Here is What I Think About Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah”

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Film, Film Review | 03/31/2014

noah-movie-poster

I watched the film. This post will be long – so don’t bother reading if you don’t care. Please be sure and read my previous post before reading this one as it builds from it. Also do not read this post if you haven’t seen the film yet. It is FILLED with SPOILERS.

Ultimately, this film was very enjoyable. As a standalone film, I’m not sure it was the strongest story I’ve ever seen on screen. There were holes, difficulties with the exposition and character flaws. But this is Darren Aronofsky for you, he is a smart, smart filmmaker and for that reason, it made me think. Even though I knew the story, it made me second guess at every turn. It made me go back and pour over the story of Noah in the Bible. It made me wonder: what if? THAT to me is the theme of this film: what if?

As a reminder, the story of Noah is not only found in the Bible. It is in other religious texts and early writings and is regarded as one of the earliest stories known to mankind. So, let’s get past this idea of the film being ‘Unbiblical’ and think of it as ‘Extra-biblical’. Again, Darren Aronofsky is an atheist – if you walked into the theater expecting to see some sort of accurate or purely Bible-based interpretation of this story, then I’m sorry. Count your losses. As I said in my first post, Aronofsky set out to tell this story in a way that only he could. Is it 100% accurate? No. But is the version you hear in Sunday school 100% accurate? Nope. The truth is we don’t really know for certain because none of us were there and the story happens to be incomplete; at least to a degree.

What Darren Aronofsky produced, in my mind, is color commentary on the story that exists in the available texts. What I am going to propose is that maybe, just maybe Aronofsky was on to something here. As Christians, we need to be a little more informed in our process of feedback and review. First of all, watch the film before critiquing it. Second, do your homework and cross-reference what you feel to be untrue and find out why you believe that, even if you are working to uphold the children’s storybook version – ask yourself why.

Darren Aronofsky has made a total of 7 films, including Noah. Each one deals with a dark and gritty subject matter – so we have to first understand why he may have been attracted to the Noah story. I think he was attracted to it because of the weight of this decision. Noah’s faith in God was so strong that he actually followed through on the difficult decision of wiping nearly all of the human race from the planet. I bet Aronofsky was pretty taken with the grandness of this idea and started to imagine what he could do with it. When he began to review the text, I’m sure he asked himself several questions throughout his life and the eleven year process of bringing this film to life.

I have a handful of points I’m sure will come up as topics of discussion among Christians, and my resounding theme here will be: what if? So bear with me as I work through these. PLEASE NOTE: This is for discussion! I am not an expert in theology, hermeneutics or anything of that sort. I’m not saying I believe these things outright, but is it really so harmful to challenge our thinking? Let’s find out…

1. Environmentalism

A lot of church figureheads already have this film painted as environmentalist propaganda. Is it really, though? Most people have this aimed back at the fact Noah is a vegetarian and that his family does not harm or eat animals.  This is referenced in the Bible in Genesis 9:3 “Everything that lives and moves about will be food for you. Just as I gave you the green plants, I now give you everything.” Beyond that, Noah gets on to his kid about picking a flower for no reason. Taking a look at the scorched earth setting of the film, might you say the same to your child? It is re-grown in the ground after a drop of rain falls from heaven. This maybe a message about environmentalism, but in film, this is also known as a device – an element in storytelling that helps develop the exposition. Noah removes thousands of trees to build the ark. Is that environmentally friendly? Or is it a means to an end? Unless I missed something, I really feel as though the environmental message was not as strong as some perceive it to be (and that includes some atheist’s reviews).

2. Rock-giants?

Maybe. Fallen Angels, as we know from Genesis are on the earth during this time, or more accurately, their offspring. They are referred to as the Nephilim in Genesis 6:4. They are referenced later in Numbers as giants. While the depiction of these characters may be rather new for most of us as Christians to swallow, I found it really exciting just to toy with the idea of God creating the world to have so many fantastical elements in those early days. Aronofsky here is showing his imagination as to what these beings might have been like. In the film, they help him build the ark. I’ve always wondered how 8 people built the entire thing by hand… just saying.

