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Undergraduate Posts: 5

Common App Essay on movie spoilers (Prompt #7)


omnibutt 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2018   #1
Hi! This is pretty last minute, but I was wondering if anyone could take a look at my essay and give me any edits. Thanks!

Prompt: Share an essay on any topic of your choice. It can be one you've already written, one that responds to a different prompt, or one of your own design.

to live a spoiler-free life



Movie spoilers. When presented, people look away with a groan and a face filled with rage and disgust. They're deplorable, unwanted, and the bane of all moviegoers' existence. Like most people, I desperately fend off spoilers in an attempt to keep the treasure of the surprise ending protected. I don't only try to avoid Twitter spoilers, movie articles, or conversations about movies, I also avoid their trailers.

This idea was introduced to me in my favorite podcast, Hello Internet. In this podcast, Youtube content creators C.G.P. Grey and Brady Haran discuss a plethora of topics that range from technology etiquette to vexillology, the study of flags. During a discussion about an upcoming Star Wars movie, C.G.P. Grey refused to watch the trailer. He reasons that all movie trailers reveal small but significant snippets of the storyline without the full context of the rest of the film, resulting in premature bias. In trailers, the best jokes, the most breathtaking scenes, and the most spine-tingling scenes are displayed. When trailers reveal the best segments of movies without their full context, how can anyone intimately enjoy the movie when watched in totality? The best way to watch a movie is cold, with absolutely no prior knowledge about the film, allowing the events of the story to reveal themselves in the way the director wanted.

With his approach in mind, I stopped watching all movies trailers and started going into movies cold. I let movies such as Fences, Seven Samurai, Moonlight, and Inglourious Basterds unfold themselves as the artistic masterpieces that Washington, Kurosawa, Jenkins, and Tarantino intended. For example, by going into Inglourious Basterds cold, I could feel the overwhelming tension from the battle between SS officer Hans, who was looking for jews, and the farmer, LaPadite, who was hiding them. It kept me fearful and guessing the next scene. If I had watched the trailer, I would've seen Nazi soldiers raiding the house and a subsequent scene of a tearful bloodstained Jewish girl fleeing the scene, unveiling the victor and eliminating the tension from the scene.

As I watched these movies I realized that this principle could be applied to many more mediums of art. I began to listen to music starting from the first track of the album instead of jumping to the few hit songs. My appreciation for the flow and storytelling of my favorite albums increased as I listened to Kendrick Lamar's 'Good Kid, M.A.A.D City and Public Service Broadcasting's The Race for Space starting from track 1. I stopped listening to podcasts such asThis American Life and99% Invisible at 2x speed in order to notice and appreciate every single pause of silence and the exact pacing the podcast creators intended.

Now, as I'm approaching adulthood, I further realize that I want to live a spoiler-free life, devoid of preconceived opinions, including my own. I want to see what life and the world truly are with an open mind. When I begin my journey into college I will meet new people, experience new ideas, and encounter a world of possibilities. When my ideas are challenged by a professor, a student, a colleague, or anyone else, an open mind will allow me to free myself from my own ideas and to consider new ones. When new frightening opportunities present themselves, such as a chance to study abroad, or an opportunity to help a desperate community, an open mind will allow me to see those possibilities and take them. Above all else, by having an open mind, I'll be able to appreciate the nuances of life and allow the story of my life to unfold on its own. If anyone were to offer me any advice on life, I would say, "Please, no spoilers."

Word Count: 633

nyangi - / 2 1  
Oct 30, 2018   #2
"... the most breathtaking scenes, and the most spine-tingling scenes ..." - it's repetitive to use "scenes" twice here.

I would suggest rearranging this sentence to eliminate the passive voice - something like "Trailers display the best jokes..." There are also other places where you repeat a word multiple times in the space of one or two sentences, like at the start of the third paragraph.

Content-wise, I think it's pretty good! I'm just wondering about your conclusion, though. If you refuse life advice from someone for fear of "spoilers," isn't that contradicting your message of open-mindedness?
OP omnibutt 1 / 2  
Oct 30, 2018   #3
Thanks for editing my essay! Do you think it would be better to write "If anyone were to warn me about the imminent difficulties of life, I would say, "Please, no spoilers." instead?

