Sunday, November 13

When in doubt, cut to seagull

Enjoyed this Mefi thread about cinematic devices, how they add to good storytelling, and what you lose when you spend too much time taking things apart:
One of the worst things about learning the hows and whys of any artform or craft is that the knowledge can detract from your enjoyment. I have cinematographer friends who, rather than, as an average filmmaker, asking, "What happens next?" (the goal of any good writer or director) while watching a scene, will instead ask herself, "Where are the lights?" or "How's it lit?". I find it very difficult to watch any film and not think about how it may have been written.
Also includes such gems like the power of the cut (Where shot A shows a gun, B shows a flock of birds all flying in different directions) and "When in doubt, cut to seagull" --or pitbull if you're Robert Rodriguez. The discussion is all very Film 100. But also got to agree with Manhasset there. And if it's not film school, it's a little like loving reading and writing and then suddenly enrolling in the creative writing program, where you are forced to have three markers ready in neon green, pink and yellow and you highlight like crazy for devices that show character, scenes where the conflict is condensed, good dialogue that works. You lose a kind of innocence that way.

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