Sam Green

documentary filmmaker
The Universal Language

Monday, August 29, 2011

Describe what creativity means to you.

Hmmmm. That’s a good question. I guess I would have to say that it’s the simple act of making or changing things. It has something to do with the imagination and seeing beyond the here and now. I guess one could also get all deep with this and say that creativity is somehow profoundly generative and a kind of giving birth, a channeling of some sort of animated energy, or perhaps even a life force.

What influences your work?

A couple of things: 1) my own curiosity (which is quite strong), 2) a general fondness for, and interest in, people, and 3)  a desire to engage with the world and try to make it a better place (in even tiny ways)

What challenges do you face in your work, and how do you overcome them?

Being an artist in the world today is not easy. We live in a society that celebrates the idea of being an artist and creativity and individualism (movies like Pollack, Ed Wood, Basquiat, Seraphine, Fur and many, many others come to mind), but the reality is quite different: it’s a cold world out there (and getting colder!), and it’s hard to figure out how to make good work and also survive. For a long time, I managed to do this through denial – just not thinking too much about the future. That was a great approach for a while, but it gets harder as you get older. So now, I’m just trying to be smarter about my work and money – still making good films (thinking of them as art) but pushing myself to be more of a hustler.