Thursday, March 5, 2009


Only a handful of HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER watchers are going to laugh at that title and the posting is not about the show (although it is my favorite show on tv and you should check it out), but today I needed to make myself laugh! Ted (Technology, Entertainment, Design) is an annual conference that defines its mission as "ideas worth spreading". The lectures, also called TED Talks, cover a broad set of topics including science, arts and design, politics, culture, business, global issues, technology and development, and entertainment. By the way, I stole that description because it was so perfect. Anyway, they have truly amazing speakers at Ted ranging from Bill Clinton and Al Gore, to Larry Page and Sergey Brin (the founders of Google) to performers and creative types of all sorts.

A couple of years ago they started posting many of the talks online and being the semi-geeky, curious, information seeking sort I freaked out because I was so excited. Last night, I watched this truly jaw-dropping talk from Ed Ulbrich at Digital Domain about how they created the effects for Benjamin Button. A couple of years back J.J. Abrams gave a talk about a mystery box he has that was a fascinating meditation on creativity, the need for mystery and the creative process. A few authors have also giving really intriguing talks about writing, creativity and how their own process works. Elizabeth Gilbert (best known for writing Eat, Pray Love) gave this talk about genius that really makes you perceive imagination and being in the arts for a living in a whole new way. Amy Tan (best know for writing The Joy Luck Club) also gave this great talk about creativity a few years ago.

When you are an assistant and especially if you have hopes of doing something else in the arts in the future, it's vitally important to read about and watch people like this (who do what you want to do) give such open and honest talks about what they do and how they do it. I dare you to not walk away more motivated and inspired to do your own work.

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