October 25, 2016
If you were a movie would you be a humanist western, a flickering story of cowboys and Indians galloping back and forth, committing actions that can’t be undone, using harsh words that cannot be forgotten, spilling blood with arrows that cannot be withdrawn and bullets that cannot be put back in the barrel? Are you a movie about emotional worlds within emotional worlds? Are you a movie that grinds your audience’s gears with avarice? Are you a movie that was made strictly for the money?
Maybe you are a movie that is too scary for kids. Or a story designed to shed tears? Not sure? Maybe you are a movie utterly for adults. Or, maybe you are a movie adults don’t want to see but feel compelled to see because their children do and watching it with them will help you to understand them better.
Are you a good human-to-human story? A dying earth story? A happy place story? An in your face story? Not sure? Oxytocin can help you answer these questions. Maybe you aren’t even a movie, you are a documentary.
Is the ark of your storyline robust? Or is it slow? Does your dialogue unwittingly ramble on too long? Then again if it was unwitting then you wouldn’t know, would you. If people are looking around the room like they want to get away from you, and you keep talking them, you definitely need to get your hands on some sublingual oxytocin.
Maybe you are a mixed bag of CGI special effects. Do people relate to your textures? Does all of your pyrotechniques grab your audience’s attention and evoke honest emotion? What is the ark of your narrative? Do you surprise your audience with clever dialogue? Flip scenes? Not sure? Is alcohol required to make your movie interesting? Yes? Maybe you should try oxytocin.
Are your transitions smooth? Is there some underlying message in your movie or are you just pure entertainment? And, let’s not forget the critics. What do they say? Are you original? A remake of a classic? The latest installment of some franchise? Are you an imitation of other art or is art an imitation of you? Are you based on a true story or are you totally fiction, the product of someone else’s imagination and not even your own movie? Are you a parody?
Does your movie have a great supporting cast? Does your protagonist talk TO people or AT them? Let me expand on that question. Does the lead actor in your movie look you in the eye, does he stroke your limbic systems for ever more trust, faith, hate . . . not sure? Maybe he/she needs some oxytocin.
Does your movie have greatness in it? What do the critics say? How many stars would you get on rotten tomatoes? 29? 88? Mixed? What is your exit polling grade? B minus? C+? Is your audience better off for having spent two hours with you?
Are you a good story but with spotty direction, excellent editing and visually intoxicating, but lousy self-centered acting. Do you have an outstanding sound track, sometimes mysterious and suspenseful, other times romantic and lovely? Do you deliver a sincere, family friendly message? Not sure? Maybe you need some oxytocin.
If you were a movie and your audience wasn’t captive in the theater would they hang around for the end? Or, if they were at home, remote control in one hand, a beer in the other, a flick away from Netflix, Amazon, HBO, Starz, the Travel channel, NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox, FX, the Weather Channel . . . would they finish watching you or surf away for Game of Thrones. Not sure? Maybe you need some oxytocin.
Maybe you aren’t even a movie yet. You are a work in progress, a spy script: well-parsed words on a page awaiting a bump up from one of the overpaid Hollywood script doctors. A story impresario who can fill in your missing scenes, informing the audience, drawing out the tragedy and the hope, scenes that get your audience more attached to the other players in your movie, scenes that evoke excitement yet relatability, scenes that can gin up your audience with a big dose of cinematic oxytocin, scenes that when the lights come back on and the audience leaves your orbit they will be better for having been alive. Not sure?