“Blow up the shark. Not just kill it, you have to blow it up!”
Besides the fact that each is a legendary filmmaker, what do Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Brian De Palma, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorcese have in common?
In the late ’60s, they all hung out together.
It’s wild to think that, before any of these Hollywood heavy-weights made their first major hit, they all sat together in the same room, sharing ideas, busting chops, and feeding off each other’s energy. Brian De Palma gave George Lucas the idea for the epic text scroll that starts Star Wars. Spielberg sat with Scorcese and helped him edit the last ten minutes of Taxi Driver. It was this group of peers that implored Speilberg to “blow the shark up” at the end of Jaws — “not just kill. You have to blow it up!”
Each of these directors created work that completely changed the tenor of filmmaking as we know it. They all had different styles, yet relied on each other to bring the best out of themselves.
Here’s a secret that all top-level creatives know to be true: The best ideas come from other people.
In order to reach our highest potential, we need other people. This is true not just in art, but in all aspects of life.
Our egos often protect us from seeing the flaws and missed connections in our endeavors. We need peers — peers who know what it’s like — to offer critiques and criticisms. And even more important than that — we need a peer group to remind us that we’re not alone on this journey. Other people are in the trenches as well, overthinking and floundering, blindly circling around what’s hidden in plain sight. They need another set of eyes just as much as you.
“Better yet — reach out to someone who could use your help.”
Ifyou don’t have a group of like-minded peers in your life, you know what you need to do. Your challenge today is to take the first step. Reach out to someone whose work you respect. Or better yet — reach out to someone who could use your help. The digital age makes it easy to isolate ourselves from others, but it also provides the tools to create a community much faster, and without geographical limits.
Make today the day you start building your tribe. Send an email, pick up the phone, or choose an event to network. And if you already have like-minded creators in your life, make it an intention to ask and welcome their feedback.
Find new eyes to help you see the things you can’t, and be the eyes to help others bring their best art into the world.
Creativity equals collaboration.