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A different way of looking at creativity Jul 29

Creativity CatWhat’s the job of a creative person?

When you think of what it means to be creative, your mind might run to fanciful worlds that have never been seen before, or stories that have never been told. The more original, the better, right?

Well not according to John Cormack, creator of popular video games such as Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake. He has something different to say about it. Granted, he’s talking about video games, but the same principle applies to movies.

“If they buy the next Call of Duty, it’s because they loved the last one and they want more of it. So I am pretty down on people who take the sort of creative auteurs’ perspective. It’s like ‘Oh, we’re not being creative.’ But we’re creating value for people – that’s our job! It’s not to do something that nobody’s ever seen before. It’s to do something that people love so much they’re willing to give us money for.” [Emphasis mine]

[full article]

In reference to the above quote, Sean Malstrom goes into quite an insightful discussion of Cormack’s philosophy on his blog. He reminds us creative types that while we need to be inspired by what we write, ultimately our enjoyment needs to come “from the audience getting enjoyment.”

Are you writing for just yourself? Or are you writing for both yourself and a mass audience?

Photo: YJGM

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Category: Creativity
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2 Responses
  1. Jim says:

    I disagree. I create SCRIPTS for myself. If they like it, good.
    If the producers want to buy it, good for them.
    Very de-motivating to write for others. Some enjoy it.I don’t/
    I write what I like FOR ME.

  2. Trevor Mayes says:

    Hey Jim – thanks for the comment. If we’re talking about spec scripts especially, I agree, you have to feel passionate about your project. Otherwise it will show through in your work or you’ll lose interest.

    Personally though, the ideas that motivate me the most are the ones that I believe other people will really enjoy, AND that I will really enjoy writing. When you put that combination together, it’s your best chance for success. And ultimately the goal is to get the movie made, right?

    I should also add that I’m still a firm believer in the power of creativity and originality. Simple re-treads are boring. For my money, “familiar but different” is the way to go.

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