WHEN YOU’RE GONE

So, i was reading a blog by Seth Godin (brilliant mind, great writer). And there was an entry titled

The best way to be missed when you’re gone

“Is to stand for something when you’re here. Works for people, works for brands”.

Now, he’s talking about brands and marketing, but in my case, and in my current thinking, i applied it to film making and writing(my first love).

A few weeks ago a programme came on TV,talking about how Shakespeare plays were being reset in a  African setting by African thespians in diaspora. It really struck me. Shakespeare has been dead for several centuries now, but yet, his stories remain so relevant, to many cultures he may never even heard about.

In the 20th century alone, there were countless incarnations, retellings and simple renditions of his stories, both on and the stage and screen. Makes me wonder , if he knew his stories would transcend over a 100 years on.

Then later on, the Sight&Sound list came out , and Citizen Kane’s reign of over 40 years at the number one spot , was toppled by “Vertigo”, another film that is over 40 years old.Several of other Hitchcock films are highly regarded classics, and just a few days ago his post humous 113th birthday was acknowledged by fans worldwide(just shows how much awe and respect he is still regarded in) 32 years after his death.

It initiated another thought. There are film makers out there churning out movie after movie, sometimes 3-4 (or more) in a year. Now, while they may make a killing at the box office,in the next 5, 10,20, 50 years, how will those films be seen? Would anyone remember them? Would they be stored on the virtual holographic cloud drive of future generations 25 years from now? Will they have film school students, in awe of what you were able to achieve, analysing it to see what they can pick up? Would it just be a great oldie to watch and be entertained? Would it have film fans and critics pontificating about your work as a film maker. Or literary stalwarts , chat over coffee about your great writers voice. Do you really want to make a film, that people may enjoy, but never desire to own or see again and quickly forget by the time another movie comes out?

Not everything we do as artists, is going to be a masterpiece. Not everything will enter the annals of what is deemed as “classic”. Not everything has to aim to be an award winner or critics choice. There are many pop corn/escapist books and movies that transcend generations. However, i think we should aim to create things that would enable people to remember us when we are gone and continue to enjoy our creative output centuries after we are laid to rest. After all, isn’t that why we are artists?

 

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4 comments on “WHEN YOU’RE GONE

  1. Couldn’t agree more.
    It is my dream to write books that could be used in Nigerian schools for Literature. Writing a ‘classic’ is tough and there’s a likely chance that it isn’t even fully appreciated in your lifetime.

    • Even though im primarily in film now, i started out creatively dreaming on being a novelist. I hope to still do that. Im pretty sure u can do it Chi,you’re a great writer, u just might have to be less Jackie Collins/Wes Craven and more Enid Blyton 😛

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