The Influence of the Alto Nido

Yesterday I spend a few hours on my friend's and roommate's short film set, posing as a high school student as an extra. The week before I went with a large group of people to the screening of my other roommate's latest film, Concussion. These are just highlights of the kind of events I've attended and things I have done since moving to Hollywood. While none of these are directly related to the type of art I like to focus on, what I've found in Los Angeles has been a hub of creativity that is truly inspiring.

The poster for the Festival, designed by
someone in or connected to the building (of course)

Every week someone I know is starting a new project, usually not for money but for the experience of creating something. The week I moved in was the culmination of months of writing, directing and rehearsing for my building, ending in an extremely well-done short play festival. The talent of the community came together to create it for no other reason than to create. I was blown away by the creative energy of the place, but a little disappointed that it was so focused toward the performing arts.

Now that I am starting to be involved in these creative endeavors I appreciate this energy more. It's given me great insight into the nature of creativity and the uselessness of the boundaries that we sometimes place on it. I have found that, performing arts or not, being around "creative types" boosts my own interest in art and creation. I also have inevitably begun to appreciate films and other performances with more depth and understanding than before. Discovering and being part of the process of creating a film is just as interesting and compelling as the creation of a painting, just in very different ways.

The delightful work of my photographer friend, Sam Miller,
who captures the attitude of the entire building
in candid photos.

On a film set, there are a good number of people, each with a specific job to do. They all have to work together to do their jobs, or the film will not get made. Even figure art, which also necessitates at least two players, does not embrace the need for people to work together in this way. The collaborative nature of the performing arts is extremely interesting to me, as social dynamics have such a lesser effect on the nature of a painting. At the end of the day, a painting is a endeavor between the artist and his or her object, whereas a film is going to be a product of a group of people.

Perhaps this social aspect is why I lean toward the visual arts myself, as I often tend to find working with others more stressful than energizing. However, the variety of creative experience I am getting in this place is invaluable. Beyond this, the variety of talent held in this one place supports collaboration, as each person is able to provide their own talents (If I consider my ability to look underage a talent maybe I'll appreciate it) to whatever project someone dreams up. I hope to be involved in even more of them in the future.