I wrote this post a few years ago, but offer it again. Merry Christmas!
One of the reasons we like movies and series is that the screen version of life appears to be more — more beautiful, more perfect, more meaningful — than actual life. I’m thinking of shows like Mad Men or The Good Wife or Parenthood or Masters of Sex, shows where characters effortlessly wear beautiful clothing, even when long days stretch into late nights, where women are never seen without full makeup, and where the sets, whether homes, offices, restaurants, or courtrooms, are more beautiful than those actual places would be. Each color palette is carefully conceived, the lighting angles are flattering, and the tilt of the camera and its length of focus brings out the emotion in an actor’s expression.
We know that in real life those characters — at least if they were us — would be slipping off their high heels, falling asleep from that much drinking, or looking in vain for a bench at the Hall of Justice because they just really needed to sit down. But there’s something else that’s different between the screen world and the actual world. Perhaps all of the cinematic components don’t merely create a false reality. Perhaps they help us see the reality that we are often blind to because we are distracted by trivia.
We share many store lines with the characters we watch. We have a career that rises and falls — but not as captivatingly as that of the dapper Don Draper. We have relationships that are stretched and strained and patched back together — but not as poetically and decisively as the marriages on Parenthood. We chase after certain goals, but perhaps don’t look as elegant as do the characters on The Good Wife or Masters of Sex.
Call it “heightened reality” — these captivating stories, poetic relationships, and elegant polish. [Read more…] about Wishing You Perfect Lighting this Christmas