Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Daydreaming for a Living
Sage, Wizard, Rip Van Winkle. These names came to mind from seeing a picture of George Clayton Johnson.
Twilight Zone has been and forever will be one of the all time greatest shows. Each episode is different from the next. Fantastic short stories, Incredible cinematography and sound. All masterpieces and memorable.
So I leaped at the rare chance to meet this legend in a lecture held by The Creative League. Bam! as soon as George arrives, you can sense this energy and sharp vitality from him. He hit the ground running with his insights on life.
6 years old was when he discovered his art form. It was a poem of a frog, he recited to us word for word. He said, it's the delight of the story you just don't forget. Carefully crafted words flowed from a master, from this creative genius.
Magnetic words, alarming, and the vocal delivery, George explained the editing of useless weak words gave strength.
A great example he pointed out was the connection to the audience of " Getting away" with anything is universally powerful. From my observation he loved and is really passionate about story. He constantly pitched a lot of different work in progress from his head, if it would hold your attention. He lives in the future and spoke about his plans, totally having a blast. Pushing the peak of his ability and engrossed in the effort. Super focused concentration he has for one thing. I asked him about his workflow, he said sometimes he can see it happening and be there. To set yourself a high minded challenge, a lot of writing is discovering and picking out cliches. Plenty of critical thinking and arguing to himself of the topics to break off to other outta the box ideas and insights.
He said it wasn't difficult to write, mostly what to write was. To set a standard and stay on top of your craft. The expansion of consciousness, thinking sideways is an art form. Take notes and pile them up to a dozen projects. George would munch on ideas from the past. I would imagine like a sculptor, piecing and shaping together wads of clay to have a whole masterpiece. Stories should be better than reality of the ideal world. And that truth is boring, the play in words.
Here was the best advice I got from him, is to match the voice in your head with the outside voice. To really hone your skill, the writings as a writer. This was truly a great event for me and definitely validated from what I've read, heard, and noticed, the theories for long life and mental sharpness. By being challenged by your passion projects, etc. and having really something to live for, to push, climb, progress new levels on your lives with.
His credits in the Twilight Zone series include :Kick the Can, Nothing in the Dark, Four of Us are Dying, The Game of Pool, Execution, Penny for Your Thoughts, Ninety Year's Without Slumbering. He also wrote the original "Oceans Eleven" .
Cool footage of George.