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10/08/2001
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"From This Point Forward." Part Two.

Paul Buscemi's Column for Monday October 8th, 2001. Buscemiarts@hotmail.com

This week, we continue with the thoughts of industry professionals on where our work should take us in a post September 11th world.

I posed a question something like this, to past contributors of this column:

"With the tragic and alarming events of the past weeks, our work life seems so trivial now. Much has been said about ?getting on with our lives.' So then, what should we in Hollywood be doing right now, in light of what has happened?"

This elicited all kinds of responses, which were written with much eloquence. I am reluctant to cut-and-paste them into a column here, as I would normally do. Instead, I want them to play out in their entirety as much as possible. One such example is the response I received from writer and producer, Ross Grayson Bell (given prior to Sunday the 7th). To hear Bell talk is an enjoyable experience because he can be a commanding and entertaining speaker at the same time. His response to my request was a stand-alone essay of it's own. It was complete. I really see no need to preface or qualify any of it. So I turn it over now to Mr. Bell:

"God put us on this planet to create -- whether that be children or a great piece of art, a new way of doing business or a loving partnership. As such, I believe our God-given duty is to create something new from this tragedy. Create new ways of being with each other and with our so-called "enemies."

In terms of Hollywood, I believe we can infuse the stories we tell with greater emotional truth and thereby create stories that delve deeper in revealing humanity in all its wonder and sometimes horrifying complexity. It is only by seeing the breadth of the human experience that we truly understand ourselves and each other. We should honor the pain that has been burnt into the collective soul by dignifying the stories we tell with truth and conviction. Does that mean no more dumb action movies? Not necessarily. Maybe it just means taking the dumb out of the equation. Does that mean only making uplifting movies? No. It means making comedies and dramas that resonate the greater truths of the human experience while still making us laugh and cry. If we feel something, if we empathize with others, then maybe we wouldn't be so ready to attack each other.

So as the World Trade Center crumbles, and with it the lives of so many, we will fill the void with the creativity that defines us. It is our duty to allow our humanity to be reborn in the stories we tell and in the ways we deal with each other. The opposite of war in all its destructive powers is creation. And that is what we must do -- create truer movies and a better world."

Ross Grayson Bell
Writer/Producer

Next Week: Howard Klausner.

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