|My best current attempt to draw Yucky as I might
have at age 4…well, if you imagine a lot more
out-of-the-lines coloring and uneven lines.
I have recently decided to film interviews with people discussing their imaginary friends. If you had (or have) an imaginary friend and would like to participate in this project, send me an e-mail: MJE@MichaelJEpstein.com
Ultimately, I hope to make a movie of some kind out of it. First, here’s why I am interested…
What fascinates me most about imaginary friends is not so much the psychological causes or implications of having and interacting with an imaginary companion, but rather the source from which the invented side of those conversations and interactions arises. There is something about the creation of art, the conception of alternate universes, and the layered, hypothetical cascades of scenarios that play out in my head that make it seem like I am sometimes allowed to glimpse into a reality outside of our own. It doesn’t feel as if I’ve created something, invented something, or extrapolated our reality, but rather that I am somehow delivered those things via an external force. I don’t quite believe in such a force, but I fail to identify how I might construct these things in my brain without my brain allowing me to realize that I am the creator.
Just the same way as songs sometimes (not always) appear to arrive in my brain in complete (or partial) form, the imaginary companion must source similarly. Are people really aware that their imaginary friend is not real? I think I was. At the very least, I knew he was just mine, that no one else could see him. Just as I know I am the creator of a song that I feel I’ve fraudulently earned via this channeling, a song that is solely mine, I recall that even tiny me knew that his brain had caused Yucky to manifest, yet he still found it impossible to deny the external existence of this quirky, tiny friend.
So, this brings me to the movie. I am just new to filmmaking, but am finding the experience of exploring stories and ideas through film extremely fascinating. I don’t have a concrete final form for this particular project, but I envision collecting interviews with people willing to reveal as much as they can recall about their relationships with imaginary friends. Once I’ve compiled these, I hope to be able to weave them into a cohesive exploration of what it means to have an imaginary friend, how the creation of art (or life in the case of a friend) manifests in conscious vs. subconscious scenarios, and also to give people an opportunity to reconnect with what I view (and I hope others view it similarly) as a fond experience of always having a friend nearby when I needed one. Again, I don’t really hope to explore elements of normal/abnormal psychology or to examine scientific theory regarding the creation of imaginary friends in response to environmental situations or anything of the like. (There is of course, no guarantee that I won’t end up with such an exploration, but it is not my intention.)
Again, if you had (or have) an imaginary friend and would like to participate in this project, send me an e-mail: MJE@MichaelJEpstein.com