The question "Can creativity be taught?" is one that has inspired a lot of debate. Some argue that creativity is something you are born with, you either have it or you don't. Others argue that everyone is born creative, it is only through social conditioning and a lack of self belief that we lose this creativity. Whilst I don't really know which of these is true, I do believe you can learn any creative process as long as it is taught the right way.
I like many other filmmakers have read books and researched on filmmaking techniques in order to improve my creativity in film. The problem I have always found with this however, is that taking in all of this information forces me to make creative decisions, based on someone else's approach. This in essence, doesn't allow me to be creative and in some cases, puts doubt into my own creative ability.
Now I'm not saying that reading and researching filmmaking techniques is wrong. In fact I think it is a really important process in becoming a better filmmaker. But as my Grandad once told me "Rules are for the obedience of fools and for the guidance of wise men". A great example of this I often see is the use of the rule of thirds in cinematography. Restricting your framing to thirds may make your shots look ok, but it limits your cinematic creativity if you use is as a rule instead of guidance. So with this in mind, I am always careful about where and how I am learning new information.
I have found one of the most effective ways to learn a creative process is to learn through guiding principles. Guiding Principles don't give you a layout of what to do or something that you can mindlessly follow, these principles should point you in new directions of thought and allow you to find the answers yourself. They should be little pieces of guidance that allow you to interpret them in your own creative way.
If you would like to know some guiding principles for filmmaking that have helped me, follow my film board on my Pinterest here - http://www.pinterest.com/muttl3y/film/
Also if you missed my last blog on Creativity, check it out here - http://www.filmannex.com/posts/blog_show_post/ideas-on-creativity-the-subconscious-mind/82963