Column is a monthly feature that explores the world
of creativity and aesthetics.
from the Heart
de Sousa, Director, AbleStable
writers start off with a desire to touch the minds
and hearts of others. I investigate why our personal
narrative is a vital link to ensuring our creative
voice remains vibrant and lasting.
Our Life As Narrative
Our daily experience is the prime connecting mechanism
that informs all creative activity. Our experience
is as much molded by a trip to see a great movie
as it is through our contact with others: family,
friends, neighbours, strangers. We might be tempted
to dismiss this statement, after all, a book or
movie can't compare with real life, right?
We define our lives through narrative. Our experience
is gathered each moment and filtered into memory.
Our very core of who we are is defined by our memory.
Memory is identity, and without it we are lost.
We order the chaos of experience with our own self
made narrative. Stories of our childhood, stories
of our first love, stories of our hopes, our fears.
These stories rarely have beginnings, middles, and
ends, but as we grow, so these fragmented narratives
inter-relate. Perhaps much of the mechanism of this
'bringing together of narrative' occurs in our dream
time where creativity and imagination is at its
most instinctive and furtive.
Our personal narratives are schooled in many ways,
from the earliest stories our parents tell us, to
the use of conventions and techniques we find in
the composed narrative of literature and film. We
use all this knowledge to construct our own story
and place in the world. The stories of others then,
are of profound influence.
switch off the moment Star Trek's mentioned, but
wait. You might feel it's uncool to even contemplate
the Borg, or perceive a certain 'soft edge' morality
that you don't like about Captain Jean-Luc Picard.
Michael Mann's Collateral might be more your scene.
That's cool. My interest for this column however
is that Star Trek provides a more well known and
popular body of work that allows me the opportunity
to discus some ideas about creating from the heart.
Trek movies, despite their many flaws, all follow
one central theme: to explore the human condition
through story telling. For some the backdrop
of space works, for others it misses the mark,
but when all ten movies are taken together,
they show our friend and enemy, time, is always
the key component in the way audiences experience
in Star Trek is all important, not only from the
perspective of the closed filmic futuristic narrative,
but also from the perspective of our personal narrative.
I first watched Star Trek on its syndicated release
when I was around eight years old. I never tired
of the repeats, and my understanding of the philosophical
issues the series investigated increased as I entered
my teens and I became more conscious. I'm a child
of the 1960's, a time when space exploration caught
the imagination of a generation. Star Trek is therefore
inextricably linked to my personal history, experience
of the world, and hopes for it.
There are many who find Star Trek movies derivative,
tiresome, and warn out, but there are others who
find each story at the very least, thought provoking.
Whatever your personal feelings, it's valuable to
consider why Star Trek continues to enjoy such a
high level of interest.
The Genuine Thing
thing that's always struck me about Star Trek is
how there's a palpable passion of writers, directors,
actors, and composers to convey a shared purpose
and vision. Sure there are commercial constraints,
politicisation, and compromise, and it may be the
end result fails to deliver what you hope it might,
but it's clear the creators of Star Trek aspire
to achieve far more than the vast majority of Hollywood
hacks, and it is this above all that people recognise,
instinctively. People can judge fake goods from
the real thing, when it comes to the real McCoy
there's simply more care and attention to detail.
The Discipline of Effort
thing I'm constantly mindful of is maintaining 'best
effort'. There are so many occasions when it seems
'this will do'. It's at that point I need to push
myself forward, to find the heart in what I'm doing.
What ever it is, in whatever medium, about any subject,
it is possible to tell a story that connects both
mind and heart. It just takes that extra effort...
welcomes feedback on The Column. Go to Feedback,
complete the form, and make your views known.