Life & Style

Transcript: Taika Waititi on The Art of Creativity at TEDxDoha

Things that aren’t cool. We all know it, cancer. Nuclear bombs, they’re not cool, and Nazis. So, guiltily — my other side of the family comes from, way back there, Russian-Jews, and I started when I was quite young, maybe about 12, I started to get obsessed with drawing swastikas. I couldn’t help it. And I still feel guilty about it. So every time I drew one, on a notebook or something, I would instantly feel guilty and I’d have to change it into windows. I would do this everywhere, all over my notebooks, and I couldn’t — stopped — tried to stop doing it, no, no, can’t, oh no no, the swastika. And so, windows and houses all over my books and stuff, because I thought, oh someone is going to find out about the windows, and so I had to disguise all the windows as houses, and it just became — again, it became an obsession, I just couldn’t stop. And that sort of led to this obsession with Hitler, and why Charlie Chaplin looks like Hitler? And what is it about the moustache? So you can make anything look like Hitler.

And so I started trying doing that with things, and I’ve found that it works. Freakily enough, it works on everything. And it’s not my fault, you know. It’s just that someone put that idea out there. He did it, he put — he made the moustache famous. And so, these are things that I — they’re not even — I don’t know what is the point of me saying these things to you, but I think, hopefully, there’s some sort of exchange here, and you’ll take something away.

Joke. Another joke. Knock knock. Cabbage. Just a big cabbage. Just a giant cabbage that someone’s wedged up against the front door, you’ve opened it and you can’t get out of your house because of the giant cabbage. You got to eat your way through the cabbage to get out, to freedom. Just putting it out there.

So I came up with this idea. I was obsessed with rugby. Rugby is my favorite game. And babies. I love babies. They’re my favorite of the tiny humans. So I came up with this game where you combine both things. And this is a game called Rugbaby. And yeah, I think this is just a fantastic way to get men more involved in their children. Obviously, this is the most famous rugbaby player ever, Jonah Lomu.

Some inventions I’ve made up. I really love guitar, and I don’t love having long fingernails. So I came up with the idea of an emery board guitar neck, so that when you’re playing, it shortens your nails.

Another thing I hate is when you have a tie, and the wind blows it into your eye. So I came up with the button-down tie. My invention. Copyright. And, where’s the remote control? Here it is, on the convenient remote control watch. Other inventions, variations on that, the remote control remote control. And also, the cell phone watch, more variations on the watch. And finally, I’m going to one day invent the watch watch. It’s just a watch and another watch. On top.

So I think failure is a brilliant thing. It teaches you a lot of stuff, and you end up coming up with better ideas often, when you fail at things. And I think what’s really great also is learn to embrace bad experiences, bad creative experiences, and watch bad movies, and read bad books because all of that stuff sometimes teaches you what not to do. One of the bad experiences I had was I played a stripper on a TV show once. And I remember sitting around in a green room in my g-string thinking, why am I doing this? I’m just helping someone else to realize their dream, and so what I ended up doing was I started writing my own scripts and stuff in my g-string. And then a few months later, I made a short film, and then, that went on to go to the Oscars about a year later, but I lost, so obviously, that was a complete waste of time. You know — it was me, at the Oscars, asleep.

And so success is where I’m going to leave this talk on. My idea of success is not money. It’s not getting a lot of money. I think if that’s your idea of success, then that’s great, but I think it’s not really why we’re here. I think we’re here to communicate and to share ideas and stuff, and I think that is successful. Back home in New Zealand, we have the saying Tēnā koe. Okay? It’s a Maori saying, Tēnā koe is how you say hello. What it literally means is “there you are”. If you say that to a group of people: Tēnā koutou. “There you guys are.” Okay? So the fact that we’re here, that we’re even on Earth in the first place, I think that’s success, in itself.

So, congratulations everyone, on being here, and I wish you all the best in your creative lives, and on that note, cheers, kia ora, kia ora, kia ora.


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By Pangambam S

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