As a young kid (four or five) I can remember believing that actors were robots, who were boot away in a room until they had to make another movie. By the time I was six I didn’t believe that anymore.
I may have been four or five when I attended the funeral of my dad’s best friend Clyde’s mother. They had a room in the place where the wake was for the kids to watch Thumbelina. All of these children in a funeral home, watching a movie, blissfully. Clyde didn’t have any kids. I know Clyde’s brother Butch didn’t have any, so maybe no one really knew Clyde’s mother, and so it was really nothing more than something to keep the mourner’s kids preoccupied, but I remember going up the casket, seeing this lady who I knew faintly–her curly, fake blonde hair. This was my first time seeing a dead person. I was a pussy as a kid. It should have scared me. Maybe the fact that I was four and she looked almost as cartoonish as a Don Bluth character, it lightened the punch. Then again, I probably only thought she was sleeping.
Movies were important to my family. Before my father and mother separated, the living room was the place where we communed and bonded usually over movies.The epicenter for family life. Our own little cineplex. If we weren’t all watching movies together. My sister and I were watching movies in the playroom, directly next to the living room, or our room upstairs.
When I moved to Alexandria, Virginia, at the age of six. The first thing my sister wanted to do was go see Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. I, however, was afraid of monsters, so I didn’t watch it until I was about seven. Henceforth, I was a Potterhead. The story of my scaredy-cat childhood is for another time. This is the story of how movies became a form of therapy.
Do I want to make movies? I want to be a writer, and that always seems to be an option. It would be a nice ending to the story of a lonely kid watches movies because she can’t read and has trouble making friends. Lonely kid grows up and starts to make movies. The movies are seen by other lonely kids. The cycle continues. Nice narrative symmetry. A little bit too Hallmark Hall of Fame, but if it has a good enough of a score, aesthetically pleasing cinematography, and at least one cute actor, I would watch it.