About Skipping Scenes

“I remember Mom picking up the remote and I knew it was time to look away…” – Maya

Skipping Scenes was born out of a collaboration with my mother, Katie, and myself. She and I both love movies, but we also have photographic memories and are sensitive to graphic images. If we see something graphic, the image will play over in our heads, and for the rest of our lives we will be able to recall exactly what we saw.

It seems the more dramatic the scene, the more our brains like to hold on to it. But at the same time, we love exciting movies. Some of our most cherished movies contain those very violent images that can be so troubling.

Skipping Scenes

Fortunately, along with a photographic memory comes the ability to remember, upon watching a movie the second time, when something is coming and it is time to look away, even if it is years later. As I grew up, it became obvious to me that I had inherited the same quirky combination as my mother. When we were watching movies, she would pick up the remote when it was time and skip the scene she knew would disturb us both.

Over time, that simple act grew into this website – Skipping Scenes.

What makes an image violent? (blood, pain…). Do the same things disturb both of us? (not exactly). Can we somehow capture this information? (yes).

We watched a Star Wars movie together and started taking notes and laughing in the process. There is something funny about watching a movie and then having lengthy discussions about its violence or the setting.

“OK, so we should write down that Darth Vader is in…what is it…his conference room?”

“I think it is a conference room….I think it’s Darth Vader’s conference room.”

And on we went, at first simply writing the scenes down on paper. Soon though, my mother, a Web Developer, created a database for us to start systematically capturing the scenes, so that we could store them online. We kept honing what worked and what didn’t. Sometimes one of us would write down the scenes, then the other would watch the movie using the scenes to then skip.

The first time we actually got to use our own work during a movie, it was not only far less stressful to watch, it became noticeably more enjoyable as well. We hope you experience the same thing!

— Maya and Katie