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.