For a long time, I was fascinated with boats in a bottle. You know what I’m talking abut, those tiny little sailboat miniatures which seem to have grown inside a bottle – like the one in the featured image of this post.
For a long time, I had no idea how they were made. It seemed borderline impossible. Almost magic.
When I found out, I wasn’t disappointed. I was very much surprised, but not disappointed. In case you don’t know how they’re made, here’s the TLDR: the vessel is built outside the bottle, but with the masts down. They are attached to the deck with small, almost invisible hinge, so the entire thing can easily go through the bottle’s neck. Once inside, a small thread attached to the masts lifts them up, until they are vertical. And that’s that. The sailboat is assembled inside the bottle.
Although the magic dissipated, I wasn’t disappointed. My fascination grew up stronger. It takes a lot of skill and patience to actually build those miniatures. The fact that they use a small gimmick to achieve a spectacular result didn’t diminish that. On the contrary. It added on top of it.
And ever since I found out about this, my idea of a beautifully crafted plan was almost always synonym with a sailboat in a bottle. In the sense that a beautiful plan should be similarly hidden behind the result. It should be outrun by the result, it should be completely detached from it.
At the end of the day, it’s what you do that matters. It’s what you actually create, what you bring to life. Your plan should be secondary. No one should know about it, and you certainly shouldn’t go around bragging about it.
And if you’re lucky enough to discover a gimmick that will make the result even more spectacular, while puzzling the viewers, covering it all in an aura of magic, borderline impossible, by all means, go for it.
And keep it secret.