Don't blame the anvil - Part 3 (Nudge)
I may have inferred in Part 2 that I think the biggest problems with Newly Forged were technical flaws and not the story itself. Let me reiterate and clarify: “With Newly Forged, I feel like I could never quite force the story to be as clear as I wanted it to be.” The main reason I think Newly Forged fails to be a great film is that the story we really wanted to tell is not the one you see on the screen. It turned out a little more muddled and confusing than it was in the original script, so that is the reason I classified this as a technical flaw. Don’t blame the story; blame our skill level. With that being said, we did an awesome job working together and making that film look gorgeous. If I set my perfectionism aside, I can see that some of the core story did slip through, and overall I would say that the finished project was an “okay” film. One that will continue to be a lesson for me on why they say, “story is king.”
I’m a storyteller at heart and I’m obsessed with the idea of not only telling but also living a great story. The book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: How I Learned to Live a Better Story started this idea in my mind. In the book, author Donald Miller says, “And once you live a good story, you get a taste for a kind of meaning in life, and you can’t go back to being normal; you can’t go back to meaningless scenes stitched together by the forgettable thread of wasted time.” So far I have had just a little taste of this “greater meaning” in my life, and I find that I can’t keep it from permeating every other aspect of my life, especially my art. This infectious idea is directly responsible for me joining Simplebulldog Studio, and deep down, I’m still obsessed with storytelling.
I see Jesus as a storyteller, which may be why I love him so much. He used narrative stories to speak directly to the human soul, inspiring a deeper understanding of not only the true nature of the world around his audience, but he illuminated their internal world as well. If we take a look in the bible Jesus talks about why he tells stories (parables). In Matthew 13:10-15: “The disciples came up and asked, ‘Why do you tell stories?’ He [Jesus] replied, ‘You’ve been given insight into God’s kingdom. You know how it works. Not everybody has this gift, this insight; it hasn’t been given to them. Whenever someone has a ready heart for this, the insights and understandings flow freely. But if there is no readiness, any trace of receptivity soon disappears. That’s why I tell stories: to create readiness, to nudge the people toward receptive insight.’” This receptiveness to ideas greater than ourselves is something I want to be apart of. I want my stories to “nudge."
So, what motivates me? Why do I want to keep making these films, despite the difficulties and pains? I believe it is this idea of nudging. I find my purpose in living and telling a greater story… with the ultimate purpose of connecting with others at a heart level; making a relational connection that moves “nudges” both of us into a richer and more purposeful existence as players on this stage of the world, and on into eternity. I do believe that life is more than just the sum of its parts, and that your story matters. You matter. Yes, you reading this right now. We may never be as good of a storyteller as Jesus, but with insight we can still nudge each other to live and tell better stories.
I don’t really know how to end this Don’t Blame the Anvil trilogy, so I will just say this: A lot of the time life is painful, but there is a greater purpose at play? I believe, “We are always on the anvil; by trials God is shaping us for higher things." - Henry Ward Beecher. Furthermore, “We live in a world where bad stories are told, stories that teach us life doesn't mean anything and that humanity has no great purpose. It's a good calling, then, to speak a better story. How brightly a better story shines. How easily the world looks to it in wonder. How grateful we are to hear these stories, and how happy it makes us to repeat them.” - Donald Miller
Everyone’s story has a meaning, a reason and a purpose. So, what is your story?
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