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By Hammad Zaidi | May 7, 2013

Welcome to Going Bionic #156!  Today we’re going to take a detour from our “Big vs. Little,” series, in order to bring you something far more inspired and fun, embracing experiences that unleash your creative inspiration. While I know such a statement seems lofty and idealistic, the entire motion picture industry – especially independent feature films – is tattooed with lofty and idealistic intentions.

Since enjoying your career in the film industry is largely dependent on loving what you do for a living, even if you’re not getting regular chances to do it for a living, it’s vital to find a way to stay inspired through the grind that is our careers.

In order to give you a jumpstart toward calling in sick tomorrow and doing the one thing you’ve been dying to do, let me share what recently reinvigorated me.

Dateline: Los Angeles, May 3, 2013. My Lakers were ousted from the NBA playoffs two months earlier than usual, but that didn’t stop the Staples Center from hosting the opening night of The Rolling Stones 2013 World Tour. Now, I’ve seen The Stones on every tour they’ve had since ‘89, but just like my affinity for ice cold Dr. Pepper in longneck glass bottles, seeing the Rolling Stones in concert never gets old.


So there I was, minutes before the festivities kicked-off, when suddenly, out-of the blue, my beloved UCLA Bruins Marching Band spilled onto the floor and started pounding out an inspired version of “Satisfaction,” (I can’t get no). The moment was unexpected and magical, especially since I wanted to become a Bruin since I found a UCLA snowcap buried in a snowdrift at recess during kindergarten (I finally became one when I attended their Graduate School of Film).

The show itself was two hours and twenty-two minutes of star-studded bliss, which included Gwen Stefani singing “Gimme Shelter” with Mick Jagger, and Keith Urban belting out deafening vocals on “Respectable.”  It also included my sorry-a*s excuse of a singing voice, singing along with Mick Jagger, word after word, verse after verse, and song after song, throughout the night. Thus, in a matter of 142 minutes, The Rolling Stones transformed me from hating the $640 face-value ticket price, to being okay with the experience costing only $4.29 per minute!

Here are two quick reasons why reigniting your creative inspiration will reignite your career.

A Likable Filmmaker is More Likely to Work
Most professional filmmakers grow jaded over time, because the realities of living and working in the film industry are vastly different from the expectations they had when they started the journey toward their celluloid dream. However, the key isn’t to be happy 24/7, (only lazy dogs in warm weather states experience such bliss), the key is maintain a reasonably positive outlook at even the bleakest of moments.

For example, director Ron Howard has the ability to get a film financed, even when he’s mired in a string of flops. This is because he creates a positive environment that people strive to become a part of. Remember, nobody will remember your best days, but they will never forget your worst.

Vacation Inspires Imagination
If your story is burning to a crisp in story development hell, it may be time to take a break and go do something fun. If you can take a vacation, take it. If not, take a “day-cation.” The amount of time away from your story doesn’t matter. What matters is that you plant yourself in an environment that’s new and different, so your creative juices can soak up new experiences. Only then will your mind find fresh, new creative paths to solve your story issues. Don’t worry; your project, and all of the stress that comes along with it, will still be there when you get back. So will your (probably) small, but (definitely) mighty core of supporters. Remember, new environments create new life experiences, and life experience is every creator’s best friend.

Okay friends, that’s the insight I have for you today.  I thank you once again for lending me your eyes, and I look forward to borrowing them again next Tuesday. Until then, have a great week! I can be followed on Twitter @Lonelyseal.

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