I recently watched a trailer for a James Franco movie. As with all films involving a pretty boy Hollywood bred actor vying to be perceived as something else, it involved the over dramatization of creativity, the creative process, and a subtle but still very overt piano score with ominous overtones decorating the backgrounds of the glowing, well lit, well composed images and closeups of moody and very pretty actors faces. My reaction: disgust at the fact that this may be how I live my life.
I am afraid of becoming exactly what these films are attempting to express. My perception of creativity does not fall that way, in that direction, or in that sphere-so to speak. But it seems like, no matter what I do-or what we do-those who control how artists are perceived are those who have the ability to make said artsy films with aforementioned piano scores, and the lot which includes pretty actors with tired, ambivalent faces.
Am I the moody writer who works a terrible job and enjoys isolation and time alone with his thoughts? I think that I am, but I am in no way attempting to glorify my existence, and if I am doing it, it’s inadvertent; and I am certainly not using a piano score to stride along to.
This post is about my strange creativity. I have never ever shared my creative history with anyone, let alone the entire internet. But never say never, and forget about not-sharing because this world is all about over-sharing.
I perceive myself as a creative person. My past is decorated with moments of creativity, of an innovative resolve, and a desire to be unique, to always find the third way, or the alternative. I was seeking out that which could be different, new, fresh, and progressive. Also, something that could make me see the world in a new way, and not the mundane way that popular society had tried to instill in me.
First, I made films. Small, short films in video production classes. I made commercials, news reports, montages, and even a Thom Yorke documentary (he was one of my heroes).
At the same time I flirted with playing bass guitar and guitar; before I flirted with those instruments, I was a keen cello player who was able to play very well without needing much practice-it was effortless.
In high school, I developed a sense for writing. This was, in part, motivated directly by filmmaking. I read many books when I was young, and had a nose for history and social sciences, finding myself enraptured by current events, and by the study of history. One could say that I was always going to enjoy writing, influenced by film or not.
In college I dove into screenwriting. After my first feature script I found myself becoming more and more interested in films, but this time it was from another perspective: philosophy.
I studied philosophy in College. Along with screenwriting, this was my main focus. But as these two focuses enthralled my life and time, I still wrote in my journal, I still wrote fiction, I still made observations and wrote, wrote, wrote. In some way, my life has become a project, one with no conclusion.
And everything is an accident.
So when I see James Franco’s face adorn my computer screen, and the piano scores, and slow moving dolly shots of journals, I wonder to myself: why does this seem so goddamn cliche? Am I cliche?
Then I think: I wish. Life would be simple. Life would be a cakewalk. That would be amazing. No more confusion, I can just move to the rules set by the cliche. But that isn’t me… Imagine the giant red X appear on your screen in ostentatious fashion…NOW. X
So that is my strange creativity: confusion. I am a man who wears many hats, speaks and reads in two languages-very well-and can make something out of nothing. Im a lover, a fighter, a passive soul, an aggressive athlete, and above all, a thinker; I am myself.
No movie can recreate that. Fuck off Franco.