If you're on Twitter, you already know that it's a drug. It's like a big get-together where you can talk to hundreds of people without committing yourself too seriously and before you know it ... poof ... you've just spent three hours talking about your summer reading. I've made a concerted effort to not let it overtake my life and I've generally succeeded.

But one aspect of Twitter that I find so pathetically alluring is the celebrity follow. Now, my time on Cinematical has already introduced me to a lot of Big Names, and while it's always fun and exciting to meet someone you like onscreen, it's often just work. Often, it's awkward work. I say that not to brag or play down the experience, but to stress that chasing celebrities just isn't my thing. Except on Twitter.

Twitter is like this shadowy, secret party where Hollywood's creme de la creme are eating, drinking, laughing, and filming, and they're coyly letting you watch. They casually drop names and TwitPics, and there's something about it that's so alluring once paired with a timestamp. The most recent example (and the one @scotteweinberg dared me to write about) was this Tweet from @F_Gary_Gray, director of the upcoming Law Abiding Citizen:

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Oh my! 31 minutes ago (15 when I first looked at it. I feel this should be documented in a careful Doctor Manhattan style) Gerard Butler, Regina King, and F. Gary Gray were all eating dinner together. Gray held his Blackberry / iphone / whatever in his hand and Tweeted it. I received it on my iphone in the palm of my hand while watching Fringe. Cue the "Somewhere Out There" theme from An American Tail because we were all awake and doing crap on Twitter at the same time, which means we're hanging out somehow. There's a one in a million chance that my pathetic "follower" status is even a flicker in Gray's eye, let alone Butler's, but I'm just enthralled with the collision of time and distant space.

Still, I can't help feeling that my fascination is less of a cool Doctor Manhattan and more of a celebrity gawker. I turned to Weinberg for comfort. "How lame is it that I'm all fascinated by F. Gary Gray's tweet about "eating dinner with Gerard Butler" from 15 minutes ago?" "Ha ha, lame! Go write about that!" replies Scott. He knows full well I can't resist a challenge or a chance to embarrass myself in public.

Twitter is a strange and terrible thing for a film geek. In reality, one is no closer to the world where movies are made, but your perception says differently. Somehow, those casual and instant descriptions of the Iron Man 2 set loading as your waiting for your Starbucks order makes your life seem a little more glamorous, if only for a second.

As I said, I'm not particularly interested in chasing celebrities, and I'm happy no matter who I have a satisfying 140-character conversation with. I've "met" lots of cool people, discovered great books and movies through them, and happily discovered that we had mutual obsessions with True Blood or Bones. But as much as I try to shrug it off, there's something very surreal about logging off your computer and realize you've just been discussing Mother, Jugs & Speed with @EdgarWright, or that you were compelled to describe your Halloween costume to @NathanFillion, who is influencing your vocabulary (Feed the birds!) in ways no one else understands. Wait, what's what? Did Idris Elba tweet a photo from The Losers? He did! And it happened 15 minutes ago ...

categories Movies, Cinematical