Jeremy Michaels

Creativity: The Greatest of Gifts to a World in Need

Jeremy shares important nuggets of wisdom about the benefits and joy of creativity

Written by Jeremy Michaels

As Cameron Crowe’s cult classic ‘Almost Famous’ draws to a close, aspiring journalist William Miller finally gets to ask guitarist Russell Hammond what he most loves about music. His answer? ‘To begin with, everything’. Reflecting on my first few days on joining the Pink Banana family, I would be minded to answer similarly if the question was about film.

I wrote and produced my first film, ‘Watching Windows’, fresh out of University in 1998. We shot on Super 16mm. I still have the reels. And thinking back to then, and how privileged I am now to still be working in the field that I love, I believe that creativity is more important than ever. We are living through an era of unprecedented uncertainty and chaos. Post-truth, seemingly divided against our will at every turn, in the midst of a pandemic. Sharing our talents, our true passion, our unique gifts to create is exactly what the world needs in abundance.

Jeremy's 16mm film of 'Watching Windows'

My role at Pink Banana is in part about helping to connect brands and businesses who need original and innovative solutions to their challenges, with creatives who care. We pride ourselves on being bold: supercharging creative development for our clients. Above all we are storytellers and the medium doesn’t really matter. Film. TV. Animation. Branded content. Documentary. We are creative problem-solvers and our currency is the art itself.

And that’s what brought me here. Re-discovering in the faces and voices of our amazing team, that same child-like passion for creativity and art that inspires me. Because the other part of my role here is to help our team tell the stories that matter. Giving voice to causes and movements. Shining a light on subjects that as a society we need to address and consider right now.

I have been lucky enough in my career to accumulate wisdom from and help support creatives make the art and tell the stories that make their souls sing. I know that at the best of times embarking on, or sticking with, a career in this industry can feel intimidating, even impossible. But right now the world needs more creatives, more Pink Bananas, more art.

Photo credit: Taken by Holly Rose Stones on set with Pink Banana Studios and Cineworld.

In the spirit of encouraging that, here’s three quotes that I wanted to share, and what they mean to me.

  1. ‘The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of the pants to the seat of the chair.’ (Mary Heaton Vorse)

Find yourself a space, a chair, a writing surface. Carve out the time, for some it is the morning. For others it fits around work, or family life. Have a book to scribble in. Or a keyboard to type on. Sit. Breathe. Switch off. Zone out. And then write. Take your pen for a journey. You never know where you might end up. Do it every day, even just for thirty minutes. And you are a writer.

2. ‘The secret to great relationships — in business and in life — is three things. Know what you want, but really specifically. Ask for it. And offer twice as much in return.’ (Gidi Grinstein)

The entertainment business and creative industries are about relationships. Be careful — by which I mean full of care — to take the time to work out what you want, and what you have to offer. Find someone who is an expert or who can help you. Ask them explicitly for what you want. And offer double back to them. Be creative and bold. What have you got to lose?

3. ‘Not one person in the entire motion picture field knows for a certainty what’s going to work. Every time out it’s a guess and, if you’re lucky, an educated one.’ (William Goldman)

Perhaps most importantly of all: no one really knows anything. We are all just doing our best, using our intuition, experience and skills. But really, I am not sure that the destination even matters that much. For me it isn’t about where the work might take you: awards, success, recognition or fame. It’s about the journey. Giving something of yourself to the world. Inspiring others. Connecting with people. And bringing some light into the darkness.

So what are you waiting for? Pull up a chair. And go do it. Then show us all what you created. And do it again. That’s why I joined this particular family. And my wish for you is you find yours. And lend a voice to the story inside you that your heart and soul cannot live without telling.

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