Wednesday, July 23, 2008
Publishing School and the Bat-Man Experience
In some ways publishing school is very different than the normal type of school. I've met, for example, more NYT bestselling authors (=two) in the last ten days than I have in the previous 23 or so years of my life (=0). But in other, more different ways, publishing school is pretty much the same as regular school. We get homework, our teachers give us grades, we eat in a cafeteria and complain about the food (Plain vegetables from the salad bar again? Keeping Kosher rocks.), and the ratio of females to males is 8.6:1. But, most importantly, we love field trips. Box factory it wasn't, but the publishing factory (or, company) was pretty OK. They even gave us a flimsy folder and a free book. Publishing school: like regular school, except with way more copy-editing.
I went last night to see that new moving picture about the bat-man. I'm not going to share my thoughts on the film itself because there are plenty of people way smarter than I writing about movies on the internet. But I do want to relay some thoughts about the film-viewing experience. It was pretty much unlike any other film-viewing experience I've ever experienced. On Sunday, I ordered a ticket to the Tuesday night, 1900h showing at the local i-maximum theater. By the time I emailed out to the publishing school listserv to invite some fellow publishing students to join me, the show was sold out. So I went by my lonesome. (Not the first time I've gone to a movie theater by myself, by the way; it's not too bad.) I didn't really know where I was going (Did you know that maps.google.com now gives directions via public transport? Take that hopstop!), so I left early and arrived early. By the time I showed up at 1820h, there were around 100 people--who had already purchased tickets--waiting on line inside the theater. Around five minutes later, the theater workers finished sweeping up from the previous show, the doors were dramatically thrown open, and all ~100 people scrambled in to find good seats. I've never been to a movie where all the good seats were taken a full half of an hour before the previews even started. (I managed to get a good seat.) The crowd was pretty much engrossed in the film while it was showing (i-maximum makes it hard not to be completely engrossed; take that, peripheral vision!). The audience erupted into applause as the movie finished (not so surprising, especially for your blogger, a veteran of the AMC Theater in West Orange), but I was surprised by some of the more intimate post-viewing reactions. I saw a bunch of couples--young and old--kinda hugging and kissing, as if they just experienced a seminal moment in their relationship. I got the sense that people viewed this viewing as some sort of important historic event. It may have been. I just think that it's pretty interesting that people reacted like that.