Screenwriting and Groundhog Day

Some people at one time or another… have had a sensation that they’ve done certain things before, but can’t really explain as to why? Whenever I experience this unique emotional state, I’m always reminded of Bill Murray and Groundhog Day. These unique experiences have such an intriguing impact and experienced by so many, that some people were motivated to make a movie about the subject.

Déjà vu is an experience most of us have from time to time and it usually presents itself as something mysterious or magical. Déjà vu usually occurs when a dream scene becomes a real-life scene. This creates the sensation that you’ve experienced this particular event at a previous time; however, the previous experience occurred in a dream state and not a real state. Some say it could be a glimpse and an opportunity to change a particular direction in our life. Paranormal theorists propose that a déjà vu experience is evidence for reincarnation, “that experiencing something for a second time around indicates your soul experienced this event in a previous life.”

Déjà vu usually sets in without notice. All of a sudden you have that feeling you’ve been to a certain house, city, event or you’ve met people that are strangely familiar. Though, you had no prior connection to these places or people. A clue that you’re experiencing déjà vu; if you know your way around someplace that you’ve never been before…

Most of us will just brush off these experiences with the definition of a coincidence or “I should not have taken that extra melatonin last night”. If déjà vu were only an illusion, how can our mind distinguish between this illusion and the story it is creating? Albert Einstein suggested that “space and time” were simply human conceptual constructs, abstracted for discussion and intellectualizing, but not actual defined components of our reality.

The moment when an idea for a story comes to you is a similar experience, almost magical. The best ideas often seem to come out of nowhere… all of a sudden you’re inspired and motivated to write and not stop until your pen runs out of ink. Writers should pay particular attention to these experiences as they can serve as great material for story ideas.

Sometimes when we least expect it someone touches our lives in totally unanticipated ways. Paths tend to cross with so many shared experiences, thoughts, and feelings in common that it seems impossible to understand. How many times have you thought about someone that you had not thought of for years… and the very next day, you receive an email from that person or the phone rings?

Déjà vu is a sensation which usually lasts only for moments but the magical emotional connection remains, lingering and irrefutable.

Original ideas are born from an open mind – David Spies

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