Response:
Yeah that sounds good! It gives you a very "come what may" vibe, which is sort of hinted at throughout your essay.
Holt [Contributor] - / 7,179 1785  
Oct 31, 2018   #4
Kevin, you may want to balance the discussion with a representation of who you were before you decided to live a spoiler free life. What sort of mindset did you have? What is the difference between the person who watched the movie trailers and the person who skipped the trailers and went to see the movie cold turkey? Try to balance the essay between the two personalities that are clearly indicated in the essay. Don't leave your previous identity under developed. The reviewer wants to get to know that person too. Who you were before is just as important as the person you have become today because of your spoiler free life. Try to edit the beginning of your essay to introduce that aspect because it will help the reviewer understand the intricacies of your personality and how you have evolved from Person A to Person B. It will help make this essay more informative and interesting to read.
OP omnibutt 1 / 2  
Nov 1, 2018   #5
Thanks for the suggestion! I edited my essay to comply, can you please take another look before I apply tomorrow? Thank you again!

To Live a Spoiler-Free Life
Movie spoilers. When presented, people look away with a groan and a face filled with rage and disgust. They're deplorable, unwanted, and the bane of all moviegoers' existence. Like most people, I desperately fend off spoilers to protect the moment of awe and astoundment that follows the long-awaited plot twist. However, I try not only to avoid Twitter spoilers, movie articles, or conversations about movies, but I also avoid their trailers.

Hello Internet, a podcast featuring the whimsical discussions between YouTube content creators C.G.P. Grey and Brady Haran, introduced me to this idea. During a discussion about an upcoming Star Wars movie, Grey refuses to watch the trailer. He reasons that all movie trailers reveal small but significant snippets of the storyline without their full context, resulting in premature bias. Grey concludes that the best way to watch a movie is with absolutely no prior knowledge, allowing context and the events of the story to reveal themselves the way the director intended.

When ruminating on his argument, I saw that because of trailers I made my own judgments about the films before even seeing them. This prematurely set their tones when I watched them, and sometimes even caused me to abandon them completely. When I look back on the movies that I neglected but have now watched, I realize that some of them, including The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and Edge of Tomorrow, were exceptional works of art. I would have never watched this films if they weren't on TV by chance. This confirmed to me that trailers offer no benefit and cause me to miss out on unexpected yet extraordinary pictures.

With his approach in mind, I stopped watching all trailers and started going into movies cold. I let movies, such as Fences, Seven Samurai, Moonlight, and Inglourious Basterds, unfold themselves as the artistic masterpieces that Washington, Kurosawa, Jenkins, and Tarantino intended. For example, when watching Inglourious Basterds, I could feel the overwhelming tension from the battle between SS officer Hans, who was looking for Jews, and the farmer, LaPadite, who was hiding them. It kept me fearful and continually guessing the next chain of events. If I had watched the trailer, I would've seen Nazi soldiers raiding the house and a subsequent scene of a tearful bloodstained Jewish girl fleeing the scene, unveiling the victor and eliminating the tension from the scene.

After watching movies this way for years, I now understand that Grey's principle further applies to life. It showed me that my preconceived opinions are just as inaccurate and premature as those formed from trailers. Not only did those opinions cause me to be closed minded about the films I watched, but they also caused me to be closed minded about changing my ideas, taking new opportunities, and accepting my mistakes. However, now I live a spoiler-free life.

As I continue my journey into college I will face new challenges, my ideas will be questioned, I will see new opportunities, and I will make countless mistakes. When a challenge comes at me with its full force, his principle taught me that I should allow its solution to come to me with an open mind. When a professor, a student, or anyone else challenges my ideas, an open mind will allow me to consider thiers. When new frightening opportunities present themselves, like a chance to study abroad or help a desperate community, an open mind will allow me to recognize those possibilities and take them head-on. But above all else, by having an open mind, I'll be able to appreciate the nuances of life and allow my story to unfold on its own. When my story continues to play out, there will be thoughtful and caring people who will warn me about the beckoning wraths of life. However, my response to those people: "Please, no spoilers."


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