3. Noah’s history

We honestly don’t know much about the inner-workings of Noah’s mind. We see much of the story from God’s perspective. We know Noah was viewed favorably by God. We know he was righteous and faithful. We know he followed God’s commands, but we don’t get inside his head much. Maybe his father was murdered, maybe he wasn’t. Maybe Methusela was some sort of sage with miraculous powers granted by God, maybe he wasn’t.

4. God’s voice

God appeared quite frequently through dreams to people in the Old Testament. The depiction of how he communicated with Noah is a choice the filmmakers decided to pursue. In the film, he communicates rather infrequently with Noah. Is it not safe to assume that there may have been a time of silence, a time when Noah’s faith was tested? Why would he send out the ravens and the doves if not for trying to find the land? He expected the 40 days and 40 nights, but why wouldn’t he have just asked God: “hey, when is this going to be over?” Genesis 8:1 states that God remembered Noah, could this imply that for a while, that God forgot? Could it be that even with Noah on the ark he was still considering leaving the earth covered in water?

5. Noah changes

In the film, Noah changes dramatically for a period of time. He observes what is truly wrong with the group of people camping outside the forest beyond the ark. In this sequence, he sees himself as one of those wicked people. He comes to the realization that perhaps God does not want him or his family to live either, that he would prefer the world continues only with animals. Now, I can understand this would really challenge the Biblical portrayal of Noah as a faithful man. But, put yourself in his shoes. You are building an ark to save just you and your family. You know you have the directive from God, but wouldn’t you at least once or twice wonder if maybe you got it wrong? Maybe you should save everyone, or maybe you should save no one, including yourself. Are you 100% sure you heard what you did, or did you hear what you wanted to hear? Faced with the challenge of saving only yourself and your family, would you not question the value of the rest of humanity once or twice? In the case of the film, this is a prime mental struggle for Noah and something very common for Aronofsky if you are familiar with his work.

6. In seven days!

In the Bible, it says that Noah and his family were sealed onboard seven days prior to the flood. From a film production standpoint, this is one of the climax moments, so they elected to have a battle. Which was interesting. It seemed heartless. This part was hard to watch. It was hard to think of Noah completely merciless during this time, but in effect seals his contract with God to perhaps an extreme level. This is especially difficult as the waters are rising and Noah has a chance to save lives. He elects not to because he firmly believes God is telling him not to. Maybe Noah and God are at odds of a sort during the time. Perhaps Noah was supposed to demonstrate mercy and did not and is that the reason for God’s silence in the latter half of the film?

7. The villian, the stowaway

I’m almost positive in Sunday School we learned of the people who came to make fun of Noah, but he held fast to his faith. Come to find out – that isn’t in the Bible at all! But we heard about it in Sunday school! Gasp! The movie takes a slightly different, more antagonistic angle on this supposed character. He is wicked, he is filled with violence. Tubal-cain is one of those people that God wants to wipe out the earth for. We need to see who these individuals are, otherwise it gives no cause to Noah’s mission. Tubal-cain is evil (notice the Cain in his name). Tubal-cain is in the Bible as a descendent of Cain. And on an interesting sidenote, Naamah is his sister. Jennifer Connelly’s character is named Naameh. We don’t learn the name of Noah’s wife in the Bible, I don’t believe – isn’t this interesting that maybe she is Tubal-cain’s sister? Generationally, Tubal-cain and Noah would have been alive during the same time period. (See Genesis 5 and Genesis 4).

If this is the case, Noah and Tubal-cain would have been pitted against one another from the time of their ancestors. Noah was a descendent of Seth, Adam and Eve’s third son. Tubal-cain’s father Lamech also brags of killing a man and refers to it as vengeance. These things seem consistent with the character of Tubal-cain to a degree. As a stowaway, Tubal-cain becomes an added layer of intrigue for this story, things don’t seem right on the ark as long as we know he is surviving. He shows us the value of the animals (as soon as one is killed, that species can no longer survive).

