I’m one of those people who like the special features on DVD’s. I especially like the extras on movies with a sci-fi bent or some other kinds of special effects. Today, I watched the special features on The Dark Crystal, directed by one of my favorite people, Jim Henson. I just love the insights into the creative process of genius at work.
In this “making of” feature, and in a few other interviews, Jim talked about what it takes to be a good puppeteer. He said it isn’t enough to move your hands in time with the words you’re saying. You must push the words through your arm and out your hand. You must be able to communicate the full range of emotions and actions through your hand.
In the DVD's of my favorite movie, The Lord of the Rings, there are hours and hours of special features. In an interview, Sean Astin reveals a secret to his method for playing Sam Gamgee. He says that throughout the filming process, he, Sean, became Sam to Elijah Wood. He took on the role of caregiver, keeper, guardian.
There’s something awe-inspiring about this kind of dedication to one’s craft. Without this focus on the details, the work would still be creative genius. But could my passion for these works exist were it not for the passion of these artists? The absence of passion doesn’t necessarily diminish the quality of the work. But the addition of passion sure does contribute to it.