‘Scamp’ is one of the most widely read ad blogs.
Recently, during a debate, Scamp said I persistently ‘conflate’ separate points to make an argument.
I looked up ‘conflate’ in the dictionary and it says, “to fuse or bring together separate elements”.
I thought this was called ‘creativity’.
Putting two unexpected things together, causing you to think about them in a new way?
Isn’t this a gorilla playing the drums?
Or a car made out of cake?
Or evolution going backwards?
Or waves morphing into white horses?
Conflation, in the modern creative sense, began with the Russian director Eisenstein.
Previously the style of the American director D.W. Griffith had dictated how films were edited.
This was strictly straight-line narrative:
Cut to man standing next to horse.
Cut to man taking horse’s reins.
Cut to man’s foot in stirrup.
Cut to man mounting horse.
Cut to horse disappearing into distance.
Eisenstein changed that.
He put together two disparate things, to create a third, wholly unexpected, effect.
It didn’t tell you the story in a linear form.
It made you feel the mood of what was happening:
Cut to Cossacks marching down steps.
Cut to old man collapsing.
Cut to Cossacks boots.
Cut to pram and baby falling down steps.
Cut to Cossacks rifles with bayonets.
Cut to nanny’s screaming face.
This is the type of film-making that influenced European ‘new wave’ cinema, directors like Goddard and Truffaut.
In turn, they influenced American cinema, directors like Martin Scorcese and Dennis Hopper.
Today we use it edverywhere.
To suggest rather than define, what we want people to feel.
Conflation is another word for creativity.
The whole should be greater than the sum of the parts.