Monday, September 26, 2011

The Story And Not The Tricks!

Many movie producers of yesteryear can teach their present counterparts a thing or two concerning the art of good story telling. They knew the ultimate issue was to tell an entertaining story and were light on the tricks in doing so. Not so today.  We have special effects galore.  Don't misunderstand me I'm not opposed to the sensational advancements that's  achieved in filmology  but I would however strongly suggest an unwise degree of the use of such  can perhaps be counter-productive--to the end-- the story takes the back seat.

The special effects....the props and the great many visual supports portray in as real way as possible how something in reality would appear. I'd question it's importance yes even in regard to films  meant to be visually exciting. While a certain measure of graphic imagery can be fine at what point does it become rather a distraction--or can it ever be said to be that at all? I'd say yes in the affirmative. Special effects departments can create wonders but I'd put a far more focus on leaving most things to the power of the imagination. I'd contend that by forcing people to imagine it could be said that you're involving and engaging one's audience making them feel like a participant in the drama---in other words you're not putting them to sleep. 

Wouldn't it be  a better way  to leave a few of the blanks open allowing  viewers to fill them in as they see fit? To cite one example, the 1948 film, "The Rope" we see this demonstrated.  The story goes a couple of college students sought to justify the committing of a  homicide of a fellow  student to their professor. He comes to the realization that they've  placed the corpse--the victim of their crime in a chest a few feet away.  The professor walks over to the chest, swings it open and the next shot we see his shocked expression as he looks within upon its gruesome contents. 

Keep in mind the body is never seen and it's left totally over to the power of the imagination . I recall the late, Jimmy Stewart discussing this film.  He stated people all the time would tell him they'd swear that they saw a body in the box--but nope they did not. All was left to the imagination. They got so caught up in the story their minds filled in the blanks. Would not achievng such an effect subliminally be for the most part more effective not to mention a lot less expense on the film makers budget?  

In doing a body in the box scene today modern film makers would have us look down into the eyes of some rotted out corpse.  Would it be surprising that ones who like to take realism to the extreme may want some day to have the smell and scent of decay to be sent out  the air vents of your  viewing theatre?  Could patrons at a certain point in the future say quite literally that a particular movie stunk?  One might say that such could be acceptable as long as it was followed by a lovely fragrance of flowers. Even so I'd hope not. I wouldn't want to take the chance, knowing my stomach like I do and none would be too keen wanting to gaze upon and smell my chow eaten  a brief span of time before. It might stink but I guess I could tell you it's just a part of the movie.  




  1. I love a good story. Unfortunately, special effects or not, there have been a lot of movies of late which have stunk.

  2. Thanks Cygnetbrown for comment. I'd agree and tend to think the industry needs to back away from mere fluff and get back to the basics of good story telling.