Thursday, June 7, 2012

A Reel Opinion: The Bradbury Rule

“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy.”

Ray Bradbury, often referred to as the master of modern science fiction, passed away this week at the age of 91.

With most of his work being short stories, Bradbury did not officially have very many credits in feature films. However his influence can be seen across new films nearly every year. It can be argued that his greatest influence over young screenwriters and filmmakers was his cavalier attitude towards scientific facts in his storytelling.
In Bradbury’s early days as a writer, science fiction had a very small audience. The material was mostly published in pulp magazines and loaded with technical jargon. Aiming for a larger audience, Bradbury threw most of the science out the window. His approach was successful, as his career wound up spanning 70 years and is credited with being the first to bring sci-fi to the masses.

By his own admission, Ray Bradbury limited his ideas and writings only to his imagination. Science-purists may scoff at the idea of a breathable atmosphere in his classic story "The Martian Chronicles", but everyone has to agree on one thing; without breaking that law of science, there would be no story.
Young filmmakers could learn a lot and accomplish more by letting their visions outstretch the accepted boundaries of science.  As a good friend of Reel Speak once said; where would any of our creative efforts be if the authors limited themselves to what was known at the time?

“The best scientist is open to experience and begins with romance – the idea that anything is possible.”

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