I’m always interested in learning about the process of other artists. I often learn new tools to put into my toolbox. If I’m lucky, the artist also blows my mind open with huge new insights that greatly affect how I see my own world of art. This happened when I was watching Jodorowsky’s Dune on Netflix.
This is the story of a man who had a vision for a groundbreaking movie based on the book Dune by Frank Herbert. His concept was to create a movie experience for the viewer that was transcendental. He wrote a script and gathered together some of the finest artistic and creative minds of that time. H.R. Giger, Chris Foss, Dan O’Bannon, amongst many others, would later influence the look of some of the greatest science fiction movies to ever be created in the last 40 years. He even hired Moebius, one of the most revered sequential artists in recent history, to storyboard the movie. And it is from those pictures that we get to see what the world of Jodorowsky’s Dune would look like.
While the visuals were amazing, and would have created for a breathtaking visual treat, it’s the process that Jodorowsky went through that really changed me. He had such a singular vision that he knew he had to find the best creators and artists to help it come to light. They had to share his vision and be as passionate as he was. Money wasn’t an issue in his mind. It was making the movie. And so whenever he was looking for someone to act in the movie, create the look of the movie or help score the movie, Jodorowsky would find out who was the best at that aspect. And then he would approach them and in that meeting find out if they understood what he was trying to do, and would they be part of the ride. If he wanted them, he wouldn’t take no for an answer. He’d figure out a way to make it happen. And for the most part he succeeded!
When the movie was to begin production, the movie studio at the last minute pulled the project. It would be too out there and too long for any movie audience. They decided to get a new director, new actors and do the movie more traditionally. Devastated, but not deterred, Jodorowsky ended up taking all of the concepts he had created with Moebius and turning them into comic books called The Incals and The Metabarons.
What I learned from this man and his passion, was that it wasn’t about the failures. It wasn’t about the success either. It was about the process of doing it. The journey. Taking what you are most passionate about, figuring out what that is and going for it. Whether or not it ever sees the light of day isn’t what it’s about. It’s about pursuing it, and learning from it, and feeding your soul from it. So take that ride and enjoy it for all it’s worth, because you only have one time at the wheel!