Movie premieres have blossomed into a party atmosphere — a place where fans can dress up, act out, and express their love of the film, its heroes, and yes, even its villains.
However, the world watched as the much-anticipated release and midnight premiere of “The Dark Knight Rises” turned tragic in Aurora, Co.
“My first thought was that our innocence has been shattered,” said local Temecula screenwriter, director, and producer Kimberly Seilhamer on learning the news. “Going to the movies is a sacred time. Family time. Until now, a film-goer’s primary concern was getting popcorn, candy, and the best seat in the house. Now, that’s been shattered. We’ll never get that innocence back.”
“At the movies, people get to suspend disbelief and enter another world. Movie premieres can be full of flash and excitement, and now, that will change forever,” she said.
Seilhamer — whose most recent release,” Jack the Reaper” falls in the horror genre — is a student of people and their motives, and was ready to examine the character of the gunman.
“It was a horrible, but a conscious decision that (James Eagan Holmes) made. His actions included the sanity of planning, and the scene he created was eerily similar to the scene from a Batman comic book, ‘The Dark Knight Returns.’”
When asked her thoughts on what, if anything, this incident means to the movie industry, Seilhamer shook her head. “I know I’m holding my breath with how this affects movies already in the can, ready to be shown. But ultimately, thoughts must go out to the victims and their families.”
Warner Brothers Studios took action with the pulling of “Gangster Squad” trailer, which depicts a theater shooting in the 1940s period film, from theaters, iTunes, YouTube, and other online sources, according to E! Online.
Safety at the movies is also a major point of concern for theater chains.
“Things change after an event like this, and there’s a ripple effect afterwards,” Seilhamer said.
“After 9/11, Hollywood passed on many end-of-mankind themed films with a resounding, ‘no.’ Though six months later, things changed again,” Seilhamer said. “It takes time (for studios) to review what’s slated to come out, and what scripts are ready for production. To say this event won’t affect the next year of movie production is to be naïve.”
But what this means in the long term, gives Seilhamer pause, saying: “There’s an accountability you take as a writer when you make a creative choice. You hope that someone doesn’t pollute the end result with their own psychosis.”
For more information on Kimberly Seilhamer, visit: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0989920/.
Ashley Ludwig is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.