When I taught media and television production to seventh and eighth graders, I always insisted that being a bit juvenile was OK. Rather than being a curriculum and text-based course, I taught the subject as an enrichment. Every couple of weeks, there was a new project. Included was a scriptwriting workshop, storyboarding, planning the shots, and walk-throughs of the action. Along the way, technical aspects of editing or camera work got addressed. To make this work, because there was a lot of work involved, it also had to be play.
We did many silly videos while learning essential technical skills that made them good television. There was no magical zap and, it’s done. My goal was to maintain the freshness of a “beginner’s mind” while instilling the technical skills needed to produce polished work. Over a school year, the objective was to give students the necessary skills to make them successful and creative.
The goal was to give them skills in service to creativity instead of creativity hobbled by didactic skills.

OK, I had trouble in school with teachers insisting that there was only one way to do things. It took years to remove the shackles. That is why I am adamant about maintaining a bit of childishness in creating. It acts as a check on goading people into doing things one way. It helps encourage people to blow rules out of the water and learn to skate on the edge of the abyss. Yes, you create some lousy work. But you learn from the poor work and do something else. Next time you get it right.
I carve for fun and profit. The skills I’ve gained are in my service. The rendering I begin a carving with is just that, the beginning. After I start, my child sees what fun can be had with the tools and the wood.

Don’t let rules hobble you. As an old saying goes – they are made to be broken.


2 Replies to “Rules”

  1. In order to teach, I think you have to be somewhat childlike yourself in order to be successful. If you can’t think like them, you better find a different trade.

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