It’s in you; it’s in me. The creative spark is what humanity is made from. We’ve used it to advance. We’ve used it to live longer. We’ve used it to make beauty and to improve everything from transportation to entertainment. We’ve also used it to be destructive. From the falsification of data to the improvement of killing techniques and from the justification of social ills to the increase in devaluing technologies, creativity isn’t only for the good, it can be used for bad.
What you choose to do with your creative spark is completely up to you. You can even choose to do nothing. Hide it under a bushel, and pretend like you don’t need it. Cover your soul with mind-numbing activities that don’t add joy to your life. Or you can follow the advice of Robin Williams:
Take your spark and fan it into a flame to burn brightly. Create with abandon. Build and make new items for the betterment of your part of the world. Feed your creative spark and let the world know that you’re ready to improve the world with beauty, love, comedy, whimsy, and joy. We’ll look forward to it.
Because, as Figment and Dreamfinder sang: One little spark of inspiration is at the heart of the all creation…
For more on creativity, get “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.” For more on the Disney Company, preorder “Penguinate! The Disney Company.”
The official merger of Disney and Fox has sounded the death knell for creativity. While scooping up Fox’s assets is the right business decision for Disney, it is one that writers, movie makers, ad executives and other creatives should fear.
With Marvel, Lucasfilm, Pixar, Fox, and its own studio, Disney will own an estimated 40% of the box office. The merger allows Disney to exercise economies of scale and negotiating power not seen this side of Wal-Mart.
Writers already face enormous competition to get their stories read. Every indie writer out there who wants to see their stories on the big screen has just had their chances reduced by one major player. Making a living as a writer is difficult enough without having Fox’s ability to seek out new storylines withdrawn from the market.
Looking at Disney’s upcoming movie slate, Dumbo, Aladdin, and The Lion King are remakes of animated films. Dumbo will have to lose the crows. Will Smith will have to do his own genie thing because it would be ridiculous to copy Robin Williams. Other than that, these three films look to be Xerox photo copies of their animated counterparts. We’ve already seen them and we’re going to see them again.
The sequels list is longer. With Avengers: Endgame, Toy Story 4, Spider-Man: Far from Home (though not as far as you might think), Maleficent: Mistress of Evil, Frozen II and Star Wars Episode IX on the slate, there is hardly any room for an original idea. While sequels can bring something new to franchise, they don’t require as much risk taking or creativity to make.
Which leaves Disney with Artemis Fowl and with DisneyNature’s Penguins as its only non-sequel, non-remake movies coming out in 2019. With 11 films left on the slate, Disney has one new story that will probably flop and a documentary to offer. Take a moment to ponder that.
Even if Disney remains true to form and let’s Fox operate the way Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm have, Fox was depending on its Avatar sequels and X-Men films to keep it in the black. Films Disney was already on board with.
Creativity will have to come from film makers with smaller budgets who, despite lacking marketing savvy and budgets for said marketing, have a film hit big. Like writers, these smaller film makers will have to find a way to cut through the noise of modern media and its giants to harness the power of going viral, and they’re going to need you to help. It’s going to be an uphill battle for creative people to get out there, but it always has been.
(Full disclosure: I own Disney Stock ad will go see all the Disney/Marvel/Pixar branded movies they make.)
For more thoughts on the Disney company, preorder “Penguinate! The Disney Company.” For more on creativity, buy “Disneyland Is Creativity.” Order “Penguinate! Essays and Short Stories.” Preorder “The Haunted Mansion Is Creativity.”