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Randy Walsh

Screen direction error in Manchester by the Sea

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I've also been on the flip side of this coin where I went into over-time covering something from every conceivable angle, because I assumed they would appreciate options, which they usually do. Then I see the final cut and they wound up only using two shots. Now it looks like I wasted time getting stuff we don't need, because I don't have a vision. Kind of a catch 22.

 

I've often wondered if directing a big franchise movie for a studio is like this, but times a thousand.

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Interesting perspectives from everyone. I can simply say, in my opinion There are some basic rules that should be followed. It's like some musical notes belong in a cord and some notes don't. Playing out of tune might sound cool and progressive to the artist - but in reality, it's just out of tune.

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What is the alternative Phil? Have 50 members of the public sitting beside you whilst you edit, then they can all give their expert advice based on all their years of training in film?

 

I'll say to you what I say to every critic....don't like what you see on the screen, then go and make your own movie and show us all how brilliant you are and how you can do it so much better.

 

R,

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What is the alternative Phil? Have 50 members of the public sitting beside you whilst you edit, then they can all give their expert advice based on all their years of training in film?

 

I'll say to you what I say to every critic....don't like what you see on the screen, then go and make your own movie and show us all how brilliant you are and how you can do it so much better.

 

R,

 

Alternately, I suppose we could just stop watching and talking about movies entirely... I mean, I totally understand the emotional impulse to protect one's creative work - but on the other hand, it kinda goes with the territory when you put your work out there for public consumption.

 

If it's any consolation, people only talk about the films that get seen. Which means ultimately the more critics you have, the more people end up seeing your movie. :)

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Alternately, I suppose we could just stop watching and talking about movies entirely... I mean, I totally understand the emotional impulse to protect one's creative work - but on the other hand, it kinda goes with the territory when you put your work out there for public consumption.

 

If it's any consolation, people only talk about the films that get seen. Which means ultimately the more critics you have, the more people end up seeing your movie. :)

 

Oh sure they can talk and criticize all they want. In my case however what is the point? Clearly I don't give a *bleep* about anyone's opinion except my own.

 

R,

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When you put yourself out there, you're opening the door to public opinion as to whether or not you're a stupid idiot. And the public will judge. I recently heard a very famous critic talk about a critically acclaimed film and he said watching this movie made him realize how hard it was to write a good script. I thought to myself, "of the hundreds of movies this guy has reviewed, how did it somehow take this movie for him to realize writing a good script is hard???" Then I thought, "When most critics see a movie they think is bad, it seems they think it's bad because the filmmakers are simply stupid people, but they almost never think it's because making a good movie is really hard."

 

But who am I to talk. Maybe film critics have a much harder life than I imagine. And I don't doubt they are smarter than me.

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Oh sure they can talk and criticize all they want. In my case however what is the point? Clearly I don't give a *bleep* about anyone's opinion except my own.

 

R,

Well, yes :)

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No, I don't have a clip to post.

I too... didn't get far into the movie. This scene is close to the beginning. But it's very much worth looking for. I'm a cinematographer with over 35 years experience. Screen direction is a major deal to me. I screwed up once in a indie film and I'll never do it again. I'm totally cool with breaking the rules, but usually with a flare... like; if you jump the line, the next shot would be extreme - like extremely wide. With that, I'm ok. Or with any other way that one could creatively concele the line breach. In this scene, there are 4 actors in dialogue and the audiuance needs to follow the story. Crossing the line in my humble view is damaging to the flow of information. Funny, my wife (watching it with me) didn't notice anything wrong.

So... hmmm.

35 of experience and you learn so little?

Maybe the explanation is this:

"I screwed up once in a indie film and I'll never do it again"

 

Maybe you are so afraid of making mistake that you never going to learn anything else. To me is kinda sad, you are stuck and is all in your own mind. Not trying to do cheap psychology but is ironic that the character in the movie is stuck too.

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I think it was Hitchcock, the master of the designed sequence, who said you should never cut back to the same shot twice - that each cut should propel you to the next shot so that new information is continually revealed. The idea being that the audience subconsciously knows when a shot is re-used in a sequence, so unless there is new information being revealed, the momentum of the scene stalls.

 

Obviously, this is somewhat impossible advice to follow in a dialogue scene where the coverage is usually intended to be intercut. But I think editors especially can take the basic idea to heart - cuts are precious, save them for when they mean something, or they won't mean anything.

I feel this way about camera moves in films, now that so many movies never stop moving the camera, the moves have lost all impact, and meaning.

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