"It was the best of times, it was the blurst of times."
It's commonly held that if you have a group of chimps slamming away at a series of typewriters, then, given an infinite amount of time (and bananas), they will eventually crank out anything from Shakespeare's 'Hamlet' to the compiled literary works housed in the Library of Congress.
In response to the idiom, Jorge Luis Borges famously quipped that, "Strictly speaking, one immortal monkey would suffice."
Now, what does all that have to do with an independent film company, you say?
If you've spent any amount of time making movies then you're probably familiar with that terrible feeling you get when you sit down in a movie theater and then BAM - there's the trailer for your spec script. Only it wasn't written by you. It was written by some dude named Akiva Goldsman.
How we react says a lot about the economics of creativity. Do you sue the pants off Universal Studios for stealing your idea? Do you break down because you feel like a no-talent hack? Do you toss the idea and move on? Do you keep your nose to the grindstone? Every day the world gets bigger and smaller. So why do we feel so helpless?
We start to recognize patterns in our ideas and values, in the way we express ourselves (or don't). Common threads unite seemingly isolated fears and desires between strangers and we have no idea why apart from some vague notion that all humans are all the same. I think it stands to reason that the more of us there are, the less unique we start to feel.
The same argument could apply to art. The more hipsters you have in a neighborhood without black people or decent Mexican food, odds are that more than one of those fellas thinks they're Shepard Fairey. Individuality as commodity. It keeps us from doing anything because we figure, "What's the point? Someone else has already made a better, more unique, more interesting, more original version of that."
Only here's the rub: there's no such thing as originality.
Better people have said as much. Nothing original there, I guess. But that's the point, innit?
Barring nuclear annihilation, it seems inevitable that an idea will find its way into the world with or without your help. But that doesn't mean you have to sit there and let someone else take all the credit. If we are to believe in the conservation of mass, matter is neither created nor destroyed. There are only new ways of using old elements. Reconfigurations. Reappraisals. We're working with the same atoms our ancestors labored over and there's a certain degree of comfort in that. A timeless quality about the struggle we face every damn day.
This is Tropium Nitrate's core belief. Nothing is created nor destroyed. Not really, anyway.
It's my hope that this "The Infinite Sapien" will grow into a mature platform where we can showcase project updates, company news, behind-the-scenes trivia, fan mail, essays, cartoons and more. For now, let's just call it a catalog of trials. That seems euphemistic enough to disguise the anxiety and depression, wouldn't you say?
I hope to look back on all of this with bemused whimsy. Failing that, a good laugh will do. And so, to my future self, I only have one thing left to say: Don't let the monkeys die.