Good morning espresso lovers, chatters. It’s Super Sunday, and I think I only watched one game the entire season. A playoff game as a matter of fact just a few weeks back. My favorite two sports, NHL and NFL, have taken a backseat to this new mouse on a wheel endeavor (adventure, journey, haunt) called StarkSilverCreek. Once the wheel is spinning you can’t get off. It’s at times an adrenaline rush, other times maddening (like when Loni admonished me last night for missing a key shot while “on location” for Oedipus el Ray… take two).

All I can say is I’m just a guy on a street corner with an accordion. Loni is the little monkey hopping up and down, ready to entertain. Actually, I didn’t say that. Loni said that!

The creative process

What is it that I find so fascinating about the creative process?

I find myself trying to decode it, crack the code; figure out how creative juices flow, and what it means to be in the zone. Right brain.

That’s what inspires me about StarkSilverCreek a lot of times, the luxury of being around people who are living, breathing the creative process.

One thing I’ve learned, over and over again from them: it’s hard, hard work. Long hours are the norm. Professionals who make acting, directing, or even something like wine-making for example, look easy are able to mask the blood, sweat and tears it took to rise to the top.

Often I’ve felt self-conscious about “reviewing” or critiquing something here on SSC because it means standing back, arms invariably crossed in some serious way, analyzing something creative. And a lot of the times that to me doesn’t feel right or even make sense. First, the creative process itself is always worth celebrating. It is life’s cherry. Icing on the cake. A four-leaf clover… uhhh, a nice long massage… well, okay, you get the idea here? Loni, where’s my thesaurus?!

Secondly, it means I’m on the outside looking in; not actually part of the creative process, instead watching the creative process. That’s a concern. Though, in reality, not entirely true. Running this site demands creativity at times, or so we think. Still, I recall the “glory” days of creative youth—clarinet, MIDI keyboards, writing music, writing short stories—and wonder how to keep that flame burning for a lifetime. Is is even possible?

Twitter strikes again

It’s a love/hate relationship. And sure enough, just when I again think Twitter is the ultimate Ponzi scheme, or the ultimate narcissist spam engine, it surprises with actual, beaver tail-like utility. This time, I had Tweeted that we were Tee-ing up another Cinequest screener (as part of our countdown to the Cinequest Film Festival which starts here in San Jose in a few weeks). We chose a Canadian film called Passenger Side. It was a fine evening of film, another solid (albeit quirky) independent film that almost everyone should look forward to seeing on the big screens at the festival.

Later that night I received a Tweet from a Canadian film maker based in Montreal who had seen the  Tweet. He was interested in sending me a screener of his film, Peepers, which I gather is a modernization of some kind of Hitchcock’s famous Rear Window (one of my all-time favorites). So, as a result of Twitter, I landed a two-fer: I met a fellow Canadian, at least virtually, and met a film-maker with a CQ entry. Turns out he’ll be down here with the director for the festival.

This is increasingly becoming the norm. I also used Twitter (via direct messages) recently to set-up an interview with a sound designer. Earlier, I used Facebook to coordinate an interview with a successful indie film director. All this, without ever exchanging emails. In fact, I don’t even have a lot of these guy’s email addresses to begin with… it’s almost passé. Almost, not quite. I still use email for the majority of work, but still it’s hard not to see where things are headed (and fast).

Dicky Fox

As Dicky Fox once said in Jerry Maguire, and possibly real life (hard to say, dramatic license?): “The key to this business is personal relationships.” I know, not exactly earth shattering. Definitely cliché. But so true. Possibly even more so in this day-and-age when interpersonal, face-to-face communications are increasingly discounted.

If I had to give one piece of advice to some start-up, blogger, new venture… especially the new media folks it would be to build personal relationships. Motherhood and Super Bowl apple pie? Probably. But I’m amazed at how many don’t heed the simple notion that people still matter.

Especially to someone in new media, or blogging:

Follow through on every commitment, big or small.

Be on time.

Thank every person that helps (and doesn’t kill you) along the way.

Respect the process, industry. It was all there before you.

Do the best you can. Don’t despair when you realize your best is only 18% of the norm.

Have fun, laugh… and never take it all too seriously.

Please someone bring me back to reality… seems like I’m having a Tony Robbins morning. And I don’t even buy into all that stuff. I apologize.

Maybe it’s just that I finally got a fresh pound of espresso beans and am enjoying a fresh cap, instead of using some of that old grind.

Go Saints. Go Sharks.

Clinton shoots videos for Stark Insider. San Francisco Bay Area arts, Ingmar Bergman and French New Wave, and chasing the perfect home espresso shot 25 seconds at a time (and failing). Peloton: ClintTheMint. Camera: Video Gear