Jasmine's pond of dreams

Jasmine's pond of dreams

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Why do we watch movies? Storyteller's log 1-3-2013

In my last blog post of the Storyteller's log I left telling you, 12. It should have psychological depth. This will probably be a chapter to itself so I'm going to save this for the next storyteller's log...

Well, I don't know what happened but that blog post disappeared. I mean it's gone. I wrote it saved it and hit publish and now it's gone. I contacted Google but the great Google can't find it either. It's an enigma.

Anyway while they continue to search for it, I'm going to write today's blog. My first book, Directing the Story was written because I wanted to become a better director and storyboard artist. I'm thrilled that it has helped so many others. I love hearing from people, literally all over the world, that it has helped their understanding of the subject. That book began with two simple questions.

Why do we watch?

What do directors direct?
My approach is to dig into a question until I hit pay dirt. By this I mean, that I want an answer that's really an answer and not as we learned from Bateson's story- a circular definition. "Opium puts people to sleep because it contains the dormative principle." Meaning it puts people to sleep. These kinds of answers do not help me be a better director or storyteller. So now, writing a book on a new approach to story creation, I find myself back at the same questions.

Why do we watch? Listen? Read? Play? What ever the media.

Your brain is amazing. When you ask it a question it will come up with an answer. Even if it has to make one up!

Next question. This is really important. What do you want your audience to feel?

What are these stripes?

Who uses this approach to making movies? How could this possibly help?  Well, that reminds me of a story, actually two stories. The first is a story I heard that Stephen Spielberg wanted to make movies to scare his sisters. 
The second involves Alfred Hitchcock. As a young boy his father wanted to punish him for some small transgression. He sent the young Alfred to the local police station with a note. The police read the note and put Alfred in jail for five minutes. To a young impressionable child that must have felt like forever. What did Hitchcock do? He got his revenge on all of us. He wanted us all to feel suspense. And he did. 

If knowing what you want your audience to feel works for Spielberg and Hitchcock then it's good enough for me. I want to know exactly how they do it.

 Why to we leave our comfortable homes to go into a darkened room with strangers to see lights flashing on a screen?

 Well...what if, just maybe... what if the ride the audience takes mirrors the process of psychological growth?

Could that be why we watch?

My answer is yes.

Can somebody email Google and tell them they can stop looking...

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