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“You enter the extraordinary by way of the ordinary.” ~Frederick Buechner

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Connect With Maps

Sample Movie Deconstruction (2A)

Unless we are in a movie theater where we have just spent a fortune in snacks and feel the need to stay, we are likely to switch off a movie if it doesn’t draw us in from the beginning. After all there are so many other choices vying for our time. Same equivalent for a first chapter.

Yet we’re not all wired to the same stimuli. So what does need to be there? For me, the criteria becomes a sense of the unfamiliar to raise enough curiosity for the next sequence, and a sense of the familiar so that I can trust the story will engage my emotional connections.

Here is a partial brainstorm I did from the opening scene of Episode One in the series Firefly focused on the same journal questions I asked you.

Unfamiliar                                                            Familiar

-Sound of guns unusual                                    -tank trucks, modern planes
-Spaceships?? Couldn’t tell                              -“going duck-hunting”
-“God and angels” unusual comment,              -Kisses emblem around neck-a cross??
especially when he said it                                 But believes in something
-one soldier very frightened

Although I am a huge fantasy/sci-fi genre fan, I am also a very anti-war movie just for the sake of war viewer. There has to be something really strong to get me to watch any war movie now. However, as you can see from my draft notes, the characters raised both curiosity and connection. I’m willing to see where the heart map goes. I have a friend who glued in completely to all the war technology and missed any ‘heart’ signs at that moment.

Here’s an excerpt from a previous blog. The opening scene in Phantom of the Opera sets up the common physical map ground of emotional experience, first present and then past. It is a bleak day. The access route to the opera house is cold, wet, and icy. The elderly need assistance. And once inside the interior proves even more hazardous. There is no shortage of concrete physical metaphors in the decayed building. One student in the discussion remarked, “I saw it also as the future being the death of the past.”

Another student found another detail more connective. For example, the ruins of the opera house were coated with cobwebs. Seems to be a natural connection, but as one student pointed out the cobwebs it took on a deeper meaning. Just as a cobweb is a concentrated and patient work of art, so was the Phantom’s training of Christine’s voice. Just as the cobweb is a lure for a spider’s meal, so was the lure to Christine to join the Phantom in his world. And also as the cobwebs clung to the fixtures after decades of decay, so did the Phantom’s story cling to the frail elderly visitors to the auction.

Journal Prompt:

Look back through your notes on the familiar and unfamiliar you’ve taken.

1)   Which ones fall under curiosity and which under emotional connections?

2)   Which has the stronger draw for you?

3)   Or which detail most caught your attention?

Share: Is there another stimuli category that pulls you in?

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"The Seeker" Rachel Marks | Content Copyright Marcy Weydemuller | Site by Eagle Designs
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