Sunday, March 20, 2005

The Creative Process: Learning from Audio Commentaries

In the last few years, great resources have become available for students to understand the various steps to creative production in the real world: audio commentaries on DVD.

This past week, our kids got the DVDs for "The Incredibles" - what a thrill to see the brainstorming process (sketches, personal vignettes), the different levels of interaction within a group, contribution of unique personalities and technologies, and some of the tough intellectual and emotional decisions that going into making a final product. There's a lot of other information to be gained through these film clips and documentaries too - story and character design, the logic of color, gesture, and imagery, sequence and cohesion.

Wouldn't it be nice if more disciplines did this? In science, some videos capture the creative process (Race for the Double Helix, documentary about the solution of Fermat's Theorem), but these behind-the-scenes views are much more unscripted and therefore seem more realistic. Some DVDs (like Wallace and Gromitt) also include some of artists' work as children - and this can be energizing for some of the kids.

There is also something a little like blogging in these audio commentaries - people doing what they're interested in, sharing with the world real time what the experience is like, and how they they are thinking.

Wired : Welcome to Planet Pixar

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