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  • Why Man Creates

    This vintage film poster is for Why Man Creates. This is the single image version. 

    Please also see our vintage original movie poster for Why Man Creates: Edifice Version here.

    The 29 minute Why Man Creates, a wonderfully creative film about creativity itself, is one of the most successful short films ever made in terms of number of prints sold and awards won. It was, perhaps surprisingly, commissioned by Kaiser Aluminium: Chemical Company. Vice President of Advertising and Public Affairs, Robert Sandberg, believed strongly that creativity and imagination were the lifeblood of change, and that big business should show itself to be socially responsible. He persuaded the 'top brass' to invest $250,000 in a film about ideas and the importance of imagination within the company. After a year long stretch, the commission went to Saul Bass.

    As Saul recalled: "Kaiser's theory was, if they could show how aluminium was being used creatively and how Kaiser was a hell of a great place to be, then that would be exciting for a creative engineer or scientist. But we said, 'the best thing you could do is deal with the subject of creativity directly, in an exciting way. By the mere commitment to finish a film you'd be signalling to these people that you were serious about providing a creative environment.' It took some time to turn them around."

    Saul Bass and Elaine wanted the film: "to express to the audience how it feels and what it looks like to work creatively in a committed life sense... it's an emotional film not an explaining type of film." Episodic in structure and laden with humor, the film is composed of a series of sequences that illuminate the character and contradictions of the creative process.

     

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