Friday, January 22, 2010

They're all so bloody smart.

Something that has always bothered me immensely is that if you watch commentary by directors, writers, actors, whomever, the one notable thing about these people is that they are all generally very smart. How often to you see a dumb creative professional? Sarah Silverman comes to mind, but that's beside the point. It seems to me, that most creative people come off as observant articulate, and generally very intelligent when interviewed.

Creative people face a great deal of competition. Whichever industry they come from, there are thousands of others like them with the exact same goals (The Missouri Review receives 15,000 submissions a year). The reason the people we, the public, see are smart is because regardless of what they've failed at, they know enough about the history of their field, the world, and whatever else they may have needed, to make the proper impressions to get them where they are.

Luck, and networking plays into everything, of course, but these things account for very little when someone is served to the public. You have to be intelligent to succeed creatively. You have to know what came before you. You have to be able to apply your ideas in the modern world. You may make terrible creative choices, or produce a body of work that many turn their nose up to but you have to be intelligent to even have the opportunity to do so.

It's not rational that it should worry me that creative people are smart. Of course they are. It also shouldn't worry me that If I'm ever lucky or smart enough to become successful, I may also make a long string of horrible creative decisions. But it does.

If you think about it, the rational behind Joel Schumacher's Batman movies is wonderful. It doesn't mean they were a good idea. But who did he have to tell him that? And if you still think you could have done better, ubiquitous Batman fanatic, then I'd like to see the missteps would have made.

Creative people are smart. They make mistakes because intelligence and creative intuition aren't the same thing.

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