Friday, June 14, 2013

Creative Collaborations

I don't have as much time to write this morning, so I thought I'd recommend this story on NPR's Fresh Air.  Seth Rogan and Evan Goldberg talk about their long friendship and their creative collaborations. 

Even if you don't like their movies, the interview is worth your time.  I loved hearing about the projects they worked on during their high school years, and earlier.  They started the script for Superbad when they were 13, continued to work on it in high school, worked on it long distance as they went off to do different things, and finally, 10 years later, made the movie.

I've always been lucky to have creative communities wherever I've been.  Well, maybe not lucky:  I've taken an active role in creating them, after all.  This interview reminded me of how much further we all go when we've got a community to anchor us, to help us, to console us, and to encourage us.

If you like hearing about creative collaborations, this interview, also from Fresh Air, is a great one.  Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, and Ethan Hawke talk about making Before Midnight, along with the earlier movies Before Sunrise and Before Sunset.  I found their creative process fascinating.

Unlike Rogan and Goldberg, they aren't in close proximity when they're not making a movie.  Often, they're not even thinking about the next installment.  But when they get together, the next movie emerges naturally.

I wonder if they'll keep making these films.  I love the idea of following these characters through to old age.  Linda Holmes wrote a great blog piece about seeing them age in real time: "It's not that there's never been a story told about the maturation of a relationship over years, but there is something about the way they executed these films, in real time, that cannot be duplicated with makeup. People age unpredictably — if you tried to dress up as You In 20 Years, you would fail, because there's a mystery to whether faces get craggier or softer or fuller, and to how women's hips change when they have kids."

It's also interesting to watch their relationship age, as Holmes points out:  "And now that we know what was coming, nine years later and then nine years later, Sunrise is like a six-sided die turning into a 20-sided die. Those kids, that floppy-haired boy and that willowy girl, would be so glad if they knew what was coming, and so sad, and so scared, and so relieved."

Of course, one reason I'm so interested in this story line is that these characters are close to my age.  I first watched Before Sunrise in 1995, when I was weighed down with 2 houses, housemates, a job that felt draining, a marriage that felt prematurely old.  I longed to be young and unattached and on a train in Europe.

I needed change, and while I didn't shuck it all and go to Europe, I did devise a way for my unhappy spouse to go back to grad school which set us on a path that has gotten us here, to South Florida, a dream come true in many ways. 

I am sure that the Before Midnight will warn me that happy endings lead to all sorts of other complications.  I already knew that.

Last night was graduation, and I always love seeing these graduates who have completed one dream and must now head off towards another.  I love seeing that many of our students do find this kind of success.  And I love NPR for bringing me these kinds of stories too.

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