Mar 26, 2007

The Creative Process

by Joan Sowards, Guest Blogger

As writers, we can appreciate and understand the creative process. My son Ted has recently completed his first music video. It was fun and interesting to watch all that he, his brothers and friends went through to make it.

The song Ted chose, “Some Postman” by a group called the Presidents of the United States of America, is about a postman who is stealing the mail sent between a guy and his girlfriend. Having just completed a mission, he immediately thought of missionaries waiting for mail, any mail. He claims, “When you’re on a mission and you get no letters for weeks, your mind starts imagining reasons why, such as the postman is stealing your letters.”

Ted hashed out his ideas for months with his younger brother who is also a guru on the computer. Rex started the storyboard, but had to turn the project over to friend Lisa when he left on his mission. They made drawings for every 3-5 seconds of the song. Completed, that in itself was fun to watch.

He put a lot of thought into who should play the parts of the mailman, missionaries, and the girlfriend, and then extended the invitations. His actor cousin Marshal accepted the mailman role right away, and actress friend Holly took the role of the girlfriend, but filling the other parts wasn’t as easy. He was surprised that others didn’t have the same enthusiasm for his video. When there was nothing to see, support was hard to muster up.

He put out an invitation to all his friends and acquaintances to come on Saturday morning dressed in white shirts and ties (as missionaries) and to bring bikes. He was hoping for 20 and got 8. They filmed the last scene. He thought it would be the hardest and wanted to get it over first. The rest of the scenes took time, but didn’t involve so many people.

Filming took many days and they filmed every scene several times. Ted then came home and scrutinized each take, choosing the best for the final. Playing the music over and over for hours and using iMovie, he carefully fit the footage in where it belonged. The timing had to be perfect. “I never realized how long a second really was!” he declared one evening after working for hours.

He’d show the incomplete video to everyone who would watch, and all his friends who didn’t consider it worth their time to show up for the bicycle scene expressed regret that they hadn’t come.

Now that the video is complete and on Google Video and YouTube, it all looks like fun and games. There is no hint of its long and hard creative process.

If you’ve had a chance to see it, I hope it made you smile!
Joan Sowards

Click here to view video


  1. Joan, how delightful to watch the movie, and even more so to get your description of the process. I know you just skimmed the top of the process. My sons keep telling me of the hours and hours of sweat and strain it takes to complete sometimes only seconds of a finished film project. Mark does wedding videos and works with Citrus Valley Playhouse. David does the web designing and programming for 'our' WWII site, and did the cartooning for my little book. Sometimes I get the impression ditch digging would be simpler--but probably not nearly as rewarding.
    Congratulations to you and yours for a great accomplishment--on both accounts. I'm pleased to count you as cousin (even as distant as second cousin two or three times removed).


  2. Joan,
    Your son's video did indeed make me smile. I continued smiling through the day as I thought of all those missionaries on bikes trailing that postman. What a delicious image!

    Thanks for sharing it with us. I wish him well.

  3. My children all loved it! It was a great way to end our Sabbath!


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