Friday, December 4, 2015

Day 12.248 The Space Bar

The space bar is my best friend.

I use it to freeze video dialogue after particularly juicy scenes. Sometimes I need to digest all the information, understand motives or try to predict where the action just witnessed will take us next. It is also a useful tactic when beer and snacks need refreshing.

In self-accessing my mastery of the space bar tool during my year of 24, patterns emerged. It seems that I wasn't as interested in the explosive violence as I was in the delivery of critical communications. In other words, when somebody (usually Jack in 24) gets it right and demands reciprocal retribution. Immediately after I pause in order to better appreciate both the craft of the writers, the skills of the actors and their combined panache. In toto those scenes, the crux of the story, as created and choreographed, define dramatic cinema success.

Last night we had another a-ha deja vu moment. In a vibrantly electrifying exchange between two affected anti-heroes. I refer mostly to one James McNulty, he of The Wire fame. With Randal Patrick McMurphy like raw emotional energy, he rhetorically undressed a Baltimore circuit judge, absolutely nailing the complex realities of politics, crime, drugs, duty, law enforcement and ethics in one fire and brimstone, in-your-face, red-eyed, hair-on-fire exchange.

As soon as the editor jump-cut to the next scene I hit the bar.

I was laughing. Not at McNulty, the judge or anything similar, but over what a dear (and departed) friend once told me as we walked into to a conference room where I was to speak (and sell).

She said this: It is all about attitude.

I smiled in the memory of that experience and in the honoring of our deep friendship. She was so right.

As Jack before him, McNulty carried the day with attitude and élan. There would be no compromise. Not on my watch. A big lesson learned long ago. Attitude.

Space bar.

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