A toss of the dice, or the flip of a coin, that could be the outlook on how life goes.
The problem with that is this view on life just leaves you sitting around waiting for something to happen. Dreams become reality only by doing something about making that dream more than just a hope and a fantasy.
Actor do not just become actors, and writers do not just become writers out of the blue, and storytellers, writers and playwrights just do not sit down and tell a story or write a story off the top of their heads, an idea is far different than a well crafted tale.
This is all a craft, and you learn a craft by studying that craft; the words and how they are written and depicted by actors are the nuts and bolts of the craft of visual storytelling. Green screen effects and action sequences are just the bells and whistles added to the story, but the words, the dialog that the actor dramatizes is the heart of the story, and that comes from the author and screenwriter: the writers!
Actors must be able to fully understand the dialog, the lines they act out on stage or screen. The author of a book must be able to use verbs, adjectives, and all the seven building blocks of language to craft a story, and the characters and the surroundings and situations to breathe life into a story. The actor in turn must understand not only the character that he or she depicts, but also the whole story and how that character fits into the story; they must read and understand the story.
A movie company offers a role to an actor; it might be a personal offer, or the “open call.” The open call is usually organized chaos. Lines of would-be Harry Potters lined up around the block for the part of Harry Potter and other parts for the purposed upcoming movie. Out of this open call came many of the supporting roles but no Harry. So in Daniel Radcliffe’s case, the Potter look came first and he learned the craft of acting on the job, but he had played in a BBC TV production of “David Copperfield.” This could be a fairytale for all to hope for; but it was the fact that they were looking for Jo Rowling’s Harry, which all her readers knew so well by reading her book, this drove the hunt, and Jo Rowling gave the OK when she saw Radcliffe’s screen test.
Allow me to elaborate on the Harry Potter phenomenon. Jo Rowling kept secrets hidden about her story of Harry and his connection with the evil that sought to destroy him. This caused a problem with the character of Severus Snape, played by Allen Rickman who has played in more than 50 note-worthy roles from 1978 to present. A masterful character actor Rickman was at a loss as to the way he should play the pivotal role of Professor Snape.
Jo Rowling agreed to meet with Rickman and tell him Snape’s secret, finally revealed in the last book of the story. But they agreed that it would remain a secret between them until the last book was published. This shows you how important knowing the back-story of a character is to that actor playing the character effectively.
Another enormous challenge was faced by movie Mmakers when they wanted to bring “Lord of the Rings” to the screen. Most movie companies thought that the project was impossible, not only were there three novels and two novellas but many appendixes to explain the many cultures of “Middle Earth” and their languages. I have read most all that was available about JRR Tolkien’s world of Middle Earth. Some might consider it a lifetime’s work just to understand it all.
Peter Jackson found backers and actually shot three movies at once over a nine-year period. In my opinion he only was able to tell the essence of the story. Do not take that the wrong way, but to really know Middle Earth you have to read the books.
JRR Tolkien was making a statement about the geo-political world and how war is a meaningless waste of life over power and who has that power, and man’s relentless hunt for power. The moral to Tolkien’s saga of Middle Earth is that the least of us can keep the power-mongers in check if we only act and do what we must do even in the face of our own doubts.
Tolkien served in both world wars. He was a British infantry officer in WWI and as a code breaker in WWII. Many have tried to explain Tolkien’s work as a Beowulf re-tell. I ask them; have you actually read the books or just seen the movie? What really gets me is the ones that say these types of thing have not even the slightest idea what the Beowulf tale is about, most likely just saw the movie; that by the way, just banked on the title and very little of the actual tale.
Jackson was a Tolkien fan and had wanted to make the film project for years. When they finally started, Jackson surrounded himself with writers, artists, and techs that were also Tolkien fans. The actors were required to at least read the parts of the Tolkien trilogy that pertained to their characters to gain a working knowledge of that character or character groups. The keys to the characters were in the books; required reading.
Tolkien spent a lot of time creating a world that his many characters could exist in on a fantastic fantasy level. Each character no matter how brief their mention in the stories had a reason for being there, and added to the knowledge arc of the characters that they interacted with; these background characters where there for a reason.
Tolkien was an educator first. He knew that people learned from others around them. The whole back-story of Bilbo, and how Frodo was educated by Bilbo about the darker side of Middle Earth was just eluded to in the movies. Reading the first books, “The Hobbit”, and the appendix on Hobbits, you discover that the hobbits are intensely curious about the world around them but would rather read about it then actually travel. To the hobbit, their world was filled with things that are mostly larger then themselves. This is a physiological statement as to the nature of the common man, one that has not been exposed to the horror of war, or actual travel, only read or in modern terms seen it in a movie.
The point is that if you allow the movies and media to be your only exposure to the world around you then your being leads around by the nose as to what the world is all about; I fear that the art of the true storyteller is slowly dying, and with it, true contemplative reading will be a lost art too, due to the importance of literacy being largely put on the back burner, so to speak.
What will take its place? Quick and easy movie watching and most people now only watch TV or movies when they have nothing better to do. This is letting your mind being shaped and attitudes formed by others, a form of propaganda, not by your own experiences. Read for knowledge and expand your own imagination.