8. Ham is a little rebel

This was one of those elements that surprised me the most. Where I thought there was little reason for Noah’s son to be so problematic – It turns out that there must have been something going on. In Genesis 9, it is revealed that Ham becomes the father of Canaan. Canaan is cursed by Noah in the Bible. He takes the time to bless both Japheth and Shem, but there is no reason that he does not include Ham in that blessing. Isn’t it reasonable to think that Ham may have done something to earn his father’s curses? Could it have been that something happened while aboard that ark? The rainbow in the film comes after this sequence, yet before in the Bible, but regardless – it seems as though something is amiss.

9. Ham and Japheth’s wives

But they boarded the boat without wives for Ham or Japheth…! Did they? Are we sure? In the film, this is perhaps one of the greatest creative liberties the filmmakers take, yes. But, in the womb of Ila, the two had already been conceived, so technically, they were aboard the ark – just in a different way than we expected. And Noah’s struggle with wanting to kill them? Twin sisters was the last thing I expected to hear – it made us so nervous knowing what Noah’s intent was. But could any other combination of babies have led him to the same outcome? Could God (in the film) spoken to him any more clearly?

10. Magic

There are a lot of supernatural elements that seem to take place, especially in the first half of the film. I love this idea – By the time Genesis 8 rolls around, the flood is over. We’re talking 8 chapters into the Bible here. So, magic fire stones, Methuselah performing miracles, stone giants, smoke that makes animals fall asleep: hard to believe? What about a fruit that makes you know the difference between good and evil? What about talking serpents? What about a family building a boat big enough for all animals on the planet? What about a flood that covers the planet? Is the magic still hard to believe? The world was a much different place during those times, even God himself admits that he was still working things out. What did he need to reset? What needed to change beyond just getting righteous people to start over with?

Okay, okay, okay. Those are my big points – call me crazy, but they get me thinking. Hopefully they will get you thinking as well. Maybe you have more questions – why was it so violent? Well, we know mankind was evil and wicked during this time. What about Noah getting drunk? That whole sequence is in the Bible.

My effort here is to demonstrate how much I THOUGHT I knew about the story of Noah, especially from the Bible. Turns out, I had a lot to go check after that film. It took an atheist to make a movie about a Bible story for me to go back and re-read that story. I enjoyed the movie. I had fun. I will probably watch it again.

My Top 100

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Film | 12/23/2013

Here is my personal list of the best 100 movies of all time. I try to update this list at least every year. What do you think?

  1. Sunset Boulevard

  2. Crash

  3. Slumdog Millionaire

  4. The Departed

  5. Schindler’s List

  6. Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  7. It’s a Wonderful Life

