Every once in a while all creatives get stuck in a rut with their work. Photographers and filmmakers are no exception, and I believe we’ve all been there. Overcoming the creative block may seem difficult, even impossible – but it’s not the case. In this great video from This Guy Edits, you’ll see eight fantastic tricks for getting out of the creative rut and getting inspired anew.
1. Embrace constraints
Are constraints limiting you, or expanding your creativity? Many photographers and filmmakers would agree that, by embracing constraints, you expand your creativity because you’re forced to “think outside the box.” So, limit yourself: shoot your photo or video project with just one lens, using only a phone camera, using only natural light… The options are many! It will push your boundaries, make you think differently, and ultimately create something new and awesome.
2. Change the rules of the game
There are certain rules in filmmaking and photography. If you know them and have been following them – now is the time to start breaking them. For example, tell the story backward, use a media new to you to publish your project, or make up a character to interact with people (like Borat). As the video suggests, “modifying the rules can force a different creative outcome.”
3. Immerse yourself
Sometimes you have to experience something yourself to be able to tell the story better. So, immerse yourself in the project, live the life your subjects or characters live and gain a new perspective that will improve your storytelling.
4. Change the tool
Another way to boost your creativity is to use unconventional tools. For example, you can set the entire movie on the computer and phone screens. You can record it with a web camera and entirely in one frame (see a Serbian movie Smrt čoveka na Balkanu). Once again, there are plenty of ways to do it, and it’s up to you to choose how you’ll challenge yourself.
5. Roll the dice
Good planning is important for creating a photo project or a movie. But sometimes, you have to let the chance get involved. Allow your actors or models to improvise and make some changes. After all, some of the most iconic movie scenes were actually improvised, so this can really create great results.
6. Steal and remix
I believe you’ve heard the quote saying “Good artists copy; great artists steal.” Okay, don’t blatantly steal or copy someone else’s work. But get inspired by other people’s ideas and build upon them to get out of the creative rut.
7. Warp your mind
A different state of consciousness can also improve creativity and make you think of new ideas. And no, I’m not talking about taking drugs or alcohol. But meditation, for example, can help you clear your mind and come up with some new ideas for your creative work. And from my experience, it works far better than alcohol. : D
8. Bend the genre
The last tip is more for filmmakers, but photographers could find it useful too: bend the genre. Mix things up and create something unusual and unexpected. An awesome example is Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, Netflix’s interactive mystery drama where the viewers get to decide what happens next. Okay, not all of us have the budget of Netflix, but you get the gist.
These were only some of the ways to get out of the creative rut and start creating again. Personally, I often use the first one: I limit myself in order to be forced to think creatively and elicit my problem-solving side. Also, I sometimes leave things up to chance, and it can give awesome results. What are your ways to get out of the creative rut?