A Penny and a Red Stain

What do a laundry stain, aliens, vampires, boxing, and a torrid affair have to do with a winery? "The Red Stain," a short promotional film for Francis Ford Coppola Winery explains it all.

This film shows how a common and seemingly insignificant accident can spark the imagination to spin tales of romance and intrigue. A young man takes his shirt to the cleaners to have a wine stain removed. The proprietors, an old married couple, trade theories of what events led to the spilling of the wine. Their stories are told from the traditional perspectives of male/female versus romance/intrigue and become wilder and more elaborate as they compete to invent the best tale.

Your work can begin with such an exercise. Whether you are a musician, writer, artist, advertising executive, software engineer, inventor, etc., you can create stories from common objects and occurrences and products/inventions/solutions for those situations. For example, the penny that you see on the ground at the gas station: Who dropped it? Through whose hands did it pass through in its journey to find you? What will you choose to do, pick it up or leave it? What happens to people who possess the penny? How many wishes were made using the coin? How many places has it been? What has been purchased using it? Has this penny been looking for you? Perhaps you spent it before, and now it has found its way back to you. Did it miss you, or does it want to seek revenge for being cast away? Learn to look at the world as if everything you see is a clue to life's mysteries.

The spark for your next creative project could be at your feet, or the next stain on your shirt.