  8. Singin’ in the Rain

  9. Forrest Gump

  10. Citizen Kane

  11. Chicago

  12. Black Swan

  13. The Dark Knight

  14. Amadeus

  15. The Social Network

  16. Gone With the Wind

  17. The Matrix

  18. The Wizard of Oz

  19. Star Wars: Ep. V-The Empire Strikes Back

  20. Finding Neverland

  21. The Prestige

  22. My Fair Lady

  23. Gladiator

  24. Rear Window

  25. Inception

  26. The Sixth Sense

  27. Batman Begins

  28. 12 Angry Men

  29. Apocalypse Now

  30. Moulin Rouge

  31. 28 Days Later

  32. The Pianist

  33. Night of the Living Dead

  34. The Aviator

  35. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

  36. Back to the Future: Part 1

  37. The Best Years of Our Lives

  38. Se7en

  39. Pan’s Labyrinth

  40. Across the Universe

  41. Green Street Hooligans

  42. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington

  43. The Straight Story

  44. Disturbia

  45. The Village

  46. West Side Story

  47. Star Wars

  48. The Two Towers

  49. The King’s Speech

  50. Raiders of the Lost Ark

  51. The Fellowship of the Ring

  52. The Return of the Jedi

  53. Pistol Pete

  54. Rudy

  55. The Shawshank Redemption

  56. Bonnie and Clyde

  57. Michael Clayton

  58. O, Brother, Where Art Thou?

  59. Burn After Reading

  60. Regarding Henry

  61. American Beauty

  62. A Beautiful Mind

  63. Apollo 13

  64. No Country for Old Men

  65. Moulin Rouge

  66. Saw

  67. Minority Report

  68. Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?

  69. 3:10 to Yuma

  70. August Rush

  71. The Narrow Margin

  72. Antz

  73. Unbreakable

  74. How to Train Your Dragon

  75. WALL-E

  76. The Patriot

  77. Ocean’s 13

  78. Escape from Alcatraz

  79. Taxi Driver

  80. The Fountain

  81. That Thing You Do!

  82. Angels & Demons

  83. I Am Legend

  84. Lady in the Water

  85. Pulp Fiction

  86. Fargo

  87. Sin City

  88. Mean Girls

  89. Wall Street

  90. The Island

  91. The Court Jester

  92. 300

  93. The Soloist

  94. Dead Poets Society

  95. Rango

  96. The Searchers

  97. East of Eden

  98. X-Men First Class

  99. Monster’s University

  100. Ender’s Game

Dear Christians, Darren Aronofsky’s “Noah” Is Not For You

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Film | 12/16/2013

To my fellow believers. I would love to write to you in a time of great rejoicing to say the biblical epic of Noah as we all learned in Sunday School will soon come to life on screens around the world. Unfortunately, such is not the case. So, dear Christians, I regret to inform you that Darren Aronofsky's "Noah" is not for you. Do not cling to the false hope that it could be the next revival film - it will not.

I'm writing this for a simple reason. We, as Christians, tend to believe that stories in the Bible in some way belong to us, 'God's people'. They do not; they are stories which we happen to know best and nothing more. I am not inferring they are not divine or inspired - I believe they are, but the stories in the Bible belong to the human race. Noah is no exception. The story of Noah is not only a story of the Bible; it is actually one of the oldest written stories in the world appearing in the Epic of Gilgamesh and the Quran as I was recently reminded by a friend.

Over the past few months, I've seen premature criticism of the film, speculation about the script and comments suggesting that Russell Crowe might just 'not get who Noah was'. Admittedly, many of these thoughts are with good reason. I'm not so much disagreeing with them as I am saying they are entirely misplaced.

Let's first dismiss the notion that Russell Crowe somehow 'misinterpreted' the character of Noah. He is quoted in an interview on Noah as stating 'he's not benevolent.' Remember Mr. Crowe is acting from a script and not the Bible, but even as such he would be quite right. Noah faced perhaps the single most difficult decision of any human in history. He was asked by God to set right the trajectory of humanity by allowing the non-faithful to wash away. Whether or not those individuals received 'chances to believe' is irrelevant. God's intent was made clear from the beginning, but in the end 'not benevolent' had very little to do with Noah's faithfulness.

The story of Noah is dark. It takes place during a brutal time of history when things were evidently bad enough for God to hit the reset button. It is violent. This is a story that deals with borderline genocide. We often forget God could be so intense in the Old Testament. It is a story of ridicule, mockery, hard labor, self-searching, survival and the question of insanity all wrapped up into the mind of one man.

THIS is the side of Noah we will see through the course of this film. Darren Aronofsky's films have traditionally emphasized spending time in character's heads - often times indistinguishable from reality. Aronofsky has directed a grand total of 5 films since his 1998 student thesis 'Pi'. Each one of these films are dark, they are rare observations into the psyches of people who are dealing with various obsessions. 'Pi' tells the chilling story of a young man struggling to make sense of chaos. 'Requiem for a Dream' follows various addicts through their dealings with drugs. In 'The Fountain', Hugh Jackman's triumvirate characters struggle to find eternal life. 'The Wrestler' follows the downfall of an ailing wrestler and his attempts to make amends. 'Black Swan' is the story of a prima donna ballerina who fights to understand the difference between good and evil, reality and hallucination as well as relationships and isolation.

