Rewind the montage

Watch a movie.

Many, including myself, grow up wanting to be part of the entertainment world so we too can make people laugh, or I guess … cry – but any little kid who told someone “I want to make people cry when I grow up,” likely spent some time getting examined. Anyway, many people want to help tell these stories. And everyone, from businessmen to maids, wants to be successful.

This is where movies fail us. They mislead. Directors and writers are showing us a tilted reflection of our culture and values blown up on to a big screen. We watch the little guy succeed and feel we can too. We, as in you, are technically right. You could get a date, have a successful business, or run for office. But it will require work. In movies, this part can be called a montage.

A candidate running for office goes door to door telling people why they should be elected. A fat guy runs and lifts weights. The inspired novelist suddenly taps away at the keys – likely pacing back and forth reading their words aloud – with their shirt changing each time they walk by the camera to prove time passed. The montage is the most important part of the movie.

It represents the character’s big change. A change so complicated and strenuous they had to speed it up so you did not get bored. Moviemakers also had to keep it short so people would like their movie. No one wants to be reminded how much extra work successful people have to do outside their regular jobs to do something great.

So you should go watch a movie. They are awesome. But rewind the montage and remember the amount of work that goes into being a success. It might make watching the movie a little less enjoyable, but the idea could add a lot to your life.

Alex Schuman is an award-winning broadcast journalist. The University of Iowa graduate is a produced playwright and currently reports for WHAS-TV in Louisville, Ky. He is a former Fort Dodge resident who was an intern for The Messenger.