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<your background>
1.Q Tell me about the first time you can remember being thrilled.
1.A Being given an "airplane ride" as a child. Someone holds your wrist and ankle and spins you around.

2.Q What's been your most frightening thrill ever?
2.A I used to suffer from panic attacks.

3.Q What's the smallest or slightest thing to have thrilled you?
3.A When I'm doing research at the library, and I learn something specific and peculiar.

4.Q Tell me why you're not a sensible person.
4.A I am a financial idiot.

5.Q What were you doing the last time you were really bored?
5.A Working at a temp job.

6.Q What's the most uninhibited thing you've ever done?
6.A I am very inhibited socially, but fearless in certain areas. I have no fear, for example, of speaking in front of a crowd, but I don't feel particularly "uninhibited" when I do it.

7.Q What things have you considered doing for thrill, but were too concerned about the risks?
7.A I won't go on amusement park rides if they sound wrong -- clanking, etc.

8.Q I always dreamt about being a paramedic, driving an ambulance and saving lives; what about you?
8.A My dad was a fireman, so the whole idea of racing around with sirens blaring is tempered with the knowledge that the life of a fireman is mostly boring -- lots of waiting around, and lots of mundane, small fires.

<your thrill>
To answer these next 14 questions, you should think about a particular time you were thrilled.

9.Q Describe this thrill in a nutshell, in one sentence. (there's time to expand later)
9.A A particular moment in a live-action/animated film.

10.Q Where and when did it take place?
10.A At a movie theater in the mid-1980s (unsure of the exact date).

11.Q Tell me a bit about yourself around this time.
11.A I worked at a movie theater, so I got a lot of free passes to movies. The theater I worked at was an art cinema, so I was a bit of a pretentious film snob, though deep down, I really liked cartoons.

12.Q How did the moment arise? Was it planned?
12.A It wasn't impulsive. I had access to free movie passes, and probably planned a day or two in advance to see the film.

13.Q List the sequence of events leading up to your thrill, and how you felt at each stage. The smallest detail could be important (this is your chance to expand).
13.A The movie was Walt Disney's "Song of the South", in its last theatrical release before being pulled from distribution. (Today, you can't even get it on video in the U.S.) I was
surprised that the film was being screened at all, since it is widely considered to be racist. The film is set in the post-Civil War south, and is based on the stories of Uncle Remus, sort of an 1800s African-American version of Aesop.

I would say that it was exciting to be sitting in a theater watching the film because there was a forbidden quality to it due to so much negative publicity over the years. However, that said, much of the live action was uncomfortable to watch -- it was very patronizing to the black characters.

The moment of thrill came at what I call "the threshold", where the viewer passes from the real world into the fantasy world. Uncle Remus begins telling a story about Brer Rabbit, and the camera pulls in slowly to his face. The camera holds on an extreme close-up -- a very peculiar shot, as his dark skin shines unnaturally. Still in the same shot, the camera pulls out, revealing that he is no longer in the real world, but walking along an animated road, with Brer Rabbit bounding along beside him.

I was spellbound and dumbfounded.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Song of the South to go on sale in 2006... [more]

14.Q At the exact moment of thrill, how did your mind and body feel?
14.A Like I had stepped into heaven. I wasn't sitting in a movie theater anymore, that's for sure.

15.Q What thoughts were going through your head?
15.A My thoughts when I see something technically excellent on a movie screen are usually "Oh, that's well done." This time, it was more like, "THIS CANNOT BE!"

16.Q What did you do immediately afterwards?
16.A Watched the rest of the movie, which was a bit of a letdown.

17.Q What were the most likely things that could have put you off going through with it?
17.A The racism of the film.

18.Q How were other people important to your thrill?
18.A There were probably a half a dozen people in the theater at most; they weren't important at all.

19.Q What do you imagine other people were thinking throughout your thrilling episode?
I doubt they were as rapturously transported as I.

20.Q Some people probably don't understand how such a thing can thrill you; explain it to them.
20.A Imagine if you got up in the morning, got dressed, and opened your front door to discover your house had been transported to Mars.

21.Q Why were certain objects or equipment important to your thrill?
21.A Seeing as it was in a movie theater, there was plenty of equipment. It would not have been the same on a video screen -- it had to unfold on a big canvas.

22.Q If you've done something like this before, how does the last time compare to the first time you did it?
22.A I have seen comparable moments in film and theme parks: in "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", there is a moment where the detective steels his nerves for a drive into Toontown, and in Disneyland's "Pirates of the Caribbean" where you drop down a waterfall. Once you know where that threshold is, it becomes less thrilling when repeated.

23.Q If you did it again, what things could be added or changed to make it even better?
23.A It's impossible to know in advance how novelty will thrill you.




what do you find thrilling?