The Heroism of Joyful Creativity
COW Library : Business & Career Building : Tim Wilson : The Heroism of Joyful Creativity
"Douglas Trumbull? He's one of my heroes!" Every single time I told somebody that we were going to feature Douglas Trumbull in Creative COW Magazine, that was the response. Every single time. Hero.
One of my friends elaborated. "I own Silent Running," he said. "It's a movie I just wouldn't be without." As he shared his love for the environmentally-themed sci-fi classic that was Douglas's 1972 directorial debut, my friend paused. "Of course, I also blame him for the break-up of my first marriage." "What? Are you kidding?" I demanded. "Well, actually, I blame Douglas for the whole darn thing," he replied. It turns out that my friend had taken (uhm, something) before going to see 2001: A Space Odyssey, whose photographic effects Douglas supervised at the ripe age of 23.
"When the stargate sequence came on -- all those colors, that flowing beauty -- I fell in love with everything. Everything in the entire universe, including the girl I had gone to the movie with. I had to marry her." He laughed. "We never had any business being together, so I can't actually blame that entirely on Douglas. It's like I told my son: never go see 2001 on (something), because you'll fall in love with everything, and you'll have to marry the girl you go see it with."
My own experience was a little different. First, I hadn't taken (something) beforehand. (Honest, Mom!) But as a few of us sat dumbstruck through the end of the credits, not even moving when the lights came up, the projectionist came out of the booth and walked to the front of the room. He stood arms akimbo as he stared facing us, turned back to stare at the empty screen, then turned around again to look up at his empty booth. He dropped his hands and sighed. "Look," he said, "that was the last show of the day, but I'm going to roll the last reel again because I need to see it. Stay if you want." You know I did.
The work Douglas did by the time he turned 40 -- in addition to 2001 and Silent Running, includes The Andromeda Strain, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Star Trek: The Motion Picture, Blade Runner, Brainstorm (which he also produced and directed), and oh yeah, inventing Showscan -- would be enough to put him in any Hall of Fame you care to name. Maybe even the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale. Cooperstown? Why not? But what strikes me most about Douglas is that at 69 he's still picking up steam: new movies underway, new technology under development, and generally refusing to be daunted by any kind of obstacle.
This issue includes another fellah who's something of a hero, Walter Biscardi. He has made more posts than anyone in the history of CreativeCOW.net, nearly 24,000 so far. His strongly stated opinions can be polarizing, but he is highly respected for his expertise as an editor and a successful business owner. A few months ago Biscardi Creative Media opened a new two acre, 6000 sq. ft. facility outside Atlanta -- when many believe such a thing to be unwise.
Wally doesn't wait, though, not for the economy, not for Apple, not anybody. A few years back, he didn't like any of the solutions available to him for Blu-ray authoring on the Mac. While many of his peers bemoaned Apple's inattention, Walter went out and found the software he felt offered the most potential, called the developer, and got himself on the beta team. (His secret: he asked.) Since the software ran only on Windows, even though he was an all-Mac guy, he bought an HP box and got to work. No whining, no waiting.
Looking at the rest of this issue, I'm a huge admirer of clear-eyed insight that goes beyond the rants of deniers and the raves of acolytes, which you'll see in Angela Gyetvan's analysis of the state of stereo 3D.
I'm a fan of following your passions without compromising your standards, like Stephen Menick.
I cheer when someone's love for their work extends to love of their team, and a joyous commitment to creative excellence, like David Boyd, ASC.
And even though the story by Zach Zamboni in this issue is sponsored by Sony, I'll mention how much I admire Zach's ability to find workable solutions to problems in the farthest corners of the world, while apparently staying sane after 200 days on the road every year.
Okay, so we're ain't talking about saving lives here, but I'm constantly inspired by the pleasure and the pride that the people in Creative COW Magazine take in doing the right things the right way, in always trying to improve, and always keeping their eyes peeled for new possibilities. I aspire to do my own work as creatively and joyfully as they do.