'A Dream of Flying'

Written and narrated by Neil Gaiman, A Dream of Flying is an excellent short film about a girl who can fly. Rather than experiencing true freedom through her abilities though, she is put into an institution with other gifted children, where the adults try to "cure" them and force them to become "normal".

Stories like this, no matter how beautiful, always aggravate me a little inside. If such gifted individuals were ever discovered, I'd like to think that we would celebrate them rather than react out of fear. But maybe I'm just naïve.

How would you react?

Behind the Scenes of a Nine Inch Nails Tour

Nine Inch Nails allowed a Vevo video crew to come film a behind-the-scenes featurette about the stressful process of developing their Tension 2013 tour. It's just under fifteen minutes long and definitely worth checking out.

Rob Sheridan, creative director for NIN and the guy behind some of my favorite wallpapers, described what it was like to be filmed this way:

“These features are interesting (and sometimes hard for me to watch) because they’re very honest. There’s no makeup, no interview prepping, no re-shoots, these guys were in our faces while we were trying to work, catching us off guard and capturing moments that we sometimes would prefer not be filmed. We didn’t script or plan these features, these guys were annoying the hell out of us during production rehearsals - but in the end it’s nice to have a document, however personally uncomfortable, of the work we put into something like this.”

I wish more artists would allow these kinds of fly-on-the-wall glimpses into their creative process.

'How Designers Destroyed the World'

Mike Monteiro of Mule Design gave an impassioned (and profanity-laden) talk at Webstock 2013, in which he discusses the importance of speaking up when a project is about to head downhill. I think it's a must-watch for anyone in the design world, and probably people outside of it too.

If you like Mike's talk, be sure to also check out his book.

Maciej Cegłowski's XOXO 2013 Talk

Maciej Cegłowski (MAH-tchay Seh-GLOW-ski), creator and developer of awesome bookmarking service Pinboard, gave a great talk at this year's XOXO Fest (of which there's also a transcript with slides, if watching videos isn't your thing).

As one might expect if they follow the @pinboard Twitter account, Maciej is a very funny and intelligent man, and his talk reflected both sides of his personality. I highly recommend watching it, along with all the other videos being put out by the XOXO Fest people.

Another thing many people seem not to know about Maciej is that he's also a very gifted writer and has run a personal blog called Idle Words for a long time, filled with wonderful stories about travel, food, and technology. I'd start by reading Argentina on Two Steaks a Day and A Morning in Iceland.

'The Time You Have (In Jellybeans)'

A video by Ze Frank, using jelly beans to depict how little time we truly have in life for our creative pursuits. Neat concept, although I disagree with the way he divides the 'Work' and 'Creative' portions up from one another.

For creative people at least, I think the goal is to have those two aspects of life coalesce into something harmonious, not treat them as separate, untouching buckets of time.