If you watch a lot of movies (like me) you know that most films contain a scene called a montage. This is basically a series of short shots put together to convey a long period of time. They are used as a transitional piece in the story. If you watch sports movies, you will know what I am talking about. Those types of movies are good examples for montage scenes. If you think about it, this technique is used to show the ‘hard work’ part of the character’s story. It helps in the emotional and physical development of the character; but done in a condensed and usually entertaining way. It is also always paired with an appropriate song, giving the scene a sense of power and motivation. These times in the character’s story are usually quite mundane and very routine. Who wants to watch a sports athlete train by exercising daily and going through a lot to be the best that he can. We would be sitting in the movie theater for weeks and probably months as we watch this character go through their ‘growth’ period. To put it plainly, we would be bored half to death. So instead, filmmakers make this part of the character’s life very entertaining and short! Thankfully we don’t have to go through this painful process with the character, although it is very vital to the story and their growth. Most stories start out with a problem or something that the character needs to overcome. And throughout the rest of the movie they are trying to reach that point, that goal in their life. Sometimes it is trying to get the girl/guy, or to reach their dream of being something greater, or to winning a battle, or a quest, or something of that sort. And sometimes these sorts of things take a really long time and a lot of commitment, so the montage scene is basically the part in the story that really connects the two. (The conflict and then the overcoming) The montage scene helps the audience to know what sort of process the character goes through. If you think about it, a lot goes on in those few short shots; we just don’t see all of it. It’s very deceiving. Movies make life look easier than it really is. That’s one reason why we watch movies, to escape from our everyday life.
So I ask myself, why can’t my life be a montage? Not that I want to cut it short and let my hard work fly by in two seconds. But wouldn’t it be easier if certain parts of our life could be a montage? I would love that, honestly. It just seems like every day I am trying to work towards something greater and I have to be committed to the process. Letting my mundane days count towards something. But life would be easier if when we get into these types of situations that we could cut it into a series of shots, piece it all together and then place a song in the background for effect. The sad part is I feel like I am in this place a lot, being the in between, the montage part of my life (so to speak). I am constantly striving to get where I want to be. Sometimes movies are motivational and we are like, if that character can do that, so can I! But sometimes it takes a lot longer than a good two hours to get to where we want to be in life.
Obviously movies give an unrealistic view on life and my life will never be condensed into a montage scene, but it is an interesting thought. I do embrace my life and the series of hardships I have to go through in order to make me a better person. One day I will get there, wherever there is. It is important to set goals for myself and to work hard to get there, no matter what. In all reality we are the ones who decide how we want to live out our story, right?