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Drawing Outside the Lines With Birdman

BirdmanI recently watched Birdman, winner of the 2015 Oscars for Best Picture, Best Directing, Best Cinematography, Best Writing.

And while I wouldn’t say it’s the best movie I’ve seen—and it certainly took full concentration to keep up with what was going on—I did get immersed in it and ended the evening with a screeching takeaway:

Create whatever moves you in the way that it moves you. Stop trying to draw inside the lines. The result may be a flop—but it may also take flight.

For Birdman is not your typical Hollywood movie. Here’s what I, as an amateur movie-watcher, noticed was different from my usual fare (please excuse my layperson’s filmmaking lingo):

  • surrealism amidst realism
  • continual camera shots
  • tight settings
  • subtle storyline arcs
  • heavy reliance on dialogue
  • little downtime.

The ensemble of people who make a movie happen took a chance and drew outside the lines. It could have been a failure, but—as the Oscars attest—it worked.

At the same time, though, I’m sure these same people knew exactly where the lines were drawn. They didn’t leap into far-flung notions—each and every one of them almost certainly had traditional training in their areas of expertise.

So the moral for my own creative endeavour (aka writing) is:

Take a chance and create as the spirit moves you to do. But first learn the rules in order to know how to break them with pizazz.

Have you seen Birdman? What did you think of it?

Read previous posts.

About the Author

Posted by Galadriel

Hi, I’m Galadriel: blogger, author, reader and resident of a quaint small town in the breathtaking West Kootenay region of southeastern British Columbia. You can also find me on Twitter and Facebook.

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