What’s the Big Idea

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“Like a flame came the fox through the forest”

A while back, I was watching a classic episode of Sesame Street and this cartoon short came on. It was one of those classic right place in the right time moments, because that one line struck a chord with me. It was so evocative, and I could see this fox running through the forest with his tail streaming behind him like wild-fire. The image grew in my head, and I began writing and sketching, world building and assembling a “Book of Lore”.

There are themes that I’ve been working through since (college? high school?) pretty much forever, involving our relationships to each other and the world. The themes boil down into a handful of core thoughts. We can do so much good when we work together, but then we’re also able to cause so much damage when we work together thoughtlessly. Technology, while capable of amazing things tends to be oppressive, reducing individuals to numbers. At the same time, individuals and small communities exist, generating their own possibilities as if by magic. As I thought about this little fox and his magical, flaming tail, these themes began to weave themselves into a story.

So, What’s the Big Idea?

At some point, it’s time to move past the “Book of Lore” and decide what to do with it all. It’s okay for the big idea to be big. At this point, it’s a dream, and it’s okay to dream huge. Dreams are goals without a plan and the plan is what makes dreams manageable and possible. Working beyond our abilities is how we grow.

It’s no secret that I love puppets, miniatures and model building, as well as fantasy stories and fairy tales. What I really want to do with this idea that has been building in my head, is make a stop-motion short film. Set in the future, in a world ruled by twelve elemental giants, a young fox stumbles on a mystery that unlocks the past, and might just save the future. It still amazes me how the idea and dream stage of a new project can build up very large from the initial kernel of inspiration.

Remember What Inspired You

At this point, your new project can seem really huge and overwhelming. My example is taking overwhelming to a new level, but that’s okay. When that feeling of dread comes remember what inspired you. That spark is the keystone that we can return to anytime we’re not sure if we’re going in the right direction or even if we’re moving forward at all. The Inspiration and the Dream are just the first parts. Remember when I said that a dream is just a goal without a plan? Next time, we’ll start making a plan. I call this “The Breakdown”.

Until next time, take care and be good, and keep on dreaming!
Your friend,
Jeffrey

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