Historically, it has been challenging for Aronofsky to receive funding for his films. He is known for his stubborn manner of holding fast to screenplays and not accommodating studio feedback and changes - something that doesn't typically fly in Hollywood. Aronofsky is quite frankly one of the smartest filmmakers alive today - so much so that he often alienates viewers. I do not make a habit of recommending Aronofsky's films because they are brilliantly troubling and I have not earned the right to make that call on behalf of someone else.

In short, Darren Aronofsky doesn't owe us anything. He doesn't owe God an accurate portrayal of Noah just as his goal is not to appease the masses (at least that isn't important to him). Darren Aronofsky has set out to do one thing: tell the story of Noah as he sees it. This is not selfish ambition on his part. It is a desire to remain true to his art and tell stories the only way he knows how; and make no mistake - he is a master.

Do not expect a movie entirely about faithfulness. Do not expect a movie about a clear message from God to his people. I can not say with 100% certainty what we will see from Aronofsky in 'Noah'. It may be a film about environmentalism, betrayal, family, insanity, murder or all of these things. Does Aronofsky want you to go see this movie? Of course. Does he care for your critique and analysis? Probably not. He is telling the story as he sees it - and who are we to say otherwise?

So, dear Christians, here is what I expect:

I expect to be challenged. I expect to writhe in my seat. I expect to be conflicted. I expect to find faults and discrepancies. I expect to be confused. Darren Aronofsky is not making this film for me, so I will not feel safe and reassured. At least not until the promising rainbow at the end of the film. If there even is one.

Rules to Fly By

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Ideas | 10/11/2013

Travel

After approximately 220 flights in my life, I feel like I’ve earned the right to speak up. The right to talk to all the people who think the world revolves around them and their once-a-year-trip-to-the-company-business-convention which somehow makes them the most important person in the world.

I wrote out some rules to ‘that guy’ while traveling:

1. There are weight limits for bags, hello.

2. Take off your shoes before you hit the security line, society will progress faster.

3. 3 oz. liquids is the limit, the TSA are not generalists.

4. Metal sets off metal detectors… do the math.

5. If they tell you it won’t fit in the overhead bin, unless you know exactly which model plane you are on and you’ve fit it 12 times before – chances are they know more than you do.

6. To all the men talking loudly on their cell phones about ‘important business’ trying to impress everyone in their vicinity – nobody cares. Please shut up. I actually read a stat that said 50% of you are faking the call – which is even more pathetic.

7. Unless your goal in life is to be a 95th percentile jerk, NEVER lean back in your chair when someone is behind you. Never. Never. NEVER! It is one of the most inconsiderate things you can ever do. (sorry, I have long legs, so I’m extra sensitive)

8. That kid in the seat behind you is a kid, not an adult. You were a kid once too, if you recall. Just because this kid got to fly earlier than you in life gives you no right to yell at them for being, well, a kid. Do not destroy the experience of travel for a young person – one of the most valuable things they could ever experience.

9. Walk a little faster, maybe?

10. The conveyor belt with bags… it moves. That might mean that it would be good to strategically place yourself down the line so you can retrieve it. Just a thought.

11. No, your rental car upgrade is not that important. Drive the van.

In summary, you are not special – everyone is afforded the same treatment in airports, I could write an entire post about how airline travel is rather socialistic, but maybe some other time. In the meanwhile, let’s face it – if you were so important, you’d be on a private jet; but you aren’t – and neither am I, so come back down to earth and get your ego in check. </end rant>

 

Pivot

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Ideas | 07/08/2013

In high school, I played basketball.

