Nicholas McAfee

As it so happens, televisions and the movies are rather new to me: I grew up in a household with no television. I read books and listened to the radio for entertainment and was far more partial to non-fiction than I was to fiction. It wasn’t until I turned thirteen that we got a television, and while you might think this is a disadvantage, as I had missed at least a decade of possible life experiences with movies and tv shows, I don’t view it that way. In fact, I think my real world experiences and my imaginary experiences in the worlds of books and radio gave me a unique lens through which to see the worlds of cinema and television. I quickly became fascinated—not just with the stories, but also with how the entire experience was created. Fascinated by every little detail that is so easy to overlook.

I believe that many people take for granted the experience of watching video. You put it on, you love it or hate it, and you don’t always stop to think of all the choices that went into its creation. While a feature length film is an hour or two long, each film represents years of actual creation time, thousands of man-hours, and tens of thousands of more decisions. I still remember the first movie that I watched in a theater. It was just after Christmas and my family went to see a screening of Frank Capra’s It’s A Wonderful Life. Aside from the amazing acting from Princeton alum Jimmy Stewart, the depth of character development, and the beautiful cinematography (characteristics I have come to look for in all great video works) the part I remember most was my insistence on watching every single one of the credits. I still love knowing who is involved in creating the films and shows I watch, and I often enjoy the “making of” features as much as the works themselves. As an Archaeology major I follow the same analytical process I rely on while experiencing film, investigating with every method I can think of and slowly gathering details I can focus on until I have a complete story.

I think of my reviews in this blog as “film reviews from an outsider.” Or maybe that’s just sensationalizing it. At its core, my perspective is about exploring why films are created the way they are, and what might make them last for decades into the future.

All posts by Nicholas McAfee

A Film and Television Review