When asked to define Creativity, Alex Davis-Lawrence, a filmmaker and producer, said “Creativity is best seen as a practice, or perhaps a perspective—a way of looking, thinking, living, seeing and being. It is the context and perspective that allows you to make the best use of your skills, rather than a skill itself. Even though film is clearly an “art form” to a significant extent, I think the question of problem-solving still outweighs the other forms of creativity people usually associate with the arts (creativity of vision, of idea, of performance, and so on). A creative filmmaker, to me, isn’t just someone with creative ideas, but someone who has the creativity to execute something unique and powerful within the (incredibly oppressive) confines of the medium.”
When asked how he would suggest assessing a child’s creativity, Alex suggested, “By offering problems with strictly limited toolsets—thus requiring students to re-contextualize or think beyond their expectations of the tools—could be helpful in understanding a student’s creativity. In most industries, the fundamental form of creativity is problem-solving. Every industry has limitations, in terms of tools, technology, money, regulation, and resources, and the people who do the best work tend to be those who can find new ways to work within or around those limitations.”
So for this Creative Mindflexor®, have your child put themselves in Alex’s shoes as a filmmaker. Using a SmartPhone or home movie camera, have them create a short film with the emphasis of the exercise, not on the creativity of the storyline, but on the creativity they exhibit working around particular limitations. Limitations can come in the form of time, props, characters, location, or anything else you can think of.
Some examples are:
- Have them create a scene from a famous movie where one person plays all of the characters.
- Make them re-create their favorite movie from beginning to end, but have it be only 3 minutes long.
- Film a scene inside the house that must look like it actually took place outside.
- Film a circus scene using props only found in the kitchen.
- Film a chase scene in the smallest room in your house.
Remember, creative ideas can only take you so far if you don’t know how to come up with creative ways to implement them when faced with obstacles. To be a Creative Thinker, one must be able to think outside various types of “boxes” in order to see a creative idea come to fruition.
For more ways on how to help your child/student become a well-rounded creative thinker, read my book: “Raise Creative Thinkers” on Amazon