“Remember how we used to dream as children of the delicious freedom and power of being grown-up? And somehow the dream vanished along the way, and we were energized only here and there by a job well-done, a spirited gathering, or an occasional week in the sun?…The possibility we saw so clearly as children got lost in the downward spiral, and we forgot the promise of our birth. How fascinating! Look around. This day, these people in your life, a baby’s cry, an upcoming meeting — suddenly they seem neither good nor bad. They shine forth brilliantly as they are. Awake restored! … to the dream revived.”
That concluding paragraph from The Art of Possibility” by Roz and Ben Zander, sums up the book’s unabashed inclusiveness, ecumenism, “power of we,” and realistic optimism. I was struck by the central theme’s relevance to filmmaking — film shows us how things are (we see a story told in images with our own eyes) and yet film also creates its own world. Some may call this fantasy world a lie. But this book emphasizes how our perception creates much of the world (and problems) we see — and that by consciously choosing to step outside the “game” and realign our self-imposed boundaries, we can see new realms of possibility.
In the same way, film allows us to vividly portray imagined worlds of possibility. Films like The Matrix, Avatar, Inception, The Game — they all allow us a jump into new worlds of possibility. Too easily we forget that this flesh and blood world of matter is equally open to possibility.
I’ve been victim of so called realistic thinking and I’ve been apt to scoff at the naivete of theories like “The Secret.” But real world examples of excellence give me pause. Where does genius find its wellspring of vision? Where does Steve Jobs get the audacity to “make a dent in the universe?” Where does Mother Theresa find selfless love even in human misery? Where does Einstein find the passion to discover a unified theory behind the physical laws of nature? Where does Mark Zuckerberg get the drive and inspiration to create a world-changing, multi-billion dollar company by age 25? As in the magical realm of movies, the real world is open to possibilities only to be imagined. And film helps us literally to see possibility.
Highly recommended: The Art of Possibility: Transforming Professional and Personal Life
Visual beauty combined with story and the power of music all align to sweep us into seeing the “art of possibility.” (I’ll spare you the overused Keats quote about Truth and Beauty.) The possibility of arresting visual perspectives can communicate beauty, can communicate truth. I think this is why visual inventiveness fascinates me. The following little videos speak for themselves.
Phantom Flex Slow Motion
Perspective of an Arrow