How the Movie Inception is Like Website Design
Most of you may not know this but I got my degree in a number of different things. Don’t worry, I’m not here to toot my own horn (I did in fact only get a “liberal studies” degree which means I’m either a flaming liberal, or a convincing enough personality to con a University into crafting my own degree). Getting back on track, I minored in fine arts. Many an afternoon was spent in the company of Yoga models, completely naked, taking what I saw and applying it to paper with a swift stroke of charcoal and the side of my thumb. I journeyed to one of my teacher’s homes along with my class to spend hours and hours painting coy in his pond. It was the first time I discovered that just a tiny bit off of 41, there is a whole other world. One full of nature, undeveloped, either crafted (in a home) or nearly how it’s looked since the beginning of time.
Again, I digress.
I bring all of this up because, whether it was fine arts, or English I loved “the arts” or humanities. And it is with that lens that I viewed Inception, the recent blockbuster film by one of my favorite directors: Christopher Nolan. EVERY ONE of his movies has been amazing:
- The Dark Knight
- The Prestige!
And it was with much anticipation that I waited for Inception. But, there was only one problem… there have been a handful of films that I love (present tense because I just keep on loving them), but each one surprised me:
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
- The Matrix
- The Secret in Their Eyes
- The Fountain
I went into each, not expecting much, knowing less, and came out absolutely floored.
Inception was different. I had watched all of the previews, loving the soundtrack and knew probably TOO much about the film to thoroughly be surprised or love it. But, even after viewing it in a completely cramped theater, with front row seats and a crooked neck, it still –
BLEW ME AWAY!
But, what struck me even more, was how much I couldn’t stop thinking about the meaning of the film, whether it was indeed reality, or what the film presents as reality is just another level of a dream. Regardless of what you believe it was with these questions in mind that I stumbled upon these two reviews:
It turns out, and I may just blow your mind here, after all is said and done, Inception is about the movie making process. That’s right! Cobb is the director, and the supporting cast are a metaphor for the key persons involved in making a movie or the elements of one’s subconscious that influence or produce a work of art.
So, back to my original point, how is Inception like Web Design?
It’s simple, and I think Eames (played by Tom Hardy) expresses it best when at about the halfway point he questions:
“How do you translate a business strategy into an emotion?”
He was referring to incepting the idea of dissolving the Fischer enterprise into Robert Fischer’s (aka Cillian Murphy) mind. On another level, he was speaking about the process of making a movie – implanting an emotion or idea in someone’s head during the course of a film (that also needs to make money). On a final level, he was talking about the process of ALL ART in modern society, one completely or nearly completely rooted in money.
But, specifically speaking, web design is similarly unique to the process of making movies (albeit sometimes less complex, sometimes more) in that it is our job, as great web developers to implant (or incept) an idea in your visitors’ mind. Be it a blog article that tries to convince you of a point of view or a product page that, through its design and copy, gets your visitor to contact you, we are merging the world of art with your need to make bread (money).
If you haven’t yet seen it, or were initially turned off by Inception, read the above reviews and watch it again, it is amazing how a new perspective can make a difference.