Place is one of the first things you add to a script. Before you say anything else after “fade in” you need to answer some important questions. Interior? Exterior? Day? Night?
You name the place before you name the first characters.
Our global village tends to de-emphasize location. It’s the internet. We’re so connected that place doesn’t matter any more. At least sometimes that’s how it feels. I’m sure this is also related to our human-made structures getting farther from simple tent or cave housing. Most homes are so complex you feel like you’d not have much clue how they were made. More folk enter their first home unable to fix much themselves.
We live mostly inside these ever more mystifying safe-cocoons. From inside a structure, life is all the same, on a plane 30,000 ft in the air, or in a home. In Saskatchewan, LA, or Muskoka Woods. Not the ‘same’ as in every twenty minutes a lady pushes a cart through my house asking if I’d like some pretzels and a soda -although I’d go for that. I mean it’s all the same, as in a generic temperature-controlled a thoroughly processed environment. This allows me to exist inside when the weather outside is forty-degrees below freezing, much the same way I’d exist inside when it’s one hundred-degrees out. This obfuscates the meaning of place.
But place is important. Even out the windows.
Where you are is still important. Being far from something or someone is still being far, even if you can FaceTime or text, or snapchat. The pyramids are existentially different to walk around than to see pictures, videos, and live-streams of.
It matters what’s out the windows and what’s in the air.
We overcame the limitations of place only to lose its incredible and unshakable importance in shaping our lives and the consequences of detaching ourselves from the local.
This affects our produce drawers and those far away who starve to produce its contents.
It’s a quality of people I admire that, without being Luddites, they embrace, and participate in, and really know where they are.