Author Topic: Talent  (Read 3740 times)

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kotte

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Talent
« on: February 23, 2005, 11:05:37 AM »
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What is talent, really?

I've been trying to figure this one out for a while now. I know its not born with, it's not biological, it's not part of evolution. So what is talent? What ingredients does talent have?

This is what I believe make you a talented filmmaker (writer and/or director).

* Surrounding yourself with the best and most inspiring people is important, even crucial. Filmmaking is a collaborative process and what's nice about directing is that you get credit for other peoples work. Imagine Wong Kar-Wai (a bit obsessed about him right now :)) with Kevin Smiths DP. I'm not sure we would know his name if it weren't for Doyle. Still we credit Wong for his beautiful films.

* Healty obsession for every aspect of filmmaking. I don't necessarily think you have to be good at composing shots. Cameron Crowe is someone we would call talented and (at least when shooting Almost Famous) he leaves placing the camera to the DP.

* Confident and in touch with himself. There needs to be a genuine love for life and interest in people.

I think I'm leaving out a lot here and almost feel that I contradict myself but this is how I feel right now...

metroshane

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« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2005, 06:05:03 PM »
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a special often creative or artistic aptitude
We live in an age that reads too much to be intelligent and thinks too much to be beautiful.

Weak2ndAct

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« Reply #2 on: February 25, 2005, 12:37:19 AM »
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Quote from: metroshane
a special often creative or artistic aptitude

I don't agree with this comment, mostly because it implies some genetic hand-me-down or the worst explanation for anything in life: luck (luck's winning the lottery, not creating great art).

For me, talent always is a result of one thing: consistent hard work.  Any asshole can pick up a camera.  Any asshole can give their opinion on a movie.  Any asshole can go to film school.  But it takes a special kind of asshole to do continually do whatever it takes to succeed.  You should be the person telling people what to read, what to see, rather than the goof who's never seen 'Last Year at Marienbad.'  

I don't necessarily think that surrounding yourself with great people is any kind of help.  If anything, that becomes a crutch.  Can WKW have a nice looking movie w/out Chris Doyle?  Yes.  That's why he's the man.  True talent supercedes the cratfsmen its surrounded by.  

A healthy obsession with all things film?  Of course.  The more you watch, the more you know.  READ EVERY SCRIPT YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON.  I cannot emphasize this enough.    

Where most people stumble is the confidence.  It often gets confused with stubborness.  If you can recognize and accept a good idea from someone else, you should take it, rather than be pig-headed for the sake of some skewed 'integrity.'  There's a fine line between mainting your vision and becoming an egotistical dick.

The most talented people I know, they're not aloof, with some inherited genius that allows them to see through the bullshit.  They've seen more movies than I have, read more books, lived fuller lives.  I'm not in their league, but as time passes, I'll get there.

Don't get dogged by the bullshit that dominates most people's lives: dumb relationships, pointless hobbies, mindless distractions.  Stay true to yourself, stay dedicated to your craft.  That's where talent is born.

matt35mm

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Talent
« Reply #3 on: February 25, 2005, 01:36:02 AM »
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I think that it is an understanding and connection to the core of what affects people.  That's how I would describe my talents, as I do feel that I'm talented.

In films or drawings or writings, every decision that is made is based off of what you "feel" is right, and that most people can see and connect to that same feeling.  My sense is that, in untalented people, there's something off about this particular feeling.  It's a certain kind of emotional intelligence.  It's not the same as in doing what you think other people will appreciate, but rather you and your audience finding gratification in something deeper, more meaningful than what's on the surface.

There's also the skill that has to be learned and developed.  Talent is the ability to use your skills to bring what you see in your mind and bring it out into the world, and to have what you put out be something that others can connect with.  There are aesthtically pleasing things that I don't connect with and ugly looking things that I do connect with.  If you had a vision in your mind and perfectly presented it, but that initial vision was crap to begin with, then you've still gotten nowhere.  So I think you really have to have it all.  The strong vision or idea, the ability to use your skills to present and communicate that vision or idea, and the understanding and taste/judgement that will allow this whole thing to impact others deeply.

This is way more than I meant to write, so that's enough for tonight.

ono

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« Reply #4 on: February 25, 2005, 02:17:44 AM »
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Thanks for that, W2A.  Very good.  So true.

