These past couple weeks have been very interesting for me in terms of inspirational material.
Firstly, everyone should watch/listen to/read J.K. Rowlings commencement speech at Harvard on "The Fringe Benefits of Failure and the Importance of Imagination" (link via Laurie Halse Anderson's blog):
"One of the many things I learned at the end of that Classics corridor down which I ventured at the age of 18, in search of something I could not then define, was this, written by the Greek author Plutarch: What we achieve inwardly will change outer reality.
That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing."
It is so true. She will forever be one of my heroes.
Another one of my new heroes is the Wachowski brothers. If anyone has been reading my livejournal or Kazu's blog, you know how inexplicably obsessed Kazu and I are with the new Speed Racer movie. When I think of the film, I think of extremely satisfying movie-going experiences like Forest Gump, Star Wars, Shawshank Redemption, Pride & Prejudice, movies that exist in their own perfect circle which I can watch over and over again without ever losing their impact.
Just when I thought it was impossible to come up with something new, something fresh, and something emotionally honest, the Wachowskis come along and blow my expectations out of the water. This movie has completely schooled me, humbled me, and gave me something to strive for again. There is not one moment in the whole thing that doesn't feel deliberate, they had complete control and it shows. Watching Speed Racer is like being served a masterfully crafted gourmet meal. It may not be to everyone's taste, but man... did they ever make something with all their hearts, whether anyone likes it or not. It is the real deal!
I have seen this movie six times in the theater and counting, I just cannot get enough of it! The storytelling is impeccable, the synergy between visuals, music, and emotion is spot on. If you haven't seen the movie yet, give this gift to yourself and see it while it's on the big screen before it's goes to the small screen.
Watching and studying this movie has helped me immensely in my own storytelling, and for that I'm forever grateful to the people that worked on Speed Racer. I cannot tell you how helpful it's been for me with figuring out the crux of Tabby's story, and keeping it confident and clear. I just hope I have the focus to hold onto it through to the end of the trilogy.
Also, I'm out of my mind ecstatic that Barack Obama is the democratic nominee! The general election is going to be very interesting indeed.
Anyway, these are things that have made my life richer recently, so I thought I'd share it all with you. Writing goes well on Rema now that I got a good wake-up call from Speed Racer. All I need to do is hunker down and do the work, work, work... and that's the fun part, isn't it?
(added later) By the way, I forgot to mention... aside from Speed Racer you should all check out Kung Fu Panda, which opens this weekend. A few friends of mine (also fellow Flight artists) worked on it, including our studio mate, the ever-enigmatic Phil Craven. Kazu and I are probably seeing it tonight, I can't wait! The Art of book is simply beautiful! The Character Design blog has a good video preview of the interior art, mostly sketches by the mind-blowingly talented Nicolas Marlet.