On the movies

Biggest difficulty a movie sees on the way of being made is the part when stuff written on the paper needs to be transformed into visual aids. Here comes the greatest challenge for the director, as he is the person who READS the screept and tries to make best out of it.


So many times, you have said that film doesn’t meet half of the published material. Reason? Well, first of there are crappy directors. Second, there are limitations of time and pace for the given feature film. Third, financial limitations and unrisky behavior of studio executives. But there’s also the biggest reason not a lot of people CAN understand: its JUST IMPOSSIBLE to translate some publications into visual representation. Of course, some might mention that nothing is impossible, but then that’s why you still grunt about films made on your favorite books.

So how the directors resolve this huge issue? They add voiceovers. This is the biggest trick that they use. Get hold of some sexy voiced actor (namingly, Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones) and make him read straight lines monotonically and precisely. Hence, whenever you hear the voiceover in the movie it means that director/screenwriter reached the point where they can’t explain/show whatever needs to be brought to the audience, by using either dialogs, on screen events, emotions of actors or just simply by forcing the watcher to understand themselves.


Interesting thing is that directors know this. They understand that a passage in the story stating which college the protagonysts finished or his/her hobbies or his/her crazy background information needs to be presented in a way that it’d be convincing, natural AND WON’T TAKE LONGER THAN FIRST 15 MINUTES of the movie. That’s why you usually see a hero in his “favorite” t-shirt with huge college logo on the front. Or the 10 second camera pan over the hero’s room, showing enormous collection of toy cars. Or the hero explaining to his close friend something THAT friend should have known already, taking into account that this friend is close. “hey man, wanna go to the party? there will be bunch of girls there!” – “no, bro sorry, i have a girlfriend” – “hey man are you still seeing that girl who lives in new york and we’re in LA?” – “yeah man we promised to wait for each other”.


Of course, most of the time the viewer “eats” it, as much of information is new for him (and surely made much more convincingly sophisticated). But next time just pay attention and you’ll see the same pattern happening on the screen. It is a formula.


So what makes a movie great? Being able to do these stuff in a way that noone notices. And there are a lot of movies. And I will mention these movies in my next note.

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