Hayley McKenzie discusses two modes – open and analytical – and where creativity can be found in those modes.
Script editing is a pretty analytical job but it also requires creativity and, I’ll be honest, that’s something that doesn’t come as easily to me. John Cleese (Fawlty Towers) has talked about the idea that we have two different modes of thinking; the open mode (creative) and the closed mode (analytical). I know I spend most of my time in the closed mode so switching to an open, more creative mode is really tricky. Some writers I work with are very creative but find it hard to work in the closed mode. They have extraordinary ideas but struggle to be analytical, to craft stories and often struggle to deliver to deadlines. Other writers are very structure-focused but lack originality.
I love stories, but most of all I love helping other people to tell their stories. Although lots of script editors also write, I most definitely don’t. That’s not to say I can’t – I’ve been called upon to write scenes, sequences and whole storylines that have aired in primetime dramas – but I don’t get a buzz from it. Whilst my job involves being creative I know that on the creative/analytical spectrum I’m much happier and more comfortable down the analytical end.
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