How watching movies can help you find your muse
“I THINK MOVIES ARE GOOD FOR GETTING INTO DREAM STATES OR EXPLORING WEIRD ALTERNATE STATES OF THINKING.”
Looking for your muse but having it trouble finding it in the sunset? Go inside, pop some popcorn and watch a movie. See if you find yourself inspired by a piece of witty dialogue, a funny character, a heart pounding chase scene, a moving romance, or even some cheesy acting. With so much going into making this most complex form of art, finding something inspirational in a movie, any movie, is easy.
Pass the popcorn
There is nothing like escaping reality for a little while and being drawn into another world full of impossible creatures, witty dialogue, action, romance and intrigue. For the past century, the art of telling stories with moving pictures has gone from being a Nickelodeon curiosity (where people would pay five cents to watch short films) to growing up to become one of the world’s most complex and popular art forms.
A combination of theater, photography, literature, and painting, it takes the contribution of dozens if not hundreds of artists to make a single movie. While it is usually the vision of the Director, the work itself is shaped and guided by the input of many other artists, artisans, and technicians. Using moving pictures to tell a story in a few hours takes a lot of work, but it is hard to argue that movies are not worth all that trouble. While a good book, or painting, or play can inspire, movies are the prime creative motivator of the last century.
The opening of Star Wars…
The end of Gone with the Wind…
The image of E.T. on a bike…
These iconic moving images not only identify the movie in which they are found, but also serve as symbols for certain ideals and values and memories that we hold dear. How many of us get a shudder of excitement and a sense of adventure every time we here the Indiana Jones theme song? How many of us laugh after quoting one of our favorite movie lines? (Are you talking to me?) Or get sad when we are reminded of the end of Marley and Me? (Oh man, I get sad just thinking about it.) Next time you are looking for your muse and have nothing else to do for a few hours, turn on the television or go to the show and see if a cinematic experience can help spark the creative fires.
Plan Muse from Outer Space
Okay, let us say you took my advice, went out and found a movie that looked like it was promising, and it turns out to be a real stink bomb full of bad acting and horrible writing. Now, before you shut off in disgust and get mad at me for wasting your time, try to take a step back and find something in the movie that you can appreciate. Even a film that is not that great can end up being inspiring. If the movie is lemon, try looking at it from different perspectives to see if there is something in it that can help spark your imagination. Perhaps one of the actors does an exceptional job, or the writing might be good, just executed poorly. Even the cheesiest movies can unleash your muse in the form of satire. Who knows, maybe one of your wise cracks will end up unleashing your muse, giving you a good idea for your own creative project.