This is the first in of a number of new blog series that will pop up here from time to time. The focus of this particular series, The Motion Picture, will generally be about the creation of movies, from my viewpoint as a director, writer, and actor.
I love movies. No, I REALLY love movies. Not in the pretentious, art-house critic way. Not in the way of the know-it-all who can tell you who was the 2nd Key Grip for the Oscar winner of 1964. Not in the way of the general public, who is usually satisfied with some “cool action.” No, I love movies in a very personal way. I love movies with every fiber of my being, and to kick off this new series, I thought I’d try to explain why.
As long as people have been around, they’ve told stories. For most of Earth’s existence, these stories have been oral. Eventually folks began to use the written word, but a little over a century ago a new medium was found – the one that would top them all: Movies.
First of all, why am I so insistent on calling them movies? Don’t those Hollywood folk refer to it as film? They sure do, but I’ve always preferred the somewhat informality of the term movies. Originally marveled as “the motion picture”, the term was eventually shortened to the quick and simple “movies.” If I am talking about shooting on actual film, then it’d be silly to try to find a way around it, but for me the finished product as a whole will always be a movie.
I’m fond of referring to movies as the perfect medium, and that is because they are. A movie combines the abilities of painting, writing, performance, music, photography – it has it all in one giant package. Movies are nothing more than a moving image, generally with sound – simple, but that’s where I fall in love. A picture is worth a thousand words, and songs can speak to us as listeners in wonderful ways – but the combination of these ideas is powerful. To steal a line from an old script of mine, movies “stir emotion in your soul.”
I was originally going to start this series off with an article on acting, and how I began my interest in it, but then a few things happened today to spark this present idea. Firstly, I saw Rocky Balboa. It’s such a wonderful movie, it put me in the mood for something beautiful – and then, immediately after it was over, I stopped online and found this…
I’m an emotional and sometimes sappy guy, I’m the first to say it, but as I watched this with watery eyes it wasn’t simply for the love of these movies. There are quite a few movies on that montage that I consider not good, yet my emotional reaction is bigger than that. I love what movies are, what they can do to us – and for us. Movies can let us escape our lives for a few hours or they can force us to look at ourselves under a new light. They can make us laugh hysterically for the stupidest of reasons or cry at the power of the human spirit. This last one is the one that always speaks to me the most, while I’m usually a harder sell on comedy. That is all besides the point, though, because to me, as much as you may roll your eyes at the overused terminology, movies are magical. Put me in a theater for the midnight showing of Superman Returns, and I become 9 years old again as the theme song begins. Set me in the theater again for The Dark Knight, and I start chomping at the bit to create something even half as powerful in a movie of my own. Finally, let me see Stranger Than Fiction and I’m ready to fall in love and change the world. Movies speak to me on every level a person can be spoken to, and that is why I love them.
Movies are my passion – they nearly always have been, and they certainly always will be. Perhaps I can never fully explain my love for movies, but if you’ve ever had a passion – something you live and breathe, something that excites you in ways nothing else does, something you feel incomplete without – than you understand my love. I’m not a fan of linking to online video clips, in fear they may disappear at some point – but I wanted to make an exception this time. The video from above is good, but there’s one clip in particular that I’ve seen on television for years, and it puts a tear in my eye every time.
I love movies with all of my heart, and I can’t wait to truly be a part of it all….