Movies, Paintings, and News; How we improve our Art...
How do we improve upon the work we've already created?
November 22, 2021
As we go into the Holidays, I keep thinking of improvement and, in general, ‘how something gets better.’ I suspect strenuous days at the gym sometime around February when everyone decides to act on their New Year’s Resolutions. A cycle to renew. I’m thinking about my first book, The Moonshine Wars, and how to make it better.
I want to show more and tell more of the story. There’s still more there, and I know there’s a 2nd
edition coming. I’m looking to improve every chapter. How does an artist begin to improve on a
What do you need to improve your work?
Draw from life
Keep Every Note
Leave Your Comfort zone
Practice makes perfect
Here’s a link to 50 famous remakes of paintings. The use of shadow on “Arachne” is superb. Also, and most notably for me, is this link for the top
20 remakes of movies.
Hands down, it’s between “Heat” and “True Grit.” Subtle movies that are great from their core, maybe because they had huge budgets? I don’t know for sure.
To improve something, you must ‘reset.’ In Medias Res: the middle of the plot. The name sounds
like a quiet beginning to a symphony, but it alludes to any story that singles out the conflict first.
Meant to force the audience to ask a question: what’s happening and why? Documentaries do
this well. We have Michael Moore to thank for that; probably Errol Morris, not sure. Anyway, telling a story this way is how we receive information, especially in the internet age. News headlines do this repeatedly: “Kenosha killer not guilty!” It’s yellow journalism, and it’s been used since the beginning of time. I think there’s an essay in that statement, but I digress.
We speak to each other with subtext. It’s our language, a shorthand that has weight viewed
through the storyteller. Why is this important? We live in a loop. We hear the news. We ask, ‘what’s happening?’ And then we learn the backstory. Everything that leads up to the moment of reporting becomes enhanced. Revisionist history, hindsight is 20/20; proverbs define our lives.
Akira Kurosawa’s “Rashomon,” is a masterpiece (not a remake) that separates the backstory
from the event. In that movie, even the dead have a voice, but it’s skewed by their emotions.
How can we go back and remake something we’ve already done?