It can come from anywhere. Your inspiration and influences pulled out from thin air and you might not even realise. It’s what keeps us going, it’s what makes us tick but most importantly it’s exactly what makes us continue.
I can be inspired and influenced by quite honestly anything. It works differently for everyone but for me it’s everywhere. I could walk down the street and see a person doing something. I might then create a world in which that person lives in. I start thinking and asking myself what are they doing? Who are they? Its thoughts like these which swirl and spiral into a story or creation of some sort.
It’s all over the place. I can see, hear or think up anything and alter it, adapt it into something else. I’ll be listening to some music. Music is a brilliant thing to grab inspiration from especially visually for a director. I’d sit there listening and find a scene for something I might be currently working on in a film and it all comes together, fitting perfectly. I was sitting working on the story for Polaroid my latest short film and I’d have my music on. Moon Song by Karen O came on, the song featured on the latest Jaquoin Phoenix film Her. Instantly the little flicks on the strings in the song made me picture the final scene for Polaroid. It all came together, the transition into the music, the for and structure the characters are taking.
Music is one aspect. A lot of the time everything is visual. Photos can help a lot to influence or inspire what I’ll be doing seeing a beautiful work of photography and considering how a similar style could fit into the view of a film through the cinematography. Just sitting watching the world. A major part of the story and idea for Polaroid actually came from watching some people one day. I was sat in a coffee shop one day doing some work when I pulled myself away from my Macbook. I looked out the window to see this busy, bustling street as people push and shove each other aside. I then saw in the background someone taking a picture, a tourist but with a very fancy, flash kind of camera. Semi-professional. Memories. Thats what I got from that little scene of those people. The tourist taking the photos, obviously for remembering and memories. It made me think of the already half written story I’d done for the film and I incorporated the idea of photos and memories which fitted like a perfect jigsaw for the story.
Influences, inspiration, it’s everywhere. You’ve just got to do a little looking and you’ll come across it.
I’ve just woke up. My eyes, they sting I try not to touch them and just open slowly like a broken camera shutter. I just rub them as I shuffle in the bed. I’m wriggling around and hear a clink, it’s the glass. I pull it out slowly opening my eyes trying to read the red label. It’s Russian, the good stuff. I sit up clasping the bottle and twist the top holding it to my mouth but nothing, not a drop. It’s all gone so I throw it out the bed and wriggle back under the covers annoyed and depressed.
I suddenly hear a noise coming from down the corridor. I’m slowly moving my way out the bed then the crack in the curtain blinds me. I cover my eyes whilst positioning myself for that first foot on the floor. I place it on the ground, something sticks. Lifting my foot it’s a polaroid. Scattered everywhere between the empty bottle of drink and the messy clothes this one stood out, it stuck to me it’s a part of me. I remove it from my foot and just stare. It’s that night. 2009. New years eve. Me and Sarah. I just pause and it’s that moment again. That frozen sensation of not knowing what’s what. I stay perfectly still then gently place the photo on the bedside table. I pull the draw towards me pulling out a half drank bottle of vodka. It’s the cheap stuff but it’ll have to do. I crawl back into the black pit of a bed. that endless depression. I wrap myself in the duvet shaking at the thought. That thought of what happened that night. I twist off the cap and drink.
The above is an elaborated extract from a screenplay I wrote and recently directed. I’m extremely excited to be working on this and might put the full script/story online at some point or more elaborated extracts. The film is currently in production and shall be released via Vimeo and the ‘Polaroid’ website (currently being made) in the coming months.
“Little people have little minds” – Life Magazine
We all imagine our lives to be bigger and more meaningful at some point in our existence. The film or rather be it perhaps the 1930’s short story of the same name ‘The Secret Life of Walter Mitty’ gives this exact impression of which we all consider, that our lives just aren’t that much. However the story also does point out that when we look at it in another way, our lives mean oh so much more.
After recently seeing the film I came out considering all of this. I thought about what I’ve done, what I’d like to do and promised myself to never fall flat of my ambitions and dreams. Yes this story of a man who daydreams has meant so much to me and made me reflect on, well, life. I took a serious thought in what we all do and how much we all mean to the world and one another. I reflected on myself and how much more I wanted to do more so I reflected on 2013. I’ve already felt that I haven’t done quite as much as I wanted to through 2013 and as we quickly transition into 2014 I want that to change.
In reflecting you can come away with so much. I want to do more photography. Seeing the beautiful images in Walter Mitty made me realise how much I missed the eye of photography. I realised how much at one point it meant to me in capturing but also seeing other work. Instantly seeing that contact sheet with all the negatives it hit me, I need to pick up my camera more. I need to experiment more. I realised that love I had of sharing such a beautiful spectacular thing I’d seen and felt shouldn’t be hidden. Through the photography it made me realise how much I’d neglected all my film work as well. 2013 has been a downsize in film work for me due to other pieces of work getting in the way.
2014. More writing. With this blog I’ve pushed my writing to gain new abilities. As only having a background in storytelling and having never considered blogging before I jumped in at the deep end, throwing myself into some writing processes straight away. 2014 will be filled with pushing boundaries. I’m currently planning out my first feature length script I’m writing. I have a small black book bursting with crazy ideas for stories and characters. I have so many ideas I look back on 2013 and think “how did I miss it?”
It’s truly amazing to walk away from anything in this world and feel inspired and the story of Walter Mitty did that for me. So really what I’m trying to say (and going back to the title of the peace) is that in a way we are all our selves in a ‘secret life.’ We all want to strive forward to do better, to push more and see what’s next. We are all in a secret life of Walter Mitty. We can all be inspired by something or inspire other from what we do. We are all The Secret Life of [Enter Name Here]