Years ago I watched the audio commentary on the Blade DVD and the filmmakers were talking about the end fight scene in the movie. They said that originally they turned the character Deacon Frost into a big computer generated blob which Blade proceeded to fight. But test audiences didn’t like it. They became detached from it.
Well for one, through the entire film Deacon Frost is played by a real human being (Stephen Dorff) and quite frankly we’re used to seeing real human beings. We accept them as being real. On the other hand, when is the last time you ran across a big computer generated blob when walking down the street? Me neither. As such we have no connection to it. It carries little weight with us. So the filmmakers opted to reshoot the scene with Stephen Dorff, just as he was.
As a filmmaker I take this kind of stuff seriously. It’s always in the back of my mind when writing screenplays. What will people accept and what won’t they. There is a certain level of abstract we will and will not accept based on how realistic we believe a certain scenario, object or character can be. If we feel there is a good possibility of something we see actually happening either now or sometime in the future, we are willing to lend it more credibility. Even if it seems abstract to our daily life. On the other hand if we feel too detached from it, it usually just becomes eye candy without a lot of weight behind it.
I have this theory that most people view the idea of God as this abstract completely detached concept. I think one of the reasons why Christianity is the most popular religion in the world has a lot to do with Jesus Christ being on earth in human form. The core teachings of Christ about loving each other and not judging each other is something people can also relate to. It’s something they can see in their daily life. It’s easy to understand. In fact it’s so easy, it’s universal and breaks the boundaries of any given religion to the point that even secularists can generally agree with it. Where it begins to fall apart for a lot of people is when you start talking about the more abstract concepts of Christ. Walking on water, rising into heaven and so on. Even so these tend to be more acceptable and less abstract than the idea of God altogether.
I think to a lot of people the idea of God really doesn’t seem any more real and tangible then a computer generated blob on the cinema screen. As such, they may say “I believe in God,” but it doesn’t usually carry any more weight then saying “I believe what I see on that screen is really on that screen.” It has never become more tangible and less abstract then the wisp of a thought in the mind.
Have you ever met a movie star or a local news anchor or a major musician in real life? There is a certain quick sense of shock that comes with it. Suddenly what you’ve seen on the screen for so long, is real, right there in front of you. Even though you always knew they were real because it only made sense; you’ve now just confirmed it.
For me, one of my goals has been to find the real God. The one that exists in the less abstract. Where it actually makes sense that it’s real. The one that breaks down the boundaries of all major religions and makes sense to everyone because it’s truth is universally undeniable. Where even though it may not be as tangible as the leaves blowing on the trees, its idea alone seems as likely as the idea of leaves blowing on trees.