to one of the special effects & eye candy extravaganzas
(SEECE for short) at the local cineplex a
while back. Unfortunately, for a film that was based on
special effects & eye candy, there were many problems
with the special effects and the most prevalent special
effects tended to be used at times that the script floundered
the worst. Now, this wasn't because effects were used to
distract you from a flaw in the script or acting, rather
the focus on effects stalled both the script and
thought about it later, I realized the sheer lunacy of stalling
one's own film in order to showcase flawed special effects
which in turn creates a flaw in the script and flow which
then must be covered up with yet more flawed special effects.
I don't know what sort of pressures this particular director
was working under or what the studios in old Hollywood were
trying to do to him. For all I know, he was in favor of
a more streamlined film with more manageable special effects,
but the powers that be wanted more over-the-top effects
due to the desire for a predictable turnout.
old Hollywood, there is a belief that, the more money you
dump into a film, the more money you will make from a film.
As such, pack as many effects and eye candy into the film
as possible for a 'guaranteed' blockbuster. In
reality, nothing's guaranteed and this idea has backfired
as many times as it has succeeded. Of course, this doesn't
keep that mindset from prevailing. (There's a whole research
article that Pavlov published which explains why this is,
but I will not digress further on it here!)
it all comes down to it, I don't mind a movie that's about
effects...or about action...or about any number of things
that a movie can be about with actually hitting the bedrock
of true substance. But the thing that bothers me is when
so few people in our society seem to grasp the concept of
film as the ultimate art form.
just biased when I say that? No. For anyone who honestly
looks at all the art forms available, from writing, to photography,
to painting, to music, to acting, to computer design, to
sound recording, can find no other art that is capable of
combining them all.
you read a critique we write of a film, we touch on all
of these elements, for only film has the need and the ability
to incorporate them. Do you think Van Gogh was told by critics,
"That Starry Night was pretty nice, but it needed
a better soundtrack."? Do you think Jonathan Swift
was told, "Those Gulliver's Travels were great
but the acting by the characters wasn't so good!"?
Or do you think that Beethoven was told, "Nice 5th
Symphony, but I would have liked to have seen a flashback
montage to go with it!"?
not. No other art form is so dependent on so many other
art forms to be incorporated into itself. As such, there
is something amazing about filmmaking that is found in no
other art form.
that's the thing that frustrates me the most with old Hollywood.
It is willing to trade base commercialism for a product
that should truly be the ultimate artistic collaboration.
It is said in Hollywood that 'you fail upward.' How sad
is that? It should be those who push the ultimate art the
farthest that become the most acclaimed.
of use who make films with our own money tend to have a
special appreciation for the collaborative art found in
filmmaking, because it costs us all so dearly--yet I'm not
sure even we have spent enough time thinking about how amazing
the ability to do what we do truly is.
making movies with no budget is tough, let's take joy in
the fact that we get to participate in the ultimate art
form--that we have the privilege to work with a form of
artistic expression that a thousand generations of artisans
before us never had the ability to work with. With that
in mind, let's keep pushing the envelope of this art as
far as we can.