Notes From The Dark

This post is a little different from my usual Saturday Snapshot.

I’ve been asked how I remember so many details from a movie after just watching it once. Well, of course I can Google for some of the info, but to jot down lines and scenes that I don’t want to forget, I take notes.

How do you take notes inside a dark theatre? I used to bring along a small note book, fold the corner of the page to start with, and just use my pen to write whatever I could on the small pages… usually just a few words a page, for I didn’t want to overlap my writing. When I went home, I often had a hard time deciphering what I’d written.

But recently I found a perfect way. Instead of a small notebook, I take with me into the movie a copy of Cineplex magazine, lots of those in the stands at the theatre. Before the movie starts, I fold down the corner of the pages that have some blank or lighter space, take out a permanent black Sharpie marker pen, and I’m all set for note taking in the dark.

I don’t take my eyes off the screen when I write. So you can say it’s blind writing in the dark. Here are some of the pages of notes I’d taken recently. For interest’s sake, I’ve included the movie I was watching when making these notes. They make fun, altered book pages, don’t you think? And the effects of words on the page are all serendipitous too. And oh, if you suddenly remember some errands you forgot to do, you can jot that down too.

A View from the Bridge, National Theatre Live. I’ve a little drawing of the stage and seating here:

Dark Notes

View from the Bridge 1


Here are the pages from watching the movie Ex Machina (Review coming):

Ex Machina

Ex Machina 4

Ex Machina 1

Ex Machina 2

Ex Machina 3

When memory fails, mnemonic devices save the day all the time. Just need to channel a little creativity.


Saturday Snapshot is hosted by West Metro Mommy Reads. CLICK HERE to see what others have posted.

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If she’s not birding by the Pond, Arti’s likely watching a movie, reading, or writing a review. Creator of Ripple Effects, bylines in Asian American Press, Vague Visages, Curator Magazine.

26 thoughts on “Notes From The Dark”

  1. What a really good idea! I love seeing the layers of color and words on your page. And it makes a lot of sense because it actually shows up when you get home even if the page has other stuff on it! Clever!


    1. Jeanie,

      Actually I’d never thought of sharing this trivial activity, however, looking at the pages, I just thought this could be a new trend of ‘art making’… altered pages in the dark. You should try it next time you go to the movies. πŸ˜‰


    1. Judy,

      I take notes in a movie because I write reviews. But for those that I don’t think I’ll review, I’ll skip the note-taking task. Umm … like, The Avengers: Age of Ultron.


  2. How fun are these pages! And now, you have a digital representation of your own personal art form. I didn’t know anything about the teddy bear movie, but now, with your notes (“suspense horror thrilling” and “blood”!) I have some idea πŸ˜‰


    1. nikkipolani,

      No, those words are from my watching the movie Ex Machina, I just happened to be writing my notes on the Ted(dy) bear movie ad. You see, I wrote my notes in the dark randomly on pages that have lighter space. The words I wrote have nothing to do with the picture on the page, that’s what makes it hilarious.


        1. Just one page isn’t enough. All those pages just for one movie. You should try it next time. Real fun to see the results when the lights come back on 😊


    1. Sean,

      Just for fun, give it a try. You may even draw whatever that comes to your mind as you watch the movie. Now that might just lead to real art. πŸ˜‰


    1. laurel,

      You can see my writing isn’t all legible either. But at least I can write more on a magazine page than a small note book. Thanks for leaving the link to your post.


    1. Ellen,

      Try it next time you see a movie. Maybe also draw/doodle whatever than comes to your mind. You just may be making real art there. πŸ˜‰


    1. Claire,

      You should try it the next time you see a movie… you’ll never know what you can create in the dark. And, thanks for mentioning it on Twitter. πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  3. It’s like marginalia in a book! I love it — such a creative (and useful) idea. When I re-read a book, I always use a different color ink for my notes, so I have a record of the changes in my thinking about the contents, or a record of different things that caught my attention. If you see a movie a second time, it might be fun to take a red or green pen so you can “compare notes” with yourself!


    1. Linda,

      Umm… I think it’s just the opposite of marginalia where you don’t write on the margins, but right in the page, and in the dark. The effects – if you can read your own writing when the lights come on – are purely serendipitous. Try it next time you watch a movie. And, I suggest using black, for other colours may not show up clearly. πŸ˜‰


  4. That is excellent! And the pages do have a sort of altered book thing going on! How long do you keep your notes once you have written about the movie?


    1. Stefanie,

      I throw them in the recycle bin as soon as I finish writing a review post. I keep my Moleskins, but not Cineplex magazines. πŸ˜‰


    1. Denise,

      You can see how bad mine is, and I can still decipher. Thanks so much for reading through my posts so thoroughly. πŸ˜‰


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