I once tried to describe to my father what makes filmmaking so special. I couldn’t find the words. Then a scene from the film Gods & Monsters came to me and I described it to him. I remember the scene every once in while, sometimes when I can’t believe how fortunate I am and sometimes when I could use some reminding of how fortunate I am.
If you haven’t seen it, Gods & Monsters is a fictional drama based on a real person, director James Whale (Frankenstein, 1931). Here a retired Whale (Ian McKellen) talks to his gardener, Clayton Boone (Brendan Fraser), who is fictitious. The bits in parentheses are mine.
Why should I spend my time working in this dreadful business?
Do you miss it?
Oh, it was all so long ago. Fifteen years.
(big dramatic pause)
Making movies is the most wonderful thing in the world.
Working with friends – entertaining people – yes, I suppose I miss it.
I think my father got it. Sometimes I get it.
Thanks, writer-director Bill Condon.