Movie Magic: “Swiss Army Man” Was the Tool that Fixed my Slump
This quarantine isolation has been an absolute killer to my creative momentum. It’s amazing how much just sunlight can do to revamp the brain to break through writer’s block. However, with the poor weather and lack of resilience, I felt paralyzed in all of my endeavors for a solid 4 days. Not getting much writing done, didn’t even look at editing anything, just made nothing. That feeling is the worst, the lowest low for me. I decided to try and break this slump by getting inspired by other people’s work. Watch some comedians and listened to music to hear different forms of writing, played narrative video games to see how narrative action is presented on a more technical aspect and to get my brain stimulated a bit more than just watching good stories. But even with all of that, the thing that broke me from my self-pity party was the film “Swiss Army Man” by Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, starring Daniel Radcliffe (a lot of Daniels.) That movie does a fantastic job of taking a simple narrative hook of “a stranded man looking for a way back home” and turns it into a beautiful love story and redemption arc of a “a lost and suicidal man who finds his will to live through the help of a dead man.” All of this with virtually 2 actors and 1 location. Finding ways of making “less” of something into “more” than what you would expect are exactly the kinds of things I love most about film and storytelling. The film itself has HUGE thematical similarities to my scripts “Laundry Day” and “Error Code: Alive” so seeing it be done so well gave me the inspiration to wade on. I want what I make to do the same for others in their lowest of lows, whether its because it made them laugh, they liked a certain technique I may have used, or cause the story resonated with them and they loved the characters. I want to be their “Swiss Army Man.” Movie Magic is never easy, especially when it’s important to you, so I encourage my fellow storytellers to wade on and try to remind yourself why you love what you do and why you do it. With all of the distractions both in and out of your head, it can be easy to forget sometimes, but once you remember you’ll feel more energized than when you first started this creative journey. Making magic isn’t easy but it’s definitely doable. So keep doing it, and in case you needed this today,
I believe in you.
Enrique Castillo “Movie Magician”