Have you ever been to a magic show? I have. I saw David Copperfield live in Phoenix about 5 years ago. The show was a bit hokey, as you would expect, but I really enjoyed it. I mean, the man made an old-school powder blue Cadillac disappear!
I’ve seen his show on TV as a kid so I knew what was coming and was determined not to blink. I sat on the edge of my seat and tried to look at everything he wasn’t pointing at. I would not be fooled by his tricky slight of hand or smoke and mirrors. As the red curtain went up, the countdown began. Just as the curtain completely hid the car from view, it dropped and the car was gone. Just like that! It didn’t go “POOF” like I was hoping but it was gone nonetheless. All that was left was David and an empty stage.
The evening ended with David flying, literally flying through hoops off the stage. We spent the whole drive home trying to figure out how he did it. It was then that I realized that I really didn’t want to know. I had a blast at his show and knowing how he did the trick would have taken all the fun and well “magic” out of it.
It’s the same with filmmaking. At the beginning of mine and Dan’s relationship I thought it would be so cool to date a filmmaker. I would be able to be on set, meet the actors, and watch how the whole thing gets made from behind the scenes. Don’t get me wrong, its still amazing. It’s a lot of hard work but it’s a lot of fun too and I love it, but now I’ve found that I can no longer just watch a movie.
I’m distracted by all the little errors or the weird way they have the lighting set up. I also notice all the little tricks or cheats. Like for instance, did you know that most actors won’t blink while they are delivering their lines? I can’t not see that now! And then there is the “Wilhelm Scream.” It’s in nearly every movie I’ve ever seen and I had no idea.
The days of losing myself in a film are over. I know how it’s made so it’s no longer a story. It’s a film and those are actors trying not blink and right in front of them is a big sweaty man pointing a $500,000 camera in their faces.
I’ve seen behind the curtain. The magic is lost. Don’t feel bad for me though, I may not be able to enjoy watching movies like I used to, but now I can enjoy learning how to make them for myself. I get to become the magician!
Question: Would you rather be the magician and know the secrets or enjoy the fun and wonder of not knowing?