My post yesterday about it being harder for an engineer mindset to become a film maker has certainly created some debate. Mostly I have been encouraged by the positive responses. Some got defensive and even took offence but that was not the intention of the post.
I'd ask anyone who took offence to re-read the post and think about the underlying message.
Anyone who knows me would understand that I am not in the business of intentionally offending anyone.
The purpose of the post was to illustrate that while film making is a science, it is the science of people that is more engaging to watch than the science of technology.
I just spent the last week in Los Angeles being interviews alongside some notable names in Cinematography for a new documentary series being directed by Steve Weiss (Steve is an accomplished photographer/film maker and he also runs Zacuto with cinematographer Jens Bogehegn)
I can't say too much about the documentary but what I learned when hearing from some very big names at the ASC (American Society of Cinematographers) was that film making in their eyes was more about the physiology of people than the tech. (although you clearly need gear to make a film- But that is not my point)
Story is about identifying with human experience and emotion on a simplistic level. A great film should leave you feeling something. Anger, sadness, joy, happiness, whatever that emotion is a great film will connect with you on some level.
When each cinematographer was asked about priorities they mostly talk about Light, People and how to tell the story visually.
THAT is the magic button if you are looking for one.
So my reference to engineering was in no way intended to offend nor highlight those from an engineering background specifically . Rather an example of how we all need to look inside if we are to become accomplished visual story tellers.
A comment yesterday got me thinking about the left brain right brain - Left brain being - Logical/mathematical vs Right brain being Creative/artistic/wholistic.
So what's my point- It's simply that the technical process of film making is a logical and scientific process and that is why the people that work on that aspect are referred to as technicians. Where as the cinematography and direction are much more artistic and are open to creative interpretation.
I have observed far more of the technician mindset in working with aspiring film makers than the latter.
Which draws me to the conclusion that a great number of people who started life as an engineer - secretly wanted to be more creative but their parents most likely "encouraged" them to go down a more traditional route of "getting a proper job"
Now later in life do you fall in to that category?
If you do and haven't yet taken the Create the Film Look Programme - You might discover the answer you've been looking for. http://www.fstopacademy.com/create-the-film-look/ It's structured learning but might just release your creative time bomb .......tick tock?
There's an interesting article about left brain vs right brain from Bill Kerr - (Original article and more like this can be found on Bill's Blog http://billkerr2.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/why-left-brain-right-brain-theories.html)
First up, people love to describe themselves as either left brained (logical, mathematical) or right brained (creative, artistic, wholistic). Why? Because that provides a convenient biological explanation about why they are good at some things and not good at other things. "I can't learn this because my brain won't let me". That has a nicer feel to it than "I can't learn this because (a) I can't be bothered (b) it's not important to me (c) some other reason".
Secondly, people worry about the state of the world: economic inequality, wars, environmental catastrophe, crappy politicians, insanity / delusions, apparent failed alternatives in other social forms that temporarily deluded millions (eg. communism), suicide bombers, 9/11, religion etc. Well, to explain all this requires a lot of hard thinking and it is embarrassing to be a member of the human race given the reality that we are collectively quite immature and still working out how to govern ourselves in a semi competent fashion. So, it's reassuring to have a biological theory that the left brain and right brain are somehow out of sync or causing us to focus on the wrong things rather than doing the hard work of actually figuring out the real factors that determine our social development.
So, that's my theory of why left brain/ right brain theories which overreach won't go away.
Reference: The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Ian McGilchrist (the Introduction can be downloaded for free)
Reception to the above book as documented by wikipedia. Mostly very positive reviews by influential people, with the notable exception of The Economist.
The human brain: Right and left. The Economist review, which is the one I like.
Modern myths of learning: The creative right brain Sensible review of the history and current state of the science
The two hemispheres of the brain look so alike that they were long assumed to be identical. Then it was found that after those cross connections are destroyed, usually only the left brain can recognise or speak words, and only the right brain can draw pictures. More recently, when modern methods found other differences between these two sides, it seems to me that some psychologists went mad - and tried to match those differences to every mentalistic two part theory that was ever conceived. Our culture soon became entranced by this revival of an old idea in modern guise: that our minds are meeting grounds for pairs of antiprinciples. On one side stands the Logical, across from the Analogical. The left side brain is Rational; the right side is Emotional. No wonder so many seized upon this pseudoscientific scheme: it gave new life to every dead idea of how to cleave the mental world into two halves as nicely as a peach.
What's wrong with this is that each brain has many parts, not only two. And though there are many differences, we also ought to ask about why those left-right brain halves are actually so similar. What functions might this serve? ... (see sec 11.8 Half Brains and 11.9 Dumbbell Theories for more details)
Yes, some psychologists went mad, and some are still going mad.