Kiss of Fame
Suspension of disbelief is a film term meaning the willingness to believe the unbelievable. When we watch a great film we become immersed during the first few minutes and through suspending our disbelief we forget it’s a story we’re watching. While the movie screens, we find ourselves becoming emotionally involved. We come to care about the individual characters and the progression of their life events.
We love to watch movies because film not only depicts life; it is a metaphor for life. Seeing a film makes us feel good about having our own story, our own thoughts, emotions and experiences.
The following quote comes from William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, published in 1623. Shakespeare referred to a theater stage when he wrote these words way before film history began in the 1890s, however this poetic prose is very much valid in today’s world as the film set is also a stage, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players. They have their exits and their entrances, and one man in his time plays many parts…”
Just as written language uses words to depict life, film language uses camera shots. The film term shot refers to a continuous strip of film that runs for an uninterrupted period of time. A scene is a consecutive series of shots that make up a unit of drama usually taking place in one location at one period of time, or that follow a particular character. The term sequence refers to a group of scenes, usually connected by their location or time frame, that together make up a specific element of the plot.
When I look at the story of my own life and I view it with clarity through the lens of a filmmaker, I see that who I am isn’t the shots, scenes and sequences in my life or the thoughts, emotions and experiences either. My life is a story and Roberta Pacino is a character, an identity that arises from that story.