Part of the “job” of a Film Director is to construct our imagined reality into a reasonable experience. What we are charged with is the task of convincing you that what was once only in our minds could actually be. It is why we are driven mad when the saltshaker on the table doesn’t live up to what we saw in our head. Yes, even a seemingly common utensil has meaning in the story. Why did the couple choose that shape, that color? Was there an argument over this choice? Was the male agreeable to the purchase only to expedite an end to the shopping experience? Perhaps other dispensers reminded him too much of the shakers his Mother had, memories he would rather not recall in his “new” life.
To us, there is symbolism and meaning in every frame, every object in the shot, every angle is selected to convey the indescribable- the complete experience.
I was informed from the Documentary Stanley Kubrick’s Boxes that Kubrick sorted through thousands of photographs of entryways before deciding that the door “in his mind” for Eyes Wide Shut would have to be constructed at Pinewood Studios. It’s an example of complete dedication to a vision, an uncompromising interpretation of imagination. A Director must clearly see things that are not yet there.
I see ubiquitous communication channels. I dream of tools that allow me to communicate really big concepts to small groups of people, tools that allow me to listen to great amounts of knowledge whenever I choose. I am closely watching developments in social media because interesting conversation nodes are becoming fully “tuneable.” I have set up channels where I can drop into info streams where really BIG thinkers are attempting to work out their imagined worlds.
Engineers, scientists and directors have a lot in common. We attempt to put shape to our make believe universe. Conversation sparks ideas, it’s the real-time wrestling of ideas that helps us focus to a perfected implementation. Creators of successful Social Network sites start with an understanding of their own grand world. They listen to what their users describe as their ideal environment and adjust the experience.
Christopher Nolan took a question, “What if I couldn’t trust reality?” and made the truly brilliant film Memento. The first time we experience the work, we’re in the confused mind of Leonard who is incapable of forming new memories. A second viewing places us in the uncomfortable position of knowing the motivations of the other players. The film took on a life of its own through message boards, comment threads and interaction from the audience. We dissected meanings, inferences and explored our interpretations by examining clues Nolan left behind. I believe that only Nolan has all the answers to the mysteries of Leonard, he was cognizant to lead us to a place of questioning.
Technology is to empower our ideas. The goal of shaping a new communication tool is to re-interpret the hope of connection. We are no longer restricted by a singular interface. A film experience doesn’t just have to be an insular activity. Out of an exacting work can come many conversations. I’m encouraged to see Nolan embracing emerging tech as a way to foster connection. On December 18th at 6 pm PST, he is participating in a community screening of The Dark Knight via BD Live.
This event goes beyond a standard “chat” it assumes that we will be gathered in front of our home theaters, viewing the film in the highest available quality. It is the convergence of many minds who have not compromised the precise vision of excellence.
I’m seeing the application of tech becoming more like the exciting dream in my head. Now please pass me the Northwood Canary Opalescent Cactus saltshaker, my popcorn needs a little NaCl.