I went to dinner on Sunday with a friend who told me that people in Liverpool were walking out of the cinema when they discovered that The Artist was a silent film. I shouldn't be surprised though. I'm sure there were couples choking into their popcorn in multiplexes all over the country when the realised that a silent movie actually means no speaking and no colour. Not even 3D!!! What was Hollywood thinking?
I was delighted to see it scoop a handful of Oscars last month. It's a brilliant and engaging film packed with lessons in how to be creative in whatever it is you do. Here are 4 to be getting on with:
1. What is not constrained is not creative. If you are faced with a blank sheet of paper to fill try add some restrictions of your own.
2. Creativity is about subtraction. What you remove is as import as what you add. If you're making a blockbuster like Transformers and you add more robots, you simply have a film with more robots. If you're making a film like The Artist and you take away the voices you have something 'remarkable'.
3. Talent imitates, genius steals. Borrowing from what has gone before is no bad thing. Singing the Rain was a brilliant movie.
4. Rethink deadness. Just because technology moves forward doesn't mean old ideas are bad ideas.