Translating a vision into a piece of art

I remarked here on Monday that the last week zipped by in the blink of an eye. This week proved no less ephemeral. Two blinks — an eyeful of movies — and here we are at the weekend. What did I do in the past four days? I spent time with friends, ate some good meals, did yoga, and wrote whenever I could… which wasn’t nearly as much as I wanted to be doing. I rewatched two fun movies from my childhood, and discovered the most amazing, quirky, delightful French film: Micmacs.


I’ve noted before how much I love it when I find artists whose vision and judgment I trust. I can just sit back and enjoy being dazzled and entertained. Micmacs was such a film for me, as I suspected it would be from the moment I watched the trailer and took in the visual style and the music.

As an artist, I always wonder: how does someone create a complete and engaging world from such peculiar parts? The film is whimsical and strange; how does one translate that particular perspective into something that’s accessible by other people? These are questions that have been badgering me for months. There are such original things in my head, but I don’t know how to get them out. Perhaps it’s even more of a challenge for a filmmaker, since he must first convey his vision to his team, and then has to trust that they will go forward with that vision understood. Well, but that’s the challenge of art, isn’t it? To take what exists in my brain and imagination alone, and unveil it for the rest of the world to see and maybe believe? It’s no small thing!

On that note, I have been revising my manuscript for VONA, which is due “by the 7th” (what does that mean? I never know. Does that mean “before tomorrow,” ie, midnight tonight, or “by the end of tomorrow,” ie midnight tomorrow?). To my slight surprise, I like what the manuscript is becoming — but this means I’m dissatisfied with it. Not liking it would mean despair, but liking it means work. I begin to see what I have to do to this before it satisfies me, and it’s going to be much longer and more involved than I realized. Virginia Woolf wrote that one has to write it all out before one knows what to leave out, and I can see that’s going to be true here. It’s going to be a very complicated writing process, but in a way that lets me off the hook for VONA; there’s no way I’m going to be able to submit anything even vaguely finished, so I can just accept that it’s going to be rough. It’d be rough even if I had until the end of the month. So it is what it is.