Creativity. It flows through us. Whether you pursue a career in the creative arts, or if you’re a child making up your own game, you’re creative. It’s one of the most cherished qualities about ourselves that we can claim ownership over. However there are times when we feel that our creativity is indispensable. As immortal as we think it is, oh lord, are we wrong.
There have been countless tellings of many a famous creative in which they exhaust themselves to the point of mere insanity, which can lead to creative deprevation. I can honestly vouch for that notion.
This past month, I have competed in two, I tell you TWO 48 Hour Film Projects. If any of you have ever competed in just one, then you can understand the ballsy, or idiotic move I made by agreeing to this. I’m still recovering from the last one I completed this past weekend. It’s a fun competition of filmmaking, but it does come at a price.
When we delve into creative projects, we decide to pour our entire souls into the project in hopes that the film that we dreamed about will come to fruition. We’ll slave over months and sometimes years to realize a goal we have set for ourselves. Throughout these projects, one likes to think that they’ll be able to devote their undivided attention to their craft. Unfortunately, life happens during these times. Break-ups, family problems, diseases, natural disasters, and emotions happen. This is completely necessary to our creative process. It’s completely necessary as these experiences fuel our craft.
Now, comes the end of the project. At the end of the project, hopefully you have a product to display for an audience of millions, thousands, family, or even yourself. Hell, you might even have an incredible portfolio booster. After we showcase our work, we’re even more excited to jump to the next one. We do this in an effort to continue to prove ourselves, and in some cases, pay our rent. As much as you are on this creative high, your body be damned if you jump into another full time project with the same, if not more, energy and passion than before.
Now, Woody Allen is the only exception to this statement. Why you may ask? He’s Woody Allen, you don’t ask him questions.
One of my heroes, Quentin Tarantino, has a beautiful mantra that he’s fairly vocal about. He says “Life is too short to go from one movie to the next.” As one can see from his credits list, he takes his time in between his films. Don’t get me wrong, the man stays busy being paid to be creative. He also knows his limits though.
Tarantino’s belief couldn’t be anymore true than the truth itself. As much as I love this mantra, I’m a hypocrite myself for not practicing it. After recovering from these competitions with a lot more work headed my way, I’m struggling to find the time to evaluate myself from the past month’s battles.
I feel as creatives, we have to do this. We have to evaluate ourselves after projects. This way we can make peace with the project or projects that we completed, accept that we gave our best to these ventures, and prepare ourselves for what’s next. In my situation, I’ve been granted the fortune of having a week between each of these projects. With Project Twenty1 in full swing, and my duties as Editor coming into play over the weekend, I’m truly grateful for this week of breathing room.
Now, I’m not completely neglecting my duties as a freelance editor. I still keep in contact with clients, review deadlines, prepare for a few projects coming up over the next month. Heck, I’m still searching for more projects that will carry from October into November. I still keep up with the latest news in the film/editing world. I still brush up my skills with mastering workflows. I’m still busy, but I let my mind rest for a good 3-4 days before I even develop any thought-power towards my next venture.
Without continuing my rant, I will again stress the importance of relaxing. Sleep a little bit. Read a non-film book. Socialize a little bit, and get some more exercise, as we all know that this precious time will come to an end, and creativity will come calling.
Stay tuned for the next post, as I will start delving more into post-production processes, and more editing fun! Yes, I am that excited about it.
Author: Kyle Harter
Kyle Harter recently relocated to Philadelphia after receiving his BA in Film from the University of Central Florida. Kyle aspires to a career of filmmaking, writing, and adventure. Kyle has a mild obsession with Quentin Tarantino, coffee, and Corgis. He co-authors the film blog, The Main Squeeze.