So I’ve been watching the special features for the movie Elf recently, and it got me thinking. I love watching director’s commentaries and behind the scenes stuff, but at the same time it always makes me wish that I had been a part of it. I’m not sure if this would happen for most people, or just people like me who actually want to get into the arts for a living. For example, it’s such a battle to watch the special features for Lord of the Rings, because I feel so close to the people involved, thanks to all the features, but I actually didn’t play a part in putting the film together at all. So it’s this weird emotional dichotomy of feeling like I really am close to the people involved, and then remembering that I’m not close to them at all.
Another thing that’s kind of interesting/depressing is thinking about being an “extra” in a movie. The people who put the Elf dvd together are apparently obsessed with the lives of extras, and what it means to be an extra, because they have all kinds of special features talking about life as an extra on the set of Elf. The thing is, there’s part of me that would like to do films. To act, possibly direct, definitely write. And then I see the life of an extra, of which there are thousands upon thousands, and it seems so meaningless. How on earth am I supposed to leap frog all the extras to actually get a speaking roll in a film, let alone direct/star in a film? I guess it’s when you think of your own insignificance that you can either be inspired or paralyzed. And is fame/recognition important enough that I feel like I need to be one of the stars in the film instead of an extra? (see my previous entry on fame) Does being a star matter that much more than just being a working extra?
I like being reminded of my insignificance when it comes to the universe and God, so I can remember how small my problems are (it can be a wonderfully freeing experience). However, I hate being reminded of my insignificance in a profession I’d like to go into. I sort of always hope that someday I’ll be doing my own director’s commentary on a movie I was involved in, and that gets me by, but I have to wonder does it really matter? I guess we all have that little bug inside us that wants everyone to know us, I just wish that stupid bug that makes me feel envious/jealous/left out when I see people who are successful in the industry I want to be in would leave me alone. I would rather be able to enjoy peoples’ work, respect and support them, rather than wishing I was in their place.