Friday, August 04, 2006

The Kid(YOU) Stays in the Picture!

For any of you who are still waiting for a Navy Seal drill sargent to kick you into shape, don't hold your breath. BUT! Here's all the motivation you need, from the original organizer, circa 1492, Year of Our Lord:

Dear Three Minute Movie Maestros,

Remember our jobs as kids? In those days of broad imaginations and free weekends, we had a crapload of odd jobs. Over the course of a single day, we might put in time as a spaceship captain, a ballerina, or a mad scientist inventor. We moonlighted as doctors and actresses and world-class BMX riders.

If we wanted to stage a concert, we did. If we wanted to make a book or paint a picture, we did that too. We tried all sorts of things---eating cat food, jumping off roofs, constructing cigarettes out of notebook paper---and from our experiments we built a log of experiences that shaped our lives. We were ambidextrous and moving, doing, making. Or watching TV. Dang, we watched a lot of TV.

Things have changed a little since then. We're still watching TV, but our jobs have gotten more specific, and our identities more concrete. We are editorial assistants. We are environmental engineers. We are marketing managers. We are boyfriends and wives.

Our weekends are a little more concrete too. We sleep late and get breakfast. We see matinee movies and go hear bands at night. We buy groceries and do laundry. We get a lot done. Most of it is errands and catch-up work, but it's important to get stuff done.

The problem, though, is that we're so busy trying to get stuff done that we're not really trying anything. With all the resources of adulthood at our disposal---drivers licenses, credit cards, unlimited access to life-nourishing candy and caffeine---we tend to walk the same familiar ground over and over.

Somehow the broad palette we used to paint our lives 20 years ago has narrowed to a few primary colors: work, relationships, travel, family. They're all important, to be sure. But they're not the whole picture. The whole picture is one of responsible adults and daredevil BMX bandits. fearsome mad scientists, and be-tutu'd ballerinas in pink frills.

We are just as imaginative as we were as kids. Probably more so. That creativity doesn't just atrophy and fall away. It builds and swells. The fewer the outlets we allow it, the harder it pushes to bust out. Yep, our inner spaceship captains are still there, still looking to fly. And our ignored painters have been constructing masterpieces while we sleep.

This month, as you work on your three-minute movie, remember that spirit of uncritical invention. Let your imagination run freaky and free. Revel in the joys of creating messy, hands-on art. This month, it’s your job, and there’s no finer one on the planet.

See you at the movies!



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