The Scott Shaw Blog Be Positive

Studying Scott Shaw

I recently received a paper a university filmmaking student had written for a class she was taking called, Filmmaking and Filmmakers. And yes, she wrote it about yours truly. She asked me to read it over before she submitted it and tell her what I thought and inform her if she had gotten anything wrong.

Wow, that was a big one! It made me smile. First of all, I was amazed that anyone would care enough to actually write a paper about me and moreover contact me before they unleashed their discourse, as virtually no one does that. They just spit out what they think.

I mean, sure, I get it… I’ve been making movies for a long time now and amazingly there are actually some people out there who like what I do. But, it always strikes me as strange when someone creates something about me. Like what the characters Wayne and Garth said in Wayne’s World, “I’m not worthy…”

Anyway… Whenever I think about reviewing or writing about someone’s something, it always seems to me as such a judgmental process. I mean, think back to the book reports you had to write when you were school. You either liked the book, didn’t like the book, or were just pissed that someone was forcing you to read it in the first place and from all that what you wrote was a very opinion orientated discussion about that book. Some people follow this mindset throughout their life and everything they speak about is simply based upon their unrefined personal opinion. That’s not bad or good, that’s just the way it is but it does define how most people approach any subject or any person.

Regarding this subject… When I was in my thirties, I decided to get another Master’s Degree. So, I went back to grad school. My focus was on literature, so in many of the classes I took I had to analyze an author and the author’s writings from various perspectives. For me, it was a very enlightening experience because I was forced to take a writer and their writings apart from a very academic perspective. There was no room for personal opinion or I would be called out on it and be forced to redo the study. I really learned a lot from that period of time about how other people, and myself, approach anything outside of themselves. …How we project our own limited understanding onto other people and their material.

Most people never take the time or have the aptitude to learn those lessons, however. They simply want to project to the world how what they think is right or wrong; good or bad. I think that’s sad. For behaving in that way there is limited room for gaining new insight and/or realization because most people’s minds are already made up.

Anyway… I thought the paper this girl wrote about me was done from a thought-provoking perspective. Thought-provoking at least for me. It was really interesting to step back, hold back all judgment, turn off the ego, and simply see how a person sees me and my creations through their eyes. I think it would be a great and very revelatory thing for everyone to have this happen to them for then they would get to see how they are perceived by the someone else who actually cares enough to take the time to analyze what they think, why they think, and why they do what the do.

In terms of the paper… There was really not much I could say. She did her job well. I liked that she didn’t focus on Roller Blade Seven or Max Hell Frog Warrior too much, (as so many people do), realizing that those were films I did decades ago and that my filmmaking style has greatly evolved into its non-narrative state.

Was her assessment of me right or wrong? I don’t know? I know me as me. So, I see me as me. I guess some people of the world sees me as something else—some cinematic revolutionary. But, to me, I'm just Scott.

Ultimately, there was nothing that I could really say about her paper, so I just said, “Thanks.”

But, for everybody out there, take a moment… Think about yourself. How do you see yourself? Now, think about how do others see you? And be honest, is there a difference between how you view yourself and how others describe you? If so, why?

But mostly, how and why do you describe a person and/or their creations? Do you understand them from the perspective of attempting to comprehend that creative person as a unique individual or do you simply project your likes, dislikes, or judgments onto them?

Ultimately, how do you encounter life? Do you see it as it is? Do you see people as they are? Or, do you simply decide who you think they are and if what they do is good or bad and/or should be liked or not liked?

Take some time and think about how you think about things. Take some time and think about how others think about you.