Lights, camera, action!

Going to the cinema for most of us means, a good two hours of escapism, buckets of buttery popcorn and time to unwind and relax. We are in constant awe of filmmakers and their ability to bring a story to life on the big screen. Making a film, whether it be a sweeping epic, a romantic comedy or otherwise, seems like such a daunting task. Advances in modern technology have seen the employment of impressive special effects and computer generated images, further aiding the endeavours of the filmmaker.

Why then, are many of us put off by big budget movies and their special effects, citing them as unrealistic and inauthentic, further classifying them as fake? The whole idea of going to the cinema is to be entertained. Why, in life, as well as the movies, can we not suspend thought long enough to simply enjoy the moment and be entertained, without having to dissect each image projected before us? All this obsessing over details almost certainly detracts from the magic of movies and the mystique of life itself.

Too much thinking can be detrimental and close us to the inherent magic of life. When movie scenes are filmed against a green screen, and not out in the open field, why do we feel cheated? The goal is entertainment, so it should not matter. Films are fundamentally, storytelling through a visual medium, but somehow we think it means less, is worth less, when it is not real, but pure fabrication.

Many people enjoy movies that are not too challenging, where you do not have to think too hard.

This is a great indication that suspension of thought, even if it’s for the length of a movie, can be relaxing and beneficial. Our daily lives are cluttered with tasks and scheduled to the nth degree, that a little less thinking can be a welcomed relief. When everything is thought out and planned, the spontaneity is missing.

Maybe it is our deep seated urge for truth. We want to believe that our film idols have perfect lives, that soul mates do exist, that the good guy always wins and the bad guy always loses. We see a beautiful landscape on screen and we want to believe its existence. We feel cheated if we know it was filmed on a sound stage. In our lives, we do the same, we want authenticity, we crave to be our real selves and we disengage from people who appear to act fake.  Keeping the balance is key, applying discerning thoughts when it is really necessary and not at the risk of becoming obsessive.

As children we are capable of enjoying the moment and not over thinking. It comes from the natural state of presence. We tend to believe in Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Easter Bunny without many questions. There is something to be said about maintaining a sense of childlike wonder and awe at the inexplicable. It adds a magical quality to the day and our experiences.

Our own dreams are much the same, a form of mental movie making. Full of vivid colour, light and sound, in our minds they seem so real and we can often place ourselves right in the centre. There may be no rhyme or reason to them but nonetheless, they play out in our minds, privately. When we speak about them, they may appear unattainable to others but we still believe, even when others tell us we are silly to. Our dreams give us hope and something to strive towards. We enter another realm, where anything can happen, much like in a movie.

If we are constantly examining what is real and what is not, we are unable to truly appreciate the movie unfolding before us. Suspending thought can not only serve us in our enjoyment of movies, but also in our lives. Over thinking can detract from the magic embedded in our seemingly routine experiences.

Filmmaking is a great metaphor for life; you can create the world you want to live in. You can envision the world you would like in your mind then consciously, responsibly and harmoniously, employ tactics, manmade or otherwise, to bring it to life. You have the ability to set the scene and live the dream. It is helpful to be open to the idea that anything is possible, because indeed it is.