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An honest take on life + a witty sense of humor = Scott Smith's impressive films. My favorite is his short film called "Ten", it is utterly brilliant. I could watch it over and over - that's how I know just how good it is.

Scott Smith's creative process is refreshingly honest. Every creative person I know feels the way he has described it. I'm impressed with Scott's willingness to share it with all of us. I'm not surprised, as he is one of the most genuine creatives I know. 

Scott's Creative Process :

You’re about to see the creative process up close and personal. That right, at this moment, I will attempt to create for you, what it’s like to go through my creative process, which includes my mind as well as its voices...

G-d, I hope this doesn’t suck. I don’t want Brenda to think any less of me if I fail to come up with anything interesting for people to read…who’s really going to understand what it’s like to be in my mind. I mean there’s a lot of shit floating around in there… I’m staring at my computer, why am I staring at my computer! Do I really care? I think I do.

First off, one of the best ways I can explain the process of creativity is to share with you a song lyric from Mumford & Sons.

That’s right, distract the reader. Instead of saying something original or super insightful just pull out a song lyric from another creative person – and use it to explain how you’d explain what it’s like to be creative… such a douche-bag.

“Lend my your eyes I can change how you see.”  Beautiful, right? That’s a pretty brilliant notion. But isn’t that what any creative (artist) is doing? We’re saying take a look at this expression of my creativity, and see the world the way I see it. Or another way of saying it is: “I need to express creatively for my survival so even if you don’t know what the heck I’m saying at least encourage me to keep expressing myself.”

I’m not even sure if that made sense. I’ll probably lose a lot of readers after that paragraph, if I haven’t already. Damn it!

Maybe survival is a little harsh or desperate of a word, but really if you put a creative person in a non-creative position, they’ll be miserable. Won’t survive. Guaranteed! But I need to get back to the process.

Holy shit, you’ve written over 280 words already and you haven’t made a dent in your process. I shouldn’t have had that huge cup of tea. I’m a bit jacked… I should mention something about A.D.D., or as it’s come to be know by, ADHD, because I think for some reason a lot of creative people actually need to feel this way. Because we need something new and stimulating all the time. Which is really how creativity bounces around in your brain… Are you serious? Bounces around in your brain???

I’ve often wondered if people such as I, who’ve been diagnosed with A.D.D., are more apt to be in a creative field because it assures new and less repetitive moments in our lives. But then again, if I was going to wonder that, I should’ve been a behavioral psychologist.

This is going nowhere, very slowly. I’m starting to perspire from the pressure. Either that or the heat from the computer on my lap is the cause. That and I’ve really got to pee… P.S. mention your Grandmother used to say how “clever” you were… WHY? Go pee already.

Did I already mention that to me, creativity is like an itch that needs to be scratched, which is temporary relived when I’m in the process of being creative, but comes back quickly once my creative problem has been solved?

That was pretty good. Try another metaphor!

As far as I can describe, the creative process is really like trying to explain what it feels like to love your children to someone who has no children.

Okay, that was a weird example. Creative, but weird. You are really sinking, Dude. Brenda, throw me a line! Maybe what you should say is all creative people have issues and being creative is the only way to deal with what’s going on inside of them… Wow, where did that come from? Stay on point. What about the process?

But here’s the thing when it comes to being creative. First of all, I feel an obligation as a creative person is to engage others with stories and insights into human nature that elicits the response, “I’m like that,” “I know someone just like that,” “why didn’t I think of that?” or “that’s really fucking funny.”

But how does that relate to being a filmmaker, you massive brain fart?

I guess as a filmmaker and storyteller, I like to exploit the small moments in life -- Or those everyday moments that people do and experience, which may seem meaningless but put them in a story or on film and it means a lot more.

Maybe an example???

For example, I envision capturing on film the difficulty of a woman trying get the plastic lid of her Starbucks cup to fit properly after she takes it off and pours her coffee into one of those trash cans where you’re supposed to pour hot coffee. And of course she’s frustrated, feels like a dummy because she can’t get it right, but also knows she’s having this battle with herself until she looks up and notices a kid in a stroller is watching and wondering what the heck she’s doing and why she’s upset with that coffee cup. Small moments like that make me smile.

Ooh, that’s good. They’re never let you into Starbucks to shoot, you know? My eyes are feeling tired. I should really nap a little…

Sometimes the creative process takes a couple minutes and sometimes it takes a couple years. When there’s a deadline involved, the process gets more attention and takes a bit more focus.

The process is what, though?

Really what my creative process looks like is a lot of thinking, and a lot of writing. More thinking. Maybe I read. Do some research. And then think and write some more. But if I think too much, I’ll get stuck. So I’ll need to not think, which is super hard to do if you’ve got a deadline. But freeing the mind is the best way to see an idea. And the thing is, it may be a terrible idea, but it’s an idea nonetheless and more often then not, a bad idea will lead to a good idea because what it means to have a bad idea is that you let your mind enter those places where convention and cliché don’t know about. It’s a place of the “what ifs,” and the “wouldn’t it be cools.” The place where, “I’ve never seen that before” lives side by side with “let’s look at it from a completely different angle.”

Nice… What about that nap?

The other trap that I’ll sink into when creating, is wondering what other people will think. And that’s precisely what we, as the creative guiding light of the human race, must fight against -- or see our results fall into cliché or contrived solution.

Seriously, I’m super tired and feel like I’m just babbling. But I…need…to…finish…

In truth, the creative process is an on-going, never-ending way of life. Either you live it or you don’t. And here’s a little secret that I’ve learned along the way; Everyone, even those who think they’re “not creative” have a creative process. They just don’t recognize it like the rest of us crazy lunatics.

Strong ending, Dude! You deserve a nap. Or at least one of those chocolate things Maria hides in “her cabinet.”


Scott is curious about writer/actor Tracy Letts's creative process.

You can watch more of Scott's film here