What matt said is good too.  There is this intuition that comes with talent.  That intuition is developed with experience.  Everyone has potential for it.  It's the degree that varies.  It's a muscle that needs to be exercised.  It can be developed to certain levels, and the true geniuses are able to transcend average levels of intuition and touch thoughts, dreams, and the collective subconscious in such a way that they make films that move people.

kotte

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« Reply #5 on: February 25, 2005, 10:42:32 AM »
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Quote from: Weak2ndAct
I don't necessarily think that surrounding yourself with great people is any kind of help.  If anything, that becomes a crutch.  Can WKW have a nice looking movie w/out Chris Doyle?  Yes.  That's why he's the man.  True talent supercedes the cratfsmen its surrounded by.  


As I re-examine my post I went a bit far on the Chris Doyle - WKW thing. Yes, of'course he could make films his way with other collaborators. But how could we not appreciate the unique talent of amazing people like Doyle. In their collaboration I believe both have parts in each other talents.
But of'course it's helpful to be surrounded with talented intelligent people. People that challenge you, connects emotionally with the material and masters their craft.


Quote from: Weak2ndAct
A healthy obsession with all things film?  Of course.  The more you watch, the more you know.  READ EVERY SCRIPT YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON.  I cannot emphasize this enough.


I know I was stating the obvious, I'm just trying to figure out what talent is made of.
I wanna add books. Read books. They give, on top of great stories, a (somtimes) better insight into character than screenplays do.


Quote from: Weak2ndAct
The most talented people I know, they're not aloof, with some inherited genius that allows them to see through the bullshit.  They've seen more movies than I have, read more books, lived fuller lives.  I'm not in their league, but as time passes, I'll get there.


I love this.
It's unfair. I wanna know now what I'll know when I die an old man. But there would be no joy of new discoveries.

Quote from: Weak2ndAct
Don't get dogged by the bullshit that dominates most people's lives: dumb relationships, pointless hobbies, mindless distractions.  Stay true to yourself, stay dedicated to your craft.  That's where talent is born.


This is great!

kotte

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« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2005, 03:35:45 AM »
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From an interview with Frank Pierson.

WGA: What experiences have made your students today different from film students of 40 years ago?

Pierson: People of my generation came to screenwriting from a literary and dramatic background, so we found it to be something new and fresh. Amongst the young people coming in now, however, there is an assumption that because they have been brought up on film and video they can automatically, intuitively write, direct and actwithout ever having taken the steps to learn the language and the craft of those professions. For most of my students now, film history began with Steven Spielberg. Ironically, Steven himself was brought up studying the films of people who had a very broad literary and liberal arts background - a real true understanding of the culture in which all this fits. And that's all missing now, or at least it tends to be skimmed over. So the only thing we can do is just beat the hell out of these kids and say, "Listen, the films you're making are shit, and the stories you're telling are not worth hearing. They do not advance us at all in our knowledge of the human condition. Now, let's go back and talk about why they're that way and how we can make them better."

WGA: What caveats do you have for young writing students?

Pierson: Two things. One is to have a story to tell that's worth telling. That really requires doing something besides going to high school and college. It requires maybe a couple of failed marriages and a short jail term or something like that, so that they've got something under their belt that gives them something worth telling to the world. And then beyond that, they must learn how to tell that story. People who wish to learn how to write screenplays are very fortunate today, because there are film schools and many other ways of learning the craft which were not available to us when I came in. But they need to make use of what is available to them.


This man I can hear is really old school. His viewpoint on screenwriting (storytelling) is very optimistic and would generate only original stories. If we all pulled material from ourselfs. That's not really what is happening right now. People write what they feel they should and they write cool things others have written. Though imitation is a cool thing it's really not.


Quote from: Weak2ndAct
READ EVERY SCRIPT YOU CAN GET YOUR HANDS ON. I cannot emphasize this enough.


There's always Drews script-o-rama but if you don't wanna read them on a screen or print 200 pages you can order scripts at this place. You probably already knew about this place but I didn't. I'm amazed.

atticus jones

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Re: Talent
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2005, 04:05:11 AM »
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Quote from: kotte
What is talent, really?



