WHEN: 12:00pm EST, February 9th, 2013

WHERE: The snow-swept streets of Portland, Maine

FORMAT:  Digital Download on the 2.5″ screen of a 6th generation iPod Classic

COMPANY: None

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Cold throughout, increasingly tired as the viewing progressed.

BLIZZARD:

It was a stormy day out, with several feet of snow already on the ground, and more falling. It was a Saturday and I had nowhere I needed to be. It was the perfect day to curl up on the couch and enjoy a film I love. So I did the most logical thing possible… I walked out into the blizzard to watch Jurassic Park on my iPod.

WHY?:

One of the things that attracted me to the Cinema 52 experiment in the first place was to explore new ways to enjoy the cinematic experience. As such, over the course of year one, I attempted to view my movie in a variety of innovativestupid, and bizarre ways. So, it only made sense that if Portland was experiencing its worst blizzard in years, I should be out watching my movie in the middle of it.

To quote William Shatner: “Why do I climb a mountain? Because I’m in love.”

PREPARATIONS: 

I put on two sweatshirts, two pairs of socks, a coat, a pair of boots, and a pair of gloves. I slipped my iPod into an off-brand Ziploc bag to protect it from the elements. I left my apartment.

It’s so easy, an ill-advised child could do it!

THE EXPERIENCE: 

The first thing you notice when trying to watch Jurassic Park in a blizzard is that the white of the snow that surrounds you makes it very difficult to see what is happening on the screen. A good portion of the film takes place in darkness and shadow. This makes for a very effective viewing experience on a big screen in a dark room. It makes it wretched when viewed on a tiny screen surrounded by white reflective snow (at noon, no less). I immediately had to turn the brightness on my screen to its maximum setting. Even then, the picture required concentration to make out.

Pictured: not me.

Concentrating all of your attention on a tiny screen while walking around in a snow storm is not a great idea. It turns out that recently plowed roads are slippery, and I was frequently losing my footing. I stumbled around side streets throughout the majority of the film so as to avoid whatever traffic there might be. This, of course, put me in full view of untold numbers of people hard at work shoveling their driveways. Many of them stared. I’m sure I looked like quite the jackass, walking around holding an iPod in front of my face. I blocked the path of a city snow plow on a narrow street on at least one occasion. This whole affair was clearly a poor decision.

Around the time Nedry was being eaten, I realized that I had become lost in a maze of culs-de-sac, and became increasingly paranoid that I would pass the same shoveler one too many times, and suffer some ill-defined misfortune as a result. It was distracting. I heard all the dialogue and sound effects, and I saw tiny shapes that I knew to be tiny people running away from tiny dinosaurs. I kept my eyes on the screen as much as humanly possible (without getting run over) and kept trudging on.

Eventually I got my bearings and was able to loop back around, so as to get home when the movie ended. By the end of the film, I had walked 5.75 miles, and was thoroughly exhausted. Tired, cold, wet, and somewhat embarrassed that I had even bothered, I dried out alone in my room.

blizzard map

I went in a big circle, so it’s impossible for you to pinpoint where I live.

As if you give two shits.

WHAT DID I LEARN?:

I learned that Jurassic Park is best watched on a larger screen and NOT IN A SNOW STORM.

By all accounts I knew better.

Ray Arnold face-palm.