For many of the planet’s children the impossible unfolded on Christmas Eve…
A benevolent, unshaven fat guy in a red suit will be hauled around the globe on a ten tonne sleigh stuffed with toys by a team of reindeer (one red-nosed) who can fly.
Who would’ve dreamed it? Well someone did.
They found a hero. Crafted a narrative. Developed a structure. And most importantly, they believed it was a story worth telling – however large and fanciful. Budget? What budget?
Fast forward a hundred years later to the i-age of Pod, Phone, paparazzi insanity and climate-crazed politicians and this bewitching story of possibility survives. The result? New, pint-sized imaginations are ignited every year – and for one brief, shining moment on Christmas Day the world’s a little happier.
My point, and I do have one, is simple.
Lofty dreams are necessary for successful creativity.
Question is, do you have a dream?
If you’re reading this, chances are you have something spectacular brewing in your head right now. Some of you may even be bold enough to chase it; congratulations if you are – you’re a rarity. For it seems the world would rather we keep our larger, fatter dreams for bedtime. Funnily enough, that’s what the Aussie film stalwarts would have you do too.
At the recent Metro Screen debate on Aussie films versus Aussie audiences, Rachel Ward was mortified when Tony Ginane suggested we encourage our writers to pen $100 million screenplays. To paraphrase… we shouldn’t tease our writers with grand ideals we can’t possibly fund.
We’re not in America now, Dorothy.
Hm. So let me get this straight… Our storytellers should only be allowed to wallow in existential, suburban mash and then write stories about it? Not for us any glitzy, special-effects-laden or star powered movies thank you very much. Why should we ever aspire to big budget greatness when we can scrounge around for small wads of government cash instead?
Society’s expectations outside the Aussie film biz are a little similar. Unless you’re blessed with friends and family who are supportive of your ‘lofty’ aspirations, you’re encouraged to stay in your little box of an office, occupation and just ‘do what you know’. It’s safer that way.
Well – poo to all of that.
If you’re an artist, scratch that, if you’re a HUMAN BEING, it’s your right – no, your obligation to dream – dream it large, dream it strong, in 3D, with every friggin’ special effect you can imagine.
And if someone shoots your concept down in flames, ask yourself, what is it about your idea that threatens them? Let your critics blather on. Press the snooze button on them and keep dreaming. Make 2010 the year you conjure up your grandest creative projects – screenplays, short films, plays, books – and then, pull everything into focus and holler, action.
If you can dream it – you SHOULD do it.
The future of fat, dynamic, inspiring UNIVERSAL storytelling in Oz depends on it.
Ho! Ho! Ho!
Writer, media presenter — and stage diva (on hiatus) Phyllis Foundis has written and bellydanced her way to the tender age of 36. She’s been writing stories, ads, one-woman shows and to-do lists for as long as she can remember. She loves big shower heads and loathes coriander.