Monday, June 16, 2014

Moments of Conception 024 -- The Montage Scene from August Rush

All creativity begins with the moment of conception.

That little piece of kindling that gets the fire going. That initial source of inspiration that takes on a life of its own. That single note from which the entire symphony grows. That single spark of life that signals an idea’s movement value, almost screaming to us, something wants to be built here.

And so, in this new blog series, I’m going to be deconstructing my favorite moments of conception from popular movies. Each post will contain a video clip from a different film, along with a series of lessons we can learn from the characters.

Today's clip comes from a compilation of scenes in August Rush:

What can we learn from this moment of conception?

Fuel your artistic energy reserve. August isn’t just a songwriter, he’s a savant. The boy hears and feels and smells and touches music everywhere he goes. It comes from inside of him, it comes from outside of him. And regardless of how he engages with the world, there isn’t anyone or anything that doesn’t inspire him. The question is, why is he the only one who hears it? Simple. He’s the only one who’s listening. Which isn’t a zen koan, it’s just the way human perception works. Whatever you go looking for, you find. August exemplifies the strategy of awareness plans, which are metacognitive procedures and mental recipes for perceiving and thinking about the environment around him. To him, everything is an instrument. Music is his lens for interacting with the world. And that’s why he’s able to keep the faucet flowing and keep production going. August is building an unlimited contextual reservoir to uniquely inspire him.

Famous for having feelings. Every time I watch this movie, I weep tears of joy. The dialogue gives me chills, the soundtrack makes me want to create and the story reminds me that my hope is not seeded in the wrong garden. And yet, critics ripped this movie apart when it premiered. The reviews called it schmaltzy, illogical and overly sentimental. Well, yeah. Don’t you know anything about music? That’s the whole goddamn point. If art tugs on people’s heartstrings, it worked. If art says something for people that they can’t express for themselves, it worked. If art delivers something people can’t find on their own, it worked. Taste snobs infuriate me. That’s why I never read reviews of anything I publish. I stay on the side of the creators, where I belong. As the old saying goes, those who can’t do, review. Chicken shits.

Timing is a version of luck. The thing is, luck runs deep before you even find success. August, for starters, was the product of two professional musicians. One was a classically trained cellist, the other was a rock star, the combination of which endowed him with a massive musical inheritance. A genetic package wired for certain artistic powers and proclivities. August also lives in one of the most creative, inspiring and accommodating cities in the world. Manhattan is his platform. And it grants him an all access pass to collaborators, mentors, venues, universities and of course, an audience. August was lucky, but he was also smart enough to realize he was lucky. And that not only humbled him, but helped him find ways to stay in the game long enough to still be around when the world was ready for him. Right guy. Right place. Right time. Right product. Right audience. Right leverage. That’s luck. It's a confluence of events.

What's your favorite movie moment of conception?