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 hospital scene in Overboard:
What can we learn?
A labor for which no adjective applies. Overboard is one of my top ten movies of all time. My brother and watched it almost every weekend growing up. What’s interesting is, as an adult, I view it as movie about reinvention. Either of your own violation, or with the help of a vengeful, sweaty carpenter. But here’s the thing. Reinvention isn’t about turning everything on its head for the sake of change. Sometimes, it’s a simple matter of upping the creative ante. Sinking your teeth into a new project that’s bigger than you. Pursuing something that’s more of a gamble than a guarantee. Something that requires you to hold and nurture a large idea. Something that forces you to expand as you the idea comes to fruition. That’s one of the reasons I decided to make a concert documentary. I wanted to feel engaged and tested and stretched. To travel with an idea to a deeper place, one that I had never dared ventured before. And as we wrap up production, the feelings of fulfillment have never been stronger. Turns out, there’s a unmatched sense of pride you feel from having lived up to the higher expectations set for yourself. When was the last time you reinvented?
Try to surf whatever wave is out there. Joanna’s real husband had his chance. After seeing her mental state and watching how horribly she treated the staff, he actually denied knowing her, walked out of the hospital a free man and returned to their yacht to embark on a spree of parties with younger women. Dean, on the other hand, has a strong opportunity agenda. As a poor widower living in redneck clutter, he exploits the situation to remedy his own domestic problems. Which makes total sense. The man is a carpenter. His job is to repair damage, install structure and efficiently contribute to the home owner’s total satisfaction. The only difference is, instead of swinging a hammer, he’s stealing a human. Which is definitely immoral and probably illegal, but you have to admit, it’s also devilishly creative. Dean may not have a lot of money, but the man knows how to be resourceful. And that what creativity is all about. Wherewithal. Buttressing the opportunity to make art with whatever knowledge, resources and courage are available to you. Even if that means breaking the rules once in a while. When was the last time you felt fully resourced, and abundant?
Mutual musedom magic. Joanna struggles to adapt to her new lifestyle, but eventually she masters her responsibilities with wisdom and grace. The best part is, she ends up helping her new husband’s dream come true by working with him to design a miniature golf course based on her untapped knowledge of the Seven Wonders of the World. Which proves, a good muse is hard to find. But if you’re lucky enough to fall in love with one, that person’s work becomes a labor for which no adjective applies. Tom Waits frequently espouses the benefit of marrying your muse, pardon the pun. He famously said that as a songwriter, he’s often in a stroller waiting to be pushed out into traffic, but his wife is the one that will do it. That she has a remarkable imagination, and that’s the nation where he lives. In another bizarre and heartfelt interview about the secrets of their collaboration process, he also said that his wife doesn’t like the light of the business we call show. She stays hidden, but that’s where she likes it, and that’s why she’s an amazing collaborator. If your family would support anything you chose to do, what might you try?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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