We write often about art as inspiration. At times art inspires the cinematographer to recreate in film a look or a memory or a feeling. A shaft of light falling on the subject. A moment remembered years later. How I felt when I first saw my child.
Art can also inspire story content and direction. Gabriele Rico’s Writing the Natural Way
explores how we can trigger creative writing while viewing a sculpture or painting.
Lori Koop, a California-based ceramics artist, blogs an inspiring word each week. The word for July 25th was Wabi Sabi: the Japanese art of impermanance
. Lori describes it this way:
Wabi is rustic, simple and quiet. It refers to understated, subtle beauty. The quiet beauty that waits patiently to be discovered. It also refers to the natural quirks and irregularities that come from the process of construction, from being human.
Sabi is serenity that comes with age. The beauty of patina, visible wear and repairs. It is about the natural cycle of life – growth, decay and death. The cracks, the marks of time, weather and use.
How can wabi sabi inspire our storytelling, our screenplay? Are you making a short, simple film about a family member, say an elderly uncle? As basic as the movie may sound, you can add elements of wabi sabi to the story. Look for the quiet beauty in this man. What are a few of his quirks?
Find a way in film or video to create patina, the look of age, the worn and cracked skin, maybe. How has he weathered his life? Look deep enough and you’ll find it. Then get it on video.
Your screenplay may be centered on a woman one step away from being homeless. Within your story, regardless of its possibly debilitating situation, develop moments of quiet beauty. Look for the signs of wear and tear on this woman. How has her stiuation changed her appearance, her attitude? Catch that on film to add depth. (And on that topic, see Blanket of Stars: Homeless Women in Santa Monica
, a recent book cited in the Huffington Post.)
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