Watching


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Yakkedy Yak. Don't come back.

I’m a bit of a menace to watch movies and television shows with because I struggle to keep my comments to myself. It’s an equally difficult struggle when I’m watching something well crafted as when I’m watching something poorly crafted because I either want to marvel at the cleverness or call out the laziness.

Today turned out to be quite a day for movies on television. I caught the first twenty minutes of “Lethal Weapon” ( the first one when things were still earnest),  the middle portion of “Captain America” ( the first one, when things were still earnest) a portion of “Iron Man III” ( not the first one), and all three hours of “Cloud Atlas” ( which really ought to have been a television miniseries).

I would argue that all of these films were well crafted. Crowd pleasers? Yes, not the height of prestige, but good, solid entertainment engineering. I’ve been doing quite a bit of script work lately, so I’m in the mindset of noticing different stories set up their exposition, build tension, apply subtext, etc. Watching great movies makes it seem deceptively easy- it all seems to be built in naturally: of course that’s how the scene plays out, it’s the only way that it could. In reality, I’m learning just how slippery all these ethereal storytelling elements can be. Subtext- how can I trust the audience will know what’s not being said? Exposition- how can straight up information seem natural? Even Dialogue: how do you get two characters to have natural conversations and still make the points that they need to make for the scene?

It was always right there in front of me, but I just never knew what I was looking at. Now that I can see it, I’m amazed by it… And I can’t keep my damn mouth shut.

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~ by Gwydhar Gebien on February 13, 2016.

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