| 1040 words

I don't watch many movies, but I know what I like. I don't want to watch something that's a solid 7/10. I want to see something that some people hated and some people loved. If I see a comment that says something like "I love this movie because it reminds me of when I built a treehouse as a kid", or "nothing better captures how it feels everyday in my job as a lawyer" then I am hooked.

I don't want mediocre/above average movies. I don't even necessarily want good movies. I want wacky movies, movies that creative risks that nothing else really tries. I want hyper specific movies, that let me walk a mile in shoes that nobody else would care to try on. I want movies that someone out there, even just one single person, loves more than anything else for some unique reason that only makes sense to them. It's hard to find stuff like this, but when I see people mention their favorites they go straight to my list.

On that note, it's unfortunate I haven't time to watch many movies recently. I do generally believe that it's best to watch them in one sitting. There's a rhythm to a good movie that you lose out on by watching it in discrete chunks. These days it's hard to muster up 2 completely free hours for me to watch something I want.

But anyway, I did watch something very interesting recently. It's a biopic, a dramatized version of someone's life. That's not the interesting part - there have been tons of very good and popular biopics lately. Perhaps even too many. It doesn't even matter who the main character of the biopic was; that's not the interesting part either. The really fascinating bit is the premise, the structure of the whole biopic.

You see, most biopics have a pretty predictable structure. They'll start out early in the protagonist's life, highlighting all the biggest moments and best dramas from then on. Some do fancier things such as flashbacks, but the typical structure is pretty linear. Pretty generic.

What I found really interesting was that in the movie I watched it was structured to show just three important moments from the main character's life. Three continuous scenes, each one about 30-45 minutes long, in which we see everything that there is to see in the movie. Of course there is some artistic license involved; not every interesting thing happened to that person in real life in those 30-45 minute segments, but the idea behind it is so compelling.

What if it was a biopic of your life, one which had the same three moment structure? Which three moments would you pick to represent yourself? When, if ever, have you been the most you? Are there even at least three moments that stand out in your memory as ones that capture who you are, ones that truly capture your essence?

And again, the movie is not a 100% accurate depiction of just three scenes. The important part, though, is that those moments really could have happened. Even if they were condensed or slightly unrealistic in how hectic they were, capturing a person's spirit is more important that accuracy in a biopic. Also, since these moments were at different points throughout the main character's life, you also get a chance to see how they grew. What parts remained the same and what changed.

For me I suppose I can imagine a few different kinds of moments. One interesting idea might be to focus on me throughout different weddings I've attended. It would be interesting because I'm not very social and I'd consider myself fairly introverted, and weddings are some of the most social and cultural experiences that I regularly go to. It might provide a glimpse at how my role at these kinds of events has changed over time.

You might see how I began to take more of an opportunity to talk to people, rather than just biding my time until either I saw someone I knew or the event ended. There would be patterns, how I might always gravitate to the same few people, with recent changes to those patterns. Paradoxically weddings have started to feel busier for me as I've gotten older, even though it sometimes feels like I end up talking to less people.

Most importantly, I think my approach to weddings, or any social event in general, is pretty unique to me. I don't see many other people treat it as both a burden and an opportunity in the same way that I do. Seeing three moments like this would give you a lot of insight into my character, perhaps even more insight than watching me for a month of regular life would. That's why this structure feels so interesting to me.

Another example could follow me on different adventures I've been on. I have certainly gotten more adventurous as I've gotten older, but in many ways my approach to exploring hasn't changed. I recall feeling the exact same feelings when I adventured as a kid, only the scope of my ambitions has changed. This structure probably works best for situations with lots of dialogue, but even when solo travelling I tend to meet a interesting handful of people and that too could give insight into my character.

Fundamentally I just really like the idea that someone you are more you. That whatever spirit or essence or soul makes you up doesn't always burn equally bright. When it's fuelled up and operating at maximum capacity then there's something special there, something perhaps worth capturing. Other times we act more like automatons going about our days. After all, are you especially yourself when you're stuck in traffic or writing an email?

If you can introspect and figure out what kinds of moments make you shine, that's a huge blessing. Once you know what you're looking for, it becomes a lot easier to find it.