Friday, December 19, 2014

The Remake Vs. The Original

While some in the film community still believe that we are still in the era of Hollywood's return to myth I definitely believe that we have moved forward into a new era. I think the era we are in currently is a interesting balance between the indie and the blockbuster, the low budget and the big budget, the creative and the typical.

I would call this new era that we are in The Remake Vs. The Original.

I call it this because for the past decade it seems that every film that is being cranked out of Hollywood is either a film based on a book, television show, other film, or it is a remake of a old film. But while Hollywood seems to be stuck in this loop, independent films and the occasional original Hollywood film are on the rise with a reputation with being risky, interesting, creative, and completely original films.

Now, I don't believe that all remakes are bad, and I'm also not saying that every Indie film is a perfect film. I'm just saying that after the seventh Fast and Furious movie you do have to admit that there's a pattern going on here.

With remakes such as Dumb and Dumber To (2014), getting a 26% on Rotten Tomatoes while a original film such as Interstellar (2014) getting a 73%, you have to admit that there's a gap here. While filmmakers, independent and some not, are beginning to embrace this new era of storytelling Hollywood is stuck trying to succeed off of their pasts successes, and failing.

This hesitancy in Hollywood to not try anything new I think ties into the expansion of the film world with the introduction of the digital camera at the start of the century. Suddenly there were an influx of filmmakers, all with a unique voice and a story to tell. Hollywood didn't want to give up any of it's ground so I believe that they've gotten stuck in just plugging in stories to a formula that brought them success in the past, but with the new audience that is arising they can no longer do that without losing ground to the new filmmakers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Hollywood's Golden Age

1. After the invention of the television, many people didn't go to the theaters to watch movies anymore when the could do it from the comfort of their own homes.  It was also less expensive to just buy a television set for the house rather than be constantly spending money on movie tickets. It changed as an art form since only the best movies now were being created by the studios in order to draw in audiences, colleges also began to offer 'filmmaker' degrees, allowing people to go to art school for film. The business was effected since Hollywood, which had been creating about 500 feature films a year, decreased its number of films being created by 300.

2.  What the censorship companies had to censor in films really shows what America's culture was like at the time. Films could not swear, have violence, nudity, or even allude to "sexual perversion", which in that time, was homosexuality. Studios censored so heavily so their films would be played at all the cinemas, and so catholic viewers would go see them.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014


If you're a film student, you will sooner or later learn about Soviet Montage. Soviet Montage is a style of filmmaking that leans heavily on editing to tell the story. It is made up of five different kinds of editing; Metric, Rhythmic, Tonal, Overtonal, and Intellectual.

I am most interested in the Intellectual style of editing. I find it fascinating how Intellectual editing takes seemingly completely unrelated footage and cuts them together to create a well crafted, clever, and interesting metaphor that wouldn't be in the film without it. Intellectual montage is made up of many different facets in order to work. One such aspect of it is normally the main subject is being compared to is not actually a part of the narrative film.

One of the most famous examples of intellectual editing is in the movie Strike by the famous Soviet filmmaker, Sergei Eisenstein. One of the most famous scenes from that movie is a scene that is a great example of intellectual montage, the scene where the workers are striking and being attacked with is edited together with shots of a cow being slaughtered, comparing these workers to cattle., this short film is a great example of Intellectual montage. The use of shot design, and the editing, make it clear that tennis is his 'baby'. In this short, the narrative story is of him playing tennis, and the footage of him taking care of the baby is used as footage that is not part of the narrative but is what his tennis playing is being compared to. It works very well to create a strong metaphor and story, that would've only been possible through Intellectual montage.

I have created a very short film that is an example of Intellectual editing.


In the film I cut together footage of my sister and of my fish, comparing my sister to the fish. I also use the audio of glass being tapped to mimic the sound of a fish bowl being tapped. 

I was inspired by the scene from Strike, comparing people to animals has always fascinated me, whether it is in literature or film. My goal was to use the footage of my sister looking blank, or vapid, in order to compare her to a goldfish, notorious for their dim minds.  I added in the audio to mimic tapping on glass, to reflect the phrase uttered by many fish owners "Don't tap on the glass.".