I guess I was the sixth man because I always got to replace someone for about one minute of playing time before the entire 2nd string came in and replaced the 1st, me included. With the exception of a game where I scored 16 points, getting a technical foul and giving myself pneumonia during early morning practice — I have few specific memories of those days. What I do remember is getting up early in the morning and arriving at practice early enough to get a little more rest before coach showed up. Every minute of rest counted for these practices for one reason and one reason only — suicides.

Suicides are perhaps the worst, and best, thing that ever happened in those dark-thirty hours. For those unfamiliar, suicides consisted of running (sprinting) the following pattern and ‘hitting’ each line: baseline, free throw, baseline, half court, baseline, opposing free throw, baseline, full court, baseline – in our case, repeated 3x each occasion.

Now, I wasn’t the fastest sprinter on the team, nor the most agile – but I did discover a little secret that helped me fare pretty well in those exercises. The secret wasn’t so much in the speed or acceleration, but in the momentum. And momentum was carried through the pivot. The pivot was everything. There was a total of 25 pivots for each time the exercise was run. By ‘hitting’ each line with a strong pivot, I positioned myself well. Not the best, but better.

It is HARD to change gears. I’m realizing this more and more every day. Things get slow, we want to keep them that way – things accelerate, we feed on that adrenaline to go, go, go. We are all tasked with different responsibilities in life. Without the ability to harness adapting, transitioning… pivoting – we’d all be left in the dust. Success is not defined by how far you’ve moved forward or upwards, but how well you can play the game of adaptation. It is some sort of innate sense in most of us that allows us to do it, but I’m convinced it can also be learned and acquired. But you have to have the desire.

I was competitive in my basketball team, sure; but I think the real reason I wanted to finish was to be efficient. To get the most done in the least amount of time possible. I wasn’t cutting corners, I was preparing for the pivot. Keeping my head up and staying light on my toes – because otherwise the line will sneak up on you every time. And you have to be ready to hit it.

Thoughts on Teams

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Creative, Ideas | 03/21/2013

We’re always pushing for individual recognition. When do we pick our head up and recognize the efforts of a team? All too rarely.  A team is a phenomenal thing – as people, we’re meant to coexist – but the notion of working together is not necessarily a functional idea. People are different, we aren’t meant to be in working relationships with more than 1 other person very often. We aren’t built to accommodate others. We abide by survival of the fittest and often look after only ourselves.

But a miracle happens when a team comes together. We are talking about multiple people from completely different backgrounds that somehow are able to function in the same environment and accomplish goals. Teams, to me at least, are an incredible feat of human will and a testament to the power of cooperation.

Next time you find yourself building a team, or playing a role in the decision of who will be a part of that team – think on these things:

1. Teams work better as ‘different’

The best way to balance a team is to ensure you don’t have the exact same personality type found in every member. You will have a member that pulls the weight and another that has the big idea and yet another that operates best in the clutch situations. You will experience members with apathy and excitement, dismay and optimism, fenced-in thinkers and out of the box crazy-types. This is perfect. This works. I’m not sure how, but it just does.

2. Make intentional decisions

If you find yourself doubtful about adding a member to any team, don’t do it – rely on your judgement and instincts. Remember, the most important aspect is action. There is always room for adjustments – just keep moving and growing in the right ways and think about those decisions at appropriate moments and for thoughtful reasons.

3. You can not go it alone

Cliche, but true.

4. Challenge your team with dynamics

Let people work together that will stretch one another. It is tough for most of us to swallow, but in the end we all learn so much more. If team members oppose this notion, ignore it – have them do it anyway. 99% of situations with dynamics will work themselves out. In situations where they don’t, then the accommodation is an appropriate road to take.

5. Watch and learn

We can build teams everyday, all-day, but we don’t learn anything if we aren’t paying attention to what is unfolding before us.

6. Balance challenges and rewards

Don’t run from the hard stuff, face it head on and help others do the same. At the same time do not build up the rewarding aspects of a job too much in anyone one place. The balance between the tough stuff and the great stuff is what helps us grow in the long run.

