Category Archives: Essays

Suspend Your Disbelief

It’s probably one of the toughest things for an audience to do; suspending disbelief requires losing rationality, logic, and factors of probability. For an artist (particularly a writer and filmmaker), getting their audience to believe that the impossible is possible is extremely tricky and often done incorrectly, leaving the audience sour or flat-out irritated. I’m not going tell you how to correctly go about getting an audience to believe in the impossible—that would require a level of arrogance I don’t have—instead, I’m going to draw attention to a couple of artists who successfully convinced me to believe, as well as a couple of artists who almost failed, and did fail, at doing so.

Steven Spielberg is quite possibly the king of getting me to believe. A great example of this gift is represented in the movie Jaws, particularly with the ending.

Had I never seen the movie and had no idea what was going to happen, and if you told me that in the movie Jaws, a small-town sherif lays on the tip of a sinking boat that a gigantic great white single handedly sunk, and fires a hunting rifle at an oxygen tank stuck in the jaws of this great white and blows it to smithereens, I would probably tell you, “Sounds like the worst movie of all time.” However that is not the case. Jaws was the highest grossing film, ever (at the time of its release). It destroyed the competition. Everyone had to see it for one reason: It scared the piss out of them!  Continue reading

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