“Although [making a movie] can be like trying to write ‘War and Peace’ in a bumper car in an amusement park, when you finally get it right, there are not many joys in life that can equal the feeling.” -Stanley Kubrick
People who are creative aren’t necessarily born with the ability to create. In fact, creativity is like a muscle. If you don’t exercise it and try and make it stronger, it’ll atrophy. So what do creative people do differently?
- They develop their own style and trademark. Alfred Hitchcock was known for his dry humor and appreciation of the macabre. He was quoted as saying, “I am a typed director. If I made Cinderella, the audience would immediately be looking for a body in the coach.”
- They welcome failure. In a 1976 interview in Rolling Stone Woody Allen saud, “I would like to fail a little for the public… What I want to do is go onto some areas that I’m insecure about and not so good at.”
- They are productive. Yep, another Woody Allen quote. In a 1980 interview: “If you work only three to five hours a day you become very productive. It’s the steadiness of it that counts. Getting to the typewriter every day is what makes productivity.”
- They take risks. Ridley Scott on not conforming: “It doesn’t matter how they try to influence the market, certain kinds of films still get by that don’t conform. I don’t conform and I never have.”
- They follow their passions. Nora Ephron loved food, so she wrote Julie and Julia. She said: “When I used to cook from Julia’s cookbook, I had long imaginary conversations with her. And I used to think maybe she would come to dinner, even though I had never met her, and never did.”
- They become experts in tradition before they break all the rules. Kurt Vonnegut is considered an experimental author, but he said that in order to be experimental, first you have to know how to use all the rules of grammar. Before Andy Warhol went experimental and started the pop art phenomenon, he was a highly paid, very straightforward commercial artist.
- They write for themselves. Aaron Sorkin’s work has often unearthed controversy, but no one can deny that his monologues are downright poetic and inspired. “You can’t handle the truth” is one of the most quoted movie moments ever. In an interview, Sorkin noted that: “Trying to guess what the (mass) audience wants and then trying to satisfy that is usually a bad recipe for getting something good.”