Is This How Creative People Think?


I had the chance to watch one of my all-time favorite movies today, Begin Again.

The movie stars Keira Knightly, Mark Ruffalo, Adam Levine, and James Corden and is a musical homage to New York City and to the power of beginning again.

It includes the following four-minute clip, which I rank as my favorite movie scene, ever:

Every time I watch this scene I wonder if this is how creative people think. Do they see things that either aren’t there or that others don’t see?

Knightley asks Ruffalo if he was drunk when he heard her song, and he replies, “absolutely, that’s when the magic happens”. Knightly then asks , “What magic?”, and he replies that “I hear things, arrangements”.

I think that’s one of the best descriptions I’ve heard of the creative process – it’s when magic happens. Now you certainly don’t need to be drunk to create something creative, I think it does help to be in the right frame of mind, willing to open you mind to new possibilities, to “hear things”.

The clip reminds me of a Harry Chapin song, “Six String Orchestra”, in which a guitar player imagines what it would be like to have a full band backing him.

To give you a great representation of the song, here it is performed by none other than the Muppets:

Is it possible the directors of Begin Again used the Chapin song as an inspiration for that scene?

By the way, Begin Again is currently available for streaming on Netflix…