1. altering someones opinion without them knowing your doing it

2. scooping a piece of ass that is definitely out of your league

3. baffling brains with bullshit

4. getting a script purchased buy any body four any price

5. walking the walk before the world has started talking the talk

6. having the nuts to kill your babies

7. having the guts to endure nos and maybes

8. barking with big dogs infected with rabies

9. turning personal shit into art folks will look at

10. saying everything while saying nothing

11. knowing still days are the best time to throw caution to the wind

12. persistence, preparation and prayer

13. being inspired by everything and everyone

14. knowing nothing/no one is truly original yet seeming like you are

15. harnessing your masturbatory strength into a viable source of incum

16. finding your anima outside of cinema

17. making sure a part of you is eternally seventeen

18. breaking the law for personal growth and development

19. disappearing for days just for the hell of it

20. i could go on with more but my i dread the irrelevant
my cause is the cause of a man who has never been defeated, and whose whole being is one all devouring, god given holy purpose

Weak2ndAct

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« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2005, 04:12:59 AM »
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Actually, that's some of the best shit I've read in a while.  Good stuff.

atticus jones

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« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2005, 04:23:14 AM »
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im being arrogant when i say thank you for stating the obvious...

the second act is only weak because my girl isnt in it...see is eye knew york thin crust with seen ease on the side...what you see is what you see...go figure
my cause is the cause of a man who has never been defeated, and whose whole being is one all devouring, god given holy purpose

SoNowThen

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Talent
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2005, 06:26:09 AM »
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May I state the obvious again?

re: 1 - 20

That was beautiful.
Those who say that the totalitarian state of the Soviet Union was not "real" Marxism also cannot admit that one simple feature of Marxism makes totalitarianism necessary:  the rejection of civil society. Since civil society is the sphere of private activity, its abolition and replacement by political society means that nothing private remains. That is already the essence of totalitarianism; and the moralistic practice of the trendy Left, which regards everything as political and sometimes reveals its hostility to free speech, does nothing to contradict this implication.

When those who hated capital and consumption (and Jews) in the 20th century murdered some hundred million people, and the poster children for the struggle against international capitalism and America are now fanatical Islamic terrorists, this puts recent enthusiasts in an awkward position. Most of them are too dense and shameless to appreciate it, and far too many are taken in by the moralistic and paternalistic rhetoric of the Left.

Thrindle

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Re: Talent
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2005, 01:57:48 PM »
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After all the bullshit, threads like these are what make xixax worth reading.

Quote from: Weak2ndAct
The most talented people I know, they're not aloof, with some inherited genius that allows them to see through the bullshit.  They've seen more movies than I have, read more books, lived fuller lives.  I'm not in their league, but as time passes, I'll get there.


And your talent lies in your own insecurity.  It will be the driving force to make you better than you will ever recognise.  I truly believe that insecurity is a large form of talent.  But it's a double edged sword, it will push you, and also paralyze you.  It's a constant battle to have your voice heard.

Quote from: atticus jones
11. knowing still days are the best time to throw caution to the wind
19. disappearing for days just for the hell of it

Yes.
Classic.

Gabe

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Re: Talent
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2005, 04:17:27 PM »
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Quote from: Thrindle

And your talent lies in your own insecurity.  It will be the driving force to make you better than you will ever recognise.  I truly believe that insecurity is a large form of talent.  But it's a double edged sword, it will push you, and also paralyze you.  It's a constant battle to have your voice heard.


Do you think overcoming insecurity is necessary, then? We all want to excell from these positions we're stuck in, but don't you think we only see our real talent once we've grown out of that fear?

cowboykurtis

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Talent
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2005, 05:56:25 PM »
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i agree with weak second act - however i do believe that one can be born with talent. however, it must then be developed and disciplined.  I do feel storngly that some have it and some don't. And talent does not only pertain to creative endeavours.

How else can you explain the 4 year old that accells in art and fails at math - and vice versa. Our minds are created differently. Some are born to think with the right side of their brain, some with the left.

Some have talent and don't work, so it is never developed to it's full potential.  Some have no talent, and slave for years, and it's never developed becuase they never had it in the first place. I know plenty of people who work and work and work, but haven't had a good idea in their life. Putting work into an idea that was never good, will have sad results.

However I do feel that hard work prevails over that initial talent. Talent can only go so far. Those who have foresight and persistence to develop and execute the tools they were given, are usually the one's that come out on top.
...your excuses are your own...

Gabe

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« Reply #14 on: April 06, 2005, 07:45:49 PM »
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Quote from: cowboykurtis


Some have talent and don't work, so it is never developed to it's full potential.  Some have no talent, and slave for years, and it's never developed becuase they never had it in the first place. I know plenty of people who work and work and work, but haven't had a good idea in their life. Putting work into an idea that was never good, will have sad results.



Do you think everyone has some Talent? or are some people just meant to be average? Hmmm, not every dog dog can jump through hoops and fetch the newspaper, every now and then we need dogs that are just...dogs.

 

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