The Psychology Behind Making Movies
Movies can serve as either an escape from real life or a means to connect deeply with our emotions. Movies can either distract us temporarily from ourselves or further reveal us to some of those uncomfortable emotions. This is the power of storytelling. Movies are not just meant to entertain but also inform and educate. When a person spends 90-120minutes in front of a screen, dedicated to seeking the end of a film, a lot of emotions run through their minds.
After doing some movie analysis for about six months, I found out that the amount of commitment a person devotes to a movie had to be sprung from an interest in the theatrics of the film or the general narrative surrounding the movie. These viewers are mostly aware that these movies are fictional and the emotions they connect with have been deliberately orchestrated by a writer, a set crew and post-production manager. Regardless, the audience still let themselves dive completely into these plots without any safety nets. Sometimes we catch ourselves so drawn in, we even cry with these fictional characters and celebrate together when they succeed.
Screenwriter Scott Myers explains;
As screenwriters, we think about this phenomenon in terms of creating a sense of audience identification to shrink the psychological distance between the script reader and the script, the moviegoer and the movie. How do we do that? Through the characters we create and the circumstances we create around them. It’s not just a generic thing, it’s this character in this situation. Done well, that generates a feeling of emotional resonance with the character mirroring something of our own experience. Getting a script reader emotionally involved in the lives of our story’s characters is one of our most fundamental goals in writing a script.
Amidst all of these emotions, movies also leave us with lessons, new ideas, new perspectives and maybe a little more enlightened. For instance, I’ve only heard about Sushi from the movies but I know it’s an original Japanese meal accompanied with lots of seafood - everyone who ever saw James Bond knows he loves a glass of perfectly mixed Martini.
Different types of viewers focus on different genres for different reasons: a sub-conscious racial bias, exaggerated fiction, simple drama or a thrill that cannot be achieved in real life. Whatever our interests are, we are aware of the changes these movies make in our lives? Are the makers of these movies aware of the level of psychological impact their movies have on the audience?