Dreaming for the Silver Screen

Best reminder that it's not about the dialogue? A film that doesn't have any (well, not much).

Best reminder that it’s not about the dialogue? A film that doesn’t have any (well, not much).

Since we all dream in movies, whether awake or asleep, it seems like it should be the easiest thing in the world to put one down on paper. Except that I’ve never found it particularly easy to write down my dreams.


In The Creative Compass, my dad and I write about what we call the Dream stage, that circle of concentration in which we pluck tantalizing ideas from the dark corners of our minds and cultivate them.

We also talk about the need to translate those ideas into a language that can be understood and felt — the act of writing for others. This translation requires multiple levels of fluency. My own experience of the movies reminds me of the many people I’ve met who grew up listening to Arabic or Spanish or Chinese, understanding it well enough, but not speaking it much, because their parents and communities didn’t force them to do so.

Watching movies, reading critical reviews, going to Oscar parties — all great fun, but they don’t teach us to speak the language of cinema. What will? Let’s continue this discussion next week.