At first, the screen is black. Then the Miramax logo, the old blue one that morphs into gold, fills it. Black again. The words fade on to the screen:
PULP [pulp] n.
1. A soft, moist, shapeless mass or matter.
2. A magazine or book containing lurid subject matter and being characteristically printed on rough, unfinished paper.
– American Heritage Dictionary: New College Edition
Then there are two people in a diner, and the man says,
“Forget it, it’s too risky.”
And so began the experience that would change my life forever.
My infatuation with the cinematic medium began when I was three years old. I remember flashes of ‘90s pop culture like Toy Story, which my mother played for my sister and I on VHS to keep us quiet, Batman: The Animated Series, which I religiously watched with bowls of macaroni and cheese, and The Matrix, which I watched with my father and which inspired me to bend over backwards as I imagined mysterious men in black suits shooting at me in slow motion. Despite these memories, however, none of them wove themselves into the fabric of my personality.
The person to ceaselessly thank for this infatuation is my father, a man who constantly rebels against convention in whatever he does. Many people have asked me how I “matured” so quickly, and I can only attribute it to my father’s parenting style in showing me amazing movies (without checking their MPAA ratings) at an early age. The most amazing one was Pulp Fiction.
Pulp Fiction is insane, whimsical, volatile, endearing, darkly humorous, and a fusion of both the wacky and the beautiful sides of pop culture. Pulp Fiction is pure art–the perfect marriage of sound and visuals. Realizing that Jules and Vincent had come to the same diner that Pumpkin and Honey Bunny were in, at the same time, was an epiphany for me because I realized that movies have the power to immerse one in their universes and then throw one across space and time; the laws of physics don’t bind cinema. I want to have that power in my hands someday: to shock, excite, and upset an audience in a movie theater in my own way.
The most important thing that I’ve learned from Pulp Fiction is that energy is what sets great films apart from good ones—by which I mean using foot-tapping music to create atmosphere within a scene, crafting a story around electrifying characters, and developing moments that elevate the collective consciousness of the audience to a state of near-euphoria. I constantly try to integrate these elements into whatever I write because I often think that they are completely missing from the formulaic rehashes that pervade cinemas today.
After I saw Pulp Fiction, there was no going back. I have my eyes set on a craft, and I’ve been working towards that ever since by writing short scripts and recently working as a script assistant for five months on an independent Hindi film. Whenever I’m low on creative juice, I just have to remember what a Quarter Pounder with Cheese is in France (a Royale With Cheese) and inspiration replenishes my pursuit of the perfect story, the perfect characters and perfection itself.