Hi Film Doctor Friends.
On this Christmas Eve Monday morning, the Film Doctor Team turns to two very inspirational women – American radio host & producer, Julie Burstein and British film director Beeban Kidron – for discussions of creativity and storytelling. This is the last Monday Prescription for 2012 and in the spirit of annual reflections, the Film Doctor Team wanted to offer inspirational (and maybe a little educational), special “Guest Referrals”.
Julie Burstein is fascinated by the roots of creativity, and she has pursued that passion through her work as a reporter, producer, and host at US radio stations WNYC and Public Radio International (PRI). In 2000, Julie created Studio 360, public radio’s premiere guide to pop culture and the arts, for PRI. Julie led the Peabody Award-winning creative team at WNYC for the show’s first eight years, leaving her post as Executive Producer to write “Spark: How Creativity Works,” her first book. Beeban Kidron directed Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit. She is also the co-founder of FILMCLUB, a charity for students devoted to the art of storytelling through film.
Julie’s talk is called “4 Lessons in Creativity” and Film Doctor chose it because of its insight into the creative process – from originating a project to letting go of any control over it. Using Japanese pottery, raku, as a metaphor for creative thought/work, Burnstein aptly sums up the cycle involved – “creation & destruction, control & letting go, picking up the pieces & making something new”:
“I love Raku because it allows me to play with the elements. I can shape a pot out of clay and choose a glaze, but then I have to let it go to the fire and the smoke. And what’s wonderful is the surprises that happen, like this crackle pattern, because it’s really stressful on these pots—they go from 1,500 degrees to room temperature in the space of just a minute. Raku is a wonderful metaphor for the process of creativity. I find in so many things that tension between what I can control and what I have to let go happens all the time. Whether I’m creating a new radio show or just at home negotiating with my teenage sons.”
Beeban’s talk is called “The Shared Wonder of Film” and Film Doctor chose it because of its lessons in storytelling – the ultimate form of human expression. As Beeban puts it, “Human beings have always told their histories and truths through parable and fable. We are inveterate storytellers.” As filmmakers, we are given the most engaging & accessible medium for sharing stories – and we ought to do justice to this medium, by creating something substantial. As Kidron remarks, “We are increasingly offered a diet [by Hollywood] in which sensation, not story, is king.” And, as Film Doctor has mentioned time & time again, story is the basis for every successful (whether commercially or critically) film project.