Take a look through my eyes
There’s a better place somewhere out there
…You’ll be amazed what you find.
– Look Through My Eyes, Phil Collins
Today’s lesson comes straight from something that I was trying to do yesterday. On my other website, Facebook.com/NowThatWereHere, I try to tackle issues that are more political in nature with video. The topic was #BlackLivesMatter. I had a lot to say about it, and I knew exactly what I wanted to say, but here’s what happened.
It never fell through. I got more than 3 hours worth of footage to no avail, and even cut my palm climbing a fence, and I still couldn’t nail down the tone, the jokes, the setting, the lighting, the scripting, nothing. It never felt like the parts of the video coalesced into an actual, coherent thought.
Well, one reason was probably because it’s hard for me to do a cogent write-up of something that is ultimately meant to be said, not read. So I have to do vlogs in a more unscripted way, which suits the cautious, prepared writer in me very poorly. One thing I love about writing is the careful introspection of it, the ability to completely grow and form a thought, edit, shape, and mold it.
I have not found vlogging that way. Anyone who reads my blogs knows that writing is my wheelhouse, so much so that it’s even really comfortable for me to help other people write, like I do here.
And while I’m experiencing some success with videos, they are certainly not my wheelhouse.
This leads to roadblocks of all kinds, including not knowing precisely what the hell about lighting, or sound, or Final Cut Pro, or the finished product taking decades longer than I thought it might, simply because it doesn’t come as easily.
Better Said Elsewhere
The reason that I persist with making videos is that there are ideas that I have that are better said elsewhere. Some of my video ideas just don’t write well, and so, no matter how janky the process, I have to make them into a video to attempt to reach their full potential as an idea.
This leads me to your lesson of the day: Not all ideas belong to all mediums.
What I mean to say is that sometimes that pop rock ballad is screaming to be sung as a country song, while that country song is made 10 times better by getting cut up and DJ’d by David Guetta.
If a particular idea continues to not work, and the breakthrough seems far away, try a different medium.
I know this might blow the minds of the steadfast soldiers of the “The book was better” camp, but some ideas actually work better on film than they do in literature. (For more information on where to mail pitchforks, subscribe to the blog using the tab in the top right corner)
There are very few ideas that suck all over. So if you hit a roadblock, try doing what you’re doing in a different medium. This applies for inside of writing, too. If your ideas aren’t coming across well, say them in a poem instead of prose, or vice versa. Use a song in a book, have a character quote a historical figure, etc.
Figure out which medium your idea is screaming to belong to, and put it there. I think you’ll be amazed what you find.
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