As technology gets more complicated, images and movies get closer to reality, and stories get increasingly episodic and long-winded, I can’t help but embark on the journey of rediscovering and returning to the basics.
When I watch a superhero genre film, I am not inspired to create. I sit, I consume, and then I want to watch another. When I watch a film where I can see a path back to the basics of the craft, I want to go make my own movie.
When I see a website that looks like it was generated by a human being and has personality, I want to dive in and see how it was made. If the markup and code is readable, I can see a path back to the basics.
Emphasizing the basics has nothing to do with being a perpetual beginner or avoiding complexity. It is about simplifying your toolset so that you can tell effective and meaningful stories.
Take the blues guitarist, Stevie Ray Vaughan. He capitalized on stripped down blues scales and minimal equipment in order to infuse every note with meaning, emotion, and humanity. I wonder how much would come through if he was playing with a modern-day computer-controlled guitar rig that has buttons, taps, switches, knobs, and pedals?
It all comes back to the original intent: why does this project exist? Why does this story need to be told? The basics help you answer those questions.