Finding Creativity was seen as part of the Melbourne Documentary Film Festival
Trying to describe creativity is not an easy thing, it feels like one of those topics that can only be described with the famous phrase used by the United States Supreme Court in relation to pornography “I know it when I see it”. Putting the concept of creativity into words, describing what it means to be creative and how one develops a creative mind is not an easy thing to do… but the documentary Finding Creativity somehow pulls it off in under an hour which is upsettingly brilliant.
Finding Creativity takes the concept of creativity and explores it through a series of interviews with a researcher, a glass artist, a restaurant owner, a singer/songwriter and a social entrepreneur. Throughout each interview, we slowly learn the creative process that each of these people goes through as part of their work and how they define creativity – and even pick up a few tips on how to awaken the creative mind. As we learn more, we learn how hard it is to be part of a creative industry and the positives and negatives associated with that kind of work.
To tackle a topic as broad as “being a creative person”, you have to be pretty confident in how you approach it and Finding Creativity is about as confident as you could ask a documentary to be. It knows what it wants to get across and how it wants to look and sound. Everything is just so carefully presented, from the introduction of the interview subjects to the interviews themselves to the dramatic presentation of their creative works, it’s clear that there is so much passion and confidence behind this project that it just oozes off the screen.
Each one of the interview subjects in Finding Creativity is fascinating and each of them just flows naturally from each other. You effectively have two artists and two business people to help us see the broad applications of this topic, which means that inevitably there will be someone with whom the audience can connect their situation and learn a little something which is what any good documentary should do.
There’s a certain repetition to Finding Creativity that really shouldn’t work, but it ends up creating a comforting pattern so it’s easier to take on the information. Introduction, brief interview, close up on work, more interview, next person. This pattern repeats with every single person interviewed and it just kind of works, it actually ends up being visually interesting which is not easy when most of your footage is just a talking head. You normally have to do some creative editing to make that interesting but this film just uses a few careful camera angles and a little appropriate motion, not enough to be distracting but enough to keep things moving at a brisk pace.
Indeed, the pacing of Finding Creativity is pretty impressive. At just over an hour long it feels like they’re just rocketing through, there’s not enough time to really be distracted. It’s easy viewing, top to bottom just a well-paced film that works well at getting its information across. If anything it feels like there’s room for more interviews with more creative artists, this topic being so broad and interesting that it feels like there could be a little more to explore here.
Finding Creativity is an incredibly effective documentary about a fascinating topic. With a bunch of great interviews, impressive visuals and more than a few moments of greatness it’s an easy watch that I would’ve liked to see go longer but for what’s there, it’s pretty damn impressive.