Fade to Black

The smell is always the first thing that hits you when you walk into the cinema. As the aroma of warm freshly made popcorn darts up your nostrils, you excited with anticipation to see the latest film. Maybe with your friend, your man, woman, whoever- just looking for some entertainment on a rainy winters evening. I find myself thinking about all i have taken for granted, missing the smallest of actions in a time where we weren’t really allowed to do anything besides the shops, work and home. 

It got me thinking about movies. In their simplest way possible, a movie is made of three constituent parts. When put together in the correct order you get the plot line of the movie. We have the beginning, where you are introduced to all of the characters in the movie and are able to gain an understanding of them. Most notably this is the period most important for forming that emotional, empathetic connection with the character, from the hero shining a light on all that’s good to the anti-hero questioning the motives of modern society. If the writer wants you to notice someone or something in that movie, they have to find a way of showing you how important it is without telling you. Telling you will only serve to lessen from the experience of watching the movie and make any sort of investment in the character lost to being “told” how to feel. 

The middle is where the plot line starts to be hashed out more. We know who the characters are now, so what are they going to do? How will these characters interact? Will their interaction be a positive or negative influence on these characters ? We can all see from the films that Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler are both heavily influenced by one another, but are both are fully aware of the soft spot they have for one another. Positive or negative reactions to growing events isn’t something that the writer gets to choose, no matter how badly they wish to dictate the terms of this growing chemistry and connection. 

The ending of the movie is a complex algorithm to solve, for as much as the beginning is the most important part of the movie, the ending is often the one thing that people will remember the most. This will be the part of the movie that people will post on social media about, the part of the movie they will talk to friends about. This is the part of the movie that will mean “:you have to see this movie!” or “don’t bother- the ending is just dreadful.” This, ultimately, has to be your big finish. This is what you want to be known for, remembered by. 

In the end though, as is the same in every movie, the last words are spoken and the camera pans away for the fade to black…

And silence prevails.

Movies give us the means to tell stories of a life well lived in a short space of time, showing us that as much as we want them to go on forever, everything always ends with a fade to black. There will come a time when you will close your eyes and never open them again, this the only thing you can be sure about in life. Death and taxes are guaranteed, but everything else is yours. 

Take any character in a movie. Imagine if they were a real person, they have no idea that thousands, millions of people are watching the story of their life. Why not live your life in the same way? Sherlock Holmes loves Irene Adler, this is undeniable, if someone sat the other side of the screen disagrees- is this ever going to stop him pursuing her as he does? No. If you didn’t think Captain Jack was ever going to find the treasure- would he stop looking?

Of course not. So why do you stop at the first idea someone else thinks you shouldn’t do something?

Some movies are amazing, filled with action. Some make you clap with joy, some will make you cry harder than you ever thought you could. As it fades to black, just before the credits roll, it ends. It always ends. Everything you have ever felt, every experience you have ever had is another movie in your franchise. Maybe you got beat up in that movie, maybe your heart was so broken it may never be put back together again. It made you feel like you will be alone forever, or surrounded by those who love you. It will be everything, and then it will be gone. Moments, blown away like smoke, like sand through your fingers or breath on a mirror.

The thing about everything that people want to forget is that it’s going to end one day. It may be today, it may not be tomorrow, a few decades from now or even in 60 minutes time. Everything has a time limit, nothing will last forever. The joy of a great movie, the glory of good food with someone you love or an experience with friends you will remember forever. In the end, just like every movie, there is a fade to black.

But just because there is an end, doesn’t mean we don’t get to dictate the architect of the movie. You are the producer, director, writer and the main star. What movie are you writing for yourself? Would you go and watch it- or are you writing in fear of that silence…

and the Fade to Black. 

Yours, with love as always.
D. R x

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