What do we do to keep moving? What do we do when we need to stop for a moment and ask, what’s the next creative decision to make? And how do we make it inspire?
As you already know, our word for 2018 is “Inspire”. We want to inspire others and focus on making sure that as we delve into client projects we are asking questions that get to the heart of why they want to inspire their audiences, while at the same time making sure we maintain that Wonderkind spark of inspiration on the project. This is a lofty goal, but as creatives and artists, we believe to have any other goal would go against why we get into this profession in the first place. But what inspires us?
Here at Wonderkind, we have broad sources of inspiration and also more practical things we do to maintain the flow of ideas and creativity that is vital to producing works that inspire others. Let’s talk about the broad ones first.
As we’ve touched on in previous posts, our principal storyteller/DP here is Brian MacDonald, and he has a deep background in humanitarian storytelling/documentary work, which has impacted our own inspiration in many ways. On the top of our minds is very often the broad pursuit of easing the world’s sufferings around the world, from clean water projects in Africa to stopping trafficking in India and anything else we have the privilege to work on. We maintain this mindset through continuously being up to date on world news and having links to other cultures throughout our office and studio, like photos we’ve taken in the slums of Nairobi, or our own book of photography from one of the world’s newest countries, South Sudan. For the last 4 years we have also been a major part of the charity Wheels4Water, a biking non-profit that raises money per mile for clean water endeavors.
Another broad source of inspiration is our own hobbies, things that make us unique and give us a unique look at our work. For instance, I (Jared–writer/producer) perform stand-up comedy on weeknights and weekends to stretch my creative juices, always loving the hard work it takes to craft a joke. Steve, on another note, is an actor active in the greater Chicago theater scene, with new shows he’s often in throughout the year. These other art forms allow us to approach our digital filmmaking at Wonderkind through a beautiful lens, with new experiences and perspectives for each. The major linchpin in this, however, is the encouragement around the office for our goals in these hobbies. Of course, we love to make fun of each other as well, poking fun at quirks and oddities. But we also love to work hard to cover the duties of the others so that maybe every now and then one can leave early or take a day off to pursue our hobbies.
Specific weekly practices that encourage our inspiration include a weekly Monday morning meeting where we quickly recap our last week and prepare for what’s ahead, watching movie trailers as a team for films we’re excited about (Star Wars!!) (we easily justify this in our minds as research into the industry), and, of course, beer-thirty Fridays, where we crack open a beer on Fridays at 3:30 to relax and chat for a minute before our last period of hard work to finish out the week.
Week to week, day to day, inspiration can be hard. Sometimes we lose sight of what’s important and our work temporarily suffers, but we know we can encourage each other to be passionate about each of our gifts, and through this, we maintain excellence. And that is just such a small part of what inspiration is about, but yet so important to what keeps us moving. Inspire: 2018.