7. Be transparent

Nothing causes dissension faster than a foggy future. Share what you can with team members every chance you get. Fight for them as you fight for yourself and make those items known so everyone knows exactly where they stand. Being open and honest will always win with others.

8. Be yourself

Finally, the best thing you can do for your team is to be yourself. If you are being dishonest with yourself, you are being dishonest with a group of people who rely on your consistent behavior. It doesn’t matter if you carry eccentricities or a rationale approach – just be you so they know who they are working with. In the end that is what teams are all about – people who really know each other and just happen to work together.

Clouds

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Creative, Design | 02/25/2012

Did another GIF animation. I built layers in Illustrator, imported to After Effects for animation, exported to Quicktime, imported into Photoshop, did this one in about 1/3 the time as the previous. Also discovered it looks like ProPresenter may have support for animated GIF backgrounds. Not sure how this might be useful other than filesize could be dramatically smaller. I will post any more findings…

Giffy

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Design | 02/22/2012

GIFs are making a comeback in the form of animations or cinemagraphs. So I made one. Good test, learned a lot. More to come, but it’s a start.

 

Intro to After Effects 1 – Interface Overview

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Tutorials | 11/02/2011

This is the first episode in a series of my Intro to After Effects Training. This video covers the After Effects interface in a very basic and introductory manner. I wanted to do a series of training for beginners, because I’m not really sure there is much good out there for people who are just starting in After Effects. My hope is that this series will step through the program in a very straightforward-approach. Hope you all can learn something and I’m open and available on vimeo or my blog for questions.

Timing Creativity: Moving Forward in a World of Friction

Posted by Jameson | Posted in Creative, Ideas | 10/08/2011

Time: the one dimension that runs a different pace for the creatively inclined, never enough when needed and seemingly abundant when not. Time is the mysterious voice that screams ‘now!’ into the echoing chambers of our mind and ‘halt!’ to the extended hand preparing to engage. Time is everything; one truth shared by every individual who ever experienced the spark of an idea.

Within the context of time a paradox exists; time is our enduring ally and our constant fiend. We are not bound to the cyclical motion, yet we can never escape its snare. Opportunity is everywhere, but the advantage of time to execute is not. It is for this reason creatives seize the opportunity when it presents itself. “The zone” exists to service our craving to bring ideas to fruition. Yet, while creative habits, rituals and experiences and should never be undermined; there must be more than caffeine, sunflower seeds and bouncing legs to see concepts spring to life.

A real and tangible friction exists between progress and creative goals. Seth Godin makes reference to this friction as ‘The Resistance’ in his book Linchpin. Some undefined force on a relentless mission to stop the creative process; to stop progress altogether. Our task is to break through this barrier.

Schedules do not often come naturally, especially to those of a creative mindset. But implementing processes and developing habits help push us forward to get the job done. So when you find yourself facing the wall of hesitation, consider the following tactics.

Mix it Up
Environments tend to define your level of output. Who you work with and where you work are critical to ideation. A thought liberating setting with open interaction and sense-stimulating features often yield the best results.

Time Tweening
Tweening is animation slang for what happens between key frames. Look for the time that ‘doesn’t exist’ and use it to your advantage – the 5-minute gaps between running to the store and going to the gym. 15 minutes between dinner and TV can buy a lot of progress with a little practice. Getting things accomplished isn’t always about the 2 hour blocks of time.

Batching
This has less to do with creation and more to do with making time for creating. Tackle the white space of mundane tasks in one batch. Take two hours to get all the chores done so you can focus 100% on work that truly matters.

Embrace Landmarks
The word ‘deadline’ has such a negative connotation. Don’t use it. Focus instead on ‘landmarks,’ small and achievable goals that can be met in reasonable amounts of time. There is more to it than a to-do list that never stops growing. Break it into fragments that allow you to keep moving forward.