Saturday, June 15, 2019

Extraordinary Discourse 436


The writer who has spent some time in the collection and subsequent analysis of material is liable to feel ready to start putting it all into a script. But the result can be disappointing if what is really needed is a story, a concept. The data may be at hand, the subject has been explored and represented, but what about the idea? It remains to be found... There is, of course, no practical system for assuring that a good idea will come next. Good ideas, feeble ideas, marvellous ideas - they all seem to have life of their own, arriving unannounced. In fact one way to discourage their visit is to be too impatient. It's not so much something you do, it's something that happens. Why then does it seem to happen more to brilliant men and women than to stupid ones? The answer may be because of the two earlier stages. Materials collected and then placed in a frame of reference are stored in memory, and the more that is accumulated the more likely the inspired short-circuit will spark. But it may not be all that accidental. What has been called 'sideways thinking' may be more a kind of relaxed mental state than a deliberate act, one that can be recognised and to some extent cultivated.
Paul Cronin (2005) On Film-making: An Introduction to the Craft of the Director