciate.


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2 Responses to “I have a confession…”

  1. ilfoster Says:

    Good post, Allen, I enjoyed it. Thanks for bringing back memories when I was more mechanically inclined. 🙂

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