A gasp and then silence fell across the room. Jenna, a young and wide-eyed girl behind me said with a soft and nervous voice, “Mommy, are they okay?” Boom! The environment exploded with electrifying sound and brilliant flashes of light. Silhouettes of nearby friends illuminated all around us, projecting living shadows across the room. A melody of “oohs” and “aahs” rose from the crowd. All eyes were fixed on the glowing white screen in front of us. It was grabbing us and pulling us toward an irresistible climax. A rising sound, then a chorus of anticipation filled our ears. Then sweeping notes of joy flooded many of our eyes with tears. The protagonist on the screen had stepped into our souls. We feel how she felt. We see what she saw. We heard what she heard. The moment had stitched us into the story. We had arrived. And yes, Jenna, things are going to be okay. 

Movies tell stories. But they also connect us. They walk us through our own emotions, our own dreams, and our own fears. They scare us. They inspire us. They take us on a fanciful journey. They stir our imagination, transport us to new realities and ultimately entertain, delight, and stir our souls. The art of storytelling through the medium of cinema is an amazing experience. It is needed. Through it we can step outside of our own troubles and into new possibilities. Our human souls yearn for those stories and imagination to take us on journeys we would never venture alone. They can be healing, providing relief and therapeutic inspiration. They can be fun.

As filmmakers, we have the incredible privilege of helping bring this experience to the world. Directors, producers, actors, cinematographers, designers, composers, editors, artists, and other cast members all assemble to bring these stories and experiences to life through visual and auditory means. It is an art-form and craft that ministers the magic of storytelling, delight, and joy to our planet.

This Friday, Inside Out 2 shows up in theaters. Be sure to take your friends and family to see it and encourage others to do the same. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see it, hear it, and of course… feel it too.