Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Moments of Conception 026 -- The Labcoat Scene from Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs

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 the lab coat scene in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs:

What can we learn?

You’re better because it took longer. Growing into your originality can be a deeply discouraging process. Considering the mental impediments that block creativity, the inevitable delays that thwart momentum, the personal relationships that threaten progress and the failed attempts that crush enthusiasm, most young artists wish they could just press fast forward on the entire process. But the reality is, that experience of tempering is exactly what gives your instrument its unique sound. If you were to find your voice too early in the process, you’d be bypassing the necessary spiritual work to get there, ultimately making your success wafer thin and unsustainable. Flint is determined to invent something great someday––and he will, there’s no doubt––but just like the oversized sleeves of his lab coat, only the passage of time will facilitate the growth required to do so. Have you made your peace with delayed gratification?

Reverse engineer your dream. Flint’s walls are collaged with inspiring images of his creative heroes. Edison. Einstein. Tesla. Newton. These are giants upon whose shoulders he will stand. Eventually. For now, he draws a picture of himself, bearing the moniker of best inventor ever, and pins it on his wall of fame. This is pivotal moment in his career. He’s no longer dreaming of becoming an inventor, he is an inventor. He acts as if. He is who he says he is. His belief, predicated more on whimsy that reality, is that he can and will do this. Flint plans to live his life, against all evidence, as if these advances in fortune and visions of success were already here. It’s creative visualization at its finest. And the secret is, he doesn’t just sit in bed trying to activate the universal law of attraction, hoping to manifest his dreams into reality. He runs out of the house in the middle of the night, locks himself in his laboratory and gets to work. What moment first initiated your momentum sequence?

A fashionable on ramp to creativity. Flint’s lab coat is more than clothing, it’s a commitment device. Something that gives his mental obsession a physical expression, adds energy to the system and moves the creative ball forward. Something that makes the effects of his work real and visible for all to see, even in the early stages of production. The coat is something that gives him an elegant excuse just to have ideas and validate his creative process. I’m reminded of when I started drawing thinkmaps for clients. I bought an orange jumpsuit. Mainly because drawing murals on massive dry erase boards was a sweaty, dusty, dirty endeavor. But also, because the jumpsuit changed the way I worked. Every time I slipped it on over my clothes, my enthusiasm doubled, my energy increased and my sense of purpose skyrocketed. Plus I looked like an escape convict. The point is, every creator needs a uniform. A wearable identity totem that prompts a work mindset and sets a tone that says to your brain, work happens now. What object helps you merge into the creative process?

What's your favorite movie moment of conception?