Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wait That Rabbit… Was it in His Hat The Entire Time?

Magic can neither be created nor destroyed. True or False? False. Magic can always be created and destroyed. Magic is illusion and when the curtain subsides and the reality is revealed, the magic loses it's power. It falters and becomes something less than even normal. The first time you see the sham behind the curtains, you feel a loss. A loss of your imagination, of perhaps something greater than you. It's shattering, its akin to the loss of childhood, of the carefree subreality that we search for long after we are all grown up. 

Films are magic. There are explosions and beautiful moment encoded in one another to create this surreal life that can only be measured in magical terms. No matter how realistic a film is there's always something magical about it. At least the good ones. There are extravagant battle scenes and rainstorms that you might have never seen. Things that you may have once imagined as a child. Good films have enough realism to fool the adults into believing in the magic that they create. 

Superhero films and fantastical films in the recent years have exceeded every budget limitation that one can think of. How is it that they get away with it? You can have a scene with lightning and no rain to signify a storm, or you can have both. Why would a studio waste money to go for both. Well, simple, it creates another world, adds another dimension. It's like asking why the magician pulls out a row of handkerchiefs instead of maybe a dozen. It enhances the illusion. It hides the magician better. And it gives life a tint of surrealism. 

No one needs to know the grueling hours of work on a set, or the countless retakes. As long as there is that one perfect take that will get the right emotional reaction out of the audience. To capture that perfect moment when everything comes together and ignites on screen. That is the illusion of film. It's breathtakingly magical, in a way life most of the time falters. There are unimaginable amount of people and illusions being perpetrated during filming and post so the audience may experience it without a single hiccup. 

So next time you go to the movies and do the film world a favor. Just breathe in and breathe out all your knowledge of film making and behind the scenes. Enjoy the illusion for what it is and the film making community would be grateful to you for your